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Inventing the clockwork radio

The radio in use

Organisations such as UNICEF, the World Bank, the British Red Cross and War Child quickly realised the potential of the wind-up radio. They have already distributed radios around the world, from Rwanda and Kenya to Bosnia and Afghanistan. In Liberia, the United Nations Development Program used wind-up radios to broadcast election results. The government of Ghana bought 30,000 radios so that villagers there could listen to the elections.

War Child has bought enough wind-up radios to help 150,000 South African children to learn English. Every morning the children listen to a 30-minute lesson broadcast over the radio, covering music, dancing and storytelling. As Gordon Naidoo, the programme co-ordinator, explains: In the rural communities we serve, when the batteries die, the learning stops. When we implement the programme with these radios, it is instantly sustainable.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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