Ghana

Projects Abroad

I participated in the Public Health Alternative Spring Break Trip in Ghana offered by Projects Abroad this past spring. The Projects Abroad staff was extremely supportive throughout the entire process. I was especially impressed by the support they provided me in preparation for the trip. Their travel team made sure that I had everything I needed and made planning the trip as easy as possible. They helped me with my flight itinerary and with obtaining my visa. Additionally, they provided me with a volunteer adviser who helped me extensively with any questions I had along the way.

Once I arrived in Ghana, the Projects Abroad staff continued their great support. The first day, we had a staff member take us around the town and taught us things about the culture. This was really helpful to provide us with insight for the rest of the trip.

The staff had provided us with an excellent itinerary for the entire week to ensure that our time in Ghana was the best it could be. They organized opportunities for us to do medical checks at several schools and orphanages as well as a leprosy camp.

Overall, my experience with Projects Abroad was wonderful, and I would highly recommend going abroad on one of their projects.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Aug 8, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

New Hope Volunteers

The accommodation at this home exceeded my expectations. The food was absolutely delicious, the rooms were nice and spacious and the washrooms were clean! It felt extremely safe in this house and there was never the issue of something going missing! The house had such a homely feeling and our hosts/roommates all felt like family.
The was always help when needed. Whenever I needed to go somewhere I was provided with directions and suggestions. One of my biggest fear prior to this trip was that I didn’t know places in Ghana and I would get lost. This was never an issue. On my first day, Franklin took me to the school I would be volunteering at. I also appreciated the fact that I could move around ( to a less fortunate school) when I felt like I needed to do more. Mary Ann is such an amazing cook and would cook extra food (when we wanted e.g fried plantains)
Working at countryside and Bentum was such a humbling experience. We could move around until we were satisfied with the students we were teaching. The kids are so welcoming and kind. This experience can be amazing but you need to be willing and open to adapt. The one thing all these kids are looking for is love, so as long as you go to school with an open heart, you will realize how blessed you are to get to be part of this experience.
Before arriving, I was really worried about whether this was a legit organization. Because it is new, there were not a lot of reviews and the accommodation price was so cheap relative to other organizations so it worried me. To change this I’m definitely going to post a review so that people can read about my amazing experience and about the loving family I have made here.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 28, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

I loved living at the home base. By the end of my stay it really felt like it was my home. The environment in the house is always cheerful and exciting. I would always look forward to the evenings with the family and the other volunteers. I made so many friends that were like brothers and sisters to me. The house always felt safe and the occasional power outages and days with no running water only made me appreciate them even more when they were there. The food was always amazing and the environment was kind, caring and fun.
I never felt unloved or alone. The house was always filled with smiling people eager to talk and do things with the volunteers. I enjoyed making bracelets, learning the twi language and playing soccer with the friendly people here. They have become family to me.
I spent my time here at Good shepherd International School and at God’s Vision School in the village of Bentum. At Good shepherd the kids were always eager to greet new volunteers. I had a great time teaching there. God’s vision school and orphanage was really an eye opening experience. The orphans attending the school really have nothing. It was so touching to have been able to teach and spend time with these kids.
It was everything that I hoped it would be. I am so happy that I came to Ghana and was able to experience so many new things. I made so many new friends and learned so much. I am happy that I was able to go to different places apart from one place mentioned in the project description. Franklin and his family were amazing and I would recommend this experience to everyone.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 27, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

The house is fantastic and has everything I needed. The bedrooms are big and have at least two beds which mean you can share a room with a friend like I did but it’s also a great way to meet new people. I’m especially grateful for the two fans in my room after a long hot day. The bathroom and toilet are much luxuries than I would have expected which made my stay even cozier. Honestly, this house has exceeded all my expectations in the best way.
Everyone is so welcoming and not only the other volunteers but especially the staff. Mary Anne has cooked some delicious meals for us every day and is always there at night to stop our cravings by making fried plantains. I’m so thankful that when my friend and I got sick, they were there to take care of us in every way. Their care really helped my recovery. I also thank Mary for always making us laugh and taking me to the hospital!
I worked at the orphanage at countryside. While I was there I taught at a few levels but my favourite class was grade five. While I was teaching English, mathematics, French… I really discovered a true pleasure in teaching these children and watching them succeed. Plus the kindergarten kids were adorable, running into your arms. Seeing the schools in Ghana was definitely a reality shock. The children at countryside were a bit behind in the syllabus but nothing compared to the school in Bentum where there was only one teacher for 4 classes. Most of them still had trouble reading and writing by the time they were 8 years. It made me realize how fortunate I was but also a lot of schools need help in Ghana and that we volunteers should do everything to help them get the education they desire.
This was a fun, rewarding and life changing experience for me and I definitely recommend it to everyone. The feeling that you get after you’ve taught the children is indescribable. Ghana is also a great country to visit and the people are friendly. I thank everyone for making this summer unforgettable!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 27, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Alliance for African Women Initiative (AFAWI)

