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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2015 Project Plan

As we've introduced the villages of Tsipasi and Gbanavey, we have also unveiled our approach to partnering with these communities over the long haul.

We had no desire to drop in a couple wells, pat ourselves on the back, and leave. Rather, we desire to develop long-term partnerships with these villages and break the cycle of poverty, one project at a time.  

This looks different in each village, as each have their unique needs. (To learn more about each, visit the Tsipasi and Gbanavey community profiles) 

Our current project is a school for Tsipasi. We'll be dedicating our time and all donations to this project until it's complete. We don't have an exact timeframe on this, but we anticipate completing the school this summer or fall (we need your help!).  

Once the school is completed, the project plan is as follows: 

  • Build latrines at the school  
  • Install a tap for the school to access water without having to go to the well
  • Plant a garden at the school
  • Begin a meal program for the school, usinging fresh produce from the school's garden in the program

We will also begin development of two projects in Korpehem

(Gbanavey is the central village in the network of villages):

  • Transportation to allow the farmers the opportunity to take their produce to market
  • A co-op, networking the villages of Kopehem 

As as can see, this is a lot of work that will need our attention in 2015 and for years to come.  

In an effort to be effective, efficient, and proactive in our approach, we ask that you consider becoming a Move Project Advocate, donating $100/month. This will allow us to move more quickly when a project is identified to address an area of need, and will also allow us to be more focused on executing our projects instead of fundraising, planning, and executing projects at the same time.  

Together, we can continue to create new realities for our neighbors in Ghana. 

The next move is yours! 

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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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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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2014 Was Full of Water

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2014 Was Full of Water

Last year we spent all of our time and engery focused on clean water. We did this because we believe access to clean water is not just a good idea, but is vital to the health and well being of every individual and community.

This past year we identified communities that lacked access to clean water. Along the way we invited people to join us in taking action, and supporters of The Move Project responded in an incredible way!

Throughout 2014, we hosted three Water Rides with 100% of funds from each ride going directly to clean water wells.

Together, we changed the reality of our neighbors in Ghana, Africa.

The participation in each event was tremendous and every nearly $20,000 was raised from the rides alone!

As most of you know, that resulted in three borehole wells being drilled in two communities, giving them access to clean water for the FIRST TIME EVER!

As exciting as that report is, we didn't stop there. Just this past January, one of our co-founders and his wife, Nick and Typhanie Mahlstadt, took a trip to Ghana to visit these two communities. They returned to the U.S. with next steps outlined for each village and we're excited to share those with you soon.

The first step was to continue the purfication of the water from each well. The water is clean, but we're taking steps to purify the water and remove the saltiness which is a result being close to the ocean.

In the village of Tsipasi there is a pressing need for education now that water is there to stay. In the coming weeks we'll begin to outline the specifics of this project, but we've already begun the steps to building and staffing a school, The Move Project Academy.

In 2015 we have our sights set on some huge things and we can't do it alone.

This is where you come in. To get projects completed, we've historically fundraised event by event. This year, we're changing that to get The Move Project to the next level. We want to have greater impact than ever before.

We are thrilled to introduce The Move Advocates. The idea is to get a group of partners to stand with The Move Project on a monthly basis which will allow us to continue to break the cycle of poverty at a much greater level.

The commitment of becoming a Move Advocate is to donate $100 per month. This contribution will be used to ensure sustainability and success of our current project, and will allow The Move Project to increase the scope of our proverty eliminating work.

We believe everyone matters, and that we exist as an organization to stand next to those that are in need. Will you join us and become a Move Advocate?

Click HERE to sign up. It's as easy as setting up a recurring donation.

Looking forward to a groundbreaking 2015! 

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Tsipasi School Details

From our fundraising page:

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

The community of Tsipasi does not have a formal education system of any kind. This is impacting all children in the village as they are not within walking distance to another school. To provide minimal education a local community member is hosting the children for very basic educational gatherings.

How will this project solve this problem?

This project will establish a permanent school building and grounds, construct and improve surrounding facilities to be used for the school and provide training and staffing of teachers. We will also work to appoint a formal Head Master (Principal) who will be responsible for implementing the curriculum, overseeing the standardization of the educational structure and developing student learning and growth. When fully mature, this project will also serve the local school children one meal per day

Potential Long Term Impact

This project will have dramatic long term effects for not only this community, but also surrounding communities that do not have access to education. This is a very important endeavor as we seek to implement an educational system for these communities and increase the level of education both in the short and long term. By providing education these children will be able to continue on to secondary education and enter the workforce to provide a sustainable living for their future families.

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A School for Tsipasi (Yes that's right, a SCHOOL!)

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A School for Tsipasi (Yes that's right, a SCHOOL!)

The Move Project was started to break the cycle of poverty in unique and custom ways. That's because the contributing factors to each community's level of poverty are unique to that community. 

However, we also know all factors boil down to basic human needs: access to clean water and food, shelter, and freedom. That's why we've structured the organization to focus on those three areas of need.

We've known all along that as we establish partnerships, initiate projects, and provide assistance to communities in need, we'd need to adapt to the comminity's most pressing needs.  

