Dear Friends of the Alhoda Foundation
The Alhoda Association was established in 1999 in response to aural rehabilitation for hearing impaired children in Abbottabad, Pakistan and its surrounding area. In 1991, my son was born with a hearing impairment. After coming to terms with the cost of a cochlear implant, we realized that families from poorer backgrounds would not be able to afford such a device. We therefore invited 16 hearing impaired children to our house in Abbottabad and outlined our project.
In May 1999 two schools were established under the name "Alhoda". Today, we have over 500 students and 35 staff. By focusing on individual needs coupled with the use of appropriate listening aids we equip the students with academic and language skills which help them become self-reliant and enable them to play an active role in the development of society. This is especially important in Pakistan due to a lack of knowledgeable professionals in the field of hearing rehabilitation. This often leads to discrimination toward hearing impaired children. They cannot integrate fully in the hearing world and are often considered to be useless to society.
To maintain, a proper learning environment the school has adopted the strategy prescribed by Prof. Loewe: to admit only hearing-impaired children under the age of five, and teach them how to communicate by speaking as opposed to sign language. The current school building accommodation facility is too small to hold the current number of students. We have therefore reached out to friends and requested help in raising funds in order to construct the new building.
As parents we understand the need of a better education for these children and we are committed to introduce international practices used for auditory oral education. We organize teacher training programs from time to time and teachers are even sent to other renowned institutions for training according to Prof Loewe’s recommendations. A lot of development has occurred at our hearing centers. The number of students has increased remarkably from 16 in 1999 to 500 in 2009. The foundation is getting stronger and is continuously proving the ability to successfully respond to the constantly arising challenges; it has introduced effective teaching methodologies to both schools.
It is the hard work and dedication of all those involved in this humanitarian project that has made Alhoda the institution it is today.
I wish to thank all our sponsors whose continuous support made 2009 a fabulous year of achievement! Because of your vital contribution, we have had the opportunity to initiate numerous activities to improve the lives of hundreds of children. We could not have achieved and experienced this successful endeavor without you! We are committed to further extend our services to less fortunate communities in rural areas and we hope for your continued support in 2010.
Yours sincerely, Manzoor Ahmed