Ghana

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I went to Ghana via IVHQ for six months last year. It truely was an amzing experience. Right form the begining I was at ease with the process.
I was sent an extensive information pack as soon as I applied with them, which included everything I needed to know, from customs and ettiquite to safety and what to bring.
I sent several emails to the staff, and never waited a day for their response. The staff were helpful, and came across as pleasant and friendly.
I organised my travel and visa with no requred help, but the staff were there to help if I needed it.
Once I landed in Ghana, I was met at the airport by the local staff, Volunteer Corps. They helped me to exchange money, get a sim card, and relax before orientation. Orientation was more informative again, and the staff were able to give detailed information about the projects, and ask any more questions I had. BeThe staff are very approachable, and will go out of their way to help you, even if you call them at 11pm, or 6am. We had a couple of issues at our project, which Volunteer Corps were able to assist with quickly and efficiently.
The staff members are all trustworthy, and I hold them in high regard, keeping in contact with them even now.
My project was very rural, which gave me a chance to immerse myself in a new culture. We had no running water, and electricity which chose when it wanted to work, but that added to the charm of living somewhere new. I learned so much living in a new country, and having the support of people around me, both the staff and people in our village, meant that we could work hard at improving the conditions for our children.
I signed up for the orphanage program, however our village also had a school where we could go and teach, and also cook lunch for the kids. This meant we were never bored, and could help children in our village as well as the children in or project.
People in Ghana are lovely, and are all very accommodating. The volunteers travelled some weekends, and we got to see many regions of the country. One thing that stands out is the people. There is no rush in Ghana, life is very relaxed, and there is always time for a friendly hello. Being a tourist, you do stand out a lot, but I never felt unsafe. Ghanaians will stop to help you if they think you are lost, and many times I had someone let me go first in a line so to not waste my time.
Ghana is a mix of chaos and calm, with terrible traffic and beautiful scenery all mixed into one. Once you get to understand the crazy order beneath the markets' corrugated iron roofs, and the 'spots' 20 pesewa shots.
I would definitely recommend anyone go through IVHQ, especially to Ghana.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jan 24, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Apologies for the terrible editing.
Thanks for your comment Emma!
I found your remarks very helpful as I am trying to determine which african country to volunteer for. Do you have any observation on Kenya, South Africa or other locations?
Hi Roger, I don't have any info on Kenya, SA or other Africa locations unfortunately. If you have facebook I would recommend going to the IVHQ page, there are numerous past volunteers sharing their experiences on there. http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/groups/volunteerhq/ Hope this helps and enjoy volunteering, it's an experience I can't recommend enough.
your experience sounds amazing! I am trying to decide which African country to go to or whether to go to India. I would love to be able to ask you some general questions on Ghana if that's okay. My email is jennicaq@msn.com Thanks for sharing the experience!

Disaster Volunteers of Ghana

I love to volunteer abroad and i was glad when i search google and found this organization.The guys were amazing and fun to hang out with.My first email was promptly responded to the follow up calls were very assuring.They met me at the airport and my love for the organization and my volunteer program grew instantly.Thanks guys for the amazing four weeks

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jan 23, 2012
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
9

