Mission and History

Unity Ecovillage was cofounded by Gloria Ewoenam Manheimer and Nana Mbroh I. (Isaac Hirt-Manheimer) in 2011 as a social enterprise with the goal of promoting cross-cultural understanding, environmental sustainability, and service learning (projects completed).

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Nana Mbroh I (Isaac Hirt-Manheimer), Co-Founder/Director

Nana first came to Ghana in 1998, when he spent a year studying traditional Ghanaian drumming and dance at the University of Ghana in Legon, where he would meet Ewoenam, his future wife and Unity’s co-founder.

Born in the USA, Isaac received his BA in Music from Simon’s Rock College of Bard and his MA in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, where he taught in the Music and Dance departments. His thesis focused on how the performing arts were used as a vehicle to promote national unity in post-colonial Ghana.

In addition to his background in the arts, Isaac is certified in Permaculture and Ecovillage design. His particular area of interests are green building and conservation agriculture. Nana has led academic and service learning programs at Unity for various institutions, including Princeton University, Yale International Relations Association, World Learning (SIT), and the City College of New York.

In recognition of his positive impact, in 2018 he was installed by the Anamabo Traditional Council as Mpuntuhene (Development Chief) and given the name Nana Mbro I.

Joyce Eku Wilson-Tagoe, Assistant to the Director

Joyce manages the front desk of our guest house, helping to coordinate and facilitate group programs, conferences, internships, and artist residencies. Joyce is also Unity’s liaison with Ghanaian academic institutions.

For the past 30 years, Joyce has served as a lecturer, principal research assistant and internship coordinator at the University of Education at Winneba. She is a member of the executive group of Women Leading Education Across Continents (WLE), an international higher education research group on social justice. She has published a number of articles in professional journals and serves as an external reviewer for the Asian Qualitative Research Association.

Nana Ansah Bediako XI, Music Instructor/Community Liason

Nana Ansa teaches drumming and drum making classes and serves as a liaison between Unity’s service learning volunteers and the local communities.

Nana Ansa grew up playing drums at ceremonies in the home of his father, a well known healer, in Yamoransa. At a early age established a reputation as a skilled drummer and talking drums (atumpan) orator. In the early 90s, Nana joined the resident performance troupe at the Center for National Culture (CNC) in Cape Coast and taught drumming to Ghanaian and foreign students at Kosa Cultural Center. He became a master drum maker after a two-year apprenticeship in the Eastern Region, and has since been teaching at Unity Ecovillage.

Kwadzo Gomado, Traditional Bead Making Instructor