Sharing the Bread: Our Roots Thanksgiving Luncheon

We love our friends over at Roots Charter High School. We headed over to their West Valley campus to serve up our THIRD ANNUAL Thanksgiving Dinner with them last week.

Cuisine Unlimited provided a gorgeous feast, several local Kneader donated pies, and Barebones and Goal Zero employees donated their lunchtime to prepare and serve the students. High school eating areas are typically abuzz with conversation and excitement, but this felt especially anticipatory.

The students were eager to eat and help and seemed really appreciative. We left the day with full bellies of delicious food, fun conversation with people who care about them, and an emotional speech from Robert about all of us taking care of one another.

We originally connected to Roots because of a chance meeting with Tyler Bastian, the director and Founder. His passion for providing students with the opportunity of learning in a farm and garden environment resonated with Robert and Tifie Ranch: the responsibility of caring for plants and animals, the opportunity to do math and science activities in a real-world lab, and the simple joy of digging in the dirt.

One teacher wrote us the next day that a new student told her that out of all the schools he has been too (and this student has been to a lot!) he had never seen something done for students as amazing as that luncheon was. She also said, “We had several students who normally have a “tough guy persona”, who honestly were in awe of the generosity of you all. I cannot tell you how touching it was for me to see their whole being just soften for the rest of the day. Carrying around their little boxes of food, and plates of cookies like they had just won the lottery. I saw actual smiles of joy on their faces.”

From my favorite Thanksgiving book, “Sharing the Bread”.

We will share the risen bread.
Our made-with-love Thanksgiving spread.
Grateful to be warm and fed.
We will share the bread.

We are thankful to share our abundance with our Roots Family, and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, with friends, family and food that warm your hearts and souls.

Happy Thanksgiving all.
Halen and Team

Safe Shelters Arrive In Syria and Put To Immediate Use

Safe Shelters Provide a dignified space for medical staff in Syria and Kurdistan

Tfie’s Safe Shelter Syria project launched earlier this year with our partners Barebones Living and Direct Relief. One of the most basic needs of Syrian refugees is reliable shelter for medical treatment.

A portion of the donated tents have immediately been put to work upon arrival in Syria and Kurdistan.

Safe Shelters in Idlib, Syria set up as medical triages

Medical teams have a dignified space for assessing medical needs in Syria
Barebones Living tent set up next to a damaged hospital (white brick building) in Idlib Syria

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) received 15 Barebones Living shelters from Direct Relief and immediately put them to use in Idlib as triage areas for incoming patients. The shelters being set up next to a damaged hospital to provide a safe and dignified space for medical staff to assess needs. They also provided a protected space for children and families to wait together while family members undergo treatments.

Idlib is one of the few provinces in Syria that is not under regime control, although it is in a state of alert as fighting between various armed groups are vying for control, and is about 60 km from Aleppo.

Safe Shelters in Kurdistan used as medical mobile clinics

Safe shelters provide mobile medical clinic from a Kurdistan village that was recently liberated of ISIS controlFive shelters were deployed to Kurdistan and are being used as mobile medical clinics and child safety areas. The location is Talward, a newly liberated village in Kirkuk, from ISIS control.
The team on the ground love the shelters and have requested more. Directorate of Health set up mobile clinics before using the actual hospitals in the those areas.

How you can help Syrian Refugees

Syrian medical staff have safe shelter to use as medical triage for refugees
Medical staff use shelters as triage and waiting area for families and children

The independent Doctors Association have received shelters and they are currently in transit. Hospitals and health care workers are being targeted by the Syrian Regime, and many are having to offer medical services, literally, underground (visit Saving Lives Underground learn about hospital needs) in order to avoid attack.  Barebones shelters will provide alternative locations for medical treatment and services.

The refugee shelter need is greater than what Tifie and Barebones can provide but every donation, social media share, or fundraising event helps.   100% of donations for our Safe Shelter—Syria goes directly to purchasing shelters and shipping them overseas.

