WORLD NEWS – THE LEHNHARDT FOUNDATION – Charity projects under Corona conditions

Publikation in EURO-CIU December 2020

The Corona crisis is having a profound effect on all areas of life as we are all experiencing.

We at the Lehnhardt Foundation also had to learn that the otherwise not easy handling of charity projects for deaf children who are supposed to receive a hearing implant did not become easier during this time.  Moreover, if these affected children coming from non-European countries are to be provided with a CI system in Germany, the task becomes even more complex under these conditions.

Three children from two different countries and cultures, who are looked after by the Lehnhardt Foundation, were supplied with a hearing implant by Prof. Just, head of the ENT department, at the KMG Clinic in Güstrow, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, from mid-September to early November.

Rafayel, four years old, and Lika, five years old, both from Armenia, while four-year-old Sophie came from the Kenyan capital Nairobi.  Three little personalities, three different fates, but with the common goal of finally being able to hear and learn to speak.

Getting Rafayel and his parents to Germany initially was not easy.  Although the issuing of the required visas was relatively quick under the circumstances, flight booking was not easy at all due to the constantly changing travel regulations, which required quick action as soon as the flight restrictions were temporarily lifted.  At the same time, this uncertainty had an impact on the organization of the planned surgery.  In addition, there was a negative Covid 19 test required in Yerevan 48 hours before departure and an equally negative test upon arrival in Berlin, which then required a subsequent five-day quarantine before a third test at the clinic decided whether the patient would be allowed to enter the clinic with a parent so that the necessary preliminary examinations and the surgery could be carried out.  This procedure required additional effort, whereby the duration of the quarantine times and test results had to be constantly coordinated with the responsible health department.  Rafayel and his mother fortunately passed all three tests with negative results and on September 29, 2020, Rafayel was successfully supplied with a CI system.  The first fitting of the speech processor a few days later also confirmed the success, and the young family was able to start their journey home overjoyed by the result just in time before their visas expired.

Sophie’s trip with her mother from Nairobi was more difficult to organize.  The burden of the many corona patients in Nairobi made it much more difficult to obtain the necessary documents for issuing visas.  Safety requirements by the Kenyan authorities and engagement of the specialists involved in the diagnostics proved to be clear hurdles, as did the strict requirements of the German embassy.  There were also uncertain flight plans there, which made precise planning impossible both in Nairobi and in the hospital in Güstrow.  When Sophie and her mother finally arrived in Germany, both of them went through the health safety tests and passed the quarantine periods as well.  The clinic reacted very flexibly thanks to the experience with Rafayel.  Fortunately, all test results were negative as well, the surgery date and the other appointments were coordinated accordingly and on October 6th, 2020, Sophie was also successfully supplied with a CI system.  When the first fitting took place a week later and Sophie heard her mother’s voice for the very first time, all obstacles and problems were forgotten.

With the experience from these two projects, little Lika from Armenia should actually be provided with a CI system as the third candidate without any problems.

However, it should turn out differently, because in the third decisive Covid 19 test, which should decide the admission to the clinic, mother and daughter both tested positive.  The health department involved, thereupon ordered 14 days of quarantine for both of them and the entire surgery plan was canceled.  Now the close cooperation with the authority and the observation of all those involved began, how the health of Lika and her mother was developing.  An intermediate test showed that Lika now had a negative result, but the mother remained positive.  That meant that Lika could be accepted, but her mother could not accompany her into the clinic, an additional stress for the girl and her mother.  In addition, the time ran against the approved duration of the visa.

Finally, Mrs. Abrahamyan, the representative of the Lehnhardt Foundation in Armenia who had traveled with them, agreed to accompany little Lika to the operation as the closest confidante.  This made it possible to successfully carry out the supply with the system during the approved length of stay and also to carry out the first fitting on November 2, 2020, just one day before the return journey.  Everyone was understandably very relieved that in the end everything went well and Lika was able to start her long-awaited journey into the world of hearing and speaking

These three cases make the additional burdens in this crisis clear and show the special requirements for flexibility and good will of all those involved, so that in the end, regardless of all adversities, these deaf children could find the way out of the silence into the colorful variety of sounds.

