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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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From Cycling to Education

As Nelson Mandela says, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

Education is an investment and is the most critical investment that we can make. Around the globe, over 61 million children are out of school and over half of these children do not have the opportunity to attend school due to harsh living conditions.

Education is the key to reducing poverty, preventing needless deaths and illnesses, and fostering peace within our communities and our world. Education is something so many of use take for granted; as it is something we are so accustomed to. Growing up in America, it is normal to attend primary school. It is normal for parents to sit down with their children and teach them how to read, write, and count. In villages like Tsipasi, education has not historically been available.

Until now.

We have the opportunity to give the gift of education to over 150 children in the Tsipasi community!

In order to complete the construction of The Move Project Academy, which will serve all primary grade levels, we need to raise $8,500. Our goal is to have the funds raised and construction completed by the end of the year so we can open TMP Academy's doors when the children return from Winter break.

The support we have received from the villagers of Tsipasi has been incredible. Nick (TMP co-founder) visited Tsipasi two weeks ago and during his visit the village presented a fundraising idea they could participate in. Watermelon is a huge crop for Tsipasi from June - August, Ghana's dry season, and Tsipasi is one of only a handful of communities that are able to grow this crop during this time. Because of this, the demand for watermelon increases dramatically and the market price obviously goes up. With this in mind, Tsipasi will be planting three acres of watermelon and donating back to TMP Academy all the proceeds from those three acres! As you can see, this community is all in!

In efforts to raise the remaining $8,500 here in the Unites States, we are hosting the fourth annual Water Ride. If you sign up today, you can use promo code SUMMERSWEETNESS and save $5 off the cost of registration. Promo code is good for today only and ends at midnight Central time.

The 25-mile bike ride is taking place on August 27th in Des Moines and begins at 1pm at Orlondo's. If you are unable to participate, please consider either making a donation to TMP Academy or sponsor someone who is riding in the event.

You can be the change! Help us end the cycle of poverty today by registering for The Water Ride.

A BIG THANK YOU goes out to our signature sponsor, Des Moines Water Works! 100% of the proceeds from this event will go to our education work in Tsipasi and we couldn't do that without their partnership!

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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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Indoor Water Ride - A Success!

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Indoor Water Ride - A Success!

The mission of The Move Project is to pursue holistic poverty alleviation one project at a time.

Our strategy is to create repeatable, sustainable projects that are realized through community engagement.

Our goal is to raise awareness and present opportunities for others to join the pursuit of poverty alleviation through a clear call to action.

To this end, we host annual bike rides for clean water, both indoor and outdoor. We have partnered with the Indianola YMCA to bring our signature event, The Water Ride, indoors. Our latest Indoor Water Ride, held on Saturday, April 11th was a huge success! We saw 77 people jump on a stationary bikes and pedal for clean water, raising just over $2,100!! Because of our generous sponsors, 100% of all event proceeds from The Water Ride (both indoor and outdoor) go directly to our ongoing projects in Ghana, West Africa.

Since the Water Ride's inception, we have had over 370 people participate and a total of $21,353.47 has been raised, and we've installed three wells to provide access to clean water for villages that have NEVER had access!

We couldn't be more thrilled about this progress and we have YOU to thank! We are so grateful for your participation over the years and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming ride.

If you haven't ridden in a Water Ride event yet, don't worry. We have our annual outdoor event coming up on Saturday, May 16th and we would love to have you ride. Click the Register Now button below to purchase your ticket today.

If you aren't local to Des Moines or aren't available but still want to participate, you can give using the "Donation" ticket! 

Eventbrite - The Water Ride

Educational opportunities will be presented to inform riders on the need and  importance of clean water as well as the water projects we are currently working on and are planning for the future.

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Indoor Water Ride!

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Indoor Water Ride!

At the time I'm writing this, we are five days away from our second annual Indoor Water Ride at the Indianola YMCA. The event is Saturday, April 11th. Last year's event was a lot of fun and we had an incredible turn out. Because of these indoor rides, along with our Outdoor events, we've been able to install three wells in two villages. We ride bikes and a village gets clean water for a lifetime! 

At this year's event we'll have pictures from our most recent trip on display. We will also have some interactive activities for all to participate in as well to allow you a better understanding of what life without clean water is really like. If you're not a member of the YMCA don't worry, this event is open to the public and everyone is welcome! Also, if you have small children you are able to use Child Watch while you ride for no charge. 

