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TMP Academy - Community Farm

Our primary goal in our work in Tsipasi is to be an integrated community partner, serving the needs the community identifies. This helps us to empower the community to break the cycle of poverty rather than enable the cycle to continue.

The community leaders have responded to this approach, and a strong partnership has been developed. With each project we complete together, the partnership is strengthened. Evidence of this are the completed projects the community is sustaining, as well as our decision to partner together on a community farm

The community farm is a new project we are excited to take on as funds allow.

Here’s an overview of the project:

  • The community of Tsipasi has donated 2 acres of land for a community farm that will benefit TMP Academy’s meal program.

  • Members of the community have committed to joining with TMP Academy in planting, weeding, harvesting, and other general maintenance of the land to benefit the school’s meal program.

  • All produce that is in excess of what TMP Academy meal program needs will be given to those that participate for their personal use and needs.

  • The farm will serve as the starting point for other, larger community development programs and projects TMP and Tsipasi will use jointly in the years to come.

While we are funding and working our projects in order of priority to the community, you can join us in funding our current project list by giving HERE.


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TMP Academy - Solar Power

TMP Academy is located in the village of Tsipasi, which does not have access to the electrical grid. We've been waiting for years for the government to provide electricity to the community, but no movement has been made to date.

Due to the progressing needs of the students attending TMP Academy, we've reached a point where lack of electricity has become prohibitive to their studies. We need to take the lead in providing power to the school and provide a sustainable option.

TMP has been working with a solar contractor in the capital city of Accra, Ghana to provide solar power to TMP Academy. When the project is completed, we will have enough electricity to power each classroom with the following electricity:

  • One electrical outlet

  • Lights

  • Power for up to 10 laptops

Electric power will enable to us to use computers as part of our education programs, provide adequate lighting for the students and teachers, and also provide electricity for community training and events we provide.

This is a significant step in providing a high quality education for these kids and breaking the cycle of poverty in the community.

Will you join us in making this a reality for our staff and students? You can do so by partnering with us HERE.

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TMP Academy - Water Connection

Clean water access has been a priority since the very beginning of our work in Ghana, as we installed three clean water wells prior to opening TMP Academy. In an exciting infrastructure development, the regional government has recently made progress in laying water lines near the village of Tsipasi along the main access road.

Currently, TMP Academy is the only facility that can consume the new running waster capability. We will take advantage of the opportunity to offer water access to the community at large. Specifically, TMP Academy will connect the water line from the mail line to the Academy for school use. The tap will then be offered to the community at a fee that covers the cost of water usage only, no profit will be made.

In addition to the water line, the existing community well will continue to be utilized to obtain water for cooking and cleaning.

To support this project, click here.

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TMP Academy - Toilet & Washroom

While The Move Project Academy has been officially certified with the Ghana Education Service (GES), it was done so with the understanding that TMP Academy would build a new toilet and washroom facility as our top priority to meet GES standards.

There is a toilet facility currently onsite but it is very old, dilapidated, and unsanitary.

This project will include demolishing the old toilet facility and building a new one in its place which will include:

  • 1 toilet room for female students

  • 1 toilet room for male students

  • 1 toilet room for staff

  • 1 washroom

We take very seriously both the GES standards and the health of our students and faculty. In order to comply with the standards and provide a clean and healthy facility for our students and staff, this the top priority for TMP and will be funded as soon as the $1,800 cost is raised.

Whether you are a recurring partner to TMP or not, we’d appreciate your support in getting this critical project funded!

You can give easily and securely here.

P.S. There is no need to allocate your gift, as this is our #1 priority in our current projects.

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2018 Year in Review

As I reflect on 2018 it is mind blowing to re-live all of the work that was accomplished last year. Leading up to this past year we spent a tremendous amount of effort and all our time on laying the foundation to build upon for years to come. In those moments we knew the work being done was preparing us for big next steps, and even when progress seemed slow we were able to remain focused on the long-term while executing the projects at hand along with the community engagement work we knew was necessary to see Tsipasi grow in their own strength.

