Lifeline Energy works mainly in Africa, primarily focusing on providing education and information access to women, orphans and vulnerable children and refugees through our solar and wind-up MP3 players and radios. Our products are used in the following sectors:
Agriculture beats at the heart of African economies, with roughly 80% of Africans earning their living through agriculture. Increasing agricultural productivity is key to reducing poverty and increasing food security. Farmers need information to learn how to rise above basic subsistence farming to increase crop yields and quality, and have regular access to market prices. They need ongoing education about modern planting techniques, the safe use of pesticides and animal husbandry.
Project in action: Read more about FarmTalk radio and our project with COMACO in Zambia.
Education is fundamental to a nation’s future. Lack of resources, classrooms, trained teachers, books and school supplies all contribute to education challenges in Africa. On a continent where only half of all adults are literate, Africa’s future economic and social development relies on educating the next generation. But how can 40 million out-of-school children receive a high quality basic education? One solution is audio learning via radio or MP3 player.
Whether they occur through extreme weather, famine or conflict, complex emergencies can devastate the lives of survivors. Access to trusted information is an urgent need, along with water, food, shelter, medical attention and clothing. Being able to access radio information on demand from trusted sources is critical.
Global climate change, slash-and-burn farming practices, over-population, plant and animal species threatened with extinction, and pollutants in our air, water and soil – are all serious environmental challenges facing the world today. People need information on how to combat climate change in their own environment, and radio can play a key role in this.
Further, the main energy sources used by the poor – wood, candles, kerosene and disposable batteries – are all harmful to the environment. Understanding the benefits of solar and other renewable energy sources is essential.
HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB and high rates of maternal and infant mortality are critical health issues facing sub-Saharan Africa. Debilitating diseases, many preventable, erode productivity and well being. In 2006, nearly 25 million Africans were living with HIV and AIDS. Africa is home to an estimated 50 million orphans – more than one-third of these children were orphaned by AIDS. Reliable, credible information and education are paramount in reducing disease and promoting improved health, nutrition and hygiene.
Governance is complex, even for the most transparent and democratic societies. In many countries, citizens do not know what their government is doing and how it affects them. Lack of information, or information rife with rumour, can stoke resentment and unrest. Radio is an excellent vehicle to provide instruction on civic education. In emerging democracies, for example, people may have limited knowledge of citizens’ roles and responsibilities.