ears to our world

At ETOW, we believe access to information is access to education. We provide innovative, simple and appropriate technologies to schools and communities in remote, rural and impoverished regions of our world.

ETOW: Ten years and counting!

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 7.58.04 AM.png

It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since a school in Kibera, Kenya, took its first delivery of ETOW self-powered radios, generously supplied by our friends at the Eton Corporation. Since that day, ETOW has empowered educators, students, health workers, and communities throughout our world…for ten years and counting. We couldn’t have done it without you:  Thank you.

Sierra Leone. South Sudan. Haiti. Ghana. Mozambique. Mongolia. Chile. Belize. Uganda. Cameroon. Rwanda. Tanzania. Puerto Rico…Yes, we’ve been there, simply doing what we do and giving it our all––building the most incredible partnerships, and meeting the most extraordinary people, people who make all the effort worthwhile. We couldn’t have done it without you:  Thank you.

And while we built our mission around radio, we now include other information technologies, even developing our own safe and affordable lighting solution for regions off the power grid. Powered by the residual energy in one dead AA battery gleaned from a rubbish pile, ETOW’s super-efficient Humanalight will give a school child the light needed to read for weeks on end. And since this small flashlight can be constructed by scout troops, radio clubs, first-year engineering students, Maker groups––to name but a few––our Humanalight furthers education both before and after its little light shines on…and on. We couldn’t have done it without you:  Thank you. 

In a recent interview, I described ETOW as the tortoise in the world of charities: while we’re neither the biggest nor the fastest, we are steady, we are focused, and, whenever possible, we are there. We are guided, not by grand visions of success, but simply by compassion, common sense, and our ongoing goal of consistent support ETOW remains an all-volunteer nonprofit, upheld by a rock-steady base of caring donors––like you––who understand the powerful impact of focusing one’s giving where it’s needed most in our world. With your help, we’ll keep doing our part to brighten children’s futures, support teachers, expand health outreach, and rebuild storm-ravaged communities.  And it’s clear: We couldn’t have done it without you.  Thank you. 

With deepest gratitude,
 
Thomas Witherspoon
Executive Director,  Ears To Our World

“Small things, done consistently and strategically, can have a major positive impact.”

 Just one of the sixty families we helped in Puerto Rico this year.

Just one of the sixty families we helped in Puerto Rico this year.

2018 will be remembered as the year we rolled up our sleeves in four countries, continuing our work in Kenya and Cameroon, as well as in Puerto Rico and Haiti…

Puerto Rico: Support after devastating Hurricane Maria

Both 2017 and 2018 have been active hurricane seasons. In 2017 ETOW noted the terrible destruction Hurricane Maria caused on the US island of Puerto Rico, and with the aid of a local PR ham radio club, initiated a pilot project to distribute emergency radios in communities there. In early 2018, we continued sending radios and helped inform sixty Puerto Rican households through a reliable, accessible form of communication: namely, radio.

Haiti: A focus on the visually disabled, and our first digital library

ETOW has been working in Haiti now since before the 2010 earthquake with our dedicated partners at the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF). Why? Recovery takes time. When a major disaster is no longer covered by the media, and the rest of the world has moved on, the people in the midst of the devastation are often just beginning to rebuild their lives.  This is not the time to forget them. So this year ETOW sent an additional 240 self-powered radios to rural Haiti, where they’re still needed.

Our partners with the HHF continue to concentrate the use of ETOW radios among the visually impaired.  Having a self-powered radio can open up the wider world to visually impaired people, who often become important sources of world events and weather information within their local communities. 

In addition, we’re working on a pilot project implementing a self-contained wireless digital library that can be deployed both at HHF community facilities and in the field. These digital libraries are essentially small computers holding 128 gigabytes of teaching and learning material in English, French, and French Creole. Students can log into the digital library via smart phone, tablet, or laptop to take classes in language, math, physics, chemistry, social sciences, and more. There are even video modules designed around health training: a win-win for both health care trainees and for the communities who need them.

Going forward…

ETOW remains committed to our strong partnerships, which enable us to achieve our mission on what other NGOs might call a shoestring budget.  And we’ve now proven that this model works.

With your help, we’ll continue to do our part for years to come.  We truly hope you’ll continue to stay interested in and involved with Ears to Our World. We welcome your support in any form.  And to those who have given, and continue to give––our heartfelt thanks. 

In 2019, may blessings abound and may peace guide us all toward a promising future.

Copyright © 2013 Ears To Our World