2018 started off with a bang and we never slowed down after that! The year began with a trip to Ghana alongside Drake University where I was able to co-lead a cultural immersion trip with Drake students. It was then that the bones of what is now The Move Project Academy were being put in place and the school structure was quickly being built around it. The team was able to see the work TMP was doing and talk with the community members about the vision they were seeing come to life. Only a few weeks after that trip, in mid-January, TMP Academy was officially opened for school! This school marked a first in the village of Tsipasi. Prior to the school opening, there wasn’t another formal school close enough for the children of Tsipasi to go to and receive an education. We had methodically been working in the community for such a time as this and seeing the school open was a dream come true and a long time coming.

The work didn’t pause once TMP Academy officially opened. Immediately following the grand opening, we began to formally enroll the remaining student population to our capacity. For a glimpse into our accomplishments let’s review in list-style;

  • TMP Academy opens

  • Nine staff members hired

  • Canteen is built to serve as lunchroom and community gathering point

  • Picnic style tables and benches made for canteen

  • All textbooks and curriculum purchased for staff and students

  • Uniforms were made - both traditional and Friday wear styles

  • Circular tables, chairs, and mats were purchased for the KG and Creche classrooms

  • Bulletin Boards and White Boards were purchased for every classroom

  • TMP Academy signs were installed at the major junctions in and around Tsipasi

  • Additional construction completed to improve TMP Academy

  • Local carpenter hired to make all cabinets and storage units in TMP Academy office and classrooms

  • We bought a bus! We now provide safe transportation to the staff of TMP Academy

  • TMP Academy has been certified by the Ghana Education System

The above listed items were all completed to continue to increase the overall quality of the school for the students and families we serve. In addition to that work, we also launched English classes for the Adults in Tsipasi as well as a small business training opportunity for the Women of the community. We will expand upon those in 2019 as well.

While all of that work was going on we were simultaneously hiring staff and providing job opportunities to others in Tsipasi for work we needed done to ensure all work was completed by those in and around Tsipasi. By doing this we were able to remain consistent with our vision of hiring local labor for all building, painting, and construction work.

Another cause for celebration in 2018 was the increase in monthly sponsors known affectionately as the Crew. Our sponsorship plan is simple, give $30 per month which sponsors a desk at TMP Academy. $30 per month is what it costs per student to fully operate TMP Academy. At the close of 2018, we were nearly halfway to our total goal of 120 sponsors! When we reach 120 sponsors (or the equivalent of) we will be able to fully fund our monthly budget which allows us to put greater emphasis on next steps. We have a lot to look forward to but we won’t move on until there is sustainable support for what we’ve already completed. The worst thing we could do is stretch too thin which would cause the people of Tsipasi undue hardship.

If you already donate monthly, we thank you with all our hearts!

If you don’t yet give monthly start 2019 off right by joining us today. No amount is too small (or too big!) and joining us is easy with just a few clicks on our website. Go now to www.themoveproject.org/donate.

We have a very ambitious plan for 2019 and we welcome you to join in by volunteering. If you’d like to volunteer with TMP please email Nick@themoveproject.org and we’ll find a place for you. Just let us know what your passion is and we’ll find you a spot to jump in.

Thank you all for making 2018 such an incredible year and here’s to another great year!

-Nick Mahlstadt

President and Co-founder

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TMP Staff Announcement

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TMP Staff Announcement

This message was shared with the staff of The Move Project Academy this week, and we’re excited to share it with you as well!

Since our founding as an NGO in Ghana, The Move Project has been blessed to have Michael and Lucinda Sarpong as joint Directors of Operations in Ghana. They have faithfully served the organization and the people of Tsipasi and they are, in fact, the reason The Move Project is working in Tsipasi today. It was them that found Tsipasi and worked with the community leadership to lay the foundations of the great relationship we have today with the Chief and community leaders in Tsipasi. To that end, they will both remain as The Move Project in-country Directors for Ghana.

