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Playground Equipment Brings Light to Isolated Ghana Villages




Matt Miller, CEO of Playworld Systems, Inc. (cap on, left), traveled to Ghana in November 2010 to participate in the installations of the first two "whirls" (merry-go-rounds manufactured by Playworld) for Empower Playgrounds. Ben Markham (cap on, right) founded Empower Playgrounds in 2007.
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Playworld Systems has partnered with Empower Playgrounds, Inc., a nonprofit that provides renewable energy to villages in Ghana through electricity-generating playground equipment and smart LED lanterns. By lending its research and development resources, materials and facilities, Playworld Systems is helping Empower Playgrounds further its mission by accelerating production of the play equipment merry-go-rounds known as "whirls." The kids playing on the whirls generate power, which power portable lanterns for evening activities. While most people take light for granted, the lantern lights allow the kids to study and read at night, a life-changing development for families living in isolated areas of Ghana.




Isolated villages in Ghana do not have electricity, however, when the kids play on the "whirls," power is generated to light portable lanterns for evening activities. Matt Miller is holding the lantern.

Ben Markham, a retired ExxonMobil engineer from Utah, founded Empower Playgrounds in 2007 after spending time in Ghana as a missionary. "Ben's mission to help the children of Ghana through the combination of play and light is deeply inspiring," said Matt Miller, CEO of Playworld Systems. "We believe play and education are both vital to the human experience, regardless of geography, age or ability. We're ecstatic to work with Empower Playgrounds to help enrich the lives of others in such a profound and innovative way."

Approximately 3,000 children have access to the whirls, which have been installed by Empower Playgrounds in the most remote and deprived villages. By 2012, Playworld Systems and Empower Playgrounds plan to make the power-generating systems available to developing nations across the globe.


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October 17, 2019, 9:22 am PDT

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