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Solar MP3 players to educate Zambian children



Due to expensive radio transmission costs, Zambia's Ministry of Education is reducing the radio-based education program Learning at Taonga Market for grades 4-7. To prevent a massive gap in educational opportunities for tens of thousands of children dependent on Taonga for schooling, we're providing solar & wind-up Lifeplayer MP3s. The Lifeplayer allows for 64GB of pre-loaded educational content to be played on-demand, bypassing the broadcast costs & ensuring these children remain in school.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Hundreds of thousands of children (1/3 are orphans) are dependent on Learning at Taonga Market to receive a high quality primary school education via radio lessons. These children are unable to attend government schools because of costs of uniforms, books & fees, distance from their home (some kids walk hours each day) and poverty. When Taonga's Grade 4-7 programs are cut back on radio, many children aged 8-9 will then stop their educations at Grade 3 and not continue on to secondary school.

How will this project solve this problem?

Our Lifeplayer MP3 will be loaded with Taonga's Grade 4-7 classroom lessons and teacher training tips. If a lesson is missed, it can be made up anytime. The Lifeplayer can be paused & content replayed again & again. Grades 1-3 will be broadcast on radio, which can also be recorded on the Lifeplayer. It's solar & wind-up - no batteries or electricity needed. With its great sound quality, 60 learners can hear it. Since its inception nearly 1 million children have successfully completed the program

Potential Long Term Impact

Since the radio lessons began broadcasting a decade ago, Learning at Taonga Market has not only exceeded expectations, students often out-perform learners government schools - scoring 10-15% higher. Surveys reveal 70% of children who take part in Taonga continue to secondary school - an impressive figure for rural areas. With our Lifeplayer MP3 eager learners will be able to continue their education beyond Grade 3, giving them a far greater chance to complete primary school & learn English.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $1,890
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $8,110
Total Funding Goal: $10,000


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Project Leader

Kristine Pearson

Cape Town, Cape South Africa

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