More specifically I am writing this letter to inform you of a new step we are taking with the organizational structure of The Move Project. I’m pleased to announce that Lucinda Sarpong will be stepping into a new role as TMP Tsipasi Director. In this role, Lucinda will assume all day to day operational responsibilities for all projects The Move Project does in Tsipasi including the operations of The Move Project Academy. The TMP Academy staff will continue to report to Jerron as Headmaster and Jerron will now report directly to Lucinda. This new structure will ensure that we have the best minds in place to make critical and timely decisions with the most local knowledge and expertise. Lucinda has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to help ensure our work in Tsipasi is done well to this point and I look forward to her taking on the lead role for our work within the community. Michael will continue to work hand-in-hand with Lucinda providing his Education expertise.

Please help me congratulate Lucinda to her new role!

Nick Mahlstadt, President of The Move Project

We can’t be more excited about the growth of our work in Tsipasi. It can only be done with dedicated people on the ground, supported by generous donors like you.

If you haven’t already, we’d encourage you to sponsor a desk at TMP Academy for $30 per month, which will help us continue to grow our work in Tsipasi and serve more children in the area. You can give securely and easily here. No gift is too small, and every penny goes directly to our work in Tsipasi.

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Drake University Trip Feedback

We had the incredible opportunity to lead a trip to Tsipasi with students from Drake University in Des Moines. While there, why were able to visit the TMP Academy and participate in a regional education workshop for local teachers.

We received feedback from the Drake students and wanted to share it. This provides a great window into the work we are doing in Tsipasi with the help of our generous donors. An overarching theme in the responses was joy. The Drake students were full of joy and gratitude from their experience, and commented on the joy present in the school with both the students and teachers. We are - of course - overjoyed to hear this! Here are some specific quotes.

Katelyn Buckton, a Drake Univ. Masters student and Des Moines Public School teacher who has now visited Ghana with TMP had this to say:

Being able to drive into Tsipasi, to see this gorgeous new school, the teachers engaging all of these bright children and making a difference in this community…was the absolute most incredible experience of my life.

I am most impressed with how The Move Project made something out of nothing in Tsipasi. There truly was nothing in this community like this for miles. The school in Tsipasi is not only one of the most gorgeous schools I have visited in Ghana. There is nothing like this building in the area, so to see it as a school, is awe inspiring. 

The Move Project is doing some absolutely life changing work that impacts all of the children and families in Tsipasi and it was an honor to witness all of it in action.  

Carissa Harrington, a Drake Univ. Masters student and Des Moines Public School teacher student who visited Ghana for the first time added:

Seeing the student-to-teacher ratio and how positive and hands on their learning experiences were in just the short time TMP Academy had been open makes me excited for what is to come!

As for the workshop, I appreciated the genuine questions the teachers had and their willingness to try the strategies we had shared with them in person and how excited they where to take them back to their own rooms and implement them with their students. 

We are grateful for the partnership we’ve forged with Drake University, and hope you enjoyed reading some of their students’ perspectives as much as we did!

If you and your organization would like to coordinate a trip to Ghana, we’d love to lead one. It’s thanks to our generous community of supporters who make this all possible - if you haven’t already, we’d encourage you to join us and partner in this life changing work.

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Chief Nene Kabu Asagodo

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Chief Nene Kabu Asagodo

I’d like to introduce Chief Nene Kabu Asagodo and his wife Manye Maku, of Tsipasi.

We’ve gotten to know Chief Asagodo & Manye over the years and they have such a wonderful vision for Tsipasi and the surrounding area. Our first couple of years were spent in conversation with Chief and the village leadership learning about the community, their way of life, and their goals for the future. While progress was slow and steady, our main focus was to establish relationships and take as much time as needed to build trust.

Our goal is to be a trusted partner, and we were not willing to move projects forward until the community saw us as that, a trusted partner. The community presented to us their vision and together we built a plan. The priority is to assist Tsipasi with laying the groundwork for sustainable growth and development of the village and its residents.  

