This is a perfect project for anyone who would like to have an exciting adventure to help a grassroots charity in rural Africa. It's a relaxed team volunteering environment and there is flexibility to get involved with all volunteer roles within the village which include building, sports coaching, teaching, photography and child care. This is a very rewarding project since you are directly involved with the charity's progress by creating new community facilities. By providing new and renovated buildings there is great benefit to the local community, schools, healthcare and it allows the charity to advance with their amazing work. This region is classified as an area of great poverty. You will be helping some of the poorest people in the world and supporting the work that the charity is doing.
You will be based in a small friendly village nestled in a jungle in the Eastern Region of Ghana, with no electricity or running water. The charity has built a strong long term relationship with the villagers and has built a new health centre, well and toilets within the community working alongside local partners. Volunteers are welcomed into the village individually by the village Chief including a special drinking ceremony and after this you are under the protection of the Chief during your stay!
What to Expect?
Building Volunteers: You will be working in a team with international and local volunteers on a community building project. You could be building or renovating a school or local library, building a water harvesting unit by building a toilet block. Your volunteer role may involve digging foundations, laying cement, building walls, plastering or painting. Volunteers don’t need to have any specialist experience, just enthusiasm and energy! Experienced local masons, carpenters and craftsmen will lead the group, teaching you the required skills and supervising your work.
Child Care: You will join the nursery team which provides day care for young children between 2 - 6 years old and also help local health staff with baby weighing at a local Health Clinic covering surrounding villages. This allows the clinic and mothers to monitor their baby’s development to check they are getting stronger and are healthy. You will be involved with the day to day running of the nursery, helping equip the children with the skills that they require for when they start school. Volunteers act as a positive role model for the children and the interaction with volunteers naturally improves the children’s English and their confidence. You should come prepared with ideas for activities suitable for children of different ages – think of your old favourite playground games, nursery rhymes, stories and arts & crafts sessions!
Teaching Volunteers: Volunteers run after school English lessons for a range of students from 6 to 16 years old at the local primary and middle school each week day. These lessons help develop the children’s English skills and confidence. You can teach vocabulary, music, art and sometimes other academic subjects such as maths, science or geography. You will also work with the local team to design and implement interactive health care and behavioural change sessions. This can involve plays and films with the group touring schools in the local area to educate children, teachers and the community on specific health and social issues. Topics are designed to complement past education sessions such as hand washing and the importance of school attendance.
Film and Photography: Up to date photographs and films are needed for promotional purposes including the charity website, school sponsorship, fundraising and other literature. They are used to publicise the charity as well as providing a means of feedback for current donors so they can see the project developments, helping form an important link between supporters and the community. You will be asked to help capture images of the local people, the village and local lifestyle.
Sports Coaching: Volunteers organise after school sports sessions for pupils from the local school on the sports pitch. You can teach football or volleyball and the children are also interested in learning new sports too. Teaching sport has a wide range of benefits including improving the health, fitness and wellbeing of the children and helping them develop English language skills. It also helps to encourage teamwork and team spirit, improve concentration and increase the confidence of the children.
Time off: Volunteers normally work for 5-6 days a week. You can explore the local area and travel on your days off or you can take a longer break mid-way (if doing 4 weeks) or at the end of your placement giving you more time to visit the beaches and beautiful coastal regions of Cape Coast and Kakum National Park with it's dramatic canopy walk. Boti falls and umbrella rock in the Yilo Krobo District of Ghana and Aburi Botanic Gardens are also popular destinations. The nearby city of Koforidua has a weekly bead market that draws bead buyers and sellers from all over the region and is a popular place for volunteers to visit.
- Program ID: # 1980
- duration: 1 to 2 Weeks2 Weeks to 1 Month1 to 3 Months
- location: Rural Ghana KoforiduaGhana5° 55' 19.362" N, 0° 15' 49.2192" W
- Fitness level: Light ImpactModerately Fit
- Closest Airport:
- Costs From: $1000 to $1500
- Program Type: Community Development ProjectsTeach OverseasWomen's & Youth Programs
- Program Url:
“What advice would you give others considering doing this placement? Go into it with an open mind. It may be hard work at times and you may get fed up with the heat but being able to witness the difference you are making makes it all so worth it! It will also probably have a big impact on your outlook on life, but that’s not such a bad thing. I never really thought I was a 'kid person' before I went on this project but the love I felt for the kids in the village is indescribable. They are so happy all the time, even if they do have hardly anything in their lives. It was the most incredible experience of my life so far and it was so rewarding to donate your time, money and hard work to these amazing people who need it but also appreciate it so much. They will do anything for you to show how much it means to them and their families. The idea of no running water or electricity in the village really worried me at first but it was actually so easy to adapt to it and at the end of the day, if the people who live there can deal with it all year round I could definitely cope with it for a month. It was actually surprisingly nice to not really have any electricity and I really enjoyed the bucket showers they were great. The head of the charity Neil is also so lovely and fun to work with, he is so passionate about what he does but he is also so down to earth and such a laugh to be around. I feel I have gained a very good friend in him and I am already planning my next trip this year to return to the village with him, I miss it so much and feel that my time is not quite complete there. Lastly I also got to know a little girl in the village called Comfort, she is three years old and we were joined at the hip for four weeks. She would run up to me with her arms out and I would scoop her up whenever we saw each other, she couldn’t speak any English apart from she could say my name but I loved her to bits and can't wait to see her again. We would wake up at about 6 and then eat breakfast and get ourselves ready for the day. Then Lucy (another volunteer) and I would start work about 8. We would normally paint the school first in the morning then have lunch at 12 then we would all have a rest for an hour or so as it was way too hot to work at that time. Then in the afternoon we would take photos and videos of the kids for the film and photography project as by this time the kids would have normally finished school. It wasn’t hard to get lots of photos of the kids as they loved the camera so much and constantly wanted us to take photos of them as they were fascinated by it. Then at about 4 we would all start to have showers and finish up work (as this was the time the mozzies would come out soon), It would normally get dark about 6 and so for an hour before I would generally sit around with the kids playing and talking which I loved. When the sun went down it would be pitch black as there was no electricity in the village and so we would then eat and chill at this time (cooking dinner for 7 people using a head torch as light was, well interesting). Some nights we would also go to eat at families house in the village who Neil knows very well, the food was very good and it was nice to sit and watch them in their everyday lives. There was also a pub we would go to sometimes which was about a 15 minute journey in the land rover but it was nice to have a beer or two with everyone and if we were lucky the electricity would be working. What did you find most rewarding? Spending the weekends and evenings with the kids. We would play games, read books, draw pictures, go on walks, have cuddles and just sit and chat. It might seem quite a simple part of the trip but to me it was very special and especially sitting and cuddling them was nice as they dont really get that from their parents as it's just not part of their culture. Also witnessing how happy the kids were to be spending time with me as well was very rewarding. What did you find most challenging? The heat was the hardest part at first, especially as there wasn't really any breeze in the village. Also painting the school with the sun beaming down on you was very tiring but soon enough I got used to it and I was even able to start sitting round in jeans. But if you’re going to go on this trip, you cannot be afraid to sweat! Why do you think others should volunteer abroad? It helped me to grow as a person and to realise what I wanted to do with my life and to also realise that the most important thing is to just enjoy it. I also made some amazing lifelong friends and had some experiences that I will never forget. Now go and get out and see the world! Why did you choose PoD? Because they were able to put together and organise the perfect trip for me and their staff were very lovely and were able to help me every step of the way. Would you recommend PoD to your friends? Yes”