Slideshow of Shelters In Action

  • Safe Shelter set up next to damaged hospital in Idib, Syria
    Safe Shelter set up next to damaged hospital in Idib, Syria
    Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) set up safe shelter tents and immediately put them to use as medical triage areas for incoming patients
  • SAMS setting up safe shelter
    SAMS setting up safe shelter
  • SAMS setting up safe shelter
    SAMS setting up safe shelter
  • SAMS setting up safe shelter
    SAMS setting up safe shelter
  • SAMS setting up safe shelter
    SAMS setting up safe shelter
  • SAMS setting up safe shelter
    SAMS setting up safe shelter
  • Safe shelter being used as medical triage
    Safe shelter being used as medical triage
  • Safe shelter being used as medical triage
    Safe shelter being used as medical triage
  • Kurdistan
    Kurdistan
    Safe shelters also serve as a protected space for children and families to wait together while family members undergo treatment
  • The team on the ground love the shelters and have requested more
  • Shelters provide a safe and dignified space for medical staff to assess needs

Tifie and Direct Relief send 15 Safe Shelters to Hurricane Harvey, Maria and Irma Victims

Safe Shelters to be used outside hospitals of areas affected by Hurricanes

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria, Tifie has responded by donating shelters with Direct Relief to provide immediate support. We are sending 15 tents with Direct Relief medical donations to Anguilla, British Virgin Islands – Tortola, and St Martin.

The tents have already arrived in St Martin and will be used outside of the hospital.

How you can help with those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria

The more tents we can send, the more lives we can help. Donate to our Safe Shelter Project today (100% of your donation goes toward the project) and share the need with others.

Our past donations to Fiji, Nepal, the Philippines shows the direct impact of having a safe shelter to use for temporary medical or housing needs provides. Thank you!

 

 

Internship in Peru this summer!

Tifie is looking for two amazing individuals to go to Peru to work with our Greenhouse Project. One is focused on Greenhouse Best-Practices and the other is focused on Sales and Marketing for the local vendors. Spanish speaking would be helpful, but not necessary. Internship is on-site in Peru for 6-8 weeks and will be working closely with our project manager, Jaime Figuerero, a BYU graduate who has over 20 years experience in humanitarian projects.

More detailed job descriptions below. Please contact [email protected] for more info.

 

TIFIE PERU INTERNSHIP                                 

INTERNSHIP #1 Crop Distribution/Market Analysis

INTERNSHIP #2 Sales/Marketing

———————————————————-

Time:                  Spring/Summer 2017 between June and Nov

Duration:           4 to 8 weeks. Negotiable.

Location:           Sacred Valley, Cuzco area, Peru

Transportation: Local, by motorcycle or car

Airfare:              Intern is responsible for airfare to/from Cusco

Lodging:           Provided by Tifie in the city of Cuzco

Payment:           Unpaid, but trip to Machu Picchu is provided

 

Location Background: The Chinchero, Anta, Oropesa & Sacred Valley are located in Peru near Cuzco and Machu Picchu The Cuzco area is an active tourist center with hotels, restaurants and great affluence of people from all over the world. Except for corn and potatoes, 80% of all produce is imported from other parts of Peru, creating an opportunity for organic produce to be delivered to Cuzco from the Chinchero areas. Tifie’s Greenhouse projects aims to provide local farms the opportunity to meet the need for organic and local produce, while benefiting and increasing local farmer income.

Tifie’s Project Intention:

Many humanitarian organizations have built greenhouses in the villages to aid these villages and Tifie Humanitarian is revitalizing these greenhouses by making them more productive through various methods such as venting, re-positioning, crop rotation, fertilization, and organizing commercial farming.  The Tifie Humanitarian Peru Project is managed by Jaime Figueroa who has 28 years experience humanitarian service and received his MPA at BYU.

