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 .

Sources

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 1

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Education Structure in Ghana - Part 1

This is part 1 in a series of three posts to outline the current education structure in Ghana. In this series, we will break down the Ghanaian education system and outline how The Move Project Academy will impact that current state for the good of the children we serve in Tsipasi and the surrounding villages.

Although the education system in Ghana is comparable to the United States, there are a few significant differences to note. 

The general education structure in Ghana operates on a 6-3-3-4 system:

  • Primary School - 6 Years
    • (U.S. Equivalent - Grades 1-6)
  • Junior Secondary/High School - 3 Years
    • (U.S. Equivalent - Grades 7-9)
    • Following the completion of grade 9, students write exams to gain entry into Senior Secondary School
  • Senior Secondary School - 3 years
    • (U.S. Equivalent - Grades 10-12,)

Our immediate plan for TMP Academy isto establish a Primary School, serving approximately 120 children from ages 6-14.  

We will also use a separate structure to begin educating children in our pre-school and KG/Nursery (Kindergarten in the United States) education

  Educational Structure in Ghana - Image from Wikipedia

Educational Structure in Ghana - Image from Wikipedia

Not every child continues their education beyond Junior Secondary. In order to gain admittance into Senior Secondary School, students must take the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). Continuing education is highly competitive and only a small amount of the total student population (roughly 150,000 nationally) gains entrance annually.

Tsipasi has had only 7 children graduate into Junior or Senior Secondary education and 0 have gone on to University. The Move Project Academy will lay the foundation for students to pass teh BECE and have the opportunity to pursue enroll in a Junior Secondary School, and beyond. 

Part 2 will explore education at National level as well as within the Region and District in which TMP Academy will be part. Academy will have in Tsipasi.

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Adult Education Classes at TMP Academy

As we put the finishing touches on The Move Project Academy, it's important to clarify that the school will not only be for the community's children. We will also be using the school for adult education classes. Our first offering will be an English class for 25 adults in Tsipasi. Here's why we're starting with English classes:

English and The Market

When TMP first began working with the leaders in Tsipasi, they presented us with their most pressing needs.

The number one issue was lack of access to clean water. This affected the entire village because without a clean water resource, the community had to draw water out of a trench shared with livestock. To meet the need, we installed a well and Tsipasi now has a sustainable clean water source.

The second issue facing the community was lack of education. Tsipasi did not have a formal school and the children had to walk for miles to get to the nearest school. Since Tsipasi is in a remote area, this made travel difficult and resulted in most of the children foregoing an education.

The third issue noted was a method to get crops to market more efficiently and effectively, overcoming the difficulties in transportation. Forced to sell through a wholesaler that comes to the village, the farmers are barely able to sustain themselves. Even if farmers were able to get their produce to market, they would be met with a significant challenges, as English is the common spoken language spoken in the market. 

As we met with the women of the village to hear about their specific needs we heard a common theme. They wanted to learn a trade they could turn into a small business to help sustain the family outside of the planting and harvesting times. Entrepreneurship also requires you to speak English in order to sell your goods at the market.

In the area around Tsipasi, you only know how to speak English if you go to school. Another reason we must provide access to quality education for the children, which will help break the cycle of poverty.  This is why our next move after water, was to create The Move Project Academy.

TMP Academy

In its initial stage, TMP Academy will offer schooling for Creche (pre-school) through grade 6, along with English classes for adults. Our vision for a multi-purpose school coming into focus.

With additional future financing, The Move Project Academy will expand our offerings to include secondary education (Middle School), which would require building a secondary school in Tsipasi. This will expand the access to education not only for the children of Tsipasi, but for the children in the surrounding area.

In Ghana, secondary schools are less numerous than primary schools. As a result, children stay at the school through the entire session, making them boarding schools as well. Having a secondary school in Tsipasi will have a positive impact not only in education, but the local economy as well by creating more jobs. Until we are able to build a secondary school, we will support children to qualify to continue to secondary school by way of tuition scholarships.

Soap Making

The Move Project is also hosting a training program to teach Women of the community soap making, which is a huge need in the area and a skill that can immediately be turned into a small business creating access into the marketplace. Our first class will be 25 people and done along with the English program. The training program will also include courses on small business management. These two items in concert will enable the Women to start their own business. This is all happening at TMP Academy!