We host these rides to raise funds but they also serve as an educational tool to discuss important issues that impact our world that we, as Americans, don't have to typically give much thought to. This is all done in an effort to educate, then provide a way in which you can participate.  So, will you join us for $20 and 30 min. of your time to continue our clean water efforts in Ghana, Africa?

Register by clicking the button below and we'll see ya there. Let's Ride!

Eventbrite - The Indoor Water Ride - Indianola YMCA


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How The Water Ride Began

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How The Water Ride Began

With our second annual Indoor Water Ride on Saturday, April 11th quickly approaching. And with our third annual Outdoor Water Ride coming into focus we thought we'd take a moment and let you know how this all came to be.

A post from Emily Boyd, co-founder of The Water Ride:

"In 2012 I journeyed across the country on a bicycle. During the ride, our group was raising money for clean water in Kenya. Every time I wanted to give up I kept pedaling because I knew that someone in Kenya was suffering way more than me and all I had to do was turn my legs round and round and round.

I came back from that trip completely & utterly changed. I was so empowered to continue serving our friends who don't get to go to school because they're fetching water, so I started a bike ride. It was one of those ... "it would be so cool if I could host a bike ride in Des Moines" ... and at a nonprofit fair at Simpson College, I connected with Sam and Nick from The Move Project. I mentioned my idea and we met to discuss. It was the perfect partnership as our passions and vision both lined up. We shared our story with Des Moines Water Works Park and they committed to financially supporting our ride, and have now been our Corporate sponsor for three years in a row! We pulled together a team of friends and committed do-gooders and made the ride a reality.

Since May 11, 2013, The Water Ride has hosted four different rides, raising over $19,000. Three wells have been installed in Ghana and now funds are being raised to build a school. We are hosting The Water Ride on May 16 (and our Indoor Water Ride on April 11!) and my hope is that this becomes bigger and better every year. Putting your ideas out into this world is a beautiful and dangerous thing."

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Gbanavey Community Profile

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Gbanavey Community Profile

After the Tsipasi (pronounced Chi-pah-si) water project was well on its way, we found our second partner village to begin working with in the Greater Accra Region. The village of Gbanavey (pronounced Ban-uh-vay).

Back in September we introduced you to the village of Gbanavey. Then, in November Gbanavey appeared on a map! Because these villages are so small and remote, they aren't easily searchable on Google Maps or Google Earth.

In order to show you all where we're working, we had our on-site project directors log the coordinates of the projects so we could then identify on a map the exact locations. 

Upon our arrival to Gbanavey in January, we met with the Chief and community leaders to discuss the two wells that were installed as well as the next steps of our partnership.

A water committee was formed within the village to oversee the operation and maintenance of the well to ensure that it properly sustains the village for years to come. We were honored to sit down and spend some time with Chief Teye Nabor Osabutey and the Water Committee. 

The Move Project with the Chief and Water Committee

The Move Project with the Chief and Water Committee

Visiting the well sites was incredible! The landscape of Gbanavey was similar to that of Tsipasi in that they are both fairly desolate and rural. This village, however, is much further along in the development stages than Tsipasi.

Well Site #1

Well Site #1

In this community, access to water before the well was severely limited. In fact, the community told us that in the dry season, they had no access to water and had to spend their income reserves on purchasing water until the rainy season began again.

The reality before the installation of two wells for them was farming and selling their produce just so that they could purchase water to survive. That cycle had been present in their lives for as long as anyone could remember.

Think about that.

Through your donations and participation in our Water Rides, we made a move and did something about it.

We collectively said it was not acceptable that peoples' livelihood was being spent almost entirely on obtaining water to survive. Putting names to faces and distance villages only cemented the value of the work taking place in Ghana.

These people aren't just distance people of Africa, they are our neighbors, our brothers, our sisters. 

While we were being introduced to the village of Gbanavey we learned that there were more villages than just one that were being served by the wells.

In fact, there are a total of four villages that now have access to clean water! The villages by name are Gbanavey, Balekope, Kaktisekope, Korpehem. They have joined together to form one larger group and together are known as Korpehem. As The Move Project continues to serve these communities we'll begin referring to them as Korpehem. We will call the village by its specific name for any project specific to just that one village.

As we witnessed first hand though, these four communities have formed a tight bond and look out for each other in all matters of life. Any project we proceed with in this area will be done in a manner in which all can benefit. There are some exiting next steps in Korpehem that we'll be announcing soon, so stay tuned!

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