If an idea isn’t widely accepted by the community and doesn’t lead us closer to the overall goal of village development, we don’t do it. That means saying no to a lot of good things in order to move the right things forward.

When you support TMP through your hard earned dollars, you are joining in to help Tsiapsi’s vision become a reality.

Click the Donate Now button below to get started.

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The Water Ride 2018

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The Water Ride 2018

We couldn’t be happier with this year’s Water Ride!

It was our largest ride to date, with 108 riders, and we raised over $4,000 for our work in Tsipasi!

We could not have done it without our incredibly generous sponsors:

  • Wells Fargo

  • Fuzzy’s Tacos

  • 8|7 Central

  • 515 Brewing

  • Confluence Brewery

To learn a bit more about The Water Ride, or why we focus on clean water in general, click here.

To learn more about The Move Project Academy, click here.

Thank you for all who rode, donated, and volunteered! YOU made this event successful, and we’re honored to be partnered with you in creating a new reality for our neighbors in Ghana.

If you missed the ride, it’s never too late to get involved! You can give easily and securely on our site, here.

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Richmond

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Richmond

From the beginning our vision was to stand alongside those in Tsipasi in whatever form that would end up taking. Over the past couple of years we've launched a few projects such as digging clean water wells, education for both children and adults in Tsipasi, and job skill training. All of the projects implemented come from a priority list directly from the community that is based on what they feel they want and need to be successful and flourish. We are fully committed to the wellbeing of those in Tsipasi. The Move Project's work is guided by this vision and informs all we do there.

With this vision, our next step was to launch The Move Project Academy to provide quality education for the children in Tsipasi. The academy has been open for eight months now and with every passing month the children continue to make wonderful progress in their learning journey. One of the ways we've been able to make such great progress is by hiring a wonderful and committed staff. One staff member, Angelina, came to us from the capital city of Accra with her son, Richmond, to help launch the academy. Currently, The Move Project Academy offers Creche (pre-school) through Class 1 (1st Grade) due to the lack of prior education in the community. Richmond should be in Class 4 currently and because of this, TMP is supporting Richmond's education at Hampstead Academy which is in the next closest village to Tsipasi. You see, our desire is to support every child that is part of the academy through the entirety of their education journey and if they need something we aren't currently able to provide, we'll find the place where they can continue to flourish and support them there. As we continue to grow and offer more class options we'll be able to educate children who come to us with previous school opportunities like Richmond. But until that time comes, we won't withhold any opportunities merely because we don't provide it directly.

When you support The Move Project, you're not only supporting our immediate work in Tsipasi but you're supporting those that are working diligently each and every day on behalf of The Move Project in Tsipasi. Angelina and Richmond are a great example of this. Angelina is working every day to bring a quality education to the children in her classroom at TMP Academy and in turn we're meeting her families need to continue her son's education so he can continue to advance in his journey. 

If you would like to join us and support a seat at a desk, please sign up HERE. It's quick and easy!

We are currently in need of 78 more monthly sponsors which will cover the complete operating expenses of TMP Academy. $30/month covers everything! From daily lunch, teacher salaries, textbooks, uniforms, and more.

 

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We Started a School!

As most of you are aware, we've been working diligently to construct TMP Academy in the village of Tsipasi Ghana. This work has been a labor of love and we're now finally able to launch the school and provide access to a quality education for the first time in Tsipasi's history! This is where we need your financial support. We at The Move Project have always striven to be transparent in our work and finances because we believe that when you give you should know exactly where your hard earned money is going.

Education at TMP Academy will cost $30 per student per month. Act now by supporting TMP Academy with a $30 monthly donation! It is fast and easy to set up a recurring monthly gift. Begin your support today!

To fully fund student education at TMP Academy for one year we need to raise nearly $34,000. The annual operating budget covers expenses such as; teacher salaries (Headmaster + seven teachers & one teaching aide), cook and cooking assistant, daily meal program for the students, travel expenses, uniforms, curriculum, syllabuses, textbooks, and in-class materials. When the community development programming is added in the operating budget increased to nearly $43,200 annually. Because formal education has never existed in Tsipasi, part of our community development plan includes education for Adults. Along with job skills training, small business management workshops, and courses to learn English, the adults will also be reaping the benefits of education both socially and economically.

