Trade-ing UP(Dates) 

We are THRILLED to share our students progress with you. They have been working so hard the last year!  Check out these pictures of our wonderful group of students. 

Trade-ing UP

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit working in Ghana to provide a holistic empowerment from the bottom up through vocational education and provide access to the certifications required to become an active member of the local workforce and economy. All of which will employ local teachers and laborers with a limited reliance on foreign intervention and aid.


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Our Mission

With comprehensive education, we aim to eliminate the local skills gap in the Northern Lake Volta region of Ghana. Our main objective is to empower the community through the technical education of young adults. Over time this will consequently reduce the need for international blind aid and the community will have literally built itself from the ground up. We wish to enhance and diversify the local economy by injecting more skilled labor and expanding current trade networks.

Our extended vision is to create a blueprint for relatively self-sufficient vocational schools in the developing world.


Nothern Lake Volta Region

Our students live on the shores of Lake Volta. This location serves as a funnel for trade between the north and south of Ghana. This lake is dotted with communities unfortunately filled with unskilled workers awaiting an economic opportunity. Our students are currently learning in Makango. 

We work with both male and female students (15yrs and up) who would fall into these categories:

1. Fall at or below the local poverty line
2. Would not have access to higher education due to location or financial circumstances
3. Has ambition for knowledge in the instructed trades



Products With A Purpose

We've been working hard to make products out of Ghanaian fabric for you! Instead of charging our supporters a flat cost, we ask that with every product requested you provide a donation to Trade-ing Up of your chosen amount. This ensures 100% of your donation goes directly into our student's programs. 

 Right now we offer:

Lanyards, Wallets, Pencil bags/MakeUp Pouches, Smaller zipper pouches, and Shopping Bags made with recycled bike tubes and Ghanaian Fabric. 


Everything is hand made so if you're interested in supporting our students in a creative way, fill out the form to the right and let us know what you would like! 



Trade-ing Up visits the local communities to investigate what types of vocational training programs are needed most. We choose our programs based on region-specific demand, student interest, and economic viability. Our students are not just being trained in one skill, rather a holistic education which will provide them with the long-term skills they need to be successful. 




The Bigger Picture

In-person technical education school specializing in relevant local trades and vocational skills taught by local masters. Trade-ing Up has determined to provide Seamstress education. While enrolled in their Trade they will simultaneously take English and Business classes. 



One of the largest vocational opportunities across Ghana

Many Women AND Men are trained to be Seamstresses in Ghana. It is extremely common to bring the fabric you want to the shop and have clothing handmade. Right now, Seamstress apprenticeships take up to three years and are very costly for the students. During their apprenticeships, they cannot work which makes it difficult to earn a living while working for their Master. Trade-ing Up students have their fees covered along with having the opportunity to work while being students. Our first Dressmakers class is currently in Makango. We have three bright local women working hard to complete their education. Teaching them is a local Dressmaker master. 



Skills to last a lifetime.

Giving our students the opportunity to learn English and business skills creates a better platform for furthering their use of trade skills. Many of the problems we heard during our time in Ghana was that even if they had access to vocational training, they didn't know English or other important business skills which prevented them from ever operating their own successful business. All of our students receive the English and Business training. 


Supporting Our Students 

501 (c) 3 Non-Profit


Sponsor a Student

By Sponsoring Trade-ing Up Dressmaker students, you are pledging to support their costs for an entire year. Each student only needs $368. This money provides:


1. Their own sewing machine

2. Materials including fabric for practicing, selling, and uniforms

3. Meals, essential to  provide financial security to students while in school

4. Business and English Classes and supplies

Where's the Money Go?

Lots of people wonder where the money goes when investing in a non-profit. How can you really be sure that your donation is being well spent? At Trade-ing Up, we lay out exactly where your donations have gone and where future donations will go. Take a look!



Our Background

Brandon McGee -- Executive Director

 Engineering student at George Washington University and Paul Harris Fellow through Rotary International. Brandon originated the idea for the NGO after living in Zambia for four months and establishing a self-sustaining goat farm that supports a disabled community and also has experience managing field projects for non-profits. Brandon loves soccer and thinks we should all play more.

Kyle Wiese -- Director of Development

Currently living in Washington, DC, Kyle has experience with non-profit management, administration, and grant funding, as well as domestic and international volunteer experience. Currently pursuing a degree in Education, Kyle is passionate about providing educational opportunities to underprivileged youth.  


Francis -- Lead Advisor and Field Manager

Francis is from Ghana and has worked with Mercy Project, an NGO working on the issue of child trafficking along with other community development programs. Francis studied development planning at University and is currently working towards his Master's Degree abroad at Dalhousie University in Halifax. 


Portia -- In Country Manager

Portia Tawiah works with Mercy Project to eradicate Child Trafficking in Ghana. She has her First Degree in Social Work from KNUST. Portia is passionate about child and youth development, and empowerment of the poor and vulnerable in society.


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609.661.2028 or 720.532.6269


©2017 by Trade-ing Up.

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