Rinat Akhmetov for Children. I Can Hear Now: Helping little Mark from Bakhmut

The Foundation has been supporting children with hearing impairments since 2007. In 2018, the efforts evolved into a dedicated project, Rinat Akhmetov for Children. I Can Hear Now. The initiative helps children receive highly sensitive auditory prostheses that can be adapted to special needs of each child.

“In 2020, the project went national. To date, more than 200 beneficiaries who have congenital or acquired hearing loss have received hearing aids for free. The devices operate at different frequencies. These are mini-computers that compensate for exactly as many decibels as a person lacks. They are expensive, so not every family can afford this purchase. Immediate help is the fundamental principle of the project. After all, hearing aid must be provided before the age of 7. If you help kids on time, they will learn to talk and will develop fully,” said Iryna Blazhan, Projects and Programmes Director at the Foundation.

Among the project beneficiaries was little Mark Derkachev from Bakhmut who is just under two.

“My son has been very sick from birth. He was born prematurely, at the 27th week of pregnancy, and weighed a little over a kilo. Mark had a cerebral hemorrhage on his third day, with minimum chances to survive. Fortunately, the child was making good progress and was discharged home after 2.5 months in hospital,” his mother Yulia explained.

However, this was not the end of hardships for the baby and his parents. Mark had an eye surgery and was coping with the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Thanks to the rehabilitation courses, the child could make his first steps. Yet, another disaster was at the family’s doorstep.

“We have found out recently that Mark cannot hear. To interact with the world around him, he needed powerful hearing aids. The sooner the child has them, the sooner he will begin to hear and be able to speak over time. It was shocking news for us. Then Mark’s father had a severe coronavirus case that resulted in lung complications. He had three surgeries and now is applying for the disability status. We spent all our savings. We could not afford even the cheapest hearing aids,” Yulia said.

Fortunately, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation gave a helping hand. Now Mark can hear voices of his family members and has all the chances for healthy development.

“Thank you so much! I don’t even know what we would do without this help,” Yulia expressed her gratitude.

The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation is always there to help those in need. Its programmes and projects have changed society and its attitude to many pressing issues. Today, the Foundation gives a lead to other charities and foundations, championing systemwide changes and implementing the best international practices.