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.