Volunteering in Ghana has been a great experience. It was tough and at times exhausting (with the heat particularly). The children are all so loving and accepting right from day one and constantly want to get their pictures taken with you.
HOW WAS THE LOCAL COORDINATOR/STAFF AND THE SUPPORT PROVIDED IN-COUNTRY?
Very supportive. Always willing to arrange for transportation and tours.
WHAT WAS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU EXPERIENCED?
Program: How young the children are when they first start attending school (as young as 2). These little ones make it through a whole day without a nap!
Host Family: I lived right in the orphanage with the children, which was full on immersion. This allowed me to get to know the children very well and see how they all live together. I was surprised at how independent the children are with household chores and taking care of younger children or siblings.
Country: No big surprises.
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING YOU EXPERIENCED?
Program: How physical and loud the children were with each other. They prepare you for corporal punishment from the teachers (which is still very difficult to witness) but I was not really prepared for the amount of grabbing, pushing, punching and yelling at each other from the children. This was very foreign and difficult for me.
Host Family: Receiving special treatment. I expected to eat what the kids eat, and participate in all of the household chores. It was a bit uncomfortable for me to be waited on by the kids. Also I am an experienced traveler so I found it challenging to be chaperoned when a tour was arranged for me.
Country: The HEAT and the amount of garbage. 3 nights of black outs were very gruelling.
ANY TIPS FOR FUTURE VOLUNTEERS?
Load your camera/phone with lots of videos and pictures from home as the children love to watch them over and over. If you have any old soccer jerseys, bring them with you. The kids play soccer every Friday and the loved getting new jerseys.
PERSONAL PARAGRAPH ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE (PROGRAM TESTIMONIAL)
Volunteering in Ghana has been a great experience. It was tough and at times exhausting (with the heat particularly). The children are all so loving and accepting right from day one and constantly want to get their pictures taken with you. You can’t imagine that you will know all their names but somehow you do and wish that you could take them all home with you.
I also really enjoyed getting to know the older kids and talking to them about their culture, our countries and some of their hopes and dreams.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ACCOMMODATION?
Accommodation: It was comfortable. I stayed in the orphanage with the children. I had my own private room and fan which was a life saver.
Meals: Were very good and always plentiful.
Security: I felt safe at the house. There was always someone to walk to and from school with.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF THIS TRIP?
Program: The children and their enthusiasm
Host Family: Getting to know the hosts and all the children on a personal level.
Country: I really didn’t spend a lot of time exploring Ghana as this was mainly a volunteering experience.
HOW WAS A BROADER VIEW (ABV) SUPPORT PRIOR TO TRAVELLING?
Very well organized.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE RESERVATION SYSTEM ONLINE?
HOW DID YOU FIND ABROADERVIEW WEBSITE AND WHAT KEYWORDS DID YOU USE?
I typed in “volunteer abroad” and it was one of the top websites.
ARE YOU WILLING TO SPEAK TO OTHER POTENTIAL ABV VOLUNTEERS?