Projects Abroad in Ghana
"I guess I expected an Africa that you see on TV. Once you get there you find that everyone is as individual as in the west, but so much more open to ideas, and you start to see your own way of seeing things as narrow. Once you have an open mind, everything fits into place."
Anne-Marie Wortley, Teaching in Ghana
Most volunteers fly into Ghana in the evening, and the first thing that will hit you is the humidity. You'll walk across the tarmac to the arrivals building, and pass through immigration control to the baggage reclaim area. Once you have your luggage, you need to go through customs, and be ready to have your bags opened by security staff as this is done routinely even when you go through the "nothing to declare" channel.
As you walk out of the airport building you will be met by a wall of people on the other side of a barrier, waving meeting signs. One of our staff will be there to meet you with a Projects Abroad sign, and will greet you with your full name (do not go with anyone who cannot tell you your name). If your placement is in Accra, you will be taken from the airport straight to your host family. If you are going to a placement away from the city, you will usually stay overnight in Accra before travelling to your region the following morning.
If your flight arrives in the morning, you will travel straight to your region.
Our staff in Ghana know all our host families very well and in most cases have done so for years. While levels of comfort in these houses do vary, we monitor families regularly to ensure that every host meets our required standards for such things as security, cleanliness and availability of water.
Volunteering in Ghana - Induction and Orientation
The next working day after your arrival, you will be met at your accommodation by one of our local staff. You will spend the day getting a comprehensive induction and orientation, showing you how to get around the city, where to e-mail, health and safety matters and so on, and incorporating a traditional Ghanaian lunch. The following day, a member of staff will take you to be introduced at your work placement. Some volunteers walk to work, others take a shared taxi or mini-bus known as a tro-tro. Our staff will make sure that you know how to do this journey. Please note that if you do need to use local transport to get to and from work you will need to cover the cost, which should not be more than 50p per day on average outside of Accra. In the capital city itself the cost of transport is higher although journeys even in shared taxis are unlikely to ever be more than £1.
We have three Regional Offices in Ghana - Accra, Cape Coast and the Akuapem Hills, meaning our field staff are never far away, wherever your project is.
Your primary contact is the Regional Manager for your area, who is the full-time member of our local staff, trained by us, with a detailed knowledge of all the projects and host families in his or her region. They are available 24 hours a day by phone if you have any questions or problems.
"I had a wonderful time with the other volunteers - especially travelling. If you wanted to do something there was always something going on."
Sarah Craig, who stayed in Accra