Our Vietnam Mobile Mission kicked off with a successful Hanoi workshop. This is the first time we have brought the Global Foundation to North Vietnam and the reception here has been wonderful. We were honored to learn that many people here were already familiar with our work in the South and/or had seen the episode about the Global Foundation on the national television show, Talk Vietnam, last summer.
The purpose of this short workshop is to provide an introduction to the material and expertise that our team provides to professionals and families. The content is a precursor to a larger program and curriculum that we hope to develop with our colleagues here to support listening and spoken language in children with hearing loss.
There are 31 Vietnamese professionals from Hanoi-area early intervention centers and schools and 16 parents enrolled in this program focused on audiology and auditory-verbal practice. Most of the participants are demonstrating a solid foundation of understanding about pediatric hearing loss which has enabled our team to quickly move to more advanced concepts and strategies.
What I have most appreciated thus far is the willingness of the parents to share questions and experiences with each other. They arrived not knowing each other but that has not kept them from supporting each other. They ask and answer questions of each other and engage in lively conversation about how to help their children hear optimally, develop language, and be successful in school.
Last night, we conducted a Parent Night for families of children with hearing loss. We had about 40 participants in attendance interested to learn from our team of professionals and get questions answered. At the end of the evening, I asked the families what they hoped to see in their children’s futures. They shared some pretty emotional concerns and dreams that their children will lead successful lives. It goes to show that parents are the same everywhere.
Our team of professionals are doing a terrific job sharing their expertise. We look forward to continuing our efforts to expand our work in Vietnam to provide support to professionals and families so that more children with hearing loss can learn to listen and talk and reach their full potential in our hearing world.