And we all agreed that the efforts were worth it.

Klaus Gollnick
Board member of the Lehnhardt Foundation

Liza is getting access to better hearing – despite the Coronapandemic

This article was published in the EURO-CIU newsletter in June 2020

Regardless of the exceptionally challenging circumstances, caused by the Coronapandemic, which also affected CI recipients and candidates all over the world, wecould help Lize in the Ukraine to get her CI within a rather short time.We “met” Liza ́s mother Jana 5 months ago “Online“ and she convinced us about theurgency to support her daughter to get access to better hearing: Liza does not onlysuffer from bilateral severe hearing loss, she is also nearly blind.We collected all the necessary documents (medical / audiological / CT, MRT and adescription of the financial situation of the family as well as the social environment),translated and submitted them to potential sponsors in Germany. One of them reactedwithin 6 weeks and we received a generous donation. The family had raised funds inthe meantime as well and we approached the company Otcion Medical to provide theCI system at a price we could afford.We were asked to contact their distributor in the Ukraine, company Avrora in Kiev andvery soon we had two constructive Online conversations with the founder of Avrora,Yuri Sokolov, who lives in Canada now, and Oleksandr Radchenko, the director ofAvrora in Kiev.An agreement was reached and on May 21 Jana and her daughters met withOleksandr Radchenko, Tatjana Bogdanovic and Yaroslav Taranovskij to receive theirCI for Liza.The other great news is that Prof. Borys Mironjuk, one of the very experienced surgeons in the Ukraine, has already performed the surgery on May 26. As Liza wasborn on 25 May 2017, it was a nice birthday present for her – delayed only by a day!Sessions for the first fitting with Denis Litun and (re)habilitation with Svitlana Zayjka arescheduled.We hope you agree with us, that this is a wonderful example of what can be achievedunder very difficult circumstances provided all parties involved really want it.

Dr. Dr. h.c. Monika Lehnhardt-GorianyLehnhardt Stiftung

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Мой мальчик уверенно говорит такое долгожданное “Мама”

Я, Савицкая Ирина, мне 35 лет и я мама троих детей. Хочу поделиться с Вами своей маленькой историей жизни но Большими успехами…

Мой средний сыночек Савицький Артур “особенный” мальчик, так получилось что он тотально не зрячий и с третьей степенью тугохоухости-обычными понятными всем словами, это слепо-глухой ребёнок!
Узнав о диагноз сына, я как и любая мама пришла в ужас и под далась панике… “как?…”почему именно мой сын??… – всё время слышала эти вопросы у себя в голове…Скажу честно, очень тяжело принять и понять этот факт… Но суть не в этом…
Артуру было проведено кучу обследование, операций на глазах… – и всё… – окончательный диагноз :” темнота”….
Но не видеть и не слышать… КАК? КАК ЖИТЬ?! ЧТО ДЕЛАТЬ?…

Слава Богу что к этому времени у нас в Украине уже появились “чудо ушки” – Кохлеарные импланты…. и вот виден свет в конце туннеля… Но к нему было ещё далеко… как потом оказалось…. И тогда мы поняли что для ребёнка который не видит, необходимо такое ушко. Цена вопроса очень высока и обычной маме это было не под силу. Беготня поразным инстанциям, мериям, фондам… Не приносила результатов…

Слава Богу на моем жизненном пути встретилась Людмила Сворень, она и познакомила меня с Любовь Воловик и Monika Lehnhardt. Эти великолепные, добрые, заботливые, ответственные, замечательные люди сделали невозможное, и не хватит слов благодарности во всем мире что б я могла их отблагодарить!!!
Я постоянно помню о них, я ежедневно мысленно говорю им СПАСИБО!!!
Сейчас мы с двумя ушками, и хоть прошло слишком мало времени, но мой мальчик уверенно говорит такое долгожданное “Мама”, он злится когда спадает имплант, он хочет слышать, он хочет полноценно жить!!!
В завершении своей истории, положат руку на сердце скажу: Мамы, не бойтесь, не стесняйтесь, боритесь за то что реально нужно Вашим деткам!
Поверьте,есть люди которые протянуть руку помощи!