Requirements:

  • Spanish preferred, but not required
  • Willing to knock doors and talk to restaurant
  • Ability to lift up to 30 pounds

Sales/Marketing Internship Description:

  • Intern will study Cuzco restaurant market to determine which vegetables are in the highest demand, and make recommendations based on need
  • Identify sales pricing on produce
  • Based on a SWOT analysis, make distribution (delivery) plan and make recommendation of the most efficient and profitable delivery model
  • Identify available greenhouse and farmers that can produce and become part of the Tifie Greenhouse Co-Op
  • Help Jaime to create and update documents in Google Drive
  • Develop a system where Jaime could send more pictures to USA & develop easy collaborative tracking and documentation.

 

At the end of this internship, Tifie would like the following:

  • Recommendation of produce that local restaurants want and the cost that the restuarnts will pay
  • Sales Leads of Restaurants who will purchase from Tifie Greenhouse
  • Distribution Plan from Chinchero to Cusco with Budget

 

 

GREENHOUSE INTERN DESCRIPTION

Crop and Natural Fertilization Analysis/Greenhouse Production/Hydroponic Production Systems


ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: Agriculture Major

  • Analyze greenhouse crops to determine best crops to plant based on production demand, environment, elevation etc
  • Work with Sales/Marketing Intern to determine crops that are in demand in the city and markets, and what varieties are the best
  • Become our Biol Expert by monitoring natural fertilizer composition (biol) and application to determine most effective composition to produce highest yields. Also monitor hydroponic using minerals solve in the water vs. biol. Apply basic hydroponics in 10 elementary schools.
  • Become our Greenhouse Expert by working with Jaime, document the best practices for high yield and sustainable greenhouse. Also document how local farmers can modify existing greenhouses to increase yield

    At the end of the internship, Tifie would like the following:

  • Crop Recommendations for the area
  • Biol “Quick Fact” Guide and Instruction Guide for others to create Biol
  • Greenhouse Best Practices in Chinchero Area

 

For additional questions about the internship, please contact Ron Zarbock, Tifie Chairman of the Board at [email protected] or 801-831-9303

Tifie exists to support projects that help marginalized people provide for their own basic needs through sustainable access to food and water, shelter, power and education.

Ghana Trip 2016

TIfie visited the Kushea community in March as honored guests of Nana Prah. We have partnered with Nana in his community for over a year, donating cash and solar product to the community. Last year, we donated solar power to all community buildings–police station, health clinic, and schools.

Our founder, Robert Workman, has said that he wants to leave a legacy of maintenance and self-dependence in Kushea. Nana is leading by example, showing his community that they must take pride in whatever it is that they do, how they do it, and paying attention to the details. Every project that we’ve partnered on with Nana has been with the community involved throughout the process–from the idea, implementation, location, building, labor, and maintenance of the program. This is the key to leaving a legacy of self-reliance.

Checking Up On Projects

Ange visiting members of the community at night, lit by solar-powered light.
Ange visiting members of the community at night, lit by solar-powered light.

We were so pleased to see solar panels on many houses and on every public building. In the evening, we could see homes lit up by Goal Zero solar lights, children doing homework, and families being together. What an honor! It was rewarding to see empowered individuals taking hold of an opportunity and creating more with what they have been given.

As we visited all the community buildings that had received solar power donations, we realized that most people were lacking basic instruction on how to clean their panels, read the battery monitors and operate the equipment for their needs. It was evident that a need for solar-trained personnel is necessary. A trainer will provide training to the community on their solar power systems, start a small business for upgrades and repairs, and provide feedback on how people are using the systems. The idea of maintenance and “training the trainers’ was a theme that occurred almost hourly, and will lay the foundation for sustainability and long-term impact for all future projects.

Robert and Nana look at the Health Center. •Before the solar backup was installed in the health center, the fridge would lose power several times a week, ruining precious medication and vaccinations. Now with the Yeti 1250 back up, the clinic saves $1000+ a week in medication and appointments!
Before the solar backup was installed in the health center, the fridge would lose power several times a week, ruining precious medication and vaccinations. Now with the Yeti 1250 back up, the clinic saves $1000+ a week in medication and appointments!

