Volunteer Name: Stephanie Fontana
Project Location: Kpando, Ghana
Program Dates: May 25 – June 1, 2014
Volunteered at: Children’s home and local school
What was your favorite memory of this trip?
The people of Kpando! Everyone was so warm and welcoming; it made teaching in front of a class easier than expected. I loved greeting people on the way to school and children’s home and I loved being greeted by the children!
Also visiting the island was a great experience. The children were eager to learn and we got to show our donations to them, including showing the class how to use a jump rope and using the teacher as our subject; they loved it!
What was the most difficult thing you experienced?
Realizing the health issues of some of the children of the children’s home and other poor situations some of them have been through broke my heart. They were all so happy to see the volunteers and play and its sad knowing there’s not much I can do to improve their situation.
What was the one thing you wished you were better prepared for?
I felt very prepared. The orientation guide provided by ABV and reading previous reviews helped me with my packing list. We were lucky that the week we were there wasn’t too bad with the heat too.
I feel we came to Ghana with an open mind and were ready for a new experience.
Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations, sightseeing etc)
Definitely follow the guide provided by ABV. As far as donations, it may be best to contact Edem or Jesse directly. All of our donations went to good use, but it seemed as though they needed some things more than others.
If you get the time be sure to check out Wli waterfalls and the monkey sanctuary!
How would you describe/rate your experience working with the ABV staff in the USA?
The ABV staff was very helpful with getting me ready for my first trip outside of the United States. Whenever I had a question it was always answered within a day, if not, sooner.
How was the local ABV Director and the support provided in-country?
Edem and his family have huge hearts and a lot of goals. At times it seems Edem has too much on his plate, and he could be a little hard to get a hold of. But in the end he was a great support and he did so much for my family and I and we really appreciated it. He is a selfless man!
Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
Having only a week for spend in Ghana, we wanted to get the most out of each day. We taught health and hygiene at a local school in the mornings and helped out at the children’s home in the afternoon. The people of Kpando were amazing and very welcoming.
Living with Peter and Mary was great, if we ever needed something there was no hesitation to ask, they made us feel right at home… and Mary’s cooking was delicious. We were lucky to be volunteering at the same time as some other awesome volunteers, it made the experience all the more enjoyable.
I felt as if I was able to test the waters for volunteering in a foreign country. I would definitely like to do this again, but for at least 3 weeks! It’s amazing that only a week can leave such an impact
Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?