Meaningful Volunteering Programmes in Ghana
This week we take a trip to West Africa and speak to award-winning youth travel experts, African Adventures, about their exciting and meaningful volunteer programme in Ghana.
Can you give us a brief outline of the volunteering program in Ghana?
The Youth Development Programme offers young people between the ages of 16-19 the chance to take part in a 10-night volunteering experience in Ghana. The programme is all about gaining independence within a supportive framework, stepping outside your comfort zone, and having a unique experience alongside like-minded individuals, as volunteers work to make an impact at our partner schools in The Volta Region.
|TEFL Communitites Teaching Expedition Adventure|
|8th August 2020 10 nights|
|Three meals a day (excluding weekend activity days)|
Why choose Ghana for a volunteering project?
Ghana is a vibrant, beautiful country with friendly people, stunning landscapes and unspoilt beaches. It is a real treat for the senses; everywhere you go, you will observe that dancing and drumming are central to the way of life, and you will be encouraged to join in with this when you visit our partner schools! The programme will immerse you in the fascinating culture of Ghana, and, throughout your stay, you will experience the wonder of this stunning country, both through volunteering and during your adventure weekend.
Who is the volunteer programme in Ghana ideally suited to?
The programme is for 16-19 year-olds who want to participate in a unique volunteering experience where they will meet new friends, learn a lot about Ghana - and themselves! - and have a meaningful impact on those who attend our partner projects. If you are enthusiastic, proactive, and keen to make a difference, we will welcome you with open arms!
What are some of the activities available to people looking to volunteer?
The two main roles that volunteers carry out at our partner projects are supporting teachers with lessons and assisting local builders with construction work. Due to overcrowding in many of our partner projects, teachers often welcome support with their lessons in order to effectively engage the children. You may be helping with games, teaching the children something new, or assisting with the provision of lunch for the children. Building volunteers can help with anything from painting a wall to building a new classroom. The role can be varied and hard work, but the tangible progress makes it is very rewarding.
Are there any other activities volunteers can participate in to contribute to the local communities?
Volunteers can also choose to do some sports coaching during their trip. Sport is hugely popular in Ghana and an important part of daily life in many areas. Because of the heat in Ghana, most PE lessons take place early in the morning and after school. The children love it when volunteers come and help with their sports sessions, especially when they bring equipment with them, as they can be introduced to new activities and fun ways of learning.
Do I need previous experience in any of these areas?
No experience is necessary for you to go on this trip. If you do have particular experience, for instance in the field of sports coaching, I am sure it will be a positive, but all volunteer work is supported by experienced professionals, so no qualifications or previous experience are needed. All we ask for is a ‘can-do attitude’ and a willingness to get involved.
How much does it cost and how do I make payment?
The programme costs £1,895 for the 10 nights, which covers almost all necessary costs including flights, volunteer insurance, accommodation, food, adventure activities, and in-country travel. Our fundraising tools and resources can help you with raising some of the funds needed for the programme – you will have access to these as soon as you sign up. Payment can be made in two or three instalments – talk to our friendly Trip Co-ordinators to arrange a payment schedule. You can pay online via our volunteer portal, which makes it nice and simple!
Get £100 off your Youth Development Programme!
Book before 14th March 2020 and get £100 off your trip cost! Use the code 'GHANA100'.
Get more info about this offer!
What does a typical day look like?
Here is the itinerary for a typical first day of volunteering – full of fun, learning and new experiences!:
07.30: Breakfast will be served at your accommodation.
08.30: Be ready to leave for your first day at our partner projects.
09.00: Arrive at your project – be prepared to receive a warm welcome from the teachers and children! You will be introduced to the school and project work you will be helping with for the duration of your stay, and will then start your volunteering.
12.00 – 13.00: Your lunch will be brought to you at the school and there is usually a one-hour break, during which you can interact with the children. 13.00: Continue with your volunteer work.
15.30: You will be picked up by our team and taken home to your accommodation to freshen up.
16.30: Free time or an afternoon activity arranged with your Trip Host (see below).
18.30: Dinner will be served at your accommodation.
19.30: Time to relax! This is a great time to talk about your project experience so far and prepare any lessons or work for the following day. You will be completing exercises with your group in the evening, to log your learnings and get to know your peers.
Your trip host will arrange a schedule of afternoon and evening activities with you when you arrive. These include a drumming lesson, talk on traditional Ghanaian marriage, a visit to the local food market, trips to the beach and an Ewe language lesson.
What do I need to bring, and what is included?
Included within the programme cost:
- Return indirect flights from London Heathrow
- Specialist volunteer travel insurance
- Single-sex shared accommodation
- Three meals per day (except adventure weekend & transit days)
- In-country transfers and daily return transport to projects
- Orientation upon arrival, 24-hour in-country support and dedicated African Trip Host
- Pre-planned project work
- Programme Leader (travelling with the group)
- Cultural activities
- Weekend adventure activity
- Project development contribution
- Access to our online portal - My AA - for trip details, pre-departure support & fundraising ideas
- African Adventures t-shirt
We would suggest bringing any specific resources that you would like to use for teaching or sports coaching, as there are very limited resources at our partner schools in Ghana. Our online portal has a section dedicated to what to pack, and you can find out more at our pre-departure meeting on 25th April – we will send you details of this when you book on to the programme.
When is this program available and how does the application process work?
The programme is taking place on 4th August this year (2020) for 10 nights. If you would like to find out more, please visit www.african-adventures.co.uk/ydp or call us on 02381 780957 and we will be happy to go through everything with you and answer any questions. You can sign up to the programme by visiting the webpage, but don’t leave it too long because numbers will be finalised at the end of March!
What preparation is there for the programme?
We are holding a pre-departure day on Saturday 25th April to prepare all volunteers for the adventure ahead. On this day, you will get to meet the Programme Leaders and the other young people taking part in the programme, as well as learn all about what the programme will involve, and how you can prepare for the experience. The day is taking place in Oxford and we will be providing refreshments throughout. We can’t wait to meet everyone who is travelling to Africa with our Youth Development Programme this year!
What are some of the personal benefits to volunteering in Ghana?
Volunteering in Ghana with African Adventures has so many resulting benefits, not just for the projects that we support. Volunteers return from this experience as more resilient, globally aware and rounded individuals. It is a life-changing trip which will challenge your perceptions and take you out of your comfort zone. You’ll make new friends and some amazing memories, whilst carrying out rewarding and worthwhile volunteer work.