We are convinced that trade is more dignifying than aid

TUMI Ghana is a social enterprise that has been active in Kumasi, the second biggest city in Ghana, since October 2017. We empower young women by creating sustainable income opportunities. The meaning of TUMI is strength in the local language Twi.

Education in Ghana, especially university, is still a luxury for many. This leaves a lot of women without employable skills. In our Women Empowerment Center, young women are trained to become seamstresses and designers. These women are also coached on entrepreneurial skills, such as administration and marketing. In addition, they receive sex education and access to free birth control. This results in skilled and independent women who can take care of themselves and their children.

Our goal is not only to achieve financial independence for the women that join our project, but also for the project itself. That is why we run TUMI Hostel and sell the handmade products made in our Women Wmpowerment Centre. TUMI Hostel is located on the same premises as our Women Empowerment Center, and is rated with a 9.4 on booking.com. The hostel and the sales of our products finance the Women Empowerment Center, creates jobs and supports the local economy.

Women Empowerment Centre

Women can:

  • Take courses to become a professional seamstress and designer
  • Learn all skills involved in becoming a successful entrepreneur
  • Get information about sexual health and get free access to birth control methods

The course includes classes in:

  • Sewing
  • Designing
  • Customer service
  • Bookkeeping
  • Marketing
  • Sexual health and family planning

Young women from 17 to 28 years old with a maximum level of SHS can apply for our Fashion & designing course by calling to Annette: 0244 86 92 75

Team

Our team in Ghana

MILOU LOMMELEN - FOUNDER

Milou Lommelen Founder

Milou studied Tourism & Leisure Management and Facility Management. In 2015 she came to Ghana for an internship and loved the place and the Ghanaian people. While working here she saw the many possibilities that Ghana has to offer and started working on the project plan for TUMI Ghana. After a year of preparations in the Netherlands, she came back to Ghana in 2017 to start TUMI Hostel and the women empowerment center. Till this day she loves working in Kumasi with the team and the students.

ANTOINETTE OPOKU - SEWING COORDINATOR

Antoinette Opoku Sewing Coordinator

Antoinette (better known as Annette) is married and mother of four. After finishing Management studies at the Institute for Commercial Management she studied Fashion and design in Kumasi. She worked for an international NGO for eight years and seven years ago she founded her own fashion and design business. Given her work experience and her

PATRICIA ATTANLEY Sewing teacher

Patricia schooled in Kumasi, after completing High school she went on to teach in two different schools where she found out she really has a passion for teaching. After a while she enrolled in the first batch of TUMI Ghana students in 2017, after completing the program she worked on her own for a while and when TUMI was in need for a substitute teacher she happily took the job. Because she did the whole program herself, it makes her a very equipped teacher and a great example for all the new girls coming in.

ANNEROOS DEN OTTER OPERATIONS MANAGER

Anneroos Den Otter Operations manager

Anneroos studied Cultural & Social development. During her studies she traveled a lot and found her passion in intercultural work. After graduating she worked as a project coordinator and mentor in a refugee camp with unaccompanied minor refugees. After 2 years of working she decided to move to Ghana for a volunteer project with seamstresses.

IRENE ADWOA SAGOE Sexual health & Entrepreneurship teacher

Irene teaches Entrepreneurship and Sexual Health Education at the Women Empowerment Centre, she recently graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. While studying Culture and Tourism, she toured various regions in Ghana and learnt how to relate with people of different cultures. Irene has vast knowledge in Sexual Health and a certificate in Entrepreneurship Education. She has worked together with Milou to design the curriculum especially for TUMI. Irene is very approachable which makes it easy for the students to talk to her. That’s how she has grown into the role of confidante of the students and she coaches them on their personal and business decisions.

Esther Serwaah Kyei hostel manager

Esther holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She joined an international NGO where she took on several roles like business support associate, business analyst and consultant. From there she became team leader were she supervised and managed the welfare of all volunteers in 2018. This is where she learnt to manage a group of people. Esther is very confident and a great leader. She believes in gender equality and women empowerment hence her inspiration to manage the hostel to generate more revenue to run the foundation.

Our team in The Netherlands

DANIELLE LEUKEL - VICE-CHAIRPERSON

Danielle Leukel Board chairperson

Danielle works as a specialty beer portfolio manager at Swinkels Family Brewers. Driven by her passion for other cultures and her close involvement through Milou as her sister-in-law, she is part of the TUMI Ghana team from day one. Because of her experience with the foundation, she is chairman of the Dutch board. She ensures that the Dutch team is enthusiastic about TUMI's inspiring mission, and believes that together we can make the world a little better.

Wouter Gerards - TREASURER

Wouter Gerards Board treasurer

Wouter has extended knowledge about financials and the Non-Profit world. He was a board member for several years for an NGO in Colombia and works as an accountant for the Dutch government.

Jozan Drost Board vice-chairperson

Jozan has studied cultural and social work. With her passion for traveling and the will to work for other cultures, Jozan has seen much of the world. It makes her happy to empower others and let them develop further. As a job coach at Complete Mensenwerk she works with various cultures. When she was in Ghana to visit her friend Anneroos, she was soon infected with the TUMI virus. She uses her experience as a coach to guide the volunteers of TUMI Ghana, and she is also involved in the further development of TUMI as a professional organization in the Netherlands.

Jelle Merkus Board secretary

Jelle works as a project manager in the field of spatial planning for the Province of Limburg. He followed TUMI Ghana from the beginning and saw how a driven group of friends worked for the foundation over the last years. The positivity that can be found in the vision of TUMI Ghana as well as the enthusiasm of the team really appealed to Jelle. Since the beginning of 2019, he joined the team to work together on the further growth of TUMI Ghana.

AN PEGELS - SECRETARY

An Pegels Advisory sales

An is sales manager for Wittenberg in Amsterdam. She visited Milou when she was in Ghana. She fell in love with the country and supports the project completely. She helps TUMI Ghana with finding new partners and sponsors.

Evert Gerards Volunteer administration

Evert has a lot of experience with financial accountability and the associated administration. This knowledge has been gained during his Business Administration studies and his long career in banking. Now he is retired. Inspired by the enthusiasm of the board members, Evert has been helping TUMI since 2018. In this way, he hopes to improve the inequality in the world a little. He takes care of all administrative tasks and in this way supports the Ghanaian organization very much.

Apart from the above team members, we also work with a large group of very enthusiastic volunteers:

DanielleAbout TUMI Ghana