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Freeplay Energy donations support BRAC in tackling effects of Ebola in Sierra Leone

Freeplay Energy donations support BRAC in tackling effects of Ebola in Sierra Leone

Freeplay Energy, the UK-based manufacturer of self-powered radios and lighting systems, is joining with global development charity BRAC to help girls and young women in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone to continue their studies and safeguard their health.

Freeplay Energy is making a donation of 60 Assist dynamo and solar powered radios which will ensure that students who are unable to attend school or other community facilities can listen to lessons and essential information broadcast on Sierra Leone’s radio network.

In addition, Freeplay Energy and BRAC are inviting customers to get involved. For every Encore or Lifeline radio bought from Freeplay Energy’s Amazon.co.uk pages in March, Freeplay will donate a further Assist radio for use in Sierra Leone.

Freeplay Energy Managing Director, John McGrath says:

“Freeplay Energy is delighted to be supporting BRAC in their efforts to minimise the disruption to schooling, health and well-being that has been caused by the Ebola outbreak. We are donating a large number of Assist radios from the start, and will add another Assist to the donation for every Encore or Lifeline radio we sell on Amazon throughout March. With your help, we can make a major, and very positive, difference to the futures of many young women in Sierra Leone.”

As Sierra Leone’s authorities continue to battle the virus, the country’s schools have been closed and the education of thousands of students has been disrupted. Furthermore, Ebola has created a strong mistrust of the local health system. These issues are compounded by the fact that women and girls are disproportionately affected by Ebola due to their role as traditional care givers, as they are more likely to be in close proximity to the disease.

The closure of schools and other community facilities, coupled with the risk of infection, means that adolescent girls are unlikely to attend health facilities. As a result, young women are without access to education, healthcare, counselling, contraceptives or services for those who are pregnant.

Through a partnership with UNICEF, BRAC Sierra Leone has created safe spaces for 6,675 adolescent girls in 210 communities. Here they are offered services which financially and socially empower them and recently the groups have been working to inform the girls about the issues posed by Ebola and post-Ebola recovery. The Ministry of Education is currently broadcasting important public messages concerning Ebola, as well as a basic curriculum over the radio.

Tapan Kumar Karmaker, BRAC Sierra Leone’s Country Representative, adds:

“It is crucial that adolescent girls have access to national messages, especially in rural areas where it can take a significant amount of time for news to reach remote communities. With 100 radios we can support 1,500 adolescent girls.

“We are therefore extremely grateful to Freeplay Energy for their invaluable donation. We would also encourage everyone to visit Freeplay Energy’s page on Amazon.co.uk in March and to purchase one of their fantastic Encore or Lifeline radios. That way, they can help to make a life-changing difference to the lives of young women in Sierra Leone, enabling them to overcome the broader effects of the current devastating Ebola outbreak.”

Freeplay Energy was founded in 1993 and has since become the world-leading manufacturer of dynamo (wind-up) and solar powered radios, flashlights and lighting systems. Millions of its products are currently in use around the world in aid and development settings, by communities affected by disaster, and by people who do not have regular access to mains electricity.

Designed for sustained use in challenging environments, Freeplay Energy’s rugged, reliable and environmentally-friendly products have also proved popular with consumers in Europe and North America. Outdoor leisure and camping enthusiasts, sportspeople and anglers, as well as those concerned with emergency preparedness have all recognised the benefits of having available radios, flashlights, emergency phone chargers and lighting systems that do not rely on disposable batteries or mains power for their energy.

Black Sheep PR Ltd.

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