Kaya Responsible Travel

I had such a fabulous experience volunteering abroad through Kaya travel. First off, their website had so many options! I felt like a kid in a candy store and the hardest part was narrowing down and choosing just one trip (for now!) I finally decided to help teach health and hygiene in Cape Coast, Ghana. This was both my first time volunteering and my first time to Africa so, as you can imagine, I had tons of questions! Working with Mira at Kaya was so wonderful. She and her team were incredibly responsive and supportive throughout the entire process. The great thing about Kaya is that they are able to connect you with a local NGO to volunteer with. I was hooked up with ProWorld Ghana. It is also a fabulous organization and they took great care of me from the moment that I landed in Ghana. I can't tell you what a life-changing experience it was for me. I was able to live with a host family in Cape Coast and went out into rural village to teach with a Ghanaian team. The experience truly was priceless and by far one of the best of my life. I had traveled internationally a lot already but never on a volunteer trip and I can say that- if you are truly interested in the culture and people of your destinations- there is no better way to experience a new country. I had concerns that because I'm not in or right out of college like many other volunteers (I'm in my mid 30's) that it would be difficult but that wasn't the case at all. In fact, I think I appreciated the perspective even more than I would have ten years ago. It is never to late to have an amazing experience volunteering! Thanks, Kaya!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Dec 29, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I've wanted to volunteer in Africa since I was 10. I just knew it was something I wanted to do. I searched and searched for trips I could go on but I couldn't wrap my head around paying 5 grand for a week of volunteering. Finally, last November, a new website came to the top of my search. After a few days of research, I decided it was time to go for it and I did.
The moment I registered I had an extensive and detailed e-mail handbook written specifically for placements in Ghana answering questions, recommending sites to book flights and buy travel insurance, and detailing what to pack. As someone who had never been outside the country before, and someone who would be traveling alone, I had a few questions. The longest I waited for a reply was 12 hours, seemingly regardless of what time of day I sent my inquiry. All my questions were answered promptly and accurately.
If you're curious as to how IVHQ can afford to be this inexpensive I can tell you why, you're being charged the cost of living, not the cost of making a profit. While I was searching for a program to travel with I found many of them carried heavy ''processing'' fees(from $500USD to$3000USD). They charged that much money to book your ticket for you, fill out all your paperwork and make the process easier as far as I can tell. With IVHQ, you book your own ticket, apply for your own visa and make most arrangements for yourself, but you will not be alone in the process.
As far as the program itself, I haven't a complaint. I was picked up at the airport as promised, provided food and place to sleep at the volunteer house for IVHQ Ghana until orientation. We were taught about local customs and language before we packed up to be distributed to our respective placements. Once we arrived at the first program, which was the one I was assigned to, Eddie and Eric of IVHQ Ghana sat and chatted with us and all the new volunteers, and the ones already at the house went directly to the orphanage to show us around.
I could talk about the kids themselves but this review would never end.I loved it so much, I'm going back in a month to stay for twice the time I stayed earlier this year! I had a magnificent time in Ghana and I really appreciate how hard the IVHQ staff works to keep this program running.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Nov 20, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Yikes. And I'm really sorry about the formatting of this...I can't figure out how to delete the first one so I can re-post with the indentations I indented to be there.
Great review Jane!

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I voluntered with my three friends at an orphanage in Ghana for three months in 2011. The whole experience was amazing and thanks to the Volunteer Corps Organisation in Ghana, we were always safe and well supported.
I was a bit nervous before arriving in the country but the program staff were always so friendly and made me feel really comfortable.
My three friends and I were all placed together at Achiase Children's Home in the Central Region. All of the 38 kids were absolutely beautiful and the owners of the orphanage were amazing too. We lived in a house right next to the orphanage which was great, so we got to spend as much time as possible around the kids.
Our daily routine was pretty flexible, but generally we'd get the kids ready for school, wash clothes or dishes, clean the kids' rooms and help out with homework. On weekends we were free to travel if we wanted, or do things with the kids like go to the farm.
We raised money before we left and our families raised much more for us while we were away. We used this to pay for project like painting the school, buying water tanks and getting a new classroom built. I would highly suggest taking money over, even if you can't fundraise much, as we often needed it for smaller things like weekly grocery shops so that the kids could finally get a bit of chicken or fruit in their diets.
Again, the program staff were really amazing and quickly became our friends. They helped us to experience the culture of the country, taking us to a festival and a wedding. We also had a cook that stayed with us for the entire three months who was great and cooked awesome food!
I loved every moment of my three months in Ghana! The country was beautiful and the people were all so friendly and welcoming.
I would definitely recommened going to Ghana if you are looking to volunteer, and you can't go wrong with choosing to go through IVHQ. The organisation is affordable, makes sure you're prepared and gives you continuous support. I can't wait to go back!

Program: Gap Year
Location: Ghana
Posted: Nov 14, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

My first year out of high school and I travelled to Ghana to volunteer with 3 friends, through International Volunteer Headquarters. I firstly chose Ghana because of all the reviews on what the beautiful place that it is. I had no idea what to expect, but through regular emails with the company and massive booklets of information they had me prepared as possible.

I was placed, along with a range of volunteers, in an orphanage placement. We were 2hours from the capital city, Accra, in a local village of Achiace. I was so happy with it! All the people were extremely friendly and welcoming. There are 38 children, which meant that we were always busy. The orphanage backed onto a school, with the same owners, which was meant that we were able to help out the teachers as well at the orphanage.

All the staff at Ghana Volunteer Corps were absolutely incredible! I was provided with everything that I could possibly need to feel safe and happy. Another bonus was the fees were extremely cheap compared to other organizations. The staff was easily reachable and gave us regular visits and phone calls to ensure that we were happy and safe. I was lucky enough to be one of the first to set up the ‘Green Program’, and they were extremely thorough in ensuring that we would not only be safe but have things to do. They always very efficient to make sure we would feel at home and even provided us with a cook! She became an amazing friend to all of us and ensured that we always felt comfortable and happy. The help of such friendly staff throughout my entire three months definitely helped me to enjoy and make the most out of my trip. I cannot praise them enough.

