Ghana

Global Crossroad

I started this trip expecting to stay with a host family. Although this isn't technically a host family it definitely felt like one from the start. We sleep in bunk beds with a room mate and the beds are very comfortable. I slept better here than I do in the states on a full size bed. The food is ridiculously amazing. I can not emphasize how much I loved the food enough. The shower /bathroom both exceeding my expectations. There is also a family room with couches that are awesome for afternoon naps/reading. I have no suggestions for improvement. Most of all I felt safe 100% of the time. This is a huge part of why it was so great to stay in this house. Like I said, the volunteer house feels like a big family. There are always people around and they are always wanting to chat /hangout /get to know you. It's really a unique beautiful experience. There is so much positive energy in the house. People constantly singing and dancing. It's impossible not to be happy here. Anyone in the house offers to help you with everything - washing clothes buying soap, anything. Again I felt super safe and comfortable - even more safe in my own home. I volunteered at the margo maternity clinic and taught sex health classes at 6 schools. The clinic was very welcoming and allow you to observe and sometimes participate in activities. I was able to observe 7 births, 4 circumcision, assist in vaccinations and blood samples visit local villages to weigh and vaccinate babies and I am just a nutritionist. They really provide a unique opportunity for people to volunteer. Franklin also organized 6 different schools for me to teach sex health classes with some other volunteers. I was super impressed with Franklin and the schools openness to us coming and instructing on a delicate subject in the religious atmospheres. 5 weeks is not long enough! I have learned so much in this short time about myself, GHANA and people in general. This really is an extra ordinary opportunity with extra ordinary people. Ghanaians are incredibly welcoming and friendly and this family is no exception. I will miss this time so much, but I am so blessed to have had it. Thank you all so, so much for everything.!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Aug 21, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

Sorry for my English.
I slept very well (sometimes too much), i took good showers(short time and refreshing). in Spain, people always take long showers, i learnt that water is a very important and needed resource. i have learnt to appreciate it. (same with power/electricity). the fans help so much during the hot moments and the rooms are very nice. I love the volunteers room, a place to find inspiration, to read something, to play, to share things... i regret not having taken some books and magazines and games to feed the room.
i know i wasn't an easy volunteer because of my communication difficulties, because when i am not with my friends and family i feel like strange because sometimes i could be shy or different. in spite of everything, since the very first day, i understood i was the same with the family just being the way i am. this strong and powerful feeling of love and equality made me feel like home, even better(respect,love,faith and help).
My experience at countryside was improving from worst to best. at the beginning, it was very hard. it was difficult to find my role and sometimes i believed that i was not being useful. Then i realized that African kids are the way they are, teachers and education system are the way they are and you cannot change it, you are just a volunteer. it is all about adapting yourself and giving your best then you are helping but if you try to change it or avoid punishment, you will be angry and you will be making a mistake. i miss my kids so much. i will always remember their names and their faces. i know they will also remember me, my jokes, the football games, the Spanish lessons,the magic tricks... and also my teacher and her daughter. I am writing this at 9.56pm. i have been with malaria for the whole week, i feel very weak and tired. i am sorry i wrote this fast but i really want to go and sleep. How ever i know we will be in touch and probably see each other again(in a different way). the only thing i want to say is THANK YOU for everything. And especially for making me born again. i will always remember the speech of Franklin in the room. It made me feel feel different, full of joy to start again, to give real meaning to my life. I am in debt to you. i really don't know how to say it but i appreciate it with all my heart. Thank you so much.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Aug 15, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