Health Center

We visited the Health Center and it was full of nurses and patients. One of the nurses we spoke with shared one of her passions–to teach the village how to prevent sickness through proper nutrition and hygiene. The Center’s goal is to have zero deaths in their community–one maternal death is too many.

The clinic is working with local nursing and doctoral students to teach the community about preventative health and it offers contraception and feminine hygiene products to the women of the community.

 Kuzu and Richard, the police staff, were happy to pose for photos in front of the newly constructed jail door.
Kuzu and Richard, the police staff, were happy to pose for photos in front of the newly constructed jail door, show us the lights that they use in their offices, and tell us about how they are making Kushea a safer place.

Police Station

Last year Tifie donated $1,500 to the local police station for renovation and power needs. When we walked through, there was an upgraded office with new paint LAL’s (link), and most importantly–DOORS ON THE JAIL. Kuzu and Richard, the police staff on duty the day we visited, were happy to pose for photos in front of the newly constructed jail door, show us lights that they use in their offices, and tell us about how they are making Kushea a safer place.

ITC Center

12924558_10154132767974679_1291542590674324165_n[1]We visited the ITC Center while two classes were being held. We saw students that were engaged and excited to use the tablets. The grade one students were practicing simple instructions and a counting game on the tablet. The grade six students were having their science class at the Center.

Tifie donated to the internet connectivity at the ITC and as of the April 30th, the internet is on and students are connecting! Ongoing costs for the ITC Center will be provided by three income streams: Local cocoa farmers donate a portion of their sales, students pay $0.05 per lesson, and once internet is set up, the Center will be used as an internet cafe for visitors and locals both.

Perpetual Power Project

Akua is a master seamstress who works in the city center of Kushea, with 9 years of experience and 4 apprentices underneath her.
Akua is a master seamstress who works in the city center of Kushea, with 9 years of experience and 4 apprentices underneath her.

One of our pillars of community development is power. Electiricy is a scarce resource in Africa, and Ghana is no exception. Power is provided in the city, but it is inconsistent.

In 2015 Robert announced that Tifie was planning on electrifying 100 families in Kushea, and we’re happy to report that the installation is complete! Tifie donated half the cost of a 100W solar panel, Goal Zero Yeti 400, 2 Light-A-Lifes to a business or individual, and the person paid for the other half.

ITC Center Thriving: Kushea becoming a beacon of hope and a hub to serve other village communities far and wide.

Since Goal Zero and Tifie Humanitarian installed the Technology Center in Kushea, Ghana, there has been a growing vitality, more progress, and many intangible impacts to the community. It has been a hub for students and teachers to access modern technology with over 100 tablets in use by 600 students each week. Because of It’s popularity and success, the administration has expanded the hours of operation to be open on weekends to accommodate the community members who want to attend adult education classes and a use the internet cafe.

We talked with Danso Yaw Ofori, the new School Administrator, who shared his excitement about the changes that have occurred in the community. Danso is new life blood for the ITC Center; his role is much broader than his title. He is serving as a mentor to the students, a resource to their families, and a leader in the community. This is his story:

What motivates you? “What drives me as a person is to create change wherever I find myself and train my student to aspire to greater heights than I have reached.”

What is the first thing you want to accomplish as the Chief Administrator? “I want to elicit the interest of students to use the ITC Center to study more and aspire for greater heights.”

What are your dreams for the center in the community? “I want the Center to bridge the gap between rural people and their counterparts in the city through technology. I want the Center to be used by other professionals in the community to expand their knowledge and training in their professions. I want to provide opportunities for people with financial need to complete their education online.”

Danso recognizes that there are very promising students in the village settings who, when given the needed push, move higher up the academic ladder, access good jobs, and secure a good future. This also affects the student’s family and the community. “It marks the kind of change that Ghana needs,” he said.

When he talks about the students in Kushea he is passionate about giving them opportunity and says, ”people should not be neglected just because they are not blessed to be born in the cities, but unfortunately, are located in rural settings where there are no lights, no good drinking water, poor roads and no access to a communication network.”