During my experience in Ghana I had the most amazing time of my life, and felt that my time was really appreciated. From day to day activities like cleaning, washing, cooking, tutoring, homework help, games and bedtime felt as though we were about to give the orphanage owners a slight break from their usual 24/7 flat out work. We were also able to do a fair bit of fundraising both before and during our stay in Ghana. This allowed us to make the most of our time, we built a brand new classroom, bought new watertanks, painted the ceilings, assisted in making sure everyone at the orphanage had current health insurance, took the older kids on an excursion to the countries national park and helped pay off a few debts. If you are going to volunteer definitely think about raising as much money as you can to take over, it is extremely easy to do and is life changing to all those you visit. My journey in Ghana felt extremely worthwhile but overall it does come down to ‘What you put in, is what you get out’.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Ghana
Posted: Nov 14, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Thank you for this review I found it very helpful and inspiering! Its so wonderful you raised enough money to make a larger impact. Can you let me in on some ways you fundraised the money? I am looking to do the same thing!
No problems, I am always happy to share my stories. Before we left we raised a small amount by having a 'going away party'. I know it sounds funny, but it is a very easy way to gather some funds before leaving. We invited all our friends around to say goodbye, but told everyone to bring $5AUS. We managed to raise a few hundred dollars which goes such a long way in Ghana. Once we were over there and realised how much they needed, we contacted our families, previous schools, netball clubs, workplaces and asked for any small donations. We were overwhelmed with the huge amount of support that people showed. Especially since we were in country and ready to start projects as soon as we had the funding. It is amazing how much people want to help out, if you just inform them of what your doing!

Travellers Worldwide

The cost for this program is very high especially given the local cost of accommodation. I have volunteered with other organisations which have provided really good in-country support, which was sadly missing on this project.
I would strongly recommend that you consider another company or perhaps a different country which may have better support.
If this had been my first time volunteering I think it would have put me off doing it again. As it is, I only wish I'd found this website before I went as I would have realised from the other reviews that this is an expensive company to go through and the in-country support is very poor.
However I still made the most of my time in Ghana and I would definitely go back - just not with Travellers.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Oct 23, 2011
Overall:
2
Support:
1
Value:
1

New Hope Volunteers

First of all, in addition to the names mentioned by returning volunteers
- GLOBAL CROSSROADS
- IFRE
- RDCP INTERNATIONAL
- RUSTIC VOLUNTEERS
this organization is also operating under the name NEW HOPE VOLUNTEERS.

I am a 53 year old female and was traveling by myself as a first timer to the African continent and wanted to make sure I was safe, so I spent a lot of time researching the different organizations that matched my priorities and philosophy.

I'd dreamed of going to Africa since I was a teen, but was very disappointed at the dishonesty of the New Hope Volunteer organization. I believed in the NHV philosophy of the monies going to the host families and projects, and felt that spending the $250 for the Language and Culture Program would be money well spent as a measure of safety and understanding.

Well, there was no Language and Culture Program and no money went to the project. Matter of fact, the orphanage didn't even know I was coming and the family found out the morning of my arrival. Not having the week of orientation, sight-seeing and cultural basics made me feel that I had missed out on what would have made my experience all that I had envisioned--so what happened to the $250 I paid up-front(?). Also, there was no support from NHV or the country coordinator, Franklin, and at times I was isolated without any knowledge of what was going on or what to expect. I also had to pay additional monies that should have been covered by the fees paid up front. This caused a lot of misunderstand-ings between me and the family, not to mention eating through my cash quicker than anticipated, and finding no bank that accepted American Express (which their site mentioned as an accepted credit card). I also found out that the family didn't even know what volunteer organization I had come through and what was expected of them. All of this put me in a very uncomfortable position with my host family because I was totally depended upon them for everything. The most help I received on a daily basis was from the curious 8-14 years in the family; without them I would have been totally lost.

So I felt that I was dropped into an unfamiliar country and culture without any reliable and dependable assistance from NHV....kinda of scary! So beware of the affordable price, flexibility and money sharing claims that are made. The Ghana program fell way short of its claims and was actually unsafe in many aspects.

I feel that this organization, whatever name they go by, should not be operating, and reading the experiences of others really confirms this. Is there a regulatory agency I can report them to? I will keep looking.

