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"You’re One of Us!" – a Camp for Families of Children with Impaired Hearing

May 14, 2013

From 28-30 June 2013, the Piejūra Boarding Primary School in Carnikava hosted a camp for families of children with impaired hearing.

Participating in the camp were the families of those children to whom ABLV Charitable Foundation with the assistance of the donations of ABLV Bank’s employees and clients had given digital hearing aids, bringing together a total of almost 70 participants. This was the second time that the Foundation had met families of children with impaired hearing. This time, there was enough time to discuss painful issues, relax and draw inspiration for future challenges.

The camp activities were organised by a team from the wonderful organisation of “Palīdzēsim.lv”. The children spent their time together playing friendly games, engaging in creative activities and treasure hunts, while their parents were spoiled by the attention of a team of expert stylists, hairdressers and manicurists, as well as a psychologist from the “Skalbe” organisation and the Director of the Latvian Children’s Hearing Centre. The participants were taught to make beautiful flower badges using a wet felting technique by Lolitas brīnumskapis, while all of the participants spent one evening at a Surprise Carousel Ball with the Wolf and Rabbit, dancing, playing games, creating balloon figures and eating candyfloss. On the last day, with the help of Rasma Pīpiķe, Head of Latvia’s Civic Alliance, the parents had the chance to formulate the main ideas and necessary action to improve the situation of children with impaired hearing. At the end of the camp, some parents expressed the readiness to found an organisation to jointly defend the interests of children with impaired hearing and to promote their development and integration in society.

ABLV Charitable Foundation was delighted by the positive and resilient children’s parents who spend their daily lives putting a huge amount of work into their children – in order for their child with impaired hearing to be able to learn to talk correctly, he or she has to be spoken to and this requires three times more work than with a child with normal hearing. In the activities of children with impaired hearing, we saw how important it is to use good hearing aids, because they give the child the chance to attend and learn at a general education school and be fully incorporated into the environment of children with normal hearing.

Parents’ ideas for improving the situation of families with children with impaired hearing:

  • Integration of children in general educational schools and educating and informing teachers, parents and society about the integration of such children in schools
  • Lifelong continuous operation of a united hearing centre
  • Public education regarding people with impaired hearing
  • Homepage development, formation of an organisation
  • Organisation of assistance from specialists – post-diagnosis treatment from a psychologist, audio speech therapist, etc.
  • Establishment and operation of a consultative centre
  • Organisation of joint interest groups (dancing, singing, physical exercise)
  • State-funded digital multi-channel hearing aids and special teaching aids
  • Establishment of a primary hearing aid technical maintenance centre
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