Freeplay Energy, the UK-based manufacturer of self-powered radios and lighting systems, is
joining with global development charity BRAC to help girls and young women in Ebola-hit
Sierra Leone to continue their studies and safeguard their health.
Freeplay Energy is making a donation of 60 Assist dynamo and solar powered radios which
will ensure that students who are unable to attend school or other community facilities can
listen to lessons and essential information broadcast on Sierra Leone’s radio network.
In addition, Freeplay Energy and BRAC are inviting customers to get involved. For every
Encore, Lifeline or Assist radio bought from Freeplay Energy’s Amazon.co.uk pages in
March, Freeplay will donate a further Assist radio for use in Sierra Leone.
Freeplay Energy Managing Director, John McGrath says:
“Freeplay Energy is delighted to be supporting BRAC in their efforts to minimise the
disruption to schooling, health and well-being that has been caused by the Ebola outbreak.
We are donating a large number of Assist radios from the start, and will add another Assist
to the donation for every radio or lighting system we sell on Amazon throughout March. With
your help, we can make a major, and very positive, difference to the futures of many young
women in Sierra Leone.”
As Sierra Leone’s authorities continue to battle the virus, the country’s schools have been
closed and the education of thousands of students has been disrupted. Furthermore, Ebola
has created a strong mistrust of the local health system. These issues are compounded by
the fact that women and girls are disproportionately affected by Ebola due to their role as
traditional care givers, as they are more likely to be in close proximity to the disease.
The closure of schools and other community facilities, coupled with the risk of infection,
means that adolescent girls are unlikely to attend health facilities. As a result, young women
are without access to education, healthcare, counselling, contraceptives or services for
those who are pregnant.
Through a partnership with UNICEF, BRAC Sierra Leone has created is creating safe
spaces for 6,675 adolescent girls in 210 communities. Here they will beare offered services
which financially and socially empower them and recently the groups have been serving to
inform the girlsm about the issues posed by Ebola and post-Ebola recovery. The Ministry of
Education is currently broadcasting important public messages concerning Ebola, as well as
a basic curriculum over the radio.
Katie Allen of BRAC UK adds:
“It is crucial that these adolescent girls have access to national messages, especially in rural
areas where it can take a significant amount of time for news to reach remote communities.
With 100 radios we can support 1,500 adolescent girls.
“We are therefore grateful to Freeplay Energy for their invaluable donation. We would also
encourage everyone to visit Freeplay Energy’s page on Amazon.co.uk in March and to
purchase one of their fantastic Encore, Lifeline or Assist radios. That way, they can help to
make a life-changing difference to the lives of young women in Sierra Leone, enabling them
to overcome the broader effects of the current devastating Ebola outbreak.”
Freeplay Energy was founded in 1993 and has since become the world-leading
manufacturer of dynamo (wind-up) and solar powered radios, flashlights and lighting
systems. Millions of its products are currently in use around the world in aid and
development settings, by communities affected by disaster, and by people who do not have
regular access to mains electricity.
Designed for sustained use in challenging environments, Freeplay Energy’s rugged, reliable
and environmentally-friendly products have also proved popular with consumers in Europe
and North America. Outdoor leisure and camping enthusiasts, sportspeople and anglers, as
well as those concerned with emergency preparedness have all recognised the benefits of
having available radios, flashlights, emergency phone chargers and lighting systems that do
not rely on disposable batteries or mains power for their energy.