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TMP Academy - Toilet & Washroom

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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Water Ride 2016 Event Recap

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The Water Ride 2016 Event Recap

The Water Ride 2016 is in the books and the event was a blast! This year was our best event to date as we doubled our rider participation to a total of 102 and we raised just over $2,700. This year's event proceeds will be going directly to the construction of The Move Project Academy in Tsipasi, Ghana. We would like to thank each and every rider who participated and our event Sponsor, Des Moines Water Works. Without the partnerships and rider engagement, this event would still be just floating around as a dream. You all made this into a reality and because of that, over 200 children will receive a quality education! 

As I'm sure you've heard us say before, we are invested in the community of Tsipasi and events like this enable our work to continue. The children will have access to education that hasn't before existed, and the adults are seeing the lives of their children be changed. 

We are already beginning to prepare for the 2017 ride and we'd love to have you along. We are looking for a few people with a passion for event planning and cycling. If that is you, email me at Nick@themoveproject.org.

Cheers!  

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Summer Trips to Ghana

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Summer Trips to Ghana

This Summer, we were able to take two trips to Ghana. We took the first trip in July and spent some time checking on The Move Project Academy school building project.

We are thrilled with how this project is moving along. The building looks great and the crew is hard at work to make sure TMP Academy is ready as soon as possible for the children of Tsipasi. As the construction progresses, we continue to spend time with members of the village in an effort to form long lasting relationships. It is important to us that we stand along side those we serve, getting to know them as people and forming bonds that will last a lifetime. It is in these moments that we get the most joy and consider ourselves so fortunate to take part in this restorative work...and it couldn't happen without you! The Move Project and the people of Tsipasi thank you for your support. 

We followed the site visit with a meeting with women of the village. It quickly became clear the village has some very engaging women leaders.

Tsipasi relies fully on agriculture as its livelihood which keeps everyone busy with the tasks associated with farming their land. In the dry season, however, it is a different story. Without crops to plant, tend to, and harvest, the women of Tsipasi are left without a trade.

That is where TMP will come in. The community expressed a desire to learn entrepreneurial skills that will benefit their families and launch small businesses. We will be working to empower the women of Tsipasi which will further the vision of helping this community alleviate poverty. More to come on these programs as they take shape over the course of this next year.

A little over a month later, we returned as part of a larger group trip to Ghana. TMP partnered with two other non-profit organizations working in Ghana, Acts 2 Collective and AgriHope.

AgriHope is an organization that trains farmers to increase their yields using sustainable farming practices. AgriHope and The Move Project have partnered to bring this training to Tsipasi. To kick off our second trip, representatives from AgriHope reviewed a plan to use the 1-2 acre plot the community donated to TMP Academy to support the school's meal program. The plot of land will be used to train farmers using proven, sustainable farming practices. They will then be able to take their training and apply it to their plots of land. By using the learned practices, the farmers of Tsipasi will be able to achieve better yields which will be one more step on the path to full sustainability as a community. There is a lot of excitement stirring in Tsipasi and this next year will prove to be full of growth and development. 

First things first, however, let's get that school built and ready for the kids. We are roughly half-way to completion, will you join us and donate today?

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Education Structure in Ghana - Introduction

As we continue to progress through our largest project yet, The Move Project Academy, we'll not only be sharing updates on that progress but will also communicate how the education system works in Ghana. Although it is comparable to the United States, there are a few significant differences. Over the course of the next three blog posts we'll break down the Ghanaian education system into two parts and the third post will outline the current state of education with a focus on rural education. We will outline how The Move Project Academy will impact that current state for the good of the children we serve in Tsipasi and surrounding villages.

As we've mentioned before, we fully anticipate educating more children than live in Tsipasi once the school is fully functional. Quality education is extremely difficult to find in these rural villages and cost also plays a factor in lack of attendance. The Move Project Academy will work to remedy both of these factors to ensure a quality education for these children. Our immediate plans however factor in roughly 167 school aged children from ages 3-14 yrs old. Our school plans will accommodate grades 1 - 6 and we will utilize the existing structure to develop our KG/Nursery Class, which equates to Kindergarten here in the United States.

