Jennifer Rogers is an audiologist and a hearing aid user herself. She was fit with hearing devices when she was three years old, starting her down the path of helping others with hearing issues.
During her time in Fiji with Project H.E.A.V.E.N, Jennifer worked in a remote village with other volunteers, setting up different stations to conduct hearing tests and diagnose hearing loss.
Recounting the day to day activity, she said, “We set up different stations. If people were identified as having a hearing loss, we would move them over to the next table to get them set with their hearing devices. Then, they would be counseled on their hearing device – how to use them, change the battery, and what to expect.
They were so incredibly genuine and they were so appreciative of us being there. I even had two volunteers tell me that they had been invited over for dinner by members of the community.”
In particular, she remembers one patient, that embodied the difference that hearing can make in someone’s life. “There was one gentleman who had a very profound hearing loss, he couldn’t hear anything so we set him up with power hearing aids. Later, one of the volunteers grabbed me by the arm and said she needed to show me something. We went over to him and he was smiling from ear to ear and talking to everyone. It was such a warm moment for all of us because he had come in very solemn but left completely changed.”
Overall, Jennifer describes humanitarian work like Project H.E.A.V.E.N as a “privilege”. She says,”As an audiologist, it’s our duty. It’s important to show more gratitude across the world especially in the negative place that we live in. To have that positivity and show that positivity to other people is a gift.”