When I chose to volunteer with AFAWI I was looking for a hands-on development field work experience with a local NGO. Working with AFAWI not only fulfilled this goal, but taught me more than I could have imagined about working in African development.

I stayed with AFAWI for two months, focusing on the Livelihood microfinance project. Working day in and day out in local communities gave me a far more visceral understanding of poverty alleviation than I had ever learned from a textbook or sitting in a university lecture.

In no way did AFAWI dictate the terms and objectives of the project I worked on. Instead, I was given far more responsibility than I had ever had in previous jobs and internships.

From the start, myself and the other volunteers were allowed the space to make key decisions, lead financial training seminars, carry out business data analysis, and undertake monitoring and evaluation in the field.

In addition to the invaluable field-work experience, I learned about the inner workings of a local NGO and how to work productively alongside colleagues from countries as diverse as Bosnia, UK, Mexico, China, and Ghana.

In sum, AFAWI affords its volunteers a cooperative environment fostering project creativity and a unique balance of support and autonomy to coordinate effective and hands-on development projects.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 25, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
9

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

When I arrived in Ghana I was picked up by an IVHQ coordinator and brought back to the volunteer house in Accra. They were really helpful when it came to my lost luggage and setting up my phone with a new SIM card. I had one of the coordinators show me around Accra with a few other volunteers the next day as I had arrived a day early for my program.

Once I went through orientation, I was brought to the Gold Program where I had signed up for construction and renovation. The other volunteers and the foreman of my program taught me all I needed to know. We worked all morning and some afternoons in one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. It is fulfilling work because you can see each day how much you have accomplished as you make and lay bricks. After work each day children from the nearby school would often come to play at the program grounds so the volunteers had the opportunity to play with them. You will get to know the children so well your lives will forever be changed by talking to the sweetest, happiest kids on earth.

On the weekends I went away on trips both organized by IVHQ and on my own. Both were great experiences and with each I had the same amount of support from an IVHQ coordinator. We must have called Gideon over 8 times in a day while trying to organize our trip and he always answered all our questions and called hotels for us, and even picked us up from the trotro (local bus) when we arrived in Accra in the dark. We were also given our foreman's phone number and told by him to contact him when we arrived at our destinations and to let him bargain for us with the taxi drivers over the phone.

Overall they really took care of us and kept us extremely safe. Never once was I worried about my safety while in the care of IVHQ members or at my program. It was the greatest experience of my life and I plan on going back again with IVHQ. I would also love to do the construction program again. Going into it as a girl I was afraid I would not be physically able to do the work, but as hard as it was, I was able to do it and noticeably got stronger and more skilled as the days went on. Talking to other volunteers at different programs, I am glad I did construction because I felt I got the same experiences as them with the children as well as building something that I know will be there years from now.

If anyone wants a quick version of my trip feel free to check out this video I made when I got back. If you volunteer abroad with IVHQ, you will not be disappointed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BwOQ7dDPzU

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 23, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi Monica, We are so glad to hear that volunteering in Ghana was the greatest experience of your life. Your video is fantastic and no doubt will help so many future volunteers to see the type of work that is a part of our Construction and Renovation project. Thank you for your feedback and for volunteering with IVHQ.

Global Crossroad

I thought the house was a great home base. I felt at home since day one. We had a nice room and it was always clean. Only concern I had was my mosquito the first night had visible large holes at the top. Would have been nice to have had an intact one to start, after I replaced it all was fine. Food was great.
The staff was absolutely wonderful. The staff are all amazing at what they do and so welcoming. I felt like I’d known them longer than I actually did. Great group. Franklin also was clear with project placement and changes. Open communication, all was appreciated.
I was placed at TT clinic. I thought the time spent there was great. I learned a lot, though because of my short time there, I did not really get too many hands on time, but was expecting that beforehand. The staff was friendly and I’m walking away with a much better understanding of rural healthcare in Ghana. just wished I could have been a bit more involved to leave them something in return. Longer placement at clinic would be most beneficial.
I’m pleased with the set up provided. I have done many volunteer programs over the years and would definitely do another through Global Crossroad. Only thing I would have liked to have would be the orientation that the start to get an idea of how much things cost, language, sites etc. regardless I will recommend this program to others.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 22, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi, I am leaving for Ghana at the beginning of October, and I was wondering if you have any pointers for me. I'm not sure what kind of clothing to bring, and I have never done a volunteer program like this, so I was wondering if you have any advice before I leave. Thank you. Brooke

