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.

Filtering by Category: Haiti

Why Radio in Disasters?

by Rob de Santos

What would you do if your car died on a dark road, out of sight of any building? Your mobile phone doesn’t get a signal. The car battery has died. It’s cold, dark, and perhaps even raining. You are truly “out of touch,” not sure when help is going to arrive. Would you be worried? Scared, even?

Now, put yourself in a disaster zone. Your house may be damaged or destroyed. Public utilities aren’t functioning. Power is out and mobile phones aren’t working. You are truly “out of touch.” Now, how might you feel?

The scenarios are remarkably similar in the feelings and concerns they elicit. In both cases, the lack of any communication makes the situation far worse. In both situations, if you could just turn on a radio and get news of what is going on in your area and when help might arrive, your sense of security increases as your fears diminish.

Such is the power of radio. When other communications fail, a simple radio with a crank or solar panel for power and knob to tune it offers a reassuring voice. A source of knowledge instead of just rumors. Before schools can get outside resources, or children can travel over repaired roads, radio provides a funnel of information that allows education to continue.

It’s easy (and necessary) in a disaster to think about necessities such as food, shelter, and clean water. How do people in the disaster learn where to go and how to get help with these basic needs? If you live in the industrialized world you might just assume it will show up where you are, sooner or later. As many found even in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the United States, that can be a risky assumption. What you need is information on how to help yourself, and the best way to get the information is through a radio.

Radios To Haiti Update: 300+ Additional Etón-Donated Radios

eton logoEtón Corporation, in response to our Radios To Haiti initiative, has generously donated over 300 self-powered radios to Ears To Our World for immediate shipment to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, through our logistics partner, Operation USA.

Moreover, in addition to these radios, Etón has donated over 450 self-powered flashlights to be shipped along with the radios.

Ears To Our World would like to thank Etón Corporation and its CEO, Esmail Amid-Hozour, for sponsorship and continued support of our mission as it expands to help those in immediate need in Haiti.

Radios to Haiti Update: ETOW Ships Over 100 Self-Powered Radios to Haiti

etowboxes1...And we hope to ship even more. The response from our Radios to Haiti fund drive, launched only last week, has been truly remarkable.  We wish to thank all that have donated, as well as the volunteers who helped prepare and pack the radios at such short notice.

op_usaWe have partnered with Operation USA to deliver and distribute our radios to the areas of Haiti affected by the earthquake. Operation USA is a charity that specializes in logistics; their sole purpose is to deliver aid to countries in need, such as Haiti, and for this reason they can do so quickly and efficiently. ETOW is pleased to be partnering with this reputable organization; we look forward to sending more radios to Haiti in the very near future.

Radios to Haiti: Information Is Relief to Haiti's Earthquake Victims

haitiearthquakeepicenterAt ETOW, we know that in times of crisis, the dissemination of basic information is of extreme importance; it can save lives. Therefore, although sending radios to Haiti following that country's recent devastating earthquake broadens the scope of our usual program, in light of the dire emergency the country now faces, ETOW has decided to extend our reach beyond schools and teachers, to distribute a substantial number of Eton Corporation-donated ETOW radios to individuals in remote and impoverished areas affected by the recent earthquake.

ETOW's wind-up radios, which also have a built-in flashlight, may provide life-saving medical and food/water supply information to families and communities.

On a side note, we are very grateful to hear reports from our partner organization, the American Haitian Foundation, that the community of Petite-Rivière-de-Nippes in Haiti has reported no loss of life, and the ETOW radios they previously received are providing a useful link with other islands.

We will provide further updates on our special Radios to Haiti program as they become available.

ETOW Helps Teachers in Haiti

Teachers at the Petite-Rivière school prepare to distrubute ETOW radios to all of their teachers. Radios shown in their protective carry cases.In September 2009, Ears To Our World sent 39 radios to teachers in Petite-Rivière-de-Nippes, a small coastal village in southern Haiti. This was made possible through our partnership with the American Haitian Foundation (AHF).

The AHF is a non-profit organization that works to educate young people in Petite-Rivière-de-Nippes and the surrounding community. They do this through a three story school which, with the help of the local community, the group built to serve over 800 students daily. The school building is sited on a hill overlooking the sea and has become much more than just a school. It is an employer of 79 people (38 of whom are teachers), it provides nourishing meals to 560 of their children, the school building itself is used as a community resource for a variety of educational opportunities, and even serves as a local shelter from weather disasters. The Petite-Rivière school, moreover, is totally powered by renewable solar energy.

Petite-Rivière-de-Nippes, Haiti

Though at school, the teachers and students have access to electricity, at home, most do not. Our radios serve as a 24/7 reliable link to world news, language resources and educational programming, as well as to often life-saving weather information.

Haiti is often in the news for its seemingly disproportionate number of natural disasters due to its position in the Gulf, as well as its lack of safety infrastructure. Each year hurricanes, tropical storms and floods take the lives of hundreds of Haitians. The American Haitian Foundation owns and operates three radio stations that are used to broadcast emergency weather information and other important news and announcements to the local community. ETOW's radio, the Grundig FR200 readily receives these stations and will prove an invaluable resource for the school and the surrounding communities where teachers and their students live.

ETOW is proud that, with the help of the AHC staff, we were able to send our radios to the school in the early part of the hurricane season this year. We would like to thank AHC Director, Jack Davidson,  as well as AHC board members and volunteers for helping with this project.

Copyright © 2013 Ears To Our World