The general education structure in Ghana operates on a 6-3-4-4 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 - 4 years
    • (U.S. Equivalent - Grades 10-12, +1)

Not every child continues their education beyond Junior Secondary/High School. In order to gain admittance into Senior Secondary School the 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. 

Our next post will dive into Primary School in Ghana and continue to shed light on the vision and impact we expect The Move Project Academy will have in Tsipasi.

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Water Ride Event Re-Cap

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Water Ride Event Re-Cap

This past Saturday, we held our third annual Water Ride. We are thrilled to hold this event every year and we thank everyone who participated to make the event a success!

A very special THANK YOU to our signature sponsor,  Des Moines Water Works. They have been a trusted partner for all three years and for that we are truly grateful!

It is because of partnerships like this that allow us to send 100% of the proceeds from this event, and all previous rides, directly to our ongoing efforts in Ghana. The Water Ride began as a ride to raise funds and awareness for the clean water crisis impacting the villages we have partnered with in Ghana.

These villages, Tsipasi and Korpehem, had never had access to clean water prior to 2014 when we were fortunate enough to install three wells in total.  As this event continues to grow, so do the opportunities to make a profound impact in the lives the the villagers we serve.

As we've mentioned before, we have begun constructing The Move Project Academy to educate nearly 200 children in Tsipasi and surrounding villages. Now that they have access to clean water the next need was education. Through events like The Water Ride, we have begun to transform the future of these villagers.

This year's event saw over 35 riders raise more than $1,180! To date, The Water Ride alone has raised over $22,500! What an impact! Check out our Instagram page (@The_Move_Project) to see photos from the event. We look forward to seeing you on an upcoming ride!

 

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4th Grade Thank Yous

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4th Grade Thank Yous

We were recently asked to present the mission of The Move Project to a group of fourth graders at Whittier Elementary in Indianola, IA. The class specifically wanted to hear about our clean water projects in Ghana.

A few weeks prior to our visit, they had discussed the global water crisis. In each classroom the kids were given an article on this crisis that they read and discussed as a group. Once they were finished, we came in to facilitate additional conversation on how important clean water is to people, especially since we take this item for granted in the United States. With pictures, stories of meeting people in the villages we serve through our projects, and demonstrations, the children were able to further engage with the topic.

It is staggering the amount of people globally that do not have access to clean water! It is currently estimated that roughly 358 million people are without access in Africa alone. We discussed how lack of access to clean water impacts children just like them. In Africa, women and children spend about 140 million hours a day just collecting water. In most cases, the water they are collecting is contaminated and causes illness when consumed, which keeps kids out of school. If kids are out of school, they aren't properly educated. Without proper education their lives are profoundly negatively impacted. This cycle plays a significant role in the extreme poverty we still see today.

 Having access to clean water disrupts that cycle.

We spent our time with these elementary children talking about how we can help. There are very practical things they can do as children to impact the lives of other children on the other side of the world. They were also able to carry a jar of water on their heads to get a better sense of what collecting water really means in Africa. As they learned, it's not as easy as turning on the faucet or getting a drink out of the fountain.

We received some wonderful questions from the children following our visit that we'll be responding to this week on our Facebook page. We also received some very creative and colorful Thank You cards which we'll highlight on our Instagram account (@The_Move_Project) with the hashtag #4thGradeThankYous. Give us a follow to see the wonderful creations!

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TMP Academy Construction Update

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TMP Academy Construction Update

Work on The Move Project Academy has begun! We broke ground on Monday, April 13th with a ceremony with the Chief of Tsipasi, Mr. Nene Azagodo Kabu.

TMP Academy groudbreaking with Chief Nene Azagodo Kabu

We are thrilled to see the beginning stages of what was once just a vision on paper spring to life. We have heard on multiple occasions from Michael (pictured above in TMP t-shirt), our TMP Ghana representative, how excited the village of Tsipasi is to have the school project underway. In January we discussed with the village leaders what the next step were as we partner with them to break the cycle of poverty in this rural area.

The obvious need was access to a quality education. 

Following the groundbreaking on April 13th, the crew got right to work! 

