Friday, November 26, 2010

Tuning In: Ears to Our World

Inspired by his boyhood experience with shortwave radio, Thomas Witherspoon has brought the world to the remotest schools from Cameroon to Haiti

“This is the sound of renewable education!” says Thomas Witherspoon, 37, founder of Ears to Our World, as he picks up a small portable radio and quickly cranks its handle, producing a high-pitched, wobbly whine. Inside, a dynamo charges the radio’s battery. Witherspoon has taken his love of shortwave radio and filtered it through his experience in the corporate world, devising a strategy to help the most people for the least money. ETOW distributes wind-up radios to isolated villages across Africa and into Belize and Romania, providing listeners with vital information. His radios are also proving to be disaster-relief heroes in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

Additional story at WSJ website: