Return to Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti––Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the General Commission on UM Men and founder of “The Hope of Hearing,” returned to the island nation for his 30th visit. Prior to joining the staff of the General Commission on UM Men in 2010, Gil served for more than 30 years as a speech pathologist.
During his Oct. 8-14 visit, three audiologists and Gil conducted hearing tests with 282 children and fit 79 with hearing aids.
The team conducted tests at two schools for children with hearing impairments.
“We had an ‘open’ day that I felt God would provide, and about 10 days before we left I had a conversation with a gentleman in my Rotary Club who works closely with a Haitian school of 90 students,” said Hanke. “None of the children had ever had their hearing checked; that’s something that happens within a few days of birth in the U.S. So, our open day was spent testing all 90 students.
Following Hanke’s first trip to Haiti in 1988, he began leading a team of audiologists to test the hearing of Haitian children and supplying them with hearing aids in 1992. “We missed a couple of years because of political unrest in Haiti, and the project was put on hold after the 2010 earthquake,” Hanke said. He and other members of The Hope of Hearing team participated in 2010 and 2011 construction teams to repair damaged buildings. The Hope of Hearing team returned in 2012 to working with children with significant hearing loss.
The National Association of Conference Presidents of UM Men, the Texas Annual Conference, Rotary Clubs, churches and individuals support Hope of Hearing. The Methodist Guest House in Haiti arranges housing and in-country transportation.
Used behind-the-ear hearing aids in any condition or financial donations may be made to:
The Hope of Hearing
3644 Burwick Place
Antioch, TN 37013
For a You Tube video visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhUE2g6Xjlo&feature=youtu.be