None of this work can happen without people like you giving $30 per month. You'll be personally sponsoring a seat at the desk for this community. As a THANK YOU for your gift, each person that donates $30/month will receive a TMP Academy lapel pin as a TMP Academy founding partner.

Give $30/month now by clicking here.

One more thing...will you help us spread the word? We would be grateful if you shared this message with your network of friends and family. The more people we have supporting the work, the more work can be done!

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TMP + Drake University in Tsipasi

The Move Project hosted a trip with Drake University the week of June 18, 2018 to the Tsipasi area, including an education workshop at The Move Project (TMP) Academy. 

We hosted 11 teachers from Drake on the trip who facilitated a continuing education workshop offered at TMP Academy and included other area educators.

Leading up to the workshop, the Drake teachers had a day of classroom observation, a farm tour, and a trip to the market to see a day-in-the-life in Tsipasi (where TMP Academy is located) and neighboring communities. 

Below is an overview of the workshop:

  • 70 teachers from around the area were in attendance!

  • Topics included: Learning Goals, Lesson Planning, Dealing with Discipline, Classroom Environment, and Engagement

  • Each session was 45 minutes and groups rotated through each session. 

  • The session topics were created by TMP Academy Headmaster, Jerron and the material created by Drake was centered around current Ghana Education Service academic methods and standards. This enabled real world application for those in Ghana. 

  • Following the workshop, the team from Drake sponsored lunch to all those in attendance.

The feedback from the attendees was wonderful! The sessions were very informative and the attendees took away information, tips, and practices they can implement in their own classrooms. 

In addition to the workshop, the group was able to observe the TMP Academy uniforms being sewn by a local seamstress! 

We were able to see the a completed uniform for both the boys and girls. Since there is no electricity in Tsipasi, the seamstress uses a hand crank to operate the sewing machine. 

The uniforms should be completed and ready for the students in July. 

Special thanks to Wilder Elementary in Indianola, Iowa, who provided all school supply donations for this trip, along with the TMP Academy orange drawstring bags for the students! 

 

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TMP Academy Uniforms

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TMP Academy Uniforms

TMP Academy is the school we launched last year to provide high-quality education to a community that has never before had access. 

The local community championed the project, and we helped by providing the funding to construct the building, hire a staff, and secure curriculum and supplies.

We opened our doors to our first ever class on January 12, 2018 and celebrated the enrollment of 110 students!

One goal of ours was to quickly provide uniforms to the students. The custom in Ghana is to wear uniforms to school, but we also wanted to help develop a standard of excellence in the school. 

 

Our Headmaster, Jerron, shares more about the uniform need and our partnership in this quick video.

We are thrilled to announce we launched a fundraiser specifically for uniforms on June 1, and raised the $2,100 needed by June 5!

However...to allow an opportunity for others to contribute to the school, we are leaving the GoFundMe page open through Friday, June 15. You can give securely through our site  or through GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/tmp-academy-uniforms

The funds raised will go toward clean water well maintenance, the school’s meal program, and women’s education. 

Thank you to those who partnered with us! If you haven’t yet, we invite you to do so, and join us as we help the people of Ghana create a new reality for their communities. 

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World Water Day 2018

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World Water Day 2018

Today's post is from Water Ride creator, Emily Steele in recognition of World Water Day. Enjoy!


What is the furthest you have ever walked in one day?

I remember visiting hilly San Francisco from flat Iowa years ago and from a day of exploration, we totaled an entire marathon. 

It took hours of navigating traffic, needing to stop for food and beverages, and hauling cameras, purses, and other traveling items around for 26+ miles.

As most of us do on vacation, I made no other plans to work or check in on my summer government class for college. 

This was a choice I made.

Our friends in Ghana and many other third world countries don't have this luxury. Parents and kids walk hundreds of miles every week for clean water out of necessity.

