Lifeline Energy

Lifeline Energy is a non-profit social enterprise that provides sustainable information and education access to vulnerable populations. We achieve this by designing, manufacturing and distributing solar and wind-up media players and radios for classroom and group listening. Since 1999, we have distributed more than 500,000 power independent radios to provide on-demand access to information and education, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the years we have received numerous awards including the Tech Museum of Innovation Award, a World Bank Development Marketplace Award and an Index: Design to Improve Life Award. In addition, our founder and CEO Kristine Pearson was named one of TIME magazi...
Dec 30, 2014

Our Lifeplayer is a vital teaching tool in Zambia

Stable, a volunteer teacher, teaching his class
Stable, a volunteer teacher, teaching his class

Taonga Market is Africa’s longest running primary school distance education program.  Lifeline Energy has been involved from the beginning in 2000 and we’re just as enthusiastic now as we were back then.  We continue to witness first hand how much children enjoy learning to radio lessons and how they score up to 10% better than children in government schools.  This is despite not having formal classrooms, books, school supplies, or even chairs to sit on. 

Our Kristine Pearson recently returned from Zambia where she trained Taonga technical staff and teaching mentors in the Southern Province in the use and care of the Lifeplayer MP3.  Some grades of Taonga Market still continue to be broadcast on community radio stations, but often at times not convenient for the young learners, especially during the hottest time of the day.  Throughout the rainy season walking to class on muddy roads is impossible, as is learning outdoors.  The Lifeplayer helps to overcome weather obstacles, in that lessons can be listened to in the mornings when children have more energy and the heat isn’t as oppressive, or when it isn’t raining.

A retired Ministry of Education official who continues to work with Taonga  learners in community schools said, “The Lifeplayer is truly a great device for us.  It makes learning possible any time and if a child misses a class she or he can listen later and make it up.  Children will be less likely to fall behind.”

The Lifeplayer is needed now more than ever.   Stable, a new volunteer teacher (pictured here) remarked that the Lifeplayer would allow him to listen to the lesson first so that he could be prepared. 

Your support is vital to sustaining our ability to provide these rural community schools with the Lifeplayer – a critical teaching tool for mentors and learners alike. 

Dec 16, 2014

"1000 Days of Motherhood" gets Lifeplayers

Listening group leaders in Mumbwa
Listening group leaders in Mumbwa

Lifeline Energy's CEO, Kristine Pearson, recently spent time in Zambia conducting Lifeplayer training sessions for our "1000 Days of Motherhood" project.  "After all these years, I still enjoy training.  There is nothing that I enjoy more workwise that to spend time with African women.  I've learned so much from them.  They teach me more than I teach them!”

One of the listening group leaders, Catherine, had this to say about the Lifeplayer: “This is a wonderful device.  It carries so much information that we can learn and also teach others.” Catherine was one of the first women in the Western Province to receive a Lifeplayer funded through the generosity of GlobalGiving.

Instead of telling the women to form groups and listen to the nutritional programmes we thought would benefit them, the local ministry of health in conjunction with the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) asked rural community leaders if they wanted to be part of the project.  The response was a resounding ‘yes’.  Forty women leaders met at the district health office to discuss the nutritional programmes and to be trained on the Lifeplayer.  Their enthusiasm was palpable.   

On average, each group is between 15-20 mothers and they decide on a name and when and where to meet.  One group calls itself the Blessing Group, another Twikatani or Working Together, and another Chikonki, meaning love in Bemba.    

Nov 25, 2014

We've sent solar radios to Liberia

We’re thrilled to report that we’ve sent a large number of our emergency Polaris radio-lights to Liberia. The Polaris is an ideal product for the Ebola outbreak: with its choice of solar, hand crank and external power recharge options, it doesn’t require costly batteries, and it’s rubberized for the humid climate of Liberia. The LED flashlight gives the added benefit of providing dependable light at night for either walking or undertaking a task.

Our local partner is the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). They are working closely with the government in its national Ebola response. In conjunction with Liberia's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), the Polaris units will be distributed in Montseraddo - a hotspot of Ebola outbreaks in Liberia. The UNDP and Ministry are conducting a door-to-door awareness campaign, while searching for the sick and the dead.  The radios are a vital component of the campaign, as they can provide families who are quarantined with the information they so desperately need. There is no shortage of information on Ebola being broadcast by local radio stations, but for many Liberians the cost of a radio and ongoing cost of batteries is simply prohibitive.  In addition, the Ebola crisis is impacting livelihoods and people who are already poor have even less ability to buy what they need. 

Information being broadcast includes overall health information, how to keep from being infected, and what to do if people suspect they have Ebola. Many African singers have done a great job in producing catchy songs with information about Ebola – and our radios are helping ensure that people hear these vital messages.

We are deeply grateful to our generous sponsors who’ve made it possible for us to make a significant contribution to the fight against Ebola. We will be continuing to raise funds to send further units to West Africa.

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