May Newsletter Header
Robert and Halen with the students from the ITC Center in Kushea.

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.