YGL mobilizes Phonak to donate hearing aids to Madrasati School in Zarqa

September 07, 2009

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department- Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, on Monday, visited two specialized schools in Zarqa which serve hearing impaired children.

During the visit to the Queen Alia School for the Hearing Impaired, a Madrasati Phase I school sponsored by Orange, Her Majesty was accompanied by Madrasati Director Danah Dajani, CEO of Orange Nayla Khawam and the School Principal Fatmeh Kharabshe.

Queen Rania toured the newly renovated classrooms and sat with a group of children who were being entertained by a magician. As the children chuckled away at the magic tricks performed, Her Majesty joined another group of hearing impaired children as their teacher told a short story in sign language.

Also today, Her Majesty visited the Al Amal School for the Hearing Impaired, sponsored by ZAIN. Touring the classrooms with Zain CEO Abdel Malik Al Jaber and School Principal Hiyam Al Jabali, Queen Rania witnessed firsthand the many developments which have positively benefited the children.

In fact, children from the Al Amal school have recently benefited with new hearing equipment and free medical checkups as part of a JD 120,000 donation provided by the Phonak Group, a leader in the development of technologically advanced hearing systems.

“This kind donation demonstrates two things: one, the power and reach of the YGL network, and what can be achieved when a group of talented and compassionate individuals put their heads together; and two, the kindness and altruism of the Hear the World  Foundation.  I can only imagine what these hearing aids will mean to the children of the Al Amal School…the chance to finally be part of the conversation…to enjoy the incidental nuances of life: birdsong, the call to prayer, the laughter of friends.  Not to mention what it means for their future job security and personal happiness.  For them, the gift of hearing means a fuller, more lyrical life; and for that I know they’re grateful,” said Her Majesty.

Queen Rania discussed the details of the contribution with Valentine Chapero, Chairman of Phonak for hearing aids, who explained the company’s involvement with the Al Amal School was the result of a pledge undertaken by a member of the Young Global Leaders (YGLs), who visited the Al Amal School last May. As part of a series of “impact journeys” organized by Madrasati on the occasion of the YGL Summit, YGL member George Karen, had noticed several children were relying exclusively on sign language to communicate. In an effort to enhance learning opportunities for children with special needs, Karen’s efforts have facilitated cooperation between Madrasati and Phonak.

Starting from October 2009, explained Jordanian YGL Emile Cubeisy, the Phonak contribution will enable more than 70 school children to benefit from wireless hearing aids and FM systems which provide an excellent foundation for speech understanding and language development.

At the Al Amal school, Queen Rania passed by the Kindergarten area, sitting with children who were being taught how to pronounce letters of the alphabet through dedicated computers and touch screen games.

Finally, Her Majesty met with a group of hearing impaired children from GRADE 6 as they shared their thoughts on their recently restored school.  “Since Madrasati revamped the school last year, our students are better motivated to come to a brighter and safer environment which suits their needs and stimulates them to learn,” pointed out the School Principal.

The Queen Alia School for the Hearing Impaired was built on rented premises which have recently been renovated by the Madrasati initiative. Originally founded in 1978, the school now serves 185 students (grades 1-11) and has 33 teachers. The Al Amal School, also a Madrasati Phase I school, was built in 1993 currently holding 85 students with hearing disabilities.

Launched in 2008, the ambitious Madrasati program founded by Her Majesty Queen Rania, seeks to refurbish 500 dilapidated schools by pairing corporations and NGO’s with public schools across the Kingdom. The first phase of the initiative has already renovated 100 schools in the Amman and Zarqa areas in a rehabilitation project focused on enhancing the quality of education and upgrading the learning environment.