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Solar MP3 players to educate Zambian children

One solar Lifeplayer MP3 provides access to school lessons for up to 60 children. In Zambia, thousands of children attend a radio school initiative called Learning at Taonga Market that follows the national syllabus. Many children live in remote areas far from formal schools and have no other option for a quality education. The school lessons can be played on demand, and repeated. For schools with few resources and no electricity, our Lifeplayers may be a child's best opportunity to learn.
About Our Partner

Lifeline Energy

Lifeline Energy is a non-profit social enterprise that provides sustainable information and education access to vulnerable populations. We achieve this by designing, manufacturing and distributing solar and wind-up media players and radios for classroom and group listening. Since 1999, we have distributed more than 500,000 power independent radios to provide on-demand access to information and education, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the years we have received numerous awards including the Tech Museum of Innovation Award, a World Bank Development Marketplace Award and an Index: Design to Improve Life Award. In addition, our founder and CEO Kristine Pearson was named one of TIME magazine's Heroes of the Environment for 2007 and received the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award in 2005.

The Problem

Tens of thousands of children (1/3 are orphans) are dependent on Learning at Taonga Market to receive a high quality primary school education via audio lessons. These children are unable to attend government schools due of costs of uniforms, books & exam fees, distance from their home (some kids walk hours each day) and poverty. The most effective and cost effective way to reach and teach these children is to pre-load lessons onto our Lifeplayers, to be played and repeated on demand.

The Solution

Our Lifeplayer MP3s are pre-loaded with Taonga primary school lessons and teacher training tips. If a lesson is missed, it can be made up anytime. The Lifeplayer can be paused & content replayed again & again. Radio broadcasts can be recorded. It's solar & wind-up - no batteries or electricity needed. Its great sound quality means at least 60 learners can listen at one time. With an acute shortage of trained teachers in Zambia, the best teachers are recorded.


Since the radio lessons began broadcasting a decade ago, Learning at Taonga Market has not only exceeded expectations, learners often out-perform those at government schools - scoring 10-15% higher. Surveys reveal 70% of children who take part in Taonga continue to secondary school - an impressive figure for rural areas. With our Lifeplayer MP3 eager learners will be able to continue their education, giving them a far greater chance of completing primary school & learning English.

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