The house is LOVELY. it is way more than i expected to have. Running water, fans,etc. i slept very well every night and awoke to
a delicious breakfast waiting. the shower is lovely. it never bothered me that it was cold. i loved having Captain and Adom and all the cats to see every day. i have nothing bed to say about the accommodation here in Ghana.
Everybody here was wonderful! Kristy is great at cooking(so is Mary( and she is willing to make you something special if you don't like it. All of the girls are helpful, kind and fun to be around. They've taken us to the market and the beach and have been more than willing to visit the dress shop with us on the daily.
Franklin is helpful,full of advice and has lots of connections. He put a lot of thought into helping us run a secondary project with the schools in town and without him it couldn't have happened. Every one definitely made it feel like a big family. i haven't felt home sick at all in these 4 weeks, thanks to the loving support of my entire Ghana family!
i was assigned to work at both Margo Maternity Home and an HIV/AIDS orphanage/clinic in Accra. Throughout the 4 weeks, i never had the chance to visit the HIV/AIDS clinic. Part was due to the secondary project developed by another volunteer and myself. however, I am disappointed to not have experienced it. I signed up for the HIV/AIDS program so i really could work with support and disease management for HIV patients. Though that is not to say i didn't really enjoy the projects i was doing. at the Margo clinic, i got to work in the laboratory which was great! i also developed a good relationship with the public health nurse,Mavis. She took me out to the villages with her to educate mothers and vaccinate babies. i also got to watch a few births. Mama Lu and the majority of the nurses are very nice and welcoming. the clinic got boring every so often so another volunteer and i started teaching sexual education to J.H.S students. Teenage pregnancy and STD s are very common in Ghana. This project was wonderful and extremely rewarding. Most of the students were very receptive and excited to learn. We are trying to De-stigmatize the discussion of sex. i think it has been very helpful. we reached 7 schools(almost 500 students).
i have had a great time in Ghana. it has been eye opening,rewarding, and lovely. i will miss everybody so much. the friends i have made here will never be forgotten. I love you all so much.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Aug 15, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

RCDP Nepal

The volunteer house is always filled with great positive energy. The house is clean and I sleep very well at night. The beds are super comfortable and the cold showers feel amazing in this hot weather. The food was also amazing.
I absolutely loved every one in the house hold. Every one is so loving and caring and fun. When a person is sick they make sure that you do not feel alone and is constantly at your aid. Every one eats together and we talk and dance and workout together in the evenings. They are there to talk to if you are not feeling 100% and they help you with any problems you face. In this house you will always feel safe.
The projects were fun and interesting. I was working at the maternity clinic. I didn't come with high expectations so everything I experienced exceeded everything I thought I would do. I learned so much and had the chance to try so many new things. The other workers were super friendly apart from one or two grumpy ones but apart from them every one was super nice and fun to be around. I also got to do some sex talks together with with some other volunteers, thanks to Franklin who arranged it all. In my free time I also visited the orphanage which was tiring but the children were adorable.
I am so happy I chose to come to ghana and chose this program. Words cannot describe what I feel about this place. I love every one and will miss you all. Love love love.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Aug 12, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

I sleep well, i bath well, i like our house. this is all that i need. the staff treat me as family so i will treat them as my family. they are nice and friendly always willing to help me in case i need anything. Especially, they prepare my meals according to my appetite.
At Good Shepherd Orphanage and school, i had a good time there working in the nursery. the kids are lovely. i want to thank everyone for making this happen. i have always wanted to come to Africa and this trip has exceeded my expectation. i don't only get to know and explore a new place but find my second home in the world with family members and friends that i will definitely miss so much. Although i have only been here for less than a month, i feel like i have spent half of my life here. everyone includes me in a part of everything and make my life much easier.
i am very happy because this is a christian family who love Jesus Christ as i do. Devotion time is the favorite part of my day and really i am looking forward to it everyday.
i hope and believe everyone can treasure devotion time as i do. i know God bless the family a lot. i hope to have devotion time in Hong Kong and thanks for inspiring me. I will severely miss all the beautiful singing among the house. there is a lot more people and things i will miss about this place. thanks for everything and i love you all. i really hope i can come back again.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Aug 11, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

The home base is very clean and comfortable to live in. The family here makes it feel like home. Every morning i have gotten a cheerful good morning from christie which has been a wonderful thing to wake up. everyone in the neighborhood is very nice and welcoming. overall a good place to call home while i was in Ghana.
I would not call the staff here staff, more like family. everyone in this home is absolutely wonderful. without the company of all the family members i would not have enjoyed Ghana as much as i have Everyone is always ready to help me and i feel as if i am a part of the family. i am definitely going to miss everyone a lot when I am back in Canada.
Volunteering at countryside has been amazing. the children alongside all the staff are all wonderful. all the kids at this orphanage are so full of life, while teaching them, i myself have been learning. the teachers here have been so helpful and are always open to trying out suggestions i give on teaching methods. i am very happy i had the opportunity to volunteer at countryside.
This has been a great opportunity. From my placement to the family here in Kasoa, everything has been exceptional. I would love to come back and stay longer.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Aug 10, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Action Volunteer Alliance

