Our Club's International Community Projects

Poster for Grafing Youth Orchestra at Wits University
Poster for Grafing Youth Orchestra tour of South Africa

The Grafing Jugend Orchester (GJO) originates from Munich, Germany, and is a non-profit organisation with over 100 musicians.

Most of the members are students from all possible sciences, but it also includes older mentors that play side by side with the younger members. Musicians range from age ten to highly trained semi-professionals.

In their repertoire, the orchestra plays classical orchestral instruments, as well as unconventional ones. It likes to present every possible style, from European Classic to Opera, Musical, Film Music, Jazz, Rock & Pop, folk, Traditional and Dancing Music. Performances often have Singers and Dancers.

Hedwig Gruber, Director and Conductor of the Grafinger Youth Orchestra said

“We are delighted to be visiting South Africa for the first time.  This is an excellent opportunity for our young musicians to experience the colourful, diverse culture of South Africa and to share the German culture with our counterparts. We also look forward to sharing the musical talents of the GJO with a variety of audiences in South Africa and having an exchange of ideas and experiences with the young African musicians. “

The GJO performed with the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra at the Wits Great Hall on 2 September 2018 and in Pretoria at the German International School on 4 September 2018.

In addition to the two concerts, the GJO also performed at the following venues:

• A visit to the Eyethu Music School, where the Youth Orchestra spent playing time with their Sowetan counterparts;

• In Nelson Mandela Square Sandton, Johannesburg;

• In the Hammanskraal community where the orchestra was able to meet and perform with local musicians and dance groups

And exceptionally well-received impromptu performances in the bar-lounge of the Sunnyside Park Hotel, Parktown, Johannesburg.

The tour was initiated by the South African Rotary Club of Kyalami and the German Rotary clubs of the Grafing area of the Bavaria region.  The logistics were arranged and made possible by The state of Germany, Bavaria, the German Business Community.

eMoyo Tech is a medical equipment manufacturer based in Johannesburg.

Dr Dirk Koekemoer, a general practitioner at a busy medical practice in Pretoria, founded eMoyo in 2000.  From an accidental misdiagnosis of a tumour in a young patient, he invented developed state-of-the-art, location-independent medical technology that would support and empower healthcare practitioners worldwide to treat patients.  He developed the iconic Kuduwave High-Frequency Boothless Screening & Diagnostic Audiometer, in 2008.

This system has been used by NASA in the International Space Station. The Johnson Space Center Audiology Clinic in Houston, Texas determined that all hearing assessments on the ISS will employ this Kuduwave audiometer. 

This is a truly South African success story. Kuduwave and eMoyo have received numerous prestigious awards.  The Kuduwave’s global success is the culmination of the will, grit and determination to create a med-tech product that has changed the lives of countless people. 

Kuduwave allows for mass screenings, even under less-than-ideal conditions, and so this has been making a huge dent in hearing healthcare in South Africa and in many other countries worldwide.

On the other side of the World, Entheos Audiology is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA. It undertakes various humanitarian missions to developing countries, provides expertise to audiology practitioners, and provides hearing recovery services to patients, free of charge.  It has the mission statement:

“Hearing Humanitarian Trips – Giving the Gift of Hearing around the world.

“We believe that every person should have access to effective hearing healthcare services. Our aim is to spread the Gift of Hearing locally and globally while empowering Entheos members to give as they go.”

They have executed missions in Guatemala, the Middle East (Syria, Jordan, Palestine West Bank), Ecuador, Zambia, and Mozambique.

One of the newest locations for “Hearing the Call” missions is South Africa, which began in June 2018.  

Entheos recognised that South Africa has a very long waiting list for people who need hearing aids, which can be several years.

Entheos arrived in South Africa a bit accidentally, on their way to Mozambique, to which they could not proceed for logistical reasons.

Through meeting up with and matching by the Rotary Club of Kyalami, Entheos partnered with the eMoyo Foundation of South Africa.  

Arranged and facilitated by the Rotary Club of Kyalami, on a trip in 2018, the team tested nearly 1,300 kids in the Kanana school in the township of Tembisa. The Kanana school is a level one school in South Africa, meaning they receive almost no assistance from the government. The team cleaned wax plugs out of hundreds of kids’ ears, which will not only reduce pain and discomfort but also will allow them to hear better and thus hugely improve learning abilities in school classes.

Emoyo and the Rotary Club of Kyalami made contact with the Entheos team and diverted them to Gauteng, where they carried out their mission.

Today, Dr Dirk Koekemoer and one of his partners, Jill Scotland, are honorary members of the Rotary Club of Kyalami.

Medical applications promo for the Kuduwave audiometer technology
The joy of being able to hear for the first time
Using the eMoyo Kuduwave audiometer in the field.