Фонд  один из немногих, который действительно помогает, заботится, переживает… Там работают люди с огромными Сердцыми!

Profil Daniel Brodmann

Herr Brodmann

Herr Daniel Brodmann (1967), von Ettingen Kanton Basel-Landschaft (BL) Schweiz, wohnhaft in Ormalingen (BL), ist in Therwil (BL) aufgewachsen, wo er sämtliche obligatorischen Grundschulen absolviert hat. Nach Abschluss der kaufmännischen Lehre bei der Basler Versicherungs-Gesellschaft in Basel, hat er in der ehemaligen Lehrfirma in der Zeit von 1986 – 1988 erste Berufserfahrungen als Sachbearbeiter in der beruflichen Vorsorge, Kollektiv Leben, gesammelt. Nach einem dreimonatigen Englandaufenthalt am St. Giles College in Brighton/GB hat er von 1988 bis 1991 an der Höheren Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsschule (HWV) in Basel die Ausbildung zum Betriebsökonom HWV absolviert und mit Erfolg bestanden.

Weiterlesen …


We had a reunion !
When I landed at the airport in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on January 22, 2019, Shakira’s father was waiting for me and welcomed me together with Shakira and her sister Jasmine, both with flowers in their hands. Her friendly, open smile did not disappoint that Shakira prudently appraised me first. When I thanked her for the flowers and asked her in English how she was doing, she politely replied “I am fine”. This initial shyness, however, came off very quickly when I was sitting in the back seat of the car with the two girls on the way to town and we started playing together.
If you did not know, you would not have noticed that Shakira was a CI recipient. Her vivacious nature, her uninterrupted talk with her sister on Bengali, her spontaneous response when addressed, in no way indicated this fact.
When I first met Shakira, she had been a 10-week-old baby and now, 10 years later, a self-confident girl with a beaming smile was sitting next to me, celebrating her 10th birthday the next day, which she was obviously looking forward to it.
Arriving home, I realized very quickly that Shakira, in her lively way, kept the whole family busy as long as she was not ‘floating’ around the apartment, singing and dancing. She was the living proof of a successful integration into the family after conquering the congenital deafness and I enjoyed this condition very much. In a later conversation with the parents, we recalled the time before receiving the CI at the age of three and the liberation for Shakira and her family when Shakira finally could hear and started catching up learning how to speak.
The birthday party was very joyful and when I, as a guest and as it is tradition, got a piece of the birthday cake shovelled into my mouth by the birthday girl, I also felt integrated. My conversation with Shakira went smoothly. Her English vocabulary was not yet enough to allow for a longer conversation, but her sister was always within reach to help out when Shakira spilled on me in her mother tongue, and I got the impression that there she did not have any lack of enough vocabulary.
This is all the more pleasing as Shakira goes to a ‘normal’ school, which ,however, places value on inclusion. Her class teacher, whom I met while visiting Shakira's school, was very fond of her student with a hearing implant being that eager to learn. Thanks to the fact that
classes with a maximum of 12 children are kept relatively small, the teacher makes it possible to successfully integrate such handicapped children into the class and to take their personal learning needs into account. I had the feeling that Shakira was in good hands with this teacher and the learning success confirmed that.
I do not know when the next reunion will take place. Fortunately, the digital connection will bridge the gap in time and give me the opportunity to continue sharing in Shakira’s marvellous development.