Action Volunteer Alliance (AVA) and Next Generation Youth Force (NGYF) organized my entire volunteer placement very well. I felt that my transition into their program went smoothly. I was happy with how often AVA and NGYF contact me prior the trip to Ghana to ensure I have everything ready and also during the program to check on me and see how I’m doing. I really enjoyed my 6 weeks volunteer in Ghana. All of people are truly amazing! AVA and NGYF gave me amazing rich experiences at a deaf school in Ghana. Both of AVA and NGYF constant support me throughout the program well. I was really happy and satisfied with AVA and NGYF. I wish I stay there longer than 6 weeks. I miss everybody already and been thinking of them often. I definitely would go back there someday in future and recommend others to join AVA/NGYF program! They are awesome!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 24, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I recently completed the two week medical special with Projects Abroad in Ghana. I am quite comfortable saying that it was a truly memorable experience. On arrival, despite the fact that I was traveling alone, the Projects Abroad team made me feel comfortable with the chaotic Accra airport. At no point was I uncertain where to meet Projects Abroad. During my time in Ghana, I was mainly located in Cape Coast. A unique aspect of the two week special was its ability to immerse volunteers like myself in Ghanaian culture. The friendly staff played a significant role in this; not only were they helpful but I feel as if I made several friends along the way. The host family also surprised me; the living conditions were acceptable and the food was good. The members of the household were also quite friendly. Finally, the medical experience I gained during this time was valuable, I always felt as if I was learning something new. Most importantly, you get the impression you are genuinely helping people in need. I would highly recommend Projects Abroad to anyone seeking a special experience overseas.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 20, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

This past spring break, I had the opportunity to spend a week in Cape Coast, Ghana and provide medical service in the local communities. I have participated in a variety of medical service trips abroad, and ProjectsAbroad was one of my favorite and most memorable trips. Of all the trips, I had the most staff support from the ProjectsAbroad staff members. Prior to travelling to Ghana, I spoke with three staff members. They informed me of all the details of the trip and were thorough with answering my answers. They always kept me informed of information that I needed to know. When I arrived in Ghana, the staff members welcomed me and made sure I was comfortable with my new surroundings. If we had any problems, they were always available to help. When they addressed me, they did so in a fashion that made me feel like an equal, not someone younger or inferior to them. They made sure that the other volunteers and I met the long-term members. They hosted a wonderful and delicious dinner for all of us. On the last night, the staff members took us out to local “hang out” spots where they introduced us to their friends and other colleagues. They made us feel like we had been friends for longer than a couple of days. In addition to wonderful staff, the homestay family was an absolute thrill. The entire family welcomed us with opened arms and did everything they could to make sure that we felt comfortable in the household. I had a wonderful time getting to know my family – we stayed up late at night telling each other funny and interesting stories.
In addition to having a wonderful experience, I became very good friends with the other volunteers. They had the same passion as I: wanting to provide medical care to those who didn’t have easy accessibility to care. It has been two months since I have been in Ghana and I still remain in contact with my fellow volunteers. I attended the graduation of one of my new friends – the other volunteers on this program are wonderful and are dedicated individuals wanting to help out and provide medical care.

Overall, I truly enjoyed my time in Ghana. I highly recommend travelling with ProjectsAbroad and I plan on working with them again in the future.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: May 26, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

