Hundreds Of Children In Afghanistan Receive Free Hearing Aids

– The Bayat Foundation and Starkey Hearing Foundation partner to bring the gift of hearing to conflict regions in Afghanistan.

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Last week the Bayat Foundation kicked off a partnership with Starkey Hearing Foundation to provide hearing health care to people in need across Afghanistan. During the first hearing mission in the country, the two organizations worked together to provide more than 1,700 customized hearing devices to children and adults in need. The three-day event enabled many individuals to hear for the first time, including students with hearing loss from two schools in Kabul, Professional High School of Deaf (Lycee Maslaki Nashanawa) and National Deaf Association of Kabul (Lycee Mille Nashanawa Kabul) as well as patients from across the region.

Speaking about the impact of the humanitarian initiative, Ehsan Bayat, chairman of the Bayat Foundation, said, “To give the ability to hear for the first time is a life changing moment. These hearing aids will impact the children and their families for generations to come. By providing these hearing aids, we can give every child the opportunity to become a larger part of society. I will never forget seeing a child to hear his or her first name and witnessing the joy in their eyes.”  Joining Mr. Ehsan Bayat to help fit the patients were Mrs. Fatema Bayat, Mr. Bill Austin, Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation; Mrs. Suraya Dalil, Minister of Health; Head of Human Rights, Nader Naderi, and five Senators.

In addition to fitting patients with hearing aids, Starkey Hearing Foundation also provided each recipient with counseling on the proper use and maintenance of the hearing aids, a generous supply of batteries, and access to follow-up care through its global AfterCare program.  The organizations also established a hot line for parents to call with further questions.

“Thanks to the incredible support of the Bayat Foundation, we are able to bring our dedication and passion for the gift of hearing to the people of Afghanistan,” said Brady Forseth, Executive Director of Starkey Hearing Foundation. “We hope that by opening up channels of communication for people who might have otherwise lived in isolation, we are also helping to unlock the potential needed to build a brighter future.”

Starkey Hearing Foundation uses hearing as a vehicle to change lives around the world. Its work in Afghanistan is part of the dozens of domestic and international hearing missions conducted each year. Last year alone, the Foundation fit more than 175,000 hearing aids for people in need.

According to the World Health Organization, hearing loss is pervasive, affecting 360 million people worldwide. However, with the help of a hearing device, hearing loss can often be corrected, giving individuals the opportunity to better connect with family, the community and the world around them.

This partnership is just one of the many ways the Bayat Foundation continues to make an impact throughout Afghanistan.  The Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has constructed over 13 Maternity Hospitals, which combined have already treated over 1,000,000 women and children and vastly improved the chances of survival in the country with the world’s worst maternity survival rates. They have also built orphanages, schools, roads and sports complexes and provide countless tons of food and clothing to refugees in need.

About the Bayat Foundation

Since 2005, the US-based Bayat Foundation, a 501 c (3) charitable organization, has promoted the well-being of the Afghan people. Founded and directed by Ehsan Bayat and Fatema Bayat, the Foundation has contributed to more than 300 projects dedicated to improving the quality of life for the youth, women, poor, and elderly of Afghanistan; including construction of 13 maternity hospitals that have now treated over 1,000,000 mothers and babies.  Projects have included the construction of new facilities and sustainable infrastructure in needy regions, and the promotion of health, education, economic, and cultural programs. In addition to his charitable initiatives, Ehsanollah Bayat founded Afghan Wireless (AWCC) in 2002 – a joint venture between Telephone Systems International, Inc. (TSI) and the Ministry of Communications – which was the first GSM wireless and Internet Service Provider in Afghanistan, and later established Ariana Radio and Television Network (ATN), which includes Ariana Radio (FM 93.5). For more information, please email

About Starkey Hearing Foundation

Starkey Hearing Foundation uses hearing as a vehicle to reflect caring and change lives around the world. Disabling hearing loss affects more than 360 million people, including 32 million children, worldwide, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that can help them. Starkey Hearing Foundation fits and gives more than 100,000 hearing aids annually, and as a member of President Clinton’s Global Initiative, it has pledged to fit one million hearing aids this decade. In addition to giving the gift of hearing through worldwide hearing missions, Starkey Hearing Foundation promotes hearing health awareness and education through the Listen Carefully campaign and provides hearing instruments to low-income Americans through the Hear Now program. For more information on Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit

More information about Starkey Hearing Foundation’s work can be found at its website, or on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

For more information on the Bayat Foundation, please contact:
Montgomery Simus

For more information on Starkey Hearing Foundation, please contact:
Karen Webb

Taylor Joseph