They have to miss school, forego work opportunities, so they can fill their jerry cans with water that will hopefully last them the next few days. 

World Water Day is an acknowledgment that water is critical... essential to life. When clean water is easily accessible, you quickly create more opportunities for education and employment. These are incredibly powerful opportunities to all individuals on this planet.

Over the last six years, we've chosen to create a bike ride in the Des Moines metro that raises money for clean water. Hundreds of cyclists have hopped on their bikes for 25-mile stretches on one day out of the year and because of their dollars we have built three water wells, built a school, and funded all the positions within the school so 150 students can be educated.

Twenty-five dollars doesn't seem like a lot, but when you multiply it a few hundred times, momentum quickly builds. If you're compelled to help create more clean water opportunities for people just like you around the world, drop a donation here or sign up for our ride on August 25, starting at Confluence Brewing Company.  

If you have any questions about our work or would like to sponsor the event, please email us at TheWaterRide@gmail.com

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International Women's Day 2018

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International Women's Day 2018

In honor of International Women's Day, which is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, we would like to honor the women of The Move Project.

Selina, Angelina, and Rebecca make each day special for the children they educate. These ladies are relentless in their pursuit of education and inspire the young people of TMP Academy to dream, learn, and take their education seriously. They invest themselves in the lives of the children and it is because of their effort, love, and ability that the students of TMP Academy will thrive.

We believe gender parity is key to a successful mission, school, and community, and we will continue to commit to equal representation in our work. No one should be refused a job or access to education because of their gender and we've committed to the community to Tsipasi to do what we can to improve access to both of these things. 

Today we celebrate the women of The Move Project and female achievement and advancement all over the world! 

To read more about the celebration of International Women's Day, click here.

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TMP Academy Grand Opening

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TMP Academy Grand Opening

January was a busy month for TMP!

We had the opportunity to travel to Ghana with Drake University, and while we were there TMP Academy officially opened! The opening of the Academy is a major step for us and one we've been working toward for a few years.

For those who don't know the backstory, we started our work in Ghana by focusing our work on what the community of Tsipasi prioritized. We didn't rush in and attempt to provide assistance without seeking input of the community, leading to wasted time, effort, money, and damaging relationships. Instead, we took time to sit down with the community leaders to find out what exactly they needed and where they saw their community going in the future. From there, we built out a plan and began working in partnership only after we achieved buy-in and approval from all involved. More about that HERE and HERE.

When we arrived in Ghana on January 12th we loaded our luggage and drove straight to Tsipasi which is about two and a half hours east of the capital city Accra. Immediately upon our arrival the community was ready to begin the grand opening ceremony. Community leaders, including the Chief, spoke to those in attendance. While the Chief was thanking The Move Project and all who participated in the village to the construction of the school, he mentioned how we are all kindred spirits. He spoke of a belief that the people of Ghana and the people of America are the same, because America is where many Ghanaians landed after being rounded up, imprisoned on the coast, loaded into slave ships in Cape Coast, and sold into slavery in the Americas. We are one people. This belief, he said, has been handed down for generations by village elders who believed a work like this would come to pass. They see this work as a long awaited for prophesy of sorts. A prophesy in which people from the native lands and new lands come together for the advancement of Ghana. 

We're reminded that while the work of The Move Project is a worthy endeavor in our eyes, it is something entirely more grand in the eyes of those who live in Tsipasi. It is great to provide education for their children, something the adults and ancestors never had access to, but it is something even greater that this partnership and relational bond has been formed.

It is for this bond that we've labored over the past two years to build the Academy.

It is for this bond that we've called out time and again for people like you to jump on board and make this plan come to fruition.

And it is for this bond that we won't stop working.

As we reflect on the Chief's speech I'm reminded of a line in our manifesto

...we refuse to believe a statistic is a statistic, because we know there are names and birthdays. There are children and brothers and sisters...

