Ears To Our World (ETOW) is a 501(c)(3) grass-roots, nonprofit organization that specializes in the distribution of self-powered world band radios to schools and communities in our developing world. We’ve now expanded our mission to include radios for disaster relief and for children who are visually impaired.
Our radio receivers enable children and their support networks in the most remote, impoverished areas of the world to receive: educational programming, local and international news, emergency information, health information, weather, as well as music and arts programming.
UNESCO features ETOW on World Radio Day
UNESCO asked ETOW founder and director, Thomas Witherspoon, to speak to the relevance of radio in honor of World Radio Day. Here’s his contribution:
ETOW Radio Touches the Lives of the Disabled in Cameroon
In case you’ve ever wondered what one radio can do for a rural developing-world community, here’s the answer…
Just in time for the holidays, the following heartwarming field report arrived from ETOW’s mission partner, Educare Africa-Cameroon. This worthy ETOW partner organization, together with Covenant Baptist Church Tsinga-Yaoundé, carried out a joint mission trip to the far northern reaches of Cameroon in 2011. As the report notes: “…[T]hese communities are extremely enclave, with no roads, schools, health facilities, [potable] water, rivers with no bridges, no access to communication networks…They are completely [cut] off from the rest of the world.” The team visited many communities, hospitals, and prisons to share clothing, shoes, food..and an ETOW radio, which was placed with one of the teachers in the remote village of Doulek.
This moving report also describes the 2012 follow-up visit, and speaks for itself:
“…When the National Coordinator of Educare Africa–Cameroon, Mr. Sunjo Emmanuel, returned to Doulek, the community that got the radio came to him singing and dancing because the radio was a real blessing to them. They shared the following testimonies.
- More than 150 students came to the teacher who received the radio to listen to the end of course examination result. This was the only radio available and students trekked more than 30km to come and listen to their results.
- [The community] also got news over the National Radio about what [the] Government was doing to assist people with disabilities. After follow-up, more than 300 people with disabilities have been registered with Government with about 37 from the beneficiary community in Doulek. All of these people have received various gifts [and forms of assistance] from [the] Government, and the teacher who himself is a disabled man has been made Sub Divisional secretary of people with disabilities. Thanks to access to information.
- More than 3000 people [previously] died in these communities from Cholera, [but] through the donated radio from ETOW, these communities got access to public education on how to fight against Cholera.
- More than 65 children gathered regularly to listen to Gospel messages using this radio.
- The villages surrounding Doulek have benefitted from the information sent to them. Doulek has become ear of this region thanks to ETOW. More communities need their own radios.”
It’s truly humbling to learn what just one radio can provide to a rural community. We at ETOW feel blessed that we are able to play a part in improving lives in communities like Doulek all over the world. And we are greatly indebted to so many who enable us to do so.
So, as we look back on 2012, we want to acknowledge the hard work, commitment, assistance, and generosity of all the people behind ETOW, and to express our deepest gratitude to them. Our mission succeeds thanks to our exceptional in-country partners, such as Educare Africa; thanks to the dedicated teachers and community leaders in the areas we serve; thanks to our steadfast friends in industry, such as Etón Corporation and Universal Radio; and last but definitely not least, to our generous donors, who share our conviction that radio–in its unique ability to provide critical information in economically challenged and physically remote areas–can empower children, families, and communities every single day. As this report makes so clear, it can and does.
Thank you! Happy holidays, and may peace reign throughout the listening world.