China Radio Information Project for the Blind

 
$1,085
$356,415
Raised
Remaining
One of 10 Lifeline radios signed by Tom Hanks
One of 10 Lifeline radios signed by Tom Hanks

New York, January 21, 2008…. The Freeplay Foundation announced today that two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks will participate in a charity auction hosted on eBay Giving Works Jan 22-Feb 1 to support the Freeplay Foundation.

Tom Hanks, the Freeplay Foundation’s U.S. Ambassador, will autograph 10 self-powered Freeplay Lifeline radios for the charity auction on eBay Giving Works, eBay’s dedicated program for charity listings. Each high bidder also will receive a personal letter and a signed photo from Mr. Hanks.

“The Lifeline radio can change the world – one person, one house, one village at a time,” said Mr. Hanks. “The beauty of the Freeplay Foundation is the radio itself and the immediacy of its mission: to put radios in the hands of people who need them. Lifeline radios can make a positive impact from the moment they are turned on in one of the villages.”

People can go to www.ebay.com or can click on www.shopvictoriously.com to place their bids and to watch a special video from Tom Hanks.

Lifeline radios are not sold commercially; they are the first radios ever produced specifically for use in humanitarian projects. Radio is the primary means of mass communication in developing countries, but often, transistor radio batteries cost too much for people to buy on an ongoing basis and electricity is non-existent. The Freeplay Foundation provides radio access to the poorest people in the world via the wind-up and solar-powered radios, which do not require batteries or electricity.

Working mainly in Africa, the Freeplay Foundation enables hundreds of thousands of children to learn English, math, science and life skills through radio distance-learning programs. Coffee farmers learn new planting techniques using Lifeline radios, and people throughout Africa learn how to prevent HIV/AIDS while listening to their Lifelines. Nomadic tribes listen to Lifeline radios as they caravan, and orphaned children -- living completely on their own – can grasp a “lifeline” to the outside world when listening.

“The first time I held a Lifeline, I felt like I was carrying all the promise of the modern world in my hand,” remembers Tom Hanks. “Music can come out of the sky without batteries being tossed into landfills. Information can be sent and received, and voices of freedom can be heard. All by winding up this little box.”

The Freeplay Foundation is a fund-seeking organization with 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status in the U.S., is a registered charity in the UK, and has Section 21 non-profit status in South Africa.

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Media contacts: East Coast: Alexandrea Ravenelle, Global Fluency (646) 652-5216 aravenelle@globalfluency.com West Coast: Brielle Schaeffer, Global Fluency (650) 433-4163 bschaeffer@globalfluency.com For the Freeplay Foundation: Michelle Riley (912) 898-2195 riley.freeplayfdn@gmail.com

Tom Hanks - Freeplay Foundation
Tom Hanks - Freeplay Foundation's U.S Ambassador

Links:

THE VOICE OF HOPE

For Africa’s Children, It Comes One Radio at a Time

By jake miller

NOT LONG AGO Kristine Pearson found herself in a ball gown at a dinner at Kensington Palace in London, talking about poverty in sub-Saharan Africa and the problems of children who have lost their parents to AIDS or to the war in Rwanda—kids struggling to keep their brothers and sisters alive and together as a family. She was seated next to a man who asked about her work as executive director of the Freeplay Foundation.

Read more in the attached magazine article...


Attachments:

The BBC World Service Trust’s In Touch for China project has successfully negotiated some recent formidable organization and infrastructural obstacles in moving beyond its early successful pilot stage. Thanks to a great volunteer effort by its original design group – a dedicated and talented group of disabled people in China - the project will launch its journalist training for blind and visually impaired journalists in September 2006.

The training will be funded by the UK Big Lottery Fund as will the broadcasting of ‘In Touch for China’ radio programs, which will begin again in October. The lottery funds will also allow for the establishment and running of the vital Mobile Advisory Clinic, through which Freeplay Lifeline self-powered radios will be distributed to rural listening groups and training provided in their use.

BBC WST’s China Country Director, Stephen Hallett, paid testimony both to the vision and tenacity of the original design group of people for ‘In Touch for China’, themselves disabled. The group has completed its recent restructuring into a cohesive and stable unit, and is poised to undertake training next month.

Stephen promises us more progress reports when the training is complete and October broadcasts begin.

In the meantime, we hope that during the latter half of 2006, Global Giving donors will enable the Freeplay Foundation to supply 500 self-powered Lifeline radios that can bring vital radio information and advice via ‘In Touch for China’ within reach of some of the most marginalized people on the planet.

The Freeplay Foundation is delighted to announce its selection as one of 119 finalists among over 2,500 entrants in the World Bank's highly competitive Development Marketplace 2006 programe.

Freeplay's new Weza (power in Swahili) foot-powered generator is a robust, environmentally friendly and portable energy source that offers dependable power for everyday use and emergencies. Fifty mainly women 'Weza Pioneers' in Rwanda will be equipped with business start-up kits, training and low-risk financing, to establish cash based energy service micro-businesses. The project will enable us to assess the Weza's technical performance in harsh rural settings, fine-tune micro-loan mechanisms and price points and gauge the scalability and replicability of the new Freeplay Weza micro-enterprise model within and beyond Rwanda.

The Foundation's entry for a pilot project to launch Freeplay Weza based micro enterprises in Rwanda will be presented at a Development Marketplace meeting on 8-9 May in Washington, DC. Successful finalists will receive grants of up to $200,000 each. The Foundation's partners in this innovative initiative include Freeplay Energy Plc, CARE Rwanda, Cornell University's Center for Global Sustainable Enterprise and Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.


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The Freeplay Foundation is delighted to announce that Kristine Pearson has been honored with the 2005 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc.

The 2005 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc. will be presented to Kristine Pearson, Executive Director of the Freeplay Foundation at the November 9th, Tech Awards Gala. The Award was inspired by Jim Morgan’s belief that technology can be a tool to unleash the potential in each of us, to turn our ideas into concrete solutions for a better, healthier, more just world. Kristine Pearson will be honoured for her humanitarian leadership, which is having a profound impact on the world.

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Funded

Thanks to 11 donors like you, a total of $1,085 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Organization

Project Leader

Midi Berry

Senior Development Consultant
London, United Kingdom

Where is this project located?