Fawzia has spoken with the employees on her own initiative. She thinks we
should actually continue working in 2011 even if we are going to have to do
without wages initially... Her reasoning is that otherwise we’ll be sitting
at home doing nothing anyway so we might as well show the people that we
take things seriously and there is such a high demand for our products! I
totally agree! Some employees are of a similar mindset, others want to think
A large clean-up had been planned in Tamale on Saturday. This appears to
take place once in a while. All the shops are to remain closed, the market
is not allowed to open until the activity is finished and Tamale looks half
decent again... Sister Fawzia got word of this on the local radio station
and told us about it. I smelled an opportunity and suggested we go to the
radio station. They could broadcast for us to people that if they hand in
water and ice cream sachets at the Tuma Viela kiosk, in return, they would
get to choose on of our items...
Immediately Fawzia and myself, towing a few of our products, went to the
station. They were so enthusiastic that we were broadcast live on the spot
to tell our story: what we do and what we want to achieve...
The owner of the station was so happy with our initiative and he spoke with
us after the show. He told us how he is willing to help us, how he owns an
event planning agency, and therefore knows the right avenues: He would like
to officially ‘launch’ our workshop somewhere mid-January. He immediately
hit a sore spot and named a few people and organizations who would not be
able to get out of helping us. He wants to approach this professionally and
on a large scale and is very involved. When I informed him we don’t have
money for something like this, he assured me he would find a solution...
morning the interview was repeated on the radio with an eager summon by the
owner personally to hand the sachets in to Tuma Viela, instead of throwing
them out on the street.
The clean-up day was the perfect opportunity for Tuma Viela to present
itself. A good moment to take a group photo of the ‘Tuma Viela’ team!
our garbage-bags, in which we collect the discarded water and ice cream
sachets, and with a schoolbag as an example of what we make, we took to the
road early. We stood out...mainly because we seemed to be the only ones
taking any action! Most people knew it was ‘clean-up day’ in Tamale, it had
been announced so many times over the radio...but in the streets of an
awakening Tamale, no activities that were even remotely connected to
cleaning up were to be seen...
Yes, the women were sweeping, this is part of their daily routine, but as
usual, the mess was swept straight into the open sewers or dumped in a heap
beside the road. How disappointing...But, this means more work for us! We
work at the taxi stand, the bus station and maneuver through the many
tradesmen and women at the local market.
We are followed by shy and hesitant children and we explain to them what
they need to do to obtain a schoolbag.
On the market we take advantage of some great sales that we just can’t
resist! We are having so much fun and people seem to enjoy seeing us so busy
and are often full of admiration how we make something so useful out of
something apparently so useless...TRASH!
Also, we have been filmed and interviewed by TV Ghana and this shall be
broadcast nationwide! What an incredible week! All of a sudden good things
The employees gave me the “We told you so!!” speech, and this is true: every
time doubts arose within me, about how to continue, they would call out,
almost in unison: “Nawuni son!” - “God/Allah shall help!” and: “Nawuni
larrege!” - “God/Allah shall bring money....”