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Inventing the clockwork radio

The Freeplay philosophy

In backing Freeplays new radio factory, Liberty Life wanted to:

Rather than giving funding direct to Freeplay, it gave money to set up the factory to a consortium of organisations for the disabled. This consortium has a 50% interest in the factory, while Liberty Life and people who work in the factory share the remaining 50%. One-third of the factory workers are blind, deaf, paraplegic or otherwise disabled. The Freeplay Group itself runs the company and has full management responsibilities.

A year later, the same approach was taken to setting up a factory to manufacture wind-up lanterns (flashlights). This time the key stakeholder was the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders, and half of the factory workers are ex-convicts or battered women.

Today, Freeplay has research centres in South Africa and the UK and is a world leader in the field of self-powered energy.



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

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