EMPOWER PLAYGROUNDS INC

Rating: 5 stars   10 reviews

Issues: International

Location: 3214 N University Ave 501 % Ben Markham Provo UT 84604 USA

Mission:
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EIN 20-8836525
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Rating: 5 stars  

EPI is such a great organization doing much good to the people of Ghana. Last summer I had the privilege and opportunity to be their summer intern. By visiting the schools, talking with the students and teachers, and interacting with the EPI staff, I truly know they are making a difference not only in the students' lives, but also in the villages and communities where they live. I am very excited to see how EPI grows and expands to bring more play, light, and learning to children in need.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Nothing can change a child's life like education. Empower Playgrounds is a fantastic company that lets children get exactly what they need: light. The company really works with the community to provide a needed service in a fun way! Such an innovative idea and motivated and caring employees. Great company, i hope to see other places in the world Playing, Lighting, and Learning soon!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I had the privilege of spending several weeks volunteering with Empower Playgrounds in Ghana in 2012. I loved showing up unannounced at a school for routine maintenance and seeing the children playing enthusiastically around EPI merry-go-rounds. I was impressed as I saw how they worked together with leaders of the local community and school administrators to instill a sense of responsibility and ownership in caring for the equipment that was provided. I think this kind of a relationship has been key to their success in providing light and opportunity to children in need.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've seen Empower Playgrounds in action over the last several years and love what they do. I've been several times to schools with installations in Ghana and love to see the joy and light (literally) they bring to students. This is an organization that cares deeply about their mission, and works hard to ensure that they work effectively to serve their program recipients, donors, and community. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Empower Playgrounds for many years to come.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Empower playgrounds is an innovative and excellent company that has really made a difference in Ghana. I got to see first hand how the equipment worked and how it positively affected the lives of school kids and their families. Empower Playgrounds cares about its product but more importantly the people. They have very good relationships and are very involved with the people they work with.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I went to Ghana and saw the playgrounds in action; they were so fun for the kids, and for me! Even adults might like them. ;-) The kids love to play and when they use empower playgrounds, playing helps them learn.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Build more merry-go-rounds! (with hopefully more funding, of course). =) And, maybe it was because we were adults, and/or I am a little afraid of heights, ;-) but the swings went a little high...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I really enjoyed working with Empower Playgrounds and I would definitely look for additional opportunities to work with them. I could tell that they were making a difference and everyone I worked with was very talented and committed to bettering the communities of Africa.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help it to continue to grow

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've worked with Empower Playgrounds both as a volunteer and as a donor and have had such an excellent experience. I got the chance to visit playground installations on the Volta River islands while I was in Ghana, help repaint one of their swingsets, and meet some of the recipients of this wonderful nonprofit's work. I have also donated towards a new merry-go-round installation and art supplies for the students. I have seen the actual numbers of the increasing test scores of children who benefit from both play and learning through EPI, which far outstrip performance of other schools and regions in the country. I've also been able to meet the founder and learn about the technology first-hand, as well as learn more about the programs and their results through the Executive Director. EPI is committed to helping Ghanaian children learn and play, and they consistently seek out new technologies that will support this mission. I have been very impressed with their work, responsiveness, commitment, and innovation.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Decrease the cost of installations, highlight more student success stories of graduating and going on to further school/career/etc.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Empower Playgrounds is an excellent idea launched by a retired Exxon-Mobil executive who spent his career evaluating good ideas to find the ones that would actually work. He's approached the problem intelligently, building trust and validation with public officials in Ghana, and he values the input of the end users enough to change directions when needed.

EPI has brought light and productivity to thousands of children in Ghana, and they've clearly thought out how they will maintain installations to ensure ongoing service. Many other nonprofits I've observed take no thought beyond the initial installation, which can do more harm than good.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue growing their solar operations.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

In May 2009 I traveled to Ghana with Empower Playgrounds Inc.(EPI). EPI installs innovative playground equipment that generates electricity for rural schools off the electrical grid. It was amazing to me that electricity could be produced by something as fun as a merry go round! These toys are often the only toy these kids will ever see besides old bike tires and an occasional soccer ball. And the light these toys produce will be the only safe and renewable light source they have as well, often replacing dangerous kerosene lanterns which cause severe eye and lung problems besides the obvious fire risk. EPI as a foundation is also amazing. They operate with minimal overhead by keeping a small employee base in the US as well as in Ghana. There are no huge salaries to be paid out of donations they receive so a large majority of the money they raise is transferred to the children in Ghana providing them with improved education and opportunities. EPI's founder, Ben Markham, is also very devoted to improving the standard of living and education in Ghana. After retiring from a long and prosperous career with a major company he has devoted his life to this work in Ghana.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I went to Ghana with EPI to document the life of one of the students using the merry go round and prospering from its life changing light. Mary, then a 16 year old 6th grader, was graceful despite a horrible past filled with tragedy and disappointment. Her English, reading and confidence were all leaps and bounds better than her classmates and many of the adults I met while there. She attributes this difference to the merry go round she loves, as do I.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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