Energy ....

Newsletter December 2013
Tuma Viela

I can still hear him speak indignantly: “You shouldn’t greet the children that warmly! More bags will come and we already have so many…!” Typical Haruna…

When the children arrive with their bags, we always like to welcome them with a warm ‘Amarabaa’, which means ‘Welcome’. However, when it was very busy Haruna preferred the children to stay away. However, ever since the people in Tamale have discovered Energy drink life in our workshop has changed dramatically for Haruna. Initially his primary job was to sort the bags, whereas now he has been promoted to Energy-man. His job is to cut the energy-bags, a job of which he is really proud. It was only yesterday when I watched him looking at one of the many children’s bags and heard him mumble silently “good…good!” The content of the bag looked very colourful; Red-Orange-Yellow means energy!

All these colourful bags make our business both colourful and busy. For example, our schoolbags are more noticeable and this results in even more children collecting litter. As a result we are extremely busy! Even though we are still in the dry season and the rain is still far away, our brightly coloured raincoats have become a massive hit. Moreover, the Christmas holidays have started which made this recent month of the year one of hard work.

In recent months we have done so much already. I find it amazing that after 4 years we are still successful in the things we do! In the meantime we have been fully recognized by the Ghana Education Service and from 2014 onwards we are allowed to bring our educational program ‘Litter’ to schools. No longer are we waiting for children to come and visit us, instead we are actually going to visit them ourselves. We have developed a four-week program in which we visit a school one day a week for four weeks. In our program the environment is the main focus: what does your neighbourhood look like, what can you do about waste and litter, what can you organize at school and what can we do to make it more viable? In our program we have included a song, a poem, a proper rap, a book of the week and as a festive ending we organize Environmental Day. This is a day on which we use our teaching box, which includes games, colouring pencils, paper and fun educational assignments all centered around litter. Every week, the children our allowed to bring bags to school, which we in turn make into beautiful products. Already, we are looking forward to this!


The Adwuma Ye foundation, of which Tuma Viela is a part, is going to expand its activities and from January 1st 2014 on  they will start a new project that is going to be closely related to Tuma Viela. We are going to introduce “New Cooking” in Tamale. It is a modernized version of the old hay box. It will save fuel, be beneficial to the environment and give women the opportunity to focus on other matters. Initially, it will be a project for the women who work in our workshop. As a result there will be vacancies in our workshop for other employees. Our aim is to make women realize that the new way of cooking will be extremely beneficial for them. However, we do realize that it is impossible to change a tradition overnight. Therefore, we will take the time to prepare ourselves well and start our project step by step. We have already found a sponsor who will finance the first 3 months of our project. This is very exciting and challenging, this gives me energy!