Who We Are
Ears To Our World (ETOW) is a 501(c)(3) grass-roots, nonprofit organization that specializes in the distribution of self-powered world band radios and other appropriate technologies to schools and communities in our developing world. While we usually work in schools, our mission also encompasses disaster relief and educational technologies for children who are visually impaired.
More specifically, our mission is to enable children and their support networks in the most remote, impoverished parts of the world to receive educational content, local and international news, emergency and health information as well as music and arts programming through the use of shortwave radio receivers. While our primary focus is on schools, our reach now encompasses other community facilities, the visually impaired, and, when required, disaster relief.
What’s more, we believe in providing long-term support whenever possible: we maintain our radios as well as our relationships with our radio recipients so that we can learn to better serve them.
Why Are Radios Important in an Internet World?
In many countries, access to the “information economy,” the networking technology which instantaneously connects people across the planet with information, media, and each other, is now often seen as a basic human right.
Unfortunately, much of the world does not have the communications infrastructure to support access to the world wide web and other dynamic media sources such as digital television, wireless networks or even the telephone. Political instability, meanwhile, can undermine even the written word.
For many people living in poverty or in war-torn regions, radio is still the best and most effective way to receive life-supporting information. However, even radios, a technology many of us now take for granted, are out of reach for those who live on less than $1.00 US per day.
That’s where we come in. The simple gift of a wind-up radio, especially one which does not require expensive batteries, which provides a light for those who want to read or work or care for the sick, and which is simultaneously a source of enlightenment, entertainment, and empowerment, can truly be the world to those we serve.
How We Work
In order to provide the most effective means of distributing our radios, we at ETOW believe in power through partnership: we partner with existing organizations, primarily other well-established US-based nonprofits, just like us, who are already on the ground in the countries where we work. These organizations make it possible put radios into our recipients’ hands more quickly and safely.