When we asked Danso about the impact of the ITC Center on the community, he told us things we expected, like; 120 students attend, 11 jobs have been created, and additional schools in the area want to participate. But there were many more intangible impact stories that don’t show up in data collection metrics.

Intangible Community Impact

  • Student Pride has created increased volunteerism as students and teachers ensure the cleanliness of the grounds of the Center.
  • Hope that as the Center progresses, the economic life of the inhabitants will change, especially the women, who are mainly farmers.
  • Competition since every parent wants his or her child ward to participate.
  • Job creation brings satisfaction and motivation for the future
  • Community Ownership has developed since parents give a portion from their cocoa proceeds for the up-keep of the Center and organized communal labor keeps it clean.
  • Academic Relationships with universities in Accra. Nana Prah brought Care International staff to provide training to teachers and students for one week

“The ITC Center brings more hope to the community, improves learning, brings more workers to Kushea, and brings more clients from nearby. All this culminates to enhance the image of the community and enriches the economic life of the inhabitants,” Danso Yaw Ofori said.

The ITC Center stands out as the high impact model for how sustainable power can truly transform a community and provide opportunities for success. “It’s mind-blowing to see the immediate impact for the kids. They don’t see lack, just excitement about finding ways to make something better,” King Nana says. Thank you to Goal Zero for your generous donation of product and people to create bright futures for the community of Kushea.

Rani’s Story: Bringing Life After the Earthquake

Rani holds a baby she delivered in front of a Bare Bones tent.

Rani is a Skilled Birth Attendant from the Salbaas birthing center who had provided birthing services in Chainpur, Salbaas. During the earthquakes, all of the proper supplies and equipment were buried so Rani did the best she could,conducting deliveries without even the most basic equipment. When the One Heart World-Wide team arrived with BareBones tents, they installed the tent and supplies in a location she agreed to, and not a moment too soon. That very night, the new birthing tent welcomed the first of many babies into the world.

A group of locals approached the tent assuming that we were health workers. Among them was a pregnant woman experiencing labor pains. She was immediately brought into the tent and examined by Rani, who was able to help this mother conduct a normal delivery with the help of the light from the solar equipment and supplies in the tent.
Rani and this mother’s experience have been echoed throughout both Dhading and Sindhupalchok districts, along with many additional locations that have experienced severe damage and are still reeling from the earthquakes. The tents that the One Heart World-Wide team has been installing, while not permanent, provide a space for safe deliveries while the long-term renovation plans are being finalized.

We continue to get emotional every time we receive updates from One Heart World-Wide, sharing stories of the impact of our tents in Nepal, and the tenderness and fierceness that these SBA attendants and mothers live by. As of December, there have been 424 babies born in these tents, thanks to many of you and our partners.

Spherion Pays It Forward

We had a lot of fun participating in #GivingTuesday last week. Our biggest donation was made by Spherion! They donated $3,000 to go toward our Peru Greenhouse Business. project.

IMG_7655

Ron Zarbock, owner of Spherion’s Utah offices, likes to make a pay-it-forward attitude part of his company culture. He says he has always focused on improving organizations and loves working with people and developing relationships. He said the best way to prosper during the holidays, as an employee or employer, is to fully serve and give everything you have.

“You never give back. You pay it forward,” Ron said.

Ron’s values, spirit and drive are also evident in his commitment to the Peru Greenhouse Project. As the Chairman of the Board for Tife, Ron believes in long-term relationships and long-term solutions. “There have been many short term projects in developing countries like Peru that do not provide long lasting results.”

He relates the story about how most people in the remote villages of rural Peru, wake up daily with only despair. “There is no industry, no way for them to share their talents and provide for themselves. Our project teaches them that they have tools to use to develop their talents. In this way they can serve others, create great products, and are able to provide for their families.”

Ron has traveled to Peru and works closely with our project team there. We asked him what change has he witnessed since we started this project.

“The most powerful thing I have witnessed is their gratitude. The Peruvian people we are working alongside of are enormously grateful for opportunity. Every opportunity throws open a new dream and possibility of what they are capable of. Even before they do it, the project gives them passion and hope.”