Global Crossroad

I felt very comfortable here and also felt very safe. The staffs were so wonderful and I will really miss them. I always felt like I was coming home when I walked inside and I loved all of the new food that I got to try. The staff was great. I felt like they became my friends. There was always food and water for us and the house was always kept clean. They were all ready to help out and show us surrounding areas. They are all very warm and loving people.
I was assigned to Good Shepherd orphanage where I taught Form 1&2 in the junior high school. I enjoyed teaching them very much. However, I think they need to organize their volunteers a bit better. Teachers seemed to leave or stop teaching once volunteers were there. This defeats the purpose of having extra help.
It was everything I expected. I was given a comfortable place to stay with a project. The project description was misleading but it worked out regardless

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 22, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

The home base was very comfortable. I felt like I was always home from the minute I walked in. the rooms were nice and clean. The food was amazing. I always felt safe and that I was welcome. Also it was convenient that the house was close to anything I needed. All within walking distance.
The staff was amazing! Anything I needed they were always there to provide it. The family is very very caring and loving of all volunteers. I felt like they were my family and had known them for a very long time. I’m so sad to be leaving my family in Ghana. They are great.
My project experience was nice. I was in the K-D 1&2(nursery and pre-school) classes at countryside. From my understanding I was working at an orphanage but when I arrived, it was more like a school. I wish I would have known this because then I would have been able to provide them with school materials rather than orphanage needs. Also the teacher left the school 6 of the 10 days I was there. She was very un-concerned with her students and me teaching there. That defeats the purpose of volunteering to help. The kids were fantastic and so willing to learn.
I would recommend anyone who wants to do volunteer work to go with IFRE. They provided everything they said they would and made the trip very easy and stress-free. I think some of the information on IFRE’s website needs to be updated like the week of travel for example but for most part it was very straight forward. The project placement could be explained better and should be updated especially that you will be teaching the whole day rather than 1-2 hrs. Misleading but was still a great experience. The kids in my classroom at countryside were awesome.
Great organization

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 22, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

New Hope Volunteers

When we arrived in Ghana, I was so curious what to expect. I actually thought that we maybe had to shower with a bucket with water etc. when we arrived at Kasoa, It looked a bit poor and then when we finally came by the house where we were going to stay for 3 weeks I thought ‘waww” this is so much better than I expected. It was big, clean and the rooms were simple but clean and nice! I immediately felt very comfortable and safe! The food was also very good, maybe too little vegetables (sometimes) but it was very special and nice food.
With the staff,It felt like a family, all of them were so nice! They always make me so happy! They showed us nice places in the city and village (Kasoa) so that we amuse and enjoy as much as possible in Ghana. Everything we needed was there!
We actually don’t have much information about what our plan exactly was so we were very curious about what our plan should be for our 3 weeks! When we came to the orphanage,expected to do work in the orphanage but it changed to working at the Good Shepherd school. We actually thought that it may be hard for us but when we started it was so nice. It was possible to learn from the children a lot of things. But sometimes I thought “ Is this really the school who really needs our help?” After two weeks we went to another school in Bentum. They said this school needs some help and was poor. When we came there, we were surprised. We didn’t expect it to be so poor and different from Good Shepherd. It was a school with one teacher to do everything, cook, and teach 50 children etc. it was impossible we thought. So here I felt more that I can do something that is really needed. We also tried to get more volunteers with us. So with 3 volunteers, it was possible to every class one teacher and David was able to cook etc. it was a very special and beautiful experience for me.
It wasn’t without miscommunications but after that I can really say that I think it is a perfect organization . you can choose from many countries and programs. So you can find a perfect. Also I think the pricing was good. The organization does not ask for much money like other organizations. Also it was a perfect house for us to stay; near to the market and also by our schools
Thank you family for everything. I really liked you all and I’m honestly gonna miss you all.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 22, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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