From the very beginning I felt comfortable and part of the family. The house is filled with joy and laughter. The rooms are spacious and had a fan and the bathrooms had running water. The place was kept clean every day and the food was amazing. Mary Ann who was in charge of our accommodations ensured that I was comfortable, enjoyed the food and had everything I needed. Franklin (the head of the house) made sure that our safety was a priority although I never felt unsafe in Ghana as the people are amazing. I never felt homesick because the people in the house became my family from the start. The girls were my sisters and helped with anything I needed and always had a smile. From washing clothes, going to the market, translating…anything I needed they were there. And when I had to extend my trip franklin went above and beyond to help me take the proper steps. One of the hardest part of leaving Ghana is leaving this family. They changed me so much personally and spiritually and for that I’, forever grateful. I will never forget what I have learned with my interactions with them. Because of this family, I’m sure to visit Ghana year after year.
Wow what can I say? My experience was truly life changing. One thing I learned for sure is that I didn’t find my purpose here…My purpose FOUND ME!!!
Initially, I was assigned to countryside orphanage. I was there for about a week until I helped a former volunteer take a little girl to the hospital that was at an orphanage in Bentum. There were 18 orphans in that school and from the start those kids stole my heart. To make a very long story short after battling with the owner of the orphanage to take little Ophelia to the hospital, we started realizing that the children were malnourished. Myself along with other volunteers began to care for these children by bringing them balanced meals, medical attention and education…nevertheless we saw little effort from the caretaker to improve the health of these children and started to notice that his heart was not at the right place. Any way it turned out that Ophelia had burulli ulcer;a very painful condition. Anyone who saw her wound saw how much the little girl suffered which made us question why the care taker wasn’t on top of it. After sometime, the truth started to come to the surface of what the children in Bentum were experiencing. The children were completely neglected. They were purposely starved, beaten if they mentioned they were hungry, beaten for any reason actually. They never bathed with soap, so sanitation was terrible. The food we bought for the children were never given to them and the medication from the hospital was thrown out.
Thankfully, with the work of a handful of volunteers, franklin, Mary Ann and myself we saved those children. It turned out that the children weren’t actual orphans. They instead had parents that loved them so much… Mary Ann which is one of my sisters in the house helped us every step of the way. She translated to the family what was going on and was part of the process from the beginning to the end…
Franklin opened up our home to the children for us to feed them and bath them while we got them together with their parents. The family at our house was so supportive and became part of a great cause. The children are now in good hands. They live in the village of Oklu-Nkwanta with their parents…
These 18 children touched our hearts so much (especially after finding out what they went through) that we decided to do a fund raiser to raise enough money for school… the reason they ended up in the wrong hands in the first place was because the man went to their village saying he had a boarding school because he didn’t require a lot of money, yet he told volunteers they were orphans and that they didn’t have anybody.
But now the children are now enrolled at St. Nicholas Mission School. With the help of Mary Ann, Franklin and the volunteers involved, the people who donated, the children now have uniforms, new shoes,books school and more importantly safety. After 3 months of Ophelia being admitted to the hospital, she no longer has the ulcer in her arm and has full function of her hands and fingers. Before, she wasn’t able to move them.
All praise goes to God as he placed the right people at the right time to save these children. I’m not saying all orphanages are run this way and that all people are evil in Ghana because it is quite contrary…majority of the people are heaven sent. It’s just like anywhere in the world, there are evil people and most of the time, the children become the victim. So as you are here in Ghana and you hear the call to serve, know that it is not by chance. It is a bigger purpose than you can imagine and with God your purpose will be clearly revealed. Therefore you do not find your purpose, your purpose finds you. Also aside your project, open your eyes to serve others that may cross your path. Whether it be walking throught the market or in the “trotro”. Serving can be a simple smile, help with a bag or help a child cross the street. Your presence here is more than enough if you are like me, you are not rich but love is something money cannot buy so give abundantly and selflessly and the rewards will be endless.
I will blog the entire story from the beginning to the end with all details. I will also include pictures. I will do this once I get home. Follow me on face book at: Health Epiphany.
I found this organization through the internet and felt that the communication and follow through was consistent. Any email that I sent with questions prior to my trip was responded to in a timely manner. This was my first time doing any volunteer work so naturally I was skeptical but the representatives quickly made me feel secure about my decisions with their friendliness and professionalism.
TIPS
1. Do not find your destiny, let it find you.
2. The world is a reflection of who you are… if you smile, it will smile back
3. You are here for a purpose, make every day count.
4. Everywhere you look, you will find an opportunity to serve. Give it all you’ve got.
5. Yes this trip is what you make of it…make it memorable or miserable… you choose!
6. Leave your mark, leave your stamp. It will be as unique as your finger print
7. Let the love of God flow through you and from you and you will attract beauty all around you.
8. Remember we typically see things as they we are not as they are… how does your world look?
9. Out of all the places in the world, you are here and not there and it’s for a reason

Contact info:
IRIS DIANEDSY FIGUEROA
dianedsy@ymail.com(facebook)
healthepiphany@gmail.com(working email)
www.health-epiphany.com

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Feb 13, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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