Being a part of a small community is at the heart of a year in Ghana with Project Trust.
Close-knit and welcoming communities make local customs and culture very accessible, although the rural settings of the villages mean Volunteers should be prepared for basic accommodation and facilities.
Ghana deserves its place in the sun, hailed as West Africa’s golden child. With its welcoming beaches, gorgeous hinterland, rich culture, vibrant cities, diverse wildlife, easy transport and affable inhabitants, it’s no wonder Ghana is sometimes labelled ‘Africa for beginners’.
Upon your arrival in Ghana, one of the first things you’ll notice is the warm akwaaba (welcome) you’ll get from Ghanaians. It is a tremendous introduction to the African gem. The wild African safari isn’t the main attraction here, there is, in fact, so much more…
Living in Ghana
Project Trust’s current placements in Ghana are in the Volta region, the most easterly region of Ghana, bordering Togo. The Volta region stretches from coastal plains along the Atlantic right up to the arid lands of the north, meaning climatic conditions can vary tremendously. It is dominated by the river and Lake Volta in the west, which provides water highways connecting up to the north of the country.
Lots of fishing takes place and there is lots of recreational space, with the beaches of the Volta Estuary amongst the best in Ghana. The main professions of people in this region are farming, fishing, animal rearing, petty commerce and tourism. While English is widely spoken, the predominant indigenous language is Ewe, although there are numerous other dialects and indigenous tribes including Adele, Nchumuru, Akpafu, Atwode, Lolbi, Tafi, Avatime and Akan.
Volunteering in Ghana
Ghana Volunteers work in a range of different schools with different age groups, from pre-school to Junior High School age. As well as teaching English, Volunteers spend their gap year teaching basic science, ICT and maths classes.
You will also have great opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities- there are lots of opportunities to share your skills and learn lots. You may be asked to help out with teaching other subjects too!
What you can offer?
Ghana Volunteers should be flexible, mature and resilient.
You will need to be enthusiastic and motivated to teach a range of subjects. English is important for Ghana to succeed on a global scale. It can be especially important for ethnic minorities who may be denied the right to university and English is seen as an opportunity to work with tourists.
If you have any additional skills (such as sports or music) there is a lot of opportunity to set up clubs, teams and extra-curricular activities.
What will you gain?
Living and working in small Ghanian villages, combined with the opportunity of experiencing life with some the luxuries removed, gives Volunteers a unique insight into what life can be like in Ghana.
During