When you migrate to a new country, life can be very challenging. For most migrants, the first few years in a new country is about trying to fit in and working uncompromisingly to make their dreams come true. This makes it tougher to stay connected to the country you come from. However, for brothers Derrick Arthur-Cudjoe and Justice Arthur-Mesere, staying connected to their home country means never leaving ‘home’ out of their dreams and recognizing that, “we are who we have been waiting for.” In 2018, the two brothers launched Motive8Global to ensure that they live their childhood dream of giving back to the society that made them everything they are.
When Derrick and Justice migrated from Ghana to the United States in 2014, they made a decision to dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others regardless of where they found themselves. “This passion stems from empathy that we developed through our experience as low-income, first generation students and our participation in several community service activities,” says Derick. For Justice, Ghana is built on the principles of social justice and freedom. He tells us that his whole upbringing was filled with reminders of the importance of helping others. “The communities we grew up in Ghana shaped our personality and instilled the resilience, grit and determination that continuously propels us to go through every stage of life,” he adds. Launching Motive8 Global isn’t about popularity, money, or social media clout. For Derrick and Justice, Motive8 Global is about using what they have to live a life of service and stay connected to Ghana.
Motive8 Global supports and initiates projects aimed at eliminating social inequalities and empowering people to live their full potential. Whether that is supporting a program/facility for teenagers, mentoring, professional development workshops or talent development, sustainable social development and self-empowerment are at the center of everything they do. “We believe the change and improvement that we seek as a society is imminent but will not occur without collective grassroots efforts. The idea of giving back should not be lost in how much impact we can make. It should be rooted in how well we can support communal efforts through our daily activities,” says Justice. Derick and Justice are calling on other members of the Ghanaian diaspora to consider becoming actively engaged in conversations and efforts to improve our motherland. “Our presence in America mandates us to constantly challenge, correct and educate people about the misconceptions and prejudices surrounding Ghanaian, and African narratives,” says Derrick.
The two brothers who were born and raised in Takoradi, Western Region, Ghana are now game changers who believe their roots must be a part of their dreams. In their pursuit to spread the Ghanaian culture, Derrick and Justice have come to realize that it is very important to evaluate the aspects of our community that need help. They believe that in doing this, communities can come together to brainstorm new initiatives and improving existent strategies and models. Justice says that, “giving back isn’t exclusive to material contributions. It could be the social media post to share our Ghanaian narrative, sharing the work of Ghanaian artistes, helping younger students with their academic work and motivating them to make the right decisions, or building a multi-million non-profit foundation.”
Read about the Kalpohin Community from Motive8 Global's perspective below:
Kalpohin Community is a rural suburb of Tamale in the Northern region of Ghana. With a population of about 12,000 people, the locals are mainly involved in farming, trading, and artisanship. The community has one public school, and one local clinic.
Motive8 Global's interaction with students from the school revealed that the students faced numerous educational barriers, which include systematic errors, unfavorable policies and the lack of resources - stationery, and educational advisors. The school’s infrastructure was in terrible condition. This was also affecting teaching and learning.
The windows in the school were very old and weak, with many of them broken and others banded to prevent them from falling. With the year-long hot weather, the closed windows made the classrooms almost impossible to stay in. The broken doors made the classrooms vulnerable to strangers and animals after school. The situation also prevented teachers from storing instructional material in the classrooms, given that there are no assigned rooms or a principal’s office to keep the material safe after school. All 12 classrooms in the school still taught with chalkboards.
Chalkboards need to be painted regularly by students using paste electrolytes from dry cells which exposed them to harmful chemicals like ammonium chloride. The chalk dust produced, despite the dirt it creates, is a major cause of lower respiratory illnesses, which keeps students and teachers out of school for days. Hence, delaying the quality of education. Despite the health burden associated with the use of chalkboards, they are also relatively expensive in the long run since two whiteboard markers could last longer than a box of chalk.
We believe that education is power and one of our main goals is to empower people to empower themselves. On learning about the state of the school, we worked with our non-profit to replace all windows and doors with metal ones that could survive the harsh weather conditions, installed white marker boards, and painted the buildings following the renovation of the classrooms. Renovations included replacing iron sheets, and fixing cracks and dents. We also donated stationary to supplement teaching and learning.
If you would like to work with Motive8 Global email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find them on IG:
Derrick Arthur-Cudjoe - @derrickarthurc
Justice Arthur-Mesere - @jayarthurjnr
Their multimedia company, Motive8 concepts: @motive8concepts