However, my experience with the family and the children at the orphanage was invaluable. I will use a different forum to share the positives of my trip because I don't want to give this organization any credit for the good and lasting memories that I experienced and captured through videos and photos.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Oct 15, 2011
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Comments

Dear Gaston, I'm currently looking for a NGO to organise some volunteer work for me in Africa in October this year. I was looking at NHV website. After reading your message I felt that what they did to you was gutless. Thanks for sharing your experience and warning us about this organisation! Cheers.

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

I have volunteered with GVN (Global Volunteer Network) for six different years. I usually volunteer for 2-3 months and have requested and gotten the most remote places. There is so much to like about GVN. I'm 70 and since I choose remote areas I do need to know that someone has my back and GVN has always been there for me. I feel secure with the placings they give me. I was looking for a volunteer organization that would allow me to do my thing and not hold my hand. GVN has allowed that to happen. I wanted a program where I was really needed and I have found it six different times. I've lived and volunteered on a very small (very remote) island called Cu La Cham in Vietnam where I taught English with one other volunteer. We were the first on the island ever to do this. I've lived in orphanages, small villages (mostly remote). I've volunteered teaching English on Cu La Cham, Vietnam, teaching HIV-AIDS Prevention to the Maasai in Kenya, teaching English and math at an orphanage as well as feeding the homeless in Ethiopia, helped organize a non-profit in Uganda by making/typing up contract, taught the Peace Cell Project as well as assisted in a pre-school in Ghana and now I'm on my way to the Philippines to work a mangrove project for three months.

I have found GVN to be reasonable with their cost, supportive when needed and easy to make contact with. I highly recommend GVN as a place to contact when you are looking to volunteer somewhere in this world. They have a host of projects and many different countries you can work in.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Vietnam
Posted: Oct 6, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

This past summer I began my two month trip volunteering in an orphanage in Ghaha through International Volunteer Headquarters. It was the first time I traveled alone and to an area very different from North America. I remember being extremely nervous/anxious on the plane ride to Accra, but after sitting next to a few Ghanaians who told me all about Ghana, I knew this trip was going to be a great one.
I was placed in Asuansi, a very small village about an hour from Cape Coast, which is on the southern tip of Ghana. After a few short weeks I came to love Asuansi and it became my home. Each day, I was greeted by many smiles/hello's from the villagers anytime I left my compound, and occasionally running hugs from the village kids. I was very satisfied with my experience and I feel really lucky to have gotten placed in Asuansi. Working at the orphanage was life changing and it was refreshing to be a kid again and find so much happiness in the simplicities of life. We made forts, played at the soccer field, painted, chalked, watched movies, read stories, did homework, played with bubbles, and many other things. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to immerse myself in the Ghana’s culture.
The local staff was excellent and very helpful with anything I needed. I really enjoyed any time I spent hanging out with them. They checked up on my program every few weeks to discuss how things were going. The cost of the program was really affordable compared to many other organizations I had researched, and the accommodations were good. We had three meals a day and a supply of water whenever we needed it. The local staff was very accommodating for anyone with specific food needs/restrictions. I shared a room with a few other girl volunteers and there was a room next to us for the guy volunteers. Our program cook, Tina, was amazing. She became a good friend and always went above and beyond her duties.
I fell in love with Ghana. It has a beautiful culture and I was so happy during my stay. The people were so welcoming, friendly, and always willing to help us out when the language barrier got in the way or we were unsure of directions. There is liveliness to Ghana that you don’t find everywhere. The music, the chaos of the streets, shopping through your window on the road to get plantain chips from a person carrying them in a bucket on their head, etc. all contributed to the uniqueness of the country.
Besides volunteering at the orphanage I spent some time traveling throughout Ghana. We had weekends off if we wanted and were allowed time to travel. I took a week trip visiting main cities, cultural centers, markets and national parks for a Safari. Additionally, I went to a national park closer to my village and did a canopy walk through the rainforest. Ghana has so much to offer and I recommend taking time to explore not only the tourist areas, but everything. Getting the big picture gave me perspective and better understanding of their way of life.
Overall, I would say yes to anyone considering the program. I miss Ghana so much since I left and I definitely plan on returning in the future.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Sep 14, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Comments

Great review! Thanks a lot. Good work IVHQ Ghana team.
if i could, I would love to ask you some questions on Ghana! I am trying to decide which Africa program to choose! they all look so good so it would really help to know a little more about Ghana :) my email is jennicaq@msn.com I hope to hear from you!

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Ghana