This will all begin in the next two weeks. We are only able to do this through generous contributions received by individual donors.

Here is a breakdown of the cost of these programs. You'll be surprised at how little it takes to change the future!

  • Feeding Program: $875/month to feed 120 children
  • Adult English Classes: $315/course to educate & provide materials for 25 adults
  • Soap Making & Small Biz Mgmt Courses: $300/class to provide training &materials for 25 adults

100% of your contributions go directly to supporting the projects outlined above. Donate today at themoveproject.org/donate

 

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Staff Development - Innovations for Poverty Action Event

In the midst of creating The Move Project academy and all the things we're doing to provide a structured learning environment- fundraising, construction, purchasing of materials, etc. - how we develop our staff is a critical area of focus. Our goal is to provide continued educational opportunities for the staff of TMP Academy so they can be at their best. Not only do we look for teachers who will be a great fit for the Academy, be a proponent of Education within the community, and those with a passion serving the children to light the way to tomorrow.

We want teachers who have a desire to continue growing themselves. 

Part of the Academy's budget will be dedicated to continued educational development of our staff. This idea may be commonplace here in the United States, but access to these types of programs is far more difficult in Ghana. Not to mention with Tsipasi being as remote as it is, these types of programs also become cost prohibitive for teachers. In the future, we will bring these educational opportunities to Tsipasi for our staff but for now we have begun planning to send them to Accra for additional learning events. 

The first such event took place on October 10th. Innovations for Poverty Action in Ghana held a Dissemination event on early childhood education research findings. Our team was invited to participate and learn about IPA's Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training work as well as Quality Preschool for Ghana findings they have complied after extensive research. TMP Academy was particularly excited about attending this event as we will focus and invest heavily in our preschool and KG (Kindergarten) classes. This is due, in large part, to the fact that nearly all children in Tsipasi have not received a formal education, thus requiring us to begin their educational experience at the most basic level and build from there. 

Gaining this invaluable knowledge is another way to build towards a successful future.

For more information on Innovations for Poverty Action and the work they are doing in Ghana to inform schools like ours, visit their website at https://www.poverty-action.org.

To see their Ghana specific work, click HERE.

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World Teachers' Day!

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World Teachers' Day!

In honor of World Teachers' Day, we wanted to provide a more detailed introduction to Jerron, the Headmaster of The Move Project Academy in Tsipasi, Ghana.

Jerron was our very first hire, and he started with The Move Project on August 15th. Since then, he has been hard at work laying the groundwork for the Academy and the future success of its students in Tsipasi and the neighboring communities. Jerron is from Accra, which is the capital of Ghana. He will soon be moving to Dawa which is the nearest junction to Tsipasi, as there is no available housing within the immediate village. Being from Accra, we felt it important for him to make regular trips to Tsipasi in order to get to know the community and the families who will soon be enrolling their children at TMP Academy.  

Jerron has been warmly welcomed by the community of Tsipasi while making regular trips to village. His visits are to meet with parents, establish the importance of education, gather information on our prospective student population, and assess the educational needs of the children. All of this is being done in an effort to ensure TMP Academy is providing educational structure and opportunities that are needed by the village.

Until now, most all of the children, as well as the adults, have not received any formal education, and we are strategically addressing a few challenges as a result: 

  • Clearly understanding the needs of the community and students before opening the school.
  • Working with the adults to learn English andsharing tools so they can assist their children in the academic work at home.
  • Ensuring proper placement of the students in the appropriate class (grade). 

Jerron is working on each of these items and is making progress in preparation for the school's opening.

We are grateful for Jerron and his work to make educational endeavors in Tsipasi a success and we look forward to hiring more teachers in the near future. As we do, you'll get to meet the staff.

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International Literacy Day 2017

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International Literacy Day 2017

September 9th is globally recognized as International Literacy Day and we are thrilled to participate with the global initiative this year in Tsipasi! UNESCO established this day for observation back in 1965. It's aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies.

It is estimated that some 775 Million adults lack minimum literacy skills and nearly 60 million children are not in school. According to UNESCO's 2006 report "Global Monitoring Report on Education for All", the literacy rate in sub-Saharan Africa, of which Ghana is a part, is 59.7%. As of 2010, Ghana's adult literacy rate is 71.5% (rate among adult Women is 65.29%) and literacy among youth is 85.72%.