Today, the village provides what they can for the roughly 167 children that need schooling. As a community partner, The Move Project is investing in the long term with this village and we are honored to provide a high-quality education for the next generation. We strongly believe that access to education is paramount in the fight against poverty.

We originally joined with Tsipasi by installing a clean water well in order to disrupt the poverty cycle. Now that the well is in and working beautifully, our next move is the school project.

As you can see, we are tackling the very large issue of poverty one step at a time. The projects that we've undertaken are specific to the village as it relates to their needs but you'll notice a general pattern: Water > Education > Sustainability

We believe that by joining hands with the village as a partner, we can have lasting impact that will bring about significant change. Click HERE to learn more about Tsipasi.

We would be honored if you would join us by donating to the work we're doing in Ghana. We posted the line item budget a few weeks ago for the Academy that outlines where the fund will be going. You can click HERE to see that post. 

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Tsipasi Community Profile

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Tsipasi Community Profile

We recently introduced our partnership with the village of Tsipasi. At the time of our introduction we were just beginning to cultivate what we hoped to be a lasting partnership with the community. Since then we have created a strong bond which has allowed us to come alongside the people of Tsipasi and link arms in the work to eliminate poverty, one project at a time.

Tsipasi is primarily a farming community with a population of about 2,915. The community relies on crops of okra, peppers, tomatoes, maize, and cassava for their sustenance and economic well being. They also raise livestock such as cattle, turkey, goat, guinea fowl, and sheep, also on a small scale. 

Water in the Ewe language (one of the original languages spoken in the area) is “Tsi’ - Tsipasi means an area where water is in abundance. 

It is ironically tragic that the name of the village means an area where water is in abundance, yet prior to the well being installed they did not have access to clean water.

We changed that!

They USED TO draw their water from a "nearby" stream, which did not provide safe drinking water. The stream is about 500 meters, or one third of a mile from the village.

Prior to the installation of the well, the local children had to travel for water in the mornings before school. Because the community is a farming village, their dwellings are very scattered. Many children have had inconsistent access to education due to the distance some of these children lived from both the school and well.  

There are also neighboring villages that now have access to clean water thanks to the newly installed well. 

The impact of just one well has been tremendous!

In January we made our first trip to Tsipasi to see the completed well and meet the villagers and community leaders, continuing to form lasting relationships. Our vision is to establish deep roots in the communities we serve, standing with them for as long as it takes. We are about empowerment through partnerships, not dropping in, patting ourselves on the back, and leaving. 

We have two next steps which we consider to be immediate needs.

First, we need to continue with our purification work to remove salt from the well water. Tsipasi sits relatively close to the ocean and because of this there are traces of salt in the ground water. We have already begun the work necessary to remove the salt and provide the community and its neighbors fresh and good tasting drinking water. If you'd like to partner with us in our on going water projects, you can do so by signing up for either our Indoor Water Ride at the Indianola YMCA on April 11th, or our signature Outdoor Water Ride which will be held on Saturday, May 16th.

As with all our Water Rides, 100% of the proceeds will go directly to funding our ongoing water projects.

Secondly, Tsipasi has a desperate educational need. Currently, the community has roughly 167 school aged children in need of a formal education. We believe that education is a vital path to combating poverty and providing a way to improve the future. To that end, The Move Project is pleased to announce the founding of The Move Project Academy!

Our Academy will serve the children of Tsipasi and surrounding communities by providing them quality education that will enable them for future success. As you can imagine, this is a tremendous undertaking and we're asking for you to partner with us through this endeavor.

In our last blog post, we introduced our new campaign which we've called The Move Advocates. The commitment of becoming a Move Advocate is to donate $100 per month. This contribution will be used to ensure sustainability and success of this and other projects, and will allow The Move Project to increase the scope of our poverty eliminating work.

Click HERE to become and Advocate today. It's as easy as setting up a recurring donation.

In the coming weeks, we will begin to outline the costs we anticipate to begin building The Move Project Academy as well as the costs associated with the daily operations. Our initial plan is to staff the Academy with five teachers which will provide one teacher per classroom plus a Head Master to oversee the daily operations. 

We can't do it alone, but we can do it together. Partner with is to revolutionize the future of our friends and neighbors in Tsipasi.  

The next move is yours! 

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