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

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 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