That's why we operate one project at a time. It allows us to be focused, adapt quickly, and build on our efforts to maximize our impact.  

We want to be excellent stewards of your generous contributions.  

All that to say... 

Tsiapsi received clean water earlier this year and now we're ready to take the next step with their community. 

After speaking with their village chief and elders and our in-country contacts, one of which is a headmaster at a private school, we are ready to launch our next project.  

We are building a school in Tsipasi! 

We'll lay out the details, answer questions, and share more about our long term strategy in the region this week, but for now, we invite you to join us in our initial fundraising to change the course of history in Ghana, one child at a time! 

You can give, as always, by scrolling down and clicking the donate button, but you can also give exclusively to this project (and learn a bit more about it) by going HERE and selecting 'The Move Project Academy' at checkout.

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Tsipasi and Gbanabey, on a map!

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Tsipasi and Gbanabey, on a map!

We are excited to announce the wells for Gbanabey (two of them!) are now under construction. Today the sites of the wells was determined and we expect drilling to begin Monday. 

You may be wondering what we initially wondered when we were told about each village...where in the world is that?! 

When we were initially told about Tsipasi, we had to have our in-country contact send us a map with a circle around the area, since the village is remote enough to not show up on maps. Well...we're happy to show you exactly where the wells are, using GPS coordinates and images on Google maps.

Here you are: 

 

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If you'd like to contribute to our work in Ghana, scroll down and click the donate button.

Every dollar counts! 

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Water Ride at Cycle Down Dawg

On Saturday the 18th, we had our second indoor Water Ride, and our first hosted by cycling and yoga shop Cycle Down Dawg. 

We had 43 people participate and raised $2,808.91. That's enough money for just over a half of a clean water borehole well like we installed in Tsipasi, and we're installing in Gbanabey.  

If you'd like to help push us to our goal of $5,000 for one well, scroll to the bottom of this page and click the Donate button.

Many thanks to those who rode, to our hosts Cycle Down Dawg, and these sponsors: 

Ashworth Vision Clinic

SuperCuts

Ponderosa Valley Wellness

Kris' Hot Yoga 

ABC Sign and Display

Partners in Hair 

Blue Frog Marketing

Stadia Sports Medicine

Meydan Farms

Kevin and Charity Moreland and Family

Let's show them love and support their businesses!  

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Gbanabey

The rural farming village of Gbanabey is excited to have clean water for the first time in their history. We've said this before, but it's as true as ever - together we are creating new realities for our neighbors in Gbanabey.

Clean water for this community means healthier people and less time spent retreiving contaminated water, both of which aid in breaking the cycle of poverty in the area.

The unique opportunity we have with providing the village with clean water is that there are four additoinal villages in the immediate area that will benefit from the well.

This means we may be pursuing a second (at least) well in the area to ensure the impact if felt within Gbanabey and also the surrounding villages.

To donate toward this work, scroll down and click the Donate button at the bottom of the page. We appreciate your support and are excited for what's to come!

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United Way Giving Campaigns

United Way campaigns are kicking off all over the country. Your workplace, like many others, is likely encouraging you to give a donation.

We are proud to be a certified United Way giving partner!

You can designate your donation to our work in Des Moines and in Ghana through the United Way giving campaign. Simply search "Move Project" as our "the" got cut off. :)

Here are just a few things your donations help us accomplish:

Provide clean water to those without, saving lives in rural Ghana

Provide sanitation training, which also saves lives

Provide toiletries to the Central Iowa Shelter and Services in Des Moines, allowing them to better assist the homeless population transition into housing  

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Meet Gbanabey

We are thrilled to announce we've located the village who will receive our next clean water well. Gbanabey in the Greater Accra Region is in the same region as our first well we installed in Tsipasi. 

Like Tsipasi, Gbanabey is a rural village without access to clean water.  

We've worked with our in-country contact to locate the village, and will now begin work with a local contractor to install the well.  

More info to come in the next few days and weeks!

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Cholera outbreak in Ghana - "pandemic situation"

There has been a cholera outbreak in Ghana's capital city, Accra. Officials are pointing to poor sanitation as the reason for the outbreak, and are citing the impoverished areas of the city as the reason for the outbreak. Yahoo! News reported on the outbreak and it's worth a read. 

From the article:

"Cholera has killed more than 40 people in Accra since June and infected 3,100 others, according to the Ghana Health Service.

While the sprawling city has been hit by cholera before, the director of health services for the greater Accra region, Linda Van Otoo, said the current outbreak was "staggering".

...Cholera causes diarrhoea, dehydration and death if left untreated. It is transmitted by ingesting food or drink contaminated with human waste."

This is precisely why we are pursuing clean water and sanitation in remote, impoverished areas in the Greater Accra Region. 

The answer to this problem, and the way to ensure this doesn't happen again starts with clean water and sanitation education.  

Here's the article.  

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Why would we do this?

Why go to the work of flying a team across the globe, buy (some of the) equipment to film a professional documentary, and complete the production process to create and distribute a film? 