The community of Tsipasi has never before had access to education and due to this, the literacy rate within the village is lower than that of the National averages. We look to change that with the creation and work of The Move Project Academy. We understand that both adult and youth literacy is key to lessening the impacts of poverty and this concept has been proven out in various countries all over the world. To this end, we will be launching a two pronged approach to address illiteracy within the community. First, we will create an adult English education project to address illiteracy within the adult population. This education will enable adults within the community to have the freedom experienced with reading. It will also improve their ability to sell in the market and encourage their children to pursue learning. Reading benefits all!

Secondly, literacy will be a key element within the classes in each grade at the Academy. We believe early access to reading will reap wonderful benefits as the children progress throughout their learning journey. 

Our Headmaster, Jerron, has scheduled a reading day with the children of Tsipasi to participate in International Literacy Day. He has been hard at work talking with the adults and children about the importance of education and how The Move Project Academy will work to serve the educational needs of Tsipasi. 

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TMP Academy Update: Phase 1 Complete!

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TMP Academy Update: Phase 1 Complete!

We have structured The Move Project Academy project into three phases. The first phase is construction of the school building, the second phase is the furnish the school, purchase curriculum and uniforms, and the third phase is to hire the teachers and have their salary funded for at least one year in advance. 

We are so thrilled to announce that Phase 1 of TMP Academy has been completed! The money has been sent and the construction crew is putting on the finishing touches. The school will be painted within the next two weeks and we look forward to sharing more pictures with you soon, including the completed building!


Following the installation of a water well to provide the community with access to clean water, education was noted as the next most urgent need. After meeting with the community leaders, we began planning a strategy around education, raising funds, and working with the community leaders in Tsipasi to begin planning what will now be The Move Project Academy. The construction phase has taken a while, but we know with the energy and effort put into the foundation of the school, quality education will be a lasting reality for the children of Tsipasi.

As we neared the completion of the construction phase, we set out to hire a Headmaster who will oversee the teachers and staff at the Academy. As we announced HERE , we found Jerron who will serve as TMP Academy's first ever Headmaster.

Phase 2 will consist of furnishing the school with desks and chairs, purchasing uniforms for the children, and buying the syllabus and curriculum to be used in each class. The total cost of this phase will be $7,376.50 and is broken down here:

  • Furniture (Desks/Chairs, Cupboards):$3,996
  • Curriculum, Syllabus and Textbooks (students & teachers): $2,226
  • Uniforms (120): $1,080
  • Instructor Materials (7): $74.50

You can see the complete line-item budget of TMP Academy here, and also help purchase supplies off of the supply needs list here

If you've contributed financially, we thank you for partnering with us and the community of Tsipasi as we look to bring quality education through the Academy. 

Would you take one more step and share this message with your friends and family? It takes a village! 

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ANNOUNCEMENT: TMP Academy Headmaster Hired

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ANNOUNCEMENT: TMP Academy Headmaster Hired

The Move Project Academy has officially hired a Headmaster! John Jerron-Quarshie, who goes by Jerron, was hired on Aug. 15th and has already begun working hard to prepare the school for the grand opening.

Throughout the construction phase (Phase 1) of the TMP Academy project we were conducting a search for the school's headmaster. We are thrilled to have found Jerron. Nick Mahlstadt, TMP co-founder, met with Jerron during a visit to Tsipasi in June, and conducted an onsite interview. Once returning to the States, he then completed the hiring process and officially brought Jerron on board. 

By September, all construction will be completed and we will move to Phase 2 which is to raise funds and purchase furniture, uniforms, and curriculum. In this phase, we will be purchasing desks, chairs, cupboards for material and supply storage, uniforms for the students, and curriculum they will use to begin their education journey at TMP Academy. 

Jerron has already begun to work with Ghana's Ministry of Education to obtain the proper syllabus and curriculum for each grade. As we work to complete Phase 2 in preparation for the school's grand opening, Jerron will be conducting English classes for the adult community members in Tsipasi. Most of the community has not been formally educated and didn't learn speak English. This is especially important for conducting business and trade in the market, as the common language used when many native dialects are present is English.

We are thrilled to announce this milestone as we continue to make access to education a reality in Tsipasi. While the school may not officially be open yet, education is still top priority and English classes is how we'll start. 

Together, we are helping the community of Tsipasi create a new reality for themselves and the coming generation. 

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