Now that TMP Academy is open, will you join in with us and sponsor a student? The cost to operate the school is $30 per child per month. We will be serving 175 students when all classes are filled up. The $30 per month includes tuition, uniform, lunch program, textbooks, and teacher salaries! 

It is incredibly simple to set up a recurring gift of $30/month (or more!) by going to www.themoveproject.org/donate and signing up today. 

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Ghana Trip with Drake Univ.

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Ghana Trip with Drake Univ.

TMP was honored to host Drake University students on their J-Term this past week. We explored education at TMP Academy and discussed what the future holds for Tsipasi which is centered around educational opportunities for children and adults. The group also participated in a job skill training course which will be used to launch a micro-finance opportunity for the adults in the community. With the extra sets of hands, the new kitchen structure received a new paint job and is now ready to have the food and supplies moved in! That was just day one and we traveled to two other communities through the week to provide a full cultural immersive experience. The team was able to get a great view into daily Ghanaian life in various settings throughout the trip.

We love sharing what we're doing up close an personal with people and we're constantly amazed at the discussion, insight, and ideas that come out of trips like this. Our eyes are opened and understanding broadened when we choose to experience people in lands and cultures not our own. 

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 3

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 3

This is the final installment of our 3-part series on the education system in Ghana, and the goals of The Move Project Academy.

In Part 2 of the blog series we outlined how the education system is structured in Ghana. 

Mission of TMP Academy

TMP Academy exists to develop, encourage, and prepare children to advance through the academic system in Ghana, and so graduates process the knowledge and skills to be successful in the next stage of their lives.

The Academy aspires to be a model of educational excellence in Ghana.

Our initial offering will be Creche through Primary (Pre-K through 6th Grade) and the class sizes will be limited to 20 children per classroom for the Primary grade levels. This will help ensure we launch successfully, learn quickly, and give ourselves the ability to adapt wherever necessary. We desire to provide as much access to education for the community and we firmly believe we must act in a way that provides tangible the children and their families. 

When we officially partnered with Tsipasi three years ago, education was second on their list of most pressing needs. Second only to water. We have spent the last year fundraising, building, planning educational structures of the Academy, and preparing the community for what to expect when education becomes available through TMP Academy.

The community members are all in. They've dreamed of this day and it's finally here!

We will be launching with Primary school but the vision doesn't stop there. We know there is, and will continue to be, a need for Secondary education. This need will naturally grow as the children begin to progress successfully through Primary grades at TMP Academy.

Secondary School Challenges

  • Secondary schools are typically only located in larger towns and cities, making access difficult for rural villages like Tsipasi.
  • If children pass Primary school, they  must test into secondary school.
  • If the child passes admittance testing, Secondary education comes at a cost by way of increased tuition fees, travel expenses, or boarding fees.
    • Because secondary schools are spread out geographically, most also serve as boarding schools as well.

TMP Academy Secondary School

Our vision is to build a secondary school as part of TMP Acacademy in Tsipasi. This will accomplish a few things.

  • Provide local secondary education to Tsipasi children and surrounding villages
  • Increase access to secondary education by having a local option, thus decrease the overall expense (no travel or boarding)
  • Generate more jobs for the adults in the area 
  • Generate more income through the local economy

English Classes & Skills Training

TMP Academy will also be used to facilitate job skills training, various workshops, and English classes for adults. The lack of job opportunities is a problem in Tsipasi and it's right behind education on the list.

Tsipasi is in a rural setting and farming is the main source of income. While farming is a full-time job for the men, it isn't for the Women. We've been discussing with them what other opportunities we could make available. This is where the English classes and job skills training come in at TMP Academy.

Our first training will be in soap making. This training will not only provide a starter kit of supplies to get going, but will also provide them with the knowledge of soap making process so they can begin selling their soap products in the market which is in high demand. Following the training will be a small business workshop to ensure they have the ability to not only create a small business but run it effectively to help bring sustainable income to their families. 

As we've touched on before, the common language in the marketplace is English because people are coming together from various villages and Regions. English classes for adults will also be held at the Academy to provide them with the ability to successfully navigate the selling of goods and crops for themselves in the markets rather than solely relying on a wholesaler.

