Rotary CDO East Urban: Giving Hope, Making Life Better

Posted by on Apr 21, 2019 in Service Projects & Activities | 0 comments

“I can move around!”
“I can hear!”
Imagine thousands of children saying these lines over and over. How would that make you feel? Happy?
Excited? Fulfilled? These were probably the most popular lines last October 3 to 5, 2018 when the
Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro East Urban brought early Christmas cheers to children with cerebral
palsy, hearing ailments, and other disabilities. The digital hearing aid project was held at the Capitol University Medical Center, while the wheelchair distribution program was held at the Capitol Univeristy Gym.

The digital hearing aid and wheelchair giving projects are two of Rotary CDO East Urban’s long-running community-focused activities. In fact, the DHA project was launched in 2015 and to date, the club has
given over 300 digital hearing aids to beneficiaries in the hinterland barangays of Cagayan de Oro, El Salvador, and Gingoog cities; as well as to those from neighboring Misamis Oriental and Northern
Mindanao municipalities.

On the other hand, the giving of specialized wheelchairs started years ago with the very first Wheelchair Distribution Project at Villanueva, Misamis Oriental. At present, around 250 specialized wheelchairs have been given to identified beneficiaries, mostly children who are afflicted with cerebral palsy.

The Importance of Giving

The Rotary Club of CDO East Urban, which was established in 1990, supports the charitable activities and the community development projects of Rotary International, particularly those that do not only inspire but also encourage and empower people and communities. Each member is dedicated to the goal of making a difference in other people’s lives through the many programs they organize year after year. The digital hearing aid and wheelchair distribution annual activities are just two such projects.

Upon learning that there weren’t any major programs catering to people suffering from hearing loss,
Rotary CDO East Urban did not waste any time in coming up with one that allowed them to give and
provide digital hearing aids to hearing-challenged and hearing-impaired Northern Mindanaoans. The
club partnered with Australia’s Rotary Club of Mosman, as well as with the Mindanao Ear-Nose-Throat
Out-Patient Rehabilitation (MENTOR) of Capitol University Medical Center.

As for the wheelchair distribution program, the club regularly works with their Australia partners PDG Danny Low and Dr. Angeline Low, along with Melissa Chan and Jenny Young, who are both physiotherapists. Rotary Club CDO East Urban also works hand-in-hand with Capitol University,
Congresswoman Juliette T. Uy, Cagayan de Oro Social Welfare Office, the Misamis Oriental Provincial
Social Welfare Office, and Zonta Club CDO 1.

Beneficiaries for the said program are indigent children with disabilities, especially those who have
cerebral palsy.

About Hearing Loss and Cerebral Palsy

According to reports, people who suffer from hearing loss because of illness number to over 300 millionall over the world. Of this number, children make up the 30 million. In the Philippines, according to the Department of Health National Registry, there are more than 17 million Filipinos who suffer from hearing loss.

While the experts believe that 94% of hearing loss cases can be resolved with the use of hearing aids, it is also a reality that access to one is quite difficult, especially here in the Philippines. If hearing loss is left unattended, especially among children, this can lead to more serious problems like a delay in language development. For adults, this can lead to an early onset of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

Likewise, the number of Filipinos in need of wheelchairs increases every year. The most common among
these are those who suffer from cerebral palsy. CP is one of the – if not the most – common childhood
disabilities, yet it is not widely known in the Philippines. People who have CP can experience weakness
in different parts of the body or a complete difficulty in voluntary movement. As such, many of them
require care and assistance 24 hours a day.

An estimated 17 million people in various parts of the world are afflicted with cerebral palsy.

With the digital hearing aids and the wheelchairs given by the Rotary Club of CDO East Urban, the goal of reaching out to everyone in need of assistance is slowly being fulfilled.

As previously mentioned, at present, the club has given away more than 300 digital hearing aids and
more or less 250 specialized wheelchairs to their identified beneficiaries.

The Process

Digital Hearing Aid

Each of the digital hearing aid recipients are required to undergo audiometry and speech tests. Given for free by MENTOR, these tests will help determine the hearing loss level of the beneficiaries. They will also have to be fitted with the hearing aid. The test fitting is called Ear Tip and the permanent fitting is known as the Ear Mold. These services are given at discounted rates.


As for those who want to avail of the free wheelchairs, the club has set specific requirements including a certificate of indigency from the barangay (where one resides) and a copy of the possible beneficiary’s medical history or medical record. In addition, he or she is to submit a photo. All the requirements should then be sent to PDG Fe Juarez for evaluation.

Giving Hope, Making Life Better

The digital hearing aid and wheelchair distribution projects have become synonymous with the
generous and dedicated ladies of Rotary Club CDO East Urban. These have also become their passion
activities; something that have already become second nature to them, especially since reaching out to the hearing impaired and those who are mobility-challenged has enabled them to connect with two
sectors of Philippine society that have long been left out.

Year after year, they give hope to those who once thought their future was unsure. Every year, they help put a smile on the faces of those who once thought there was no reason to be happy anymore. Every year, they touch lives, heal broken spirits, and inspire others to do more than what’s necessary. Year after year, they make life better; they make life worth living for those who have once already given up.

This is what the Rotary Club of CDO East Urban is all about – the perfect embodiment of Rotary
International’s mission of encouraging, empowering, inspiring people, and uplifting lives.

Club History

The club started with ladies who were not just acquaintances but close friends. They decided to give meaning to this closeness, thus the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro East Urban was born.