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...
Jan 20, 2015

"I am thankful": the Polaris in the Philippines

Photograph of Epong courtesy of IOM
Photograph of Epong courtesy of IOM

Our local partner in the Philippines, the International Office of Migration (IOM) recently interviewed Epong, a 70-year-old woman currently living in an evacuation center. She received a Polaris solar radio/light, and had this to say: “I am really thankful for IOM’s Dear Bapa Nur radio drama. It didn’t just entertain me, but also taught me how to make sure that our drinking water is clean and safe, and where I should go whenever a family member gets sick … I am really fond of listening to afternoon radio dramas since then. I find it very interesting, especially that these dramas are somehow related to our situation now.”

IOM’s Communications with Communities initiative continues to provide its communication campaign Tindog Kita through radio and print media. On the radio programs, key messages are broadcast on issues ranging from seasonal diseases to rehabilitation of disaster-affected communities, and of course the radio dramas that offer practical advice in an entertaining way.

We are thrilled that our Polaris radios are allowing families in the Philippines not only to listen to useful information, but also to receive the psycho-social support that being connected to the outside world brings. In many places electricity has yet to be restored. 

As life slowly begins returning to normal for the communities living in Tacloban, we will be closing this project to focus on other areas of desperate need in the world. We thank you – our generous and supportive donors – for the difference you’ve made in the lives of people like Epong.

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.    

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