Brazzaville, Republic Of Congo – Imagine a world without laughter. Without music. Without ever hearing a single bedtime story. Silence is a prison for thousands of hearing impaired in the Republic of Congo.
It is often a life of prejudice, ridicule and segregation. Starkey Hearing Foundation President, Bill Austin said, “When you are separated from hearing, you’re separated from the nourishment our spirit needs to hear those words, I love you and talk about hope for the future.”
Hope arrives to the Congo, in the form of a 6’10”, 235 pound power forward. Serge Ibaka is teaming up with Starkey Hearing Foundation & Pros For Africa to help all these people experience and explore the world of sound. Pros For Africa Co-Founder, Bill Horn said, “He’s living with a purpose. He knows he has an incredible platform with the NBA and Oklahoma City Thunder.”
The Thunder star helped fit hundreds with free hearing aids. Ibaka told us, “Make those kids smile, make them happy. For me, that’s more important than being a superstar.”
These folks are getting more than hearing aids. They are being released from a lifetime of isolation. One man came here just 2 days after his wife died. He wanted to be able to hear at his wife’s funeral.
Adults and children alike; For many, Ibaka’s voice is the first thing they will EVER hear.
Lives are forever being changed, thanks to a giant with gentle hands and a tender heart.