A Merry-Go-Round That Turns The Power Of Play Into Electricity in rural Ghana
Monday, November 18, 2013
How do you bring electricity and light to children who live half their lives in complete darkness, and their entire lives in abject poverty? Empower Playgrounds is a nonprofit that has come up with an intriguing solution: Harnessing the power of play, it provides merry-go-rounds to schools in Ghana that generate and store electricity as they are spun around, even while teeming with laughing and smiling kids.
Empower Playgrounds is the brainchild of former ExxonMobil VP of Engineering Ben Markham, who decided he wanted “to do a little giveback” after he retired. Volunteering with his wife as Mormon missionaries in rural Ghana, Markham was astonished by the lack of even rudimentary equipment in most of the schools he visited. “In Ghana, all the school buildings I saw were dark, poorly equipped, with no electricity … and no playground equipment,” Markham tells me.