Tuma Viela

“Tuma Viela” means “Good Work” in Dagbanli and is a translation of “Adwuma ye”, the name of the foundation.

Over Tuma Viela

Ellen began in 2010 with the special workshop “Tuma Viela”. A work-opportunity project where women have the chance to develop themselves and create an income, allowing them to be independent. These women are assisted by young adults with intellectual limitations and the GET APP & WORK trainees. Due to the Corona crisis, the women started working from home, and from there, 6 different workshops have been created, working for Tuma Viela. All this is to reduce waste in Tamale, to educate schools on how to nurture their
environment and to bring a smile to many faces of the children when they receive a beautiful item, created from the plastic litter that they collected themselves…

Reusable material projects

In the workshop, we create products for free and it is mainly the children who make use of this. They have to deliver the water sachets that we re-use! The most popular item is the schoolbag, but we also make raincoats, hats and caps, storage bags, pencil cases, and other things. These plastic water sachets, which cause such pollution, are now being re-used. Less pollution, cleaner streets, less litter….

Every day, except on Sundays, anyone can come and drop off their water and ice cream sachets at the workshop, in bundles of ten. In a large book we make note of their names together with the items they wish in return. We send them home with a ticket with a number and the date on which they can come and collect. Usually this is after a week, but if a lot of orders come in, it might take a little bit longer. The day they come to collect their item is the most wonderful moment: beaming kids admiring their schoolbag or whatever they might have
chosen – if it crosses their mind, a soft ‘thank you’ – and then a sprint home to show it off! And slowly but surely, Tamale becomes cleaner, children realize that trash can become a treasure and are encouraged to save the sachets and hand them in to us instead of throwing them away carelessly!

People who hand in their water bags

Made products from the water bags

Supplied water bags 2010-2020


With the daily challenges that the Ghanaian people face, they think short-term, and not necessarily about the future.
Dumping their litter onto the streets is such a habit and neither the children nor the adults are aware of the consequences this has. It is a habit.
Officials are looking for sustainable solutions to clean up the environment, but they forget the first step in this shift: to educate the litterers themselves, and to change the littering behaviour. Tuma Viela educates both children and adults by being present at various gatherings. Mainly by showing them what
we do! We actively collect the littered water sachets and educate upon the effects the litter has on the environment. By providing this information, people will become more conscious regarding the consequences of pollution and start
collecting the plastic sachets and hand them in at one of the workshops in exchange for a beautiful item…