Waking up with hope instead of despair is a powerful shift. Once a person has vision enough to see how they can work with their hands to serve, add value and provide for themselves and others, then even the most gloomy days are bright.

Find out more about the Peru Greenhouse project.

Giving Tuesday Roundup Utah

Why is the holiday season such a fun time? It’s a time to think of others. Nothing is more fun than finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have passed. Giving Tuesday is a special event that should become part of your yearly traditions. 
 
We’ve compiled a short list of projects and individuals whom you can help this #GivingTuesday ranging in projects like female artisans, small business owners, education, clean water, refugee resettlement or power for families. 
  • Amaa Dress Purchase a hand-made dress created by a seamstress in Ghana. These are  designed exactly with your measurements in mind. Your purchase employs female entrepreneurs in Utah and Ghana, starting at $40. Amaa dress is the brainchild of passionate humanitarian Crys Kevan Lee, who also is the director of Empower Playgrounds. Check them out at Amaadress.squarespace.com
  • Education Scholarship: Sponsor a student at a school in Kinshasa DRC with Tifie. Students in Congo have to pay to go to school, and are kicked off if they haven’t paid their fees. These students want to go to school so badly they will get up every day, get dressed and hide in the back of the classroom until they get kicked out for not paying. Such determination, and we can help keep them in school for just $10/month.
  • Musana Jewelry Support women artisans in Uganda by purchasing gorgeous jewelry from Musana International. Artisans are mothers who because of employment with Musana, can provide for their families with fair wages, receive subsidized medical insurance, matching education funds for their children, and on top of it, they participate in give-back programs in their own communities.  Co-Founder Melissa Sevy was recently featured in Beehive Startups in a great article that highlights the strength and beauty of Ugandan women: read the article “Jewelry, Empowerment, And Ugandan Women: The story of Musana here!
  • Sponsor a well in Liberia for $3000 with Africa Heartwood Project.
  • Help Refugees in Utah by: mentoring, collecting household items, providing work experience or donating time and skills,  For information, check out their website here.
  • Open Pantry at Roots High School.  No student should be hungry and Bare Bones Living is collecting food and supplies for their students.  Students at Roots typically arrive in the morning hungry and unfortunately, many don’t have the means for lunch. Pick up a packet of oatmeal, ramen or nuts the next time you’re at Costco and drop them by any Spherion staffing or our Tifie/Barebones office!
  • Give Power. Share Light. Partner with us to give to individuals and families solar power and light for their homes. Tifie has been working with Kushea region of Ghana for the last year, providing products and resources that create the building blocks of independence and self-suffiency. A donation today can give a family the gift of power and light. Power = family, education, opportunity, health, connection… the impact is endless! For more info and to donate, click here.

Intention, Respect, and Choice In The Tifie Community

We sat down with Tifie board member and CEO of our partner, Barebones Living, Melisa, to get some insight on how intention, respect, and choice are the guiding principles helping to expand and strengthen the Tifie Community.

How do these principles fit into Barebones’ processes?

 Intention is a core value for Barebones.  Before we make decisions, schedule a meeting or take an action, we clarify and define our intention.  It’s important to us that we have clarity and set our intention for everything we do.  Once our intention has been set, we respect each member of our team, what they contribute and trust them to accomplish the objectives in the way they feel is best.

How do your dual roles as CEO of Barebones Living and as an active Tifie Board member compliment each other?  

 I feel really fortunate to have such an amazing opportunity.  I get to execute on Robert’s humanitarian vision in both a non-profit and for profit setting.  Understanding Robert’s vision as a social entrepreneur makes it easier for us to establish a purpose-based, performance driven culture because we know the success of our company has a much more meaningful impact than just reporting a fiscally healthy quarter.

The Tifie Community is comprised of “like-minded” individuals. What makes them like-minded?  

 We share a common passion for doing good. Together, we believe we can offer tools, training, expertise and resources make a sustainable, meaningful impact in the lives of others.  That’s an amazing feeling.