Morocco’s Princess Lalla Asmae, Chairwoman of the Lalla Asmae Foundation, and First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, President of the Children of Africa Foundation, chaired on Wednesday at the Mother and Child Hospital in Abidjan, the launch ceremony of the second phase of the “United, we hear each other better” operation, which aims to restore hearing to disadvantaged African children.
The ceremony marks the beginning of a significant partnership between the two foundations, which goes well beyond a simple collaboration, embodying a sincere promise to offer the gift of hearing to those who have been deprived of it.
According to the Moroccan news agency, MAP, the ceremony marks the beginning of a significant partnership between the Lalla Asmae Foundation and the Children of Africa Foundation, which goes well beyond a simple collaboration, embodying a sincere promise to offer the gift of hearing to those who have been deprived of it.
On their arrival at the Mother and Child Hospital in Abidjan, HRH Princess Lalla Asmae and the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire were greeted by Kandia Kamissoko Camara, Ivorian Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Diaspora, Pierre Dimba, Minister of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Health Coverage and Myss Belmonde Dogo, Minister of Solidarity and the Fight against Poverty, as well as Khalid Ait Taleb, Minister of Health and Social Protection, and Aawatif Hayar, Minister of Solidarity, Social Integration and the Family.
HRH Princess Lalla Asmae and Dominique Ouattara then visited the children who benefited from the cochlear implant operation, from Mali, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo and Burkina-Faso.
Her Royal Highness and the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire also visited the operating theatre, where the surgical microscope and micromotor donated by the Lalla Asmae Foundation to the Children of Africa Foundation are installed.
On this occasion, HRH Princess Lalla Asmae symbolically presented Dominique Ouattara with a prototype cochlear implant.
During the first phase the “United, we hear each other better” operation, organized in October 2022, some 35 children from several West African countries made the journey to Morocco to receive cochlear implants.
At the heart of this campaign is the Lalla Asmae Foundation’s commitment to provide 100 cochlear implants to the Children of Africa Foundation. These small medical devices will open up a world of possibilities for deaf children, enabling them to communicate, learn and thrive.
The Lalla Asmae Foundation is also committed to sharing essential knowledge and expertise by transferring surgical techniques between Moroccan and Ivorian professionals. A state-of-the-art operating theatre will be equipped by the Foundation at the Mother and Child Hospital to guarantee the precision and quality of surgical interventions.
In her speech, Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire and President of the Children of Africa Foundation, said that this new collaboration between the two Foundations testified to “our shared commitment to improving the health of our children.”
Renewing her sincere thanks and gratitude to HRH Princess Lalla Asmae for the implementation of this program, Ouattara expressed her deep appreciation and gratitude to King Mohammed VI for His humanistic vision and the solidarity shown by the Sovereign towards the children of Africa, as well as for His important contribution to the construction of the Mother and Child Hospital in Bingerville, which has been providing enormous services to the Ivorian population for the past five years.
In his remarks, Karim Essakalli, coordinator of the Lalla Asmae Foundation, emphasized that Morocco, with its African roots and consistent commitment to the progress of Africa, has always made South-South cooperation a strategic choice.
This choice is driven by the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and is based on a comprehensive and balanced vision for the development of the African continent.
He added that the Lalla Asmae Foundation wishes to align itself with this Royal Vision by launching the “United, We Hear Each Other Better” program.
Essakalli highlighted the crucial importance of this initiative, emphasizing the transformative power of hearing in individuals’ lives. He noted that this collaboration transcends borders, covering various regions of Africa, from Côte d’Ivoire to Kenya, through Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Togo.
Speaking on this occasion, Aït Taleb highlighted the fruitful collaboration between Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire in the field of healthcare.
He stressed that this strong cooperation is in line with the sustainability goals, supporting the common vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and President Alassane Ouattara for the development and well-being of both countries.
He further stated that the Ministry, under the auspices of the Lalla Asmae Foundation, is more than ever ready to consolidate and strengthen this cooperation in the field of healthcare.
Particularly, he emphasized the importance of neonatal deafness screening as an essential tool for early detection, which can contribute to improving the social and academic development of children, reducing healthcare costs, and providing parents with peace of mind.
His Ivorian counterpart, Pierre Dimba, also pointed out that this significant operation will provide assistance to hearing-impaired children, applauding the commendable efforts made by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Asmae to support this segment of society.
“At the end of this program, we are convinced that thanks to the actions that will be taken, a strong partnership will be forged in this field,” he emphasized, noting that this partnership serves as great motivation for the Ivorian Ministry of Health in its quest to improve the quality of its services and offerings.
Vincent Alexis Gomes, former international director of Lions Clubs International, one of the program’s partners, expressed appreciation for the various social actions carried out by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Asmae in the social domain and her unwavering commitment to hearing-impaired children.
The ceremony featured a scientific presentation on cochlear implantation by Professor Abdelaziz Raji, Head of the ENT Department at the Mohammed VI University Hospital in Marrakech and a member of the scientific committee of the “United, We Hear Each Other Better” program.
It also included a program presentation by Karim Essakalli, coordinator of the Lalla Asmae Foundation.
On this occasion, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Asmae and Dominique Ouattara presided over the signing ceremony of a cooperation agreement between the Lalla Asmae Foundation and the Children of Africa Foundation.
The agreement was signed by El Abbès Bouhlal, Director of the Lalla Asmae Foundation, and Nadine Sangaré, National Director of the Children of Africa Foundation.
After the ceremony, Princess Lalla Asmae and the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara, posed for a commemorative photo.
The partnership between the Lalla Asmae Foundation and the Children of Africa Foundation goes beyond medical procedures. It aims to touch lives, create smiles, and fulfill dreams.
Each child assisted by this initiative is a testament to the collective effort to build a more inclusive, caring, and better world.
Princess Lalla Asmae brings a motivating vision to the “United, We Hear Each Other Better” campaign, where commitment to the cause of children with severe or profound hearing loss translates into concrete actions.
As an emblematic and dedicated figure in the promotion of children’s well-being, Her Royal Highness embodies a source of inspiration for all those advocating for a better future for African children.
The First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara, known for her leadership and unwavering commitment to children’s well-being, has consistently shown her determination to ensure that every child, whether Ivorian or of another nationality, can benefit from clear hearing and the opportunities it brings.
She has been involved for over 25 years in protecting vulnerable children through the Children of Africa Foundation, which has undertaken numerous charitable actions for the well-being of children in Côte d’Ivoire and 12 other African countries through the centers it supports