Ghana

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

New Hope Volunteers

When we decided to go to Africa to volunteer, I expected we were going to stay in a very unprivileged place, like I did not expect we would be able to have a shower every day, change our phones, have internet around the corner etc. So I loved staying in your house! It was very comfortable and there is enough space for all the family members and volunteers. And food was delicious every day! The house exceeded my expectations.
The staff? More like family! I thought I was going to be home sick since 3 weeks is the longest I’d ever had to miss my family. But I only felt a little homesick when I didn’t feel well one day. So the family (staff) was AMAZING! I felt free to ask for anything I needed and they were all so sweet.
At first we thought we would be helping at the orphanage with cooking, cleaning and taking care of really young children. It turned out we were working at the school which was also great! The first two weeks at Good Shepherd were interesting. I learned a lot about school in general in Ghana but I did not feel like I was contributing very much… I am happy we worked at the school in Bentum the last week because we were actually needed there! So I think more volunteers should be placed at Bentum or be able to choose between Good Shepherd or Bentum or countryside.
One thing I dislike about the project was the way we got to give our donations at Good Shepherd, more than half of it was already gone when we wanted to give it and the kids did not even know that we gave it to them…Also I wish we gave everything to God’s Vision School because Good Shepherd did not really need it.
Well with a few miscommunications the week before, we felt we got very anxious whether the organization even existed. But after I talked to Franklin on the phone we felt reassured and when we saw Franklin and Josephine at the airport we were so happy! Our experience here the last 3 weeks was AMAZING! I loved teaching, living in a house full of good and sweet people and I will miss everyone!
Franklin, Josephine, Marie, Mary-Ann thank you so much for everything. I had an amazing time here better than I ever expected!!!

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

Alliance for African Women Initiative (AFAWI)

I was with AFAWI for a month, working on the Livelihood project. AFAWI's approach is very interesting, as it links its different projects together, making the support it gives to the beneficiaries very comprehensive. The Livelihood project is more than just a programme that gives out loans: it seeks to give individualised help through business training and monitoring, to ensure that the money that women receive is indeed having a positive impact on their life. As a volunteer, you are actively involved in all aspects of the project, from planning to fundraising to fieldwork, and once you settle in (which happens very fast), you have the freedom to choose the areas you prefer to work in and organise your own schedule. The people you work with are dedicated and helpful, and always welcome your opinions and inputs with an open mind. Working with this small yet dynamic NGO has really allowed me to see how vibrant and exciting Ghana is. I would recommend this experience to everyone, but for a longer stay than mine.

Program:
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 20, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
8

uVolunteer

My name is Austin Ikechi, I am an Pre-medical student from Maryland, USA. As a premed, getting the required amount of community service and volunteer exposure at the hospital is an important step in medical school application. Having volunteer at a hospital in Maryland, I opted for a program in a developing country because I feel I can better utilize my skills, while gaining valuable knowledge on health care in developing countries.

I stumbled upon uVolunteer, the price was great, and the response I received from the program when I made my initial enquiries was also fast and detailed. The program director explained the various programs in different countries and which ones would better fulfill my needs. I was satisfied with the logistics, as well as the payment.

My program started my first Monday; I was introduced to the HR department at Koforidua general hospital where I was scheduled to volunteer. My first placement was in the surgical ward, it was hands on, I started learning right way because the doctors explained the cases and treatment plan to me. I was let to draw blood and set up IV lines under the supervision of a doctor and with the permission of the patient.

There were also lecture series that I attended. Attending theater was the best part, I was able to watch and ask question on the procedures being done. After the first week, I went to pediatrics ward; this ward was very challenging. The doctors and PA's had review sections that I sat in for, they went over several diseases and their causes and how to diagnosis them. After sitting in for most of these reviews, I was let to see patients one on one under adoctor's supervision. This felt like a crash course in medicine.

My last week was in internal Medicine, the learning process was the similar with the other wards I rotated, doctors taught every step and approach they took on the patients. Every doctor had time to explain questions I asked. At the end of my three weeks, I can say I really appreciate the jobs being done by doctors in developing countries, without state of the art facilities in these hospitals; they do their best to save the lives of people whom they treat. Ghana has been a wonderful place, and I loved every bit of it, from traveling to Accra, to Labadi beach and travelling to Nigeria as well. My advice to future volunteers is, prioritize what you want to do, because there is so much to do. Always ask questions when you feel lost and people will gladly help you. Have fun and get a sun cream, lastly visit the beaches you would love it and most of all come prepared to learn.

Austin

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I was amazed when I saw the house that I would be staying in for 6 weeks! The house was clean and stayed clean for my entire stay. Running water was a bonus that I was not expecting and there were always plenty of fans to keep me cool. The rooms were spacious and I never felt crowded or overwhelmed. At the end of my 6 week stay this house really felt like my home.
The house is great but the staff is better. I was in good hands from the moment they picked me up at the airport. They made my care and comfort their number one priority and I quickly felt like part of the family. They were always there to help me, whether it was with directions or finding things to do over the week end. I was ill with a fever for a short time during my stay, but the staff could not have been more helpful. They took me to the clinic and were with me every step of the way until I recovered fully. The food is AMAZING. I was never hungry. It’s one of the things I will miss most about Ghana.
I was placed at countryside and the kids there were amazing. It really is up to you to decide how much you do at the school. I wish I had more time to spend with my class. I will miss each of them so much! The adults at countryside are so helpful. They definitely made my stay there more enjoyable.
I’m definitely pleased with IFRE. This is my first volunteer trip to another country and they gave me all the information that I needed to know. I would strongly suggest IFRE to anyone looking to volunteer abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 13, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I could not feel more at home here in Kasoa. The room and bed are so very comfortable especially the two fans! Everything I could have ever needed was already in place for me. The shower was also very nice- I never expected so much! The food I ate was so very delicious and appreciated. The take-to-work lunches were even better than anything else that I experienced in Ghana. It such an array of dishes too so I thoroughly enjoyed the variety. I always felt very safe and at home. Coming from somebody who travels a lot, I think this was the nicest, homiest, safest place I have ever stayed. I loved coming home to my “family” everyday.
I feel strange calling them staff because they are my family. I have never met a more welcoming and friendly group of people in my life. From the moment I arrived to the house, I received hugs, so welcoming! The family truly lays down everything to be sure that the volunteers feel perfectly at ease. Mary. Josephine,Elisabeth,Cynthia,Samuel and Enoch all were so sweet and loving. They made me laugh and smile every day I was home. I loved spending time with all of them in the family room. Mary-Ann was the best Ghanaian sister I could have ever wanted. Her cooking was insanely good and always had a loving touch! I will truly miss my friend. Franklin was also the best community coordinator and Ghanaian father. He cared so much about our well-being- especially when I got sick! I will truly miss all of them
I LOVED MY PLACEMENT IN THE CLINICS! I think it is very true when they say you must take it upon yourself though to jump into the work. However, I think that anybody wanting to do medicine should already have that mentality. Take advantage of the fact that you are exposed to more than you would be elsewhere! When they see that you are exerting effort they really go out of their way to teach you things and expose you to as much as possible. I worked nights at Margo Maternity Clinic too to deliver babies and I highly recommend that. The staffs at both clinics were such great teachers and I’m very sad to leave my job.
I loved this organization for many reasons but the most being their greatest focus is the projects! They were never hesitant to provide logistical support or answer even the smallest of questions. I very much look forward to travelling with this company again.
I will miss Ghana

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 4, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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