Tiffany Persons - Founder of Shine On

Tiffany Persons Shine On


Can you give me a brief break down  of your foundation Shine On and the concept of change not charity?

In the early years of Shine On Sierra Leone, I went through a period where I became overwhelmed with the amount of need in the world, specifically, in the one village that I was helping in Sierra Leone. I also realized that at the time, America had, for over 50 years, been pouring aid into Africa, and the problem had only gotten worse. I thought at how odd it was that more people didn’t talk about this.  If this were any viable business one would have to look at the business plan, and ask, what is wrong with the model. After some time, it became clear that charity, does not change circumstances, but instead, how a person thinks and feels about themselves is the root of any lasting change. If we are not taking into account the inner health of someone and if that person feels impoverished, worthless, or oppressed, or is impacted by trauma- then no matter how great the idea or how much money is poured into it, it will always reappropriate itself back to poverty.   Because of this, the ethos of  Shine on Sierra Leone is that we focus on investing in the inner development which impacts the outer development.  This is true change, not just charity.


If you had known how big and challenging building a foundation in Sierra Leone was when you started it at 32, do you think you would have had the courage to do it?

I certainly would have had the courage to do it, but I probably would find it hard to match the enthusiasm that I had and the overzealous naivety that fueled me every single day.  But now looking back, 18 years later, it’s my proudest contribution to humanity to have served in this particular way. 

What has been the easiest thing about building Shine On?

Being propelled and inspired by something that I truly believe in; that good education, literacy, clean water, and access to health care is a HUMAN RIGHT


Being recognized as a “Woman of the World” by  50/50 Leadership and the United Nations Association is a massive and well-earned huge honor, but what has been the downside or hard part?

It is a beautiful honor that I am deeply grateful to have received.  The hard part would be that those titles are not associated with the support that organizations like SOSL, constantly need.  This is no fault of the honor of course.  

Your foundation started as a school but has grown to include several education programs for children & adults, a community center, and a micro-credit lending program.  No pressure, but what’s next?

We would like to extend our program to support our students through college. Also, to create a “dream” community center;  a creative after-school program, unlike any other in Sierra Leone, that will nourish the artistic minds of our young people. This center will have art, music, literature, agriculture, technology and more.

Have you met your own expectations?

Absolutely not :) I can tell you a long list of things that I haven’t done well or have done wrong, but I won’t bore you with that. I don’t think it’s in nature to ever feel satisfied with a project like this. That said, I am content with doing my absolute best with the life I have been given and if today was my last day on earth, I feel good that I gave it my best shot.

What do you think is the single handed best way ONE person can affect change?

To reach out and touch the people that are directly within arms reach. I believe that if we work on the very relationships that are closest in our lives, that is monumental work that impacts the planet as a whole. Whether that is forgiveness, healing broken relationships, including those that are left out, creating a garden in our yard, and sharing fruit with others…it’s limitless what we can do to add love and peace in our lives, and it's an exponential impact of this that is an underestimated key to changing the world.

If you could go back and change anything about building Shine On, what would that be?

I would have asked more people for help more often. 

Do you have a great recipe that you have brought back from your time in Sierra Leone that you could share?

There is a recipe that is very special to us at Shine On Sierra Leone, and it is called Bone Soup.

 The bone soup came out of a beautiful creation between myself and the village.  When Ebola struck in 2014-2015, students were out of school for 9 months and a byproduct of lockdowns and ebola epidemic, was food insecurity. Children and their parents were starving.    All communal markets and spaces were closed.  And because of no electricity, there were no refrigerators or freezers to preserve food.  

They were in a very tough situation and had many hungry nights.  We came up with the idea of making bone broth using would-be discarded bones front the local butcher, and adding nutrient dent moringa, tomato, onions, and sweet potato.   We created a signature soup that fed not only 250 students and 400 community members, but also received an unexpected gift of healing.  We have countless accounts of the elimination of back pains, chest pains, many body ailments.  A child in our village with sickle cell anemia was free from pain for the first time.  

This soup has become a miracle soup in our village and the children continue to eat it every single day. 



  • 2 lbs bones from a healthy source
  • 2 chicken feet (optional)
  • 1 gal water
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 TBSP salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp peppercorns (optional)
  • herbs and spices (to taste, optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 bunch parsley (optional)



  • If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350°F.
  • Place the bones in a large stock pot or the Instant Pot.
  • Pour cool filtered water and the vinegar over the bones. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
  • Rough chop and add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot.
  • Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.

Stove Top

  • Bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done.
  • During the first few hours of simmering, you'll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
  • Simmer for 8 hours for fish broth, 24 hours for chicken, or 48 hours for beef.
  • During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.

Instant Pot

  • Add the garlic and parsley to the pot if using, place the lid on the pot, and set valve to seal.
  • Cook at high pressure for 2 hours, followed by either a quick release or natural pressure release. Either is fine.
  • Let cool slightly, strain, and store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.


  • 1 gallon of Bone Broth
  • 1 28oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 1 jalepeno pepper diced (optional)
  • 2 or more TBSP of Salt to Taste
  • 1 TBSP of peper t taste
  • 8 oz of dried moringa leaves (or fresh if you are able to source)
  • 4 large Organic Sweet Potato or Purple Yams

Add all ingredients into a pot with bone broth.  Bring to a boil for 2 minutes and turn heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

 When Tiffany is not traveling she lives with her family in Topanga Canyon.

 Read more about Shine On and DONATE at the website here

And this  video link really shows you how Unique Tiffany Persons is 

1 comment

  • Daniel Peace Extrom

    You know reading that recipe made me hungry.
    I think we’re gonna try making it and we’ll get back to you. Looking forward to it. Peace.

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