10 Jun 2017

Volunteering in Ghana 4

What motivated you to volunteer?

We’ve always been drawn by the idea of volunteering but we had never had the opportunity to do it due to family commitments and a business to get off the ground.

Our mother used to help everybody; she passed her solidarity on to us.

How did your project start?

Dr Andrés Ibáñez, an ENT specialist at Hospital Puerta de Hierro (Madrid), told us he had worked as a volunteer in Ghana on different occasions and had noticed a high number of people with severe hearing impairment, especially among young people.

Once we made the decision to help, we started working in order to get as many hearing aids as possible, mainly from our patients and suppliers.

What were your expectations before you volunteered? Did you exceed them?

We aimed to adapt as many hearing aids as possible in record time that could last for long.

We have far exceeded our expectations. This year, we have seen girls that had been using a hearing aid for a year who weren´t able to speak because they couldn´t hear themselves and now they even speak English. We are deeply satisfied!

We started working in order to get as many hearing aids as possible, mainly from our patients and suppliers.

Any difficult situation?

We went through difficult situations every day. For example, having to explain up to ten times the procedures of a very easy test because we couldn’t understand each other; or receiving broken hearing aids two days after adapting them because some patients didn’t get how they work. But the worst thing we had to deal with was telling some patients there was no solution to their problem because they were completely deaf and hearing aids only work if there´s still residual hearing.

What are the highlights of this experience?

What we enjoyed the most is doing our job without having to sell anything, focusing only on giving the best solution to the patient. It felt like doing something that really makes you happy.

We are counting the days until we go back to what we consider our house in Ghana to see the results of all the people we treated this year and meet Sr Lourdes and Sr Felisia again. We thank them and their community for their hospitality.

We are counting the days until we go back to what we consider our house in Ghana.