Radio Lifeline is a US-registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides farmers in the developing world with access to vital information and technologies that can have a significant and positive impact in their lives, those of their families, and the communities where they live. The tools we use are designed to be low-tech, locally appropriate, and sustainable in their design. Each of our projects is devised to be both replicable and scalable, based on a foundation of collaborative partnership with industry stakeholders, universities, research institutions and other NGO’s, in support of their individual outreach and education efforts.
Since 2005, our Coffee Lifeline project has broadcast over 425 radio programs to the coffee producing communities of Rwanda, while also reaching into parts of Uganda, Burundi and the DRC. In 2013 we completed the first phase of our expansion project, debuting the first Coffee Lifeline broadcasts in Kenya, through a new partnership with the Kenya Meteorological Dept. and its regional community radio station, Radio Kangema, located in the Murang’a district. Each weekly broadcast contains information regarding agronomic best practices, cooperative development and sustainability, climate change, early childhood and maternal health, HIV/AIDS education, nutrition, food security, economic diversification and financial literacy; as well as a series of childrens stories featured at the close of each program.
In 2009 we launched the Py Lifeline Project in support of pyrethrum farmers on the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pyrethrum is a botanical source of pesticide with current global demand nearly triple that of the world’s supply. The Py Lifeline Project was the first global development project to incorporate Lifeline Energy’s new Lifeplayer technology, which combines an AM/FM/SW radio with an Mp3 player, cell phone charger and a built-in microphone capable of creating instant podcasts. Our Imbere Heza broadcasts, carried on three different radio stations, reach an estimated 15,000 pyrethrum farmers and their families on a weekly basis. Each of the 20 cooperative offices is equipped with a digital listening station, where new members can quickly become acquainted with current agronomy practices that can help to boost yields, quality and local revenue.
In Spring of 2013, Radio Lifeline launched the Black Earth Project, a two year research initiative designed to evaluate the effectiveness of biochar when used as a soil amendment by small scale coffee farmers. The Black Earth Project is currently being conducted in partnership with six coffee cooperatives, located in each of the major coffee growing areas of Rwanda.