There are significant opportunities for the farmers of Tsipasi to increase their income if they can sell directly in the markets, and you need to be able to speak English to have the largest reach.

Here's Where You Come In

We can't do any of this work without generous supporters like you.

Nearly 100% of our funding comes from individual donors. Would you consider making a donation of any size to help sustain the work and vision of The Move Project? You can give a secure, tax-deductible gift right on our website, and join hands in the work we're doing in Ghana. 

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Holiday Support for TMP

There are a number of ways you can support The Move Project while shopping for your holiday gifts and planning for year-end giving.

We rely primarily on generous individual donors like you to sustain the work of The Move Project, and we've set up some ways to make giving  easier. Below we've outlined three easy ways to give.


Give directly through our website for an end of year gift


Amazon Smile

When you shop using TMP's Amazon Smile link a percentage of sales will be donated to TMP!


Amazon Wishlist

Order from this wishlist and you'll be contributing directly to TMP Academy by stocking the supply shelves with needed educational supplies. When you order, the supplies will be shipped directly to us. You order, and we'll handle the rest!

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 2

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 2

This is part 2 in a 3-part series on the education system in Ghana, and goals of The Move Project Academy. 

In Part 1 we outlined how the education system is structured in Ghana. 

It is important to understand that our focus is to work in and around Tsipasi, for the long term, rather than branching out in regions throughout Ghana. Our goal is, to borrow the phrase, to go a mile deep and an inch wide, in order to have a lasting and sustained impact on the children in the area. To help explain why, we'll now turn our attention to some education statistics and how TMP Academy was created to help fill the gap.

TMP Academy is located in Tsipasi, Ghana which is in the Ningo-Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region. 

Statistics

As of the last national reporting data (2014/2015 school year - sources below), here are a few enrollment statistics for the Greater Accra Region:

  • Creche/Nursery (Pre-school)
    • Only about 16% of children are enrolled in school
    • Greater than the National average of 10.9%
  • KG (Kindergarten)
    • Only about 43% of age equivalent children are enrolled, of which roughly 69% pass
    • Less than the National average by nearly half - 82.7%
  • Primary (Elementary grades)
    • About 75% of age equivalent children are enrolled, of which roughly 59% pass
    • Less than the National average of 91%
    • The Greater Accra Region currently has the lowest Primary enrollment rate of any region in Ghana

The current Teacher to Pupil ration is currently 1/32. TMP Academy will begin with a 1/20 ratio to ensure a successful learning environment. Keeping class sizes manageable will also help us see where we need to make improvements or where things are working well in order to scale when we're ready. 

TMP Academy Plan 

Our plan is to begin every child at the Primary grade curriculum that is best for them based on an assessment that will be administered by our Headmaster. Once school is up and running the children will advance according to the standards set by the Ghana Education System. 

As TMP Academy is launching with Creche through Primary grades, we will support the children that graduate out of Primary and are accepted into Secondary School, and on to University.

When the day comes that our students begin graduating out of Primary school and are accepted into Secondary school, The Move Project will support them with tuition and transportation assistance, the two main factors in keeping children from advancing. The nearest Secondary school is located about 5km (3.1 miles) away in the town of Dawa. The Move Project will begin a strategic relationship with that school to help create opportunities for our students.

Our future vision is to continue expanding TMP Academy and develop a Secondary school in Tsipasi. There are many additional benefits to having a Secondary school in Tsipasi beyond the educational aspect, but we'll get to that in the third part of this blog series.

English

The Move Project Academy will teach all classes in English which follows the standard in Ghana. One of the main ways people learn English and if they don't have access to school, they don't have access to learning English which is vital to livelihood in the market and communicating with other communities. Because access to education has been non-existent in Tsipasi, we're also using TMP Academy for adult English courses. This will enable them to successfully operate small business, sell in the marketplace, and work with markets and/or distributors in selling their crops. More on that HERE .

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