Students gain work experience helping kids in Africa

WEB STILL ZAMBIA00000000

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A group of Purdue students are traveling to Zambia, Africa to help children with hearing and speech disabilities.

Twelve Hearing Science students will visit children’s hospitals to do screenings. Zambia has a population of about 15 million people and there is only one audiologist.

Purdue Clinical Professor Lata Krishnan said disabilities are heavily stigmatized in Zambia. Children with hearing loss, many times, will grow to be adults without the ability to communicate.

She said even though they are helping kids, the two week trip may have a larger impact on the students than the people of Zambia.

“A lot of people say, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re going to Zambia and doing so much good for the people there.’ I actually think we are doing much good for the people of Zambia. In a short two-week program, there is not a lot we are doing for the people in Zambia. What this program is doing the most for is the students. Changing their world view and changing their perspective,” said Krishnan.

“We can’t make assumptions about what people want. We have to listen to the family and the individual with communication disabilities. The wants and needs in their own life and build off of that,” said hearing science student Rachel Platt.

Some of the funding for the trip is coming from Purdue Moves. The Purdue Summer Study Abroad program has a record amount of students this year, made possible by Purdue Moves.

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