Our Prime and Polaris radios are supporting several educational initiatives in Sierra Leone, following the devastating Ebola outbreak that began in 2014. Our partners are working to restore education opportunities for children and teenage girls, by providing school lessons via our solar Primes and Polaris radios. These organisations have been working on the frontline of the Ebola epidemic; and we’re proud that we’ve been able to help support their work.
Tens of thousands of our solar radios have provided access to important radio education programmes created for and by Sierra Leoneans in local languages. Having access to a solar radio meant that people don’t have to rely on expensive batteries. In many areas, there is no electricity either, making the integrated flashlight helpful for light at night.
In 2002, Sierra Leone emerged from a decade of civil war. Although economic growth followed in the next decade, the country was still feeling the effects of the civil war. With its inadequate health facilities, Sierra Leone was wholly unprepared for Ebola, a virus that hadn’t been seen there before.
Sierra Leone had 14 122 suspected, probable and confirmed cases of Ebola, and a total of 3 955 deaths. Unicef reported that many children lost one or both parents. Many children have been taken in by their extended families, but in some communities fear is still prevalent, leaving children alone or responsible for younger siblings.
At the height of the outbreak, all normal life ceased. People were quarantined, and markets and schools were closed. And while Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free on 7 November 2015, rebuilding the country will take years. The work our partners are doing is key in helping children and young women receive an education.