Freeplay Energy donations support BRAC in tackling effects of Ebola in Sierra Leone

BRAC staff wash down a colleague in an Ebola community care centre

Freeplay Energy donations support BRAC in tackling effects of Ebola in Sierra Leone

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.

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