It was an idea we contemplated for a long time. After meeting the people of Tsipasi and understanding the reality for the people in the region if they don't have access to clean water, we had both motivation and crystal clear perspective. 

We must do this because the more we tell the hopeful story of what access to clean water does for a community, the more people get involved, and the more kids end up with clean water and in school and not sold onto fishing boats as slaves on the Volta River. 

And not just kids in general.

This isn't a theoretical problem.

It's these kids. With names and faces and pasts and bright futures. Walking a short distance from the well instead of a long trek to a river. 

We must move. 

Join us

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These kids will grow up with clean water!

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These kids will grow up with clean water!

Yes...yes it is. 

It's so exciting for us to know the impact we're having on the village of Tsipasi. But it's photos like this that really bring it home. These kids will grow up with clean water. How exciting is that?!

They no longer have to walk long distances to get water from contaminated sources. They will know the reality of growing up with clean water in their village. Something their parents and grandparents likely didn't know. 

This is a story of hope! 

We're raising funds for a documentary to tell this story. Will you join us?

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Tsipasi means...

The irony of where we installed our first well is that the village name, Tsipasi, means place of abundant water in the native language. 

Until we installed our well in Tsipasi, they did not have access to clean water. Water was not only not abundant, it was non-existent. Together, though, we helped the village create a new reality. One in which their children don't have to walk long distances to retrieve contaminated water. 

Although access to clean water is only one contributing factor to the cycle of poverty, we removed that factor and replaced it with a well that will serve the community and the surrounding area. From there, we will work with the village on sanitation, education, infrastructure, and on and on and on. We are not satisfied with dropping in a well and wishing them luck. We are in this for the long haul. We are in this to help the people of Tsipasi lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty.

Together, we are helping shape that reality for our neighbors in Ghana. 

We aren't stopping there. We want to tell the story of empowerment, hope, and new realities that come with access to clean water. 

Will you help us tell that story?

Join us here

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Big News!

Big News

We've funded a second well!

With the support of dozens of people in both our indoor ride this spring and our second annual outdoor ride in May, we have successfully funded our second well! Thank you first and foremost to all who contributed to those efforts! Your generosity toward our clean water projects is inspiring. 


The well we installed in Tsipasi following the indoor ride is operational, and the village now has clean water for the first time in history.

We created a new reality for that community, and we're thrilled to see what's next. 

We are working with our in-country contacts to determine the location of the second well, but we do know it will be in the Greater Accra region, the same region as Tsipasi (we'll be doing some posts about Tsipasi, the Greater Accra region, and other facts on the demographic of Ghana throughout the summer - stay tuned).  

But wait...there's more!
 

Really Big News

A documentary

We just launched a fundraising campaign through Kickstarter to fund the production of a documentary. The film will focus on the joy and freedom that comes along with clean water. It will feature the work our work underway in Tsipasi and the Greater Accra region, and also help us tell the story of just how much clean water means in breaking the cycle of poverty. We've said it before but it is worth repeating, clean water is the first step in holistic, sustainable, poverty alleviation

We need your help! In fact, this is an all-hands-on-deck kind of deal. We need to raise $50,000 in the next 30 days for the film to be a reality. The money will be used to send a team to Ghana, purchase a few pieces of equipment, and produce the film. We are partnering with our friends at One:One Creatives to film and produce the documentary. You can learn more about the kickstarter campaign HERE

The reason we're doing the Kickstarter fundraiser to fund the film is to ensure 100% of funds received toward clean water projects continue to go directly to the project. This model has allowed us to fund two wells with virtually no overhead cost (major thanks to our signature sponsor, Des Moines Water Works, for helping us cover all costs associated with the rides and events).  

We also believe we'll be able to leverage the film to raise larger sums of funds for clean water, and our investment into the film will mean more villages (and regions!) get access to clean water and sanitation education. 

We'd appreciate your support in this! We have until July 22nd to raise the entire $50,000 or we don't get a penny. It's all or nothing, and we're all in.
Also, if you pledge today, you don't get charged until July 22nd, and that's only if we're fully funded. You can also change your pledge at any point during the campaign. 

Join us here

Thank you!

The Move Project team

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The Water Ride Recap

Success! 

Over 80 people participated in the ride and...

$7,022.27 was raised for clean water!

We are honored to use every penny raised to provide access to clean water and improve basic sanitation for our neighbors in Ghana.

Huge thank you to all those who rode, volunteered, and donated. 

Also many thanks to our sponsor, Des Moines Water Works for their support of this project! Their support allows us to allocate 100% of funds received to clean water projects.

To stay up to date on the progress of the well in Tsipasi and our other initiatives, subscribe to our newsletter HERE

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WATER!

Tsipasi saw clean water today! 

This video is from the site where we are installing our well in Tsipasi, and shows the incredible moment (at the :50 mark) where they struck water. 

We are so grateful to witness this moment from across the globe, and know this is just the first, albeit significant, step in holistic and sustainable poverty alleviation in the area. 

Thank you to all those who have volunteered at events, donated to our work, and registered to ride in The Water Ride! You've made this possible.

Together we're making a move, and creating new realities for our neighbors in rural Ghana.

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