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: Sudan

ETOW Honors World Radio Day in South Sudan Schools

Monday is World Radio Day, a celebration of the importance of the medium of radio throughout our world. Ears To Our World (ETOW) is celebrating by sending more radios to the world’s newest country: South Sudan. Our partner in that war-torn region, Project Education Sudan (PES), is a non-profit that builds primary and secondary schools and trains teachers in rural villages in South Sudan; ETOW’s radios, we’re pleased to state, taking a starring role in this teacher training program. There are currently four PES schools in an area of Southern Sudan so remote that resources often have to be flown in on chartered planes. ETOW radios are in all four, helping teachers bring both education and hope to a devastated population. There is currently no public telecommunications infrastructure in South Sudan, yet ETOW radios make diverse programming available to these teachers, via shortwave and FM broadcasts. In classrooms that lack not only electricity, but often paper and pencils, these rugged, self-powered worldband receivers offer a tremendous wealth of free teaching material.

Our shipment of forty five additional radios is heading there. Daniel Majok Gai, a member of the board of directors of PES as well as its South Sudan program director, tells us that the teachers in the new schools are using ETOW radios to listen to FM 95.5 news from 6–10 a.m. and from 3–10 p.m. and to South Sudan Mirriaya news on a daily basis.

Gai says that “the teachers use the radios to collect good stories and share them with the students.” From his observations, Gai adds, “These radios have created a wider benefit between teachers at PES school and those teaching from the government schools…living within the same community.” He believes the teachers working in the PES-supported schools have an enviable advantage over those in the government institutions.

Our goal this year is to offer greater benefit to more children and their communities by sending additional radios to South Sudan, and even more countries where radio--whether local or international--is a lifeline of information in the community.

Ears To Our World firmly believes that access to information is access to education and both are essential human rights.

ETOW Radios Arrive in Sudan

 (Photo: Project Education Sudan)

(Photo: Project Education Sudan)

Ears to Our World's first radios have arrived in Southern Sudan, care of our partner Project Education Sudan, a US-based charitable organization whose goal is to foster education in areas that have been ravaged by Sudan's 20 year civil war, which has destroyed its existing educational system.

Like ETOW, Project Educate Sudan believes that education and the dissemination of information is fundamental. ETOW's shortwave radios have found a vital role in this area, with PES distributing and teaching community leaders how to operate them.

Carol Rinehart, executive director of PES, headed up the first distribution project, taking forty ETOW shortwave radios to five different villages in Sudan. She and her team distributed the radios to headmasters and teachers in schools which PES helps to fund, and found the response was overwhelmingly positive.

Blackboard

"The teachers were so excited about the radios and using them as a teaching resource that it became the central focus of the teacher In-Service [program], and more teachers than we [could supply] came from all around the area to receive one," recalled Rinehart. "After distribution of the radios, I saw the teachers around the villages using them with kids surrounding them. Our biggest challenge was the chiefs of the villages also want[ed] a radio!"

PESTeacher2

The ETOW radios that were distributed in Sudan almost instantly became the primary source for news and current events, particularly in covering the country's first democratic elections. During these elections the teachers kept their new radios in the classrooms to teach their students about the voting process, and the broadcasts provided vital information to the community about where and how to cast ballots.

Shortwave radios like those ETOW distributes take on a crucial role in countries where electricity, internet access, and other technology is limited. Radios connect those in remote areas with information that would otherwise be almost impossible to glean. "The main impact of the radios will be with the students and teachers, but the interconnectedness of the students and teachers as a vital part of their community will have a larger impact on the whole village," said Rinehart. "Their communities are so remote, in a newly-emerging country only now building an infrastructure. So literally, the radios ETOW provides keeps the students, teachers and the whole community connected to the world."

Radios to Sudan in January 2010

Ears To Our World is pleased to announce a new partnership with Project Education Sudan (PES). Project Education Sudan works in Bor County, Jonglei State, Southern Sudan. (Photo courtesy of PES)

We have been working with PES for several months now, putting together an exciting joint project:  ETOW will be sending enough radios to supply teachers in three local villages PES supports in Bor County, Jonglei State, Southern Sudan. We are most thankful to PES for handling most of the extensive logistical costs and arrangements involved in this project. Carol Rinehart, Executive Director and Co-Founder of PES, has embraced our partnership, as our radios will bring much-needed information into the homes of Sudanese teachers and students.

Project Education Sudan is an inspirational organization and a notable example of grass-roots, self-sustaining humanitarianism. PES is a non-profit created as a partnership between Sudanese and Americans in response to destruction that resulted from a twenty-year civil war between Northern and Southern Sudan. Their mission is to fund and support indigenous Sudanese organizations and communities that build primary and secondary schools, and to train teachers in rural villages in Southern Sudan.

Bor County, Jonglei State, Southern Sudan

Continue to follow this project here! We will post more information and photos as they become available.

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