The Hear the World Foundation raises public awareness about the importance of hearing and the consequences of hearing loss, as well as providing support for those affected. As part of this mission numerous celebrities have had their pictures taken by photographer Bryan Adams, each depicted with one hand behind the ear in Hear the World’s distinctive pose symbolizing conscious hearing.
Thanks to this unparalleled commitment, the Hear the World Foundation has now been awarded the Guinness World Records title for the world’s largest photographic awareness campaign with 53 celebrity ambassadors. Today, more than 60 international stars support the good cause.
It all began with a vision and a star tenor: the Hear the World Foundation was launched in 2006 with the aim of raising awareness of the previously neglected issues of hearing and hearing loss among the general public, and of helping people in need as a result of hearing loss. The foundation managed to recruit a distinguished ambassador to support its mission at the very start: Placido Domingo – a global superstar who, as a musician, is keenly aware of just how important good hearing is for ensuring quality of life. This collaboration resulted in the first striking portrait in what would go on to become the world’s largest photographic awareness campaign. It shows the Spanish opera singer in the Hear the World pose, with one hand behind his ear.
“For us, this unique accolade from Guinness World Records is an acknowledgement of our achievement to date. It will spur us on to step up to the success of Hear the World,” says Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova and President of the Hear the World Foundation.
More than 60 celebrity ambassadors boosting awareness
Since the first ambassador photo was taken of Plácido Domingo, over 60 further celebrities have been photographed for the Hear the World Foundation. These include international stars such as Sting, Bobby McFerrin, Annie Lennox, Diane Kruger, Julianne Moore and Lenny Kravitz. The voluntary support they provide for the mission as ambassadors makes a significant contribution toward raising public awareness of the importance of good hearing and the consequences of hearing loss.
All pictures have been taken by photographer Bryan Adams. For him, the Guinness World Records title also reinforces his tremendous personal commitment: “As a musician, the Hear the World initiative is particularly close to my heart as it helps people to appreciate and protect their hearing. The fact that my contribution to Hear the World has now led to official recognition as the world’s largest photographic awareness campaign is great proof of the success of our partnership.”
Worldwide commitment to better hearing
“We believe we have a great social responsibility toward all people who are affected by hearing loss. With the support of the Hear the World Foundation, we want to help create a world where hearing is appreciated and protected, and where every person has the chance to enjoy good hearing,” explains Lukas Braunschweiler.
In addition to its work on raising awareness, the Hear the World Foundation is engaged in a worldwide campaign for equal opportunities and a better quality of life for people in need as a result of hearing loss. It does this by providing financial aid and supplying hearing instruments, with a particular focus on promoting projects that help children with hearing loss to develop at a rate appropriate to their age. Since 2006 the Hear the World Foundation has been involved in over 45 projects across five continents and has already given hundreds of people with hearing loss the chance to enjoy a better life. Some Hear the World ambassadors, including Swiss musician Patrick Nuo, are also involved in particular projects as patrons.
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