Sunday, June 10, 2012

GH2560 cedis worth of donations burning a hole in my pocket!

I have GH2560 burning a hole in my pocket!!

A year ago, I started a campaign to raise funds of GH50 or $25 from 100 people to build a biogas plant for a little farming village in the Upper West Region of the country, estimated at GH5000 then. (See the right-hand top column for all the links). I managed to get some donations in, some contributions, some word-of-mouth support, and a 12 months later, I am ‘stuck’ at GH2560 cedis.

About GH350 of it came from selling our Eco-Poofs – seats made out of discarded car tyres. The rest came from pure contributions directly meant to support the fundraiser, with our biggest support coming from MAKSI Fashion House (they advertised in magazines, online, and gave us a percentage of sales made from part of their clothing range) and Bibie Brew, the legendary Ghanaian musician based in France and recently Ghana (contributed financially, ordered most number of Eco-Poofs for her theatre cafĂ© in Tesano, Ghana and has offered to buy our eco-rocker which is not yet in production).

I must admit that due to career, parental, and academic responsibilities, I have found it extremely difficult to keep chasing after donations, blasting word out on the social media platforms, and sustaining the momentum with which I started. I am practically my own team for everything happening under this Renewable Energy initiative and within my NGO Energy Solutions Foundation. It is NOT easy. However, every now and then, I do get to take some time off everything and continue the fundraiser, because my research work, advocacy work, and charity work under Environmentalism, Renewable Energy, Bio-Technology Inventions, Climate Change innovations are still going on very strongly – those can be done from practically anywhere. Unlike the fundraising!

Well, bottomline is, I have been wondering how to transform this amount thus far into something beneficial for the village in question: do I use the money to make briquettes and send to them in the village? (Can last the entire village a month – free fuel for cooking and lighting) OR do I hold on to it and keep fundraising (I am unsure when I will hit the target, and if the money will still be sufficient for such a project) OR do I ask my readers and the donors to this fundraiser to guide and counsel me on WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR MONEY??

I somehow liked the last option better, so here I am …. asking ... what will you like me to do with the money you donated to me for the Tuori Biogas project? I really really really want answers and suggestions, even from those who did not donate. After all, there is a lot a young beautiful lady like me can do with GH2560 cedis, and that ish is seriously calling my name!

HELP! or as a former friend of mine once blatantly told me, “Money is never dead. No matter how long you owe someone, the amount is still the same, and money will still exist. You will definitely pay the person that value when the money comes to you. It is not fruit, that it should spoil.” He had just ‘chopped’ my GH800cedis. The reason he is a former friend should now be obvious. Clearly, he’d never heard of bad debts and what they can do to the lender’s state of mind.

If you don’t give me suggestions for this money, this money will become like my former friend’s wise quote … 


  1. My thoughts (maybe my votes too, but not sure): (a) a smaller biogas digester
    (b) a briquette making machine
    (c) matching funds from another organization to help you meet the original goal

  2. Hi, I'd say keep going until you hit the mark! Perhaps you've explored this option already, but why not enlist a few trusted volunteers from the universities this holiday season to help push the agenda? Tuori must get the biogas plant. Also, are the people in the village contributing in any way?

    I must commend you for this noble task.

  3. Mao, (b) sounds very possible! I will consider it under the "teaching the people how to fish" philosophy. (c) will be awesome if I do get a confirmed partner. Will keep readers appraised on that. If you can also recommend us to someone on that, it will be even better! You have always been a mentor, counsellor and advisor on this journey, and I really appreciate you.

    Gameli, keep going is always the best advise. It is the perfect back-up plan to many things. Volunteers sometimes tend to take more of my time and energy than actually ADDING to it, so I look at it as a last option most of the time, unless they are very efficient and take good initiatives. Yes, Tuori MUST get the biogas plant. The people are not contributing financially, they can barely afford to get by ... but their cows are the main source of material for the biogas plant, so it behoves on them to keep their ranch vibrant!!
    Thank you for all your valuable contributions over the past, Gameli.