NBC’s celebrity reporter shines a spotlight on the Starkey Hearing Foundation

KAMPALA, UGANDA–The work of the Starkey Hearing Foundation received nationwide attention Monday evening, August 27, when a story about a mission to Uganda was featured on the NBC News. What made NBC pick the topic? Well, it probably didn’t hurt that the special correspondent who reported the story was Chelsea Clinton. And, as it happens, her father, Bill, has been much involved with the Starkey Foundation, including being a featured guest at the past two So the World May Hear Galas, as reported here recently.

Photo by Barbara Kinney shows Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe surrounded by Bill Austin with his wife, Tani, and NBC News Correspondent Chelsea Clinton in Kampala, Uganda. Also pictured are, at left, Richard Brown, a  Starkey Foundation board member, and at upper right, receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals in the National Football League, who joined the mission to Uganda.

The Clintons—father and daughter—recently went to Uganda as part of their work with the Starkey Hearing Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative. As a member of the former president’s initiative, the Starkey Hearing Foundation has pledged to give 1 million hearing aids to people and children in need in the developing world by 2020.

In Uganda, they met with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, who was honored this year at the Starkey Foundation Gala. For the past 30 years, she and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus have worked to help victims of the Sudanese Civil War and Ugandans seeking refuge from the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

In 2002, she founded the St. Monica’s School and Tailoring Centre in Gulu, Uganda, her hometown, to teach literacy and vocational skills, such as tailoring.

More recently, Sister Rosemary has embarked on the mission of helping people in Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan hear, with generous help from the Starkey Foundation.

As Chelsea Clinton reported, Sister Rosemary came to Kampala, Uganda’s capital, with more than 100 men, women and children from Northern Uganda to meet with Bill Austin, founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation and his team.

The nun told NBC News’ special correspondent that she knows hundreds of people in Northern Uganda and thousands throughout Uganda and South Sudan who struggle with hearing loss.

She told Clinton, “These are people who have resigned. They think they can never hear again and people have put them aside.” But Clinton added, “She said helping them get hearing aids brings them hope and helps them have a better future.”

In concluding her report, Chelsea Clinton said, “The smiles I saw in Kampala were a clear testament to Austin’s mission and to Sister Rosemary’s determination.”