Klaus Gollnick

Ears for Vlada

We would like to share the history of our “golden ears”. In our family in the middle of the snowy January, a daughter was born. She was given the name Vlada, based on her mood for life. My daughter was a long-awaited child, ordinary childbirth, no problems. It was 6 months and we began to notice a soft reaction to the sounds. Well, I remember the day of June 30, 2017, when doctors diagnosed deafness for my child. Doctors explain it is deaf-dumb (this is analogous form of psychological help in our country). Until the end, having not believed it, in September in a children’s clinic in Nice, the diagnosis was confirmed. Fortunately, there are methods of hearing aids, but the cost of such an implant was from 25 thousand euros without surgery. There was a little time, so as not to miss the opportunity to learn to hear, speak and conduct dialogue, it is urgent to make an implantation. Confusion and disappointment quickly gave way to finding solutions. In two months, we received answers from European clinics and met with Dr. Monika Lenghardt and the coordinator of the Heart for Children Assistance Foundation Lyubov Volovik. Subsequently, with their help, as well as families and colleagues, we made cochlear implantation in Nice in March 2018. And in a few months, Vlada began to grow swiftly into the world of sounds and to please the people around with their conversation. Of course, her mother-teacher, along with the surdo pedagogue Nadiya, works a lot to get an excellent result. In January 2019, Vlada received a second implant and will soon be heard fully.

I can not say thank to the local authorities. In Ukraine, in order to carry out implantation of more than 450 children, more than 150 children are waiting for replacement, there are no training and service programs for such people. Many volunteers try to help, but at the country level, the Ministry of Health for two years can not appoint a representative to a working group to address the problems of people with hearing impairments. The ministry seems to be interested only in who will receive a tender for the purchase of implants. And in Kyiv, the Department of Health in the best practices of the past tries to counteract the parents’ attempts to improve the service for people with hearing problems and to organize social control.

with best regards,

father of Vlada, Aleksander P.

CI for Angel changed life in our home

Angel, Uganda

I wish to thank you so much for the support towards my daughters implant.  It has changed life in our home with happiness.

We are able to communicate which was not there before.  Angel is full of life, stress free because she can express herself.  Thank you so much for i cannot thank you enough.
I would also like to take this opportunity to share with you Angel’s amazing progress. Angel now has over 100 words as you can watch in the video.
Looking forward to continued communication.
Justine Lubanga


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Danilkin Alyosha: return to the world of sounds

Good evening, dear Monica!

 My name is Danilkina Olga and I live in Ukraine, Kiev.

 I have two sons and the elder son Alexey, 22, was born with a handicap. He taught us a lot and helped us to understand a lot. We try to solve his hearing problems and constantly get to know wonderful people and you are one of those. Yesterday we received from you the most coveted and most necessary gift – the sound processor! Today the device has been successfully adopted. Next week we will have all the necessary adjustments made and Alyosha will be able return to the world of sounds, music and communication.

Our hearing aid is more than 6 years old already – it was adjusted in April 2012 and for more than one and a half years Alyosha has not been able to hear. The chances of getting such a hearing aid from the state are there, but so far very unrealistic: Maybe in March 2019 or may be in August. Alyosha is already a grown man and the fact that he is completely dependent on the device gets on his nerves. He tries to find solutions, and the unclear situation with the current hearing aid has brought him into such a sad mood, that he has already regretted the operation, and he has been afraid that the whole thing is going to be the same again 5-6 years later. It is possible for us to solve the problem here in Kiev, but in this case we would have to go such a long way – for example, pay for the device ourselves.

I am writing this to let you know that you helped us solve the problem. Not only did you send Alyosha the device, but you also gave my son a chance to hear again without any problem. The problem that took us so many efforts and time has been now successfully solved with your help. You gave us time to wait for the device and finally get it.

Monika, we are sincerely grateful for your participation and your desire to help! Thank you for having noticed our problems and big thanks for your help.If you have any problems and I can help you in some way- please contact me. I will do my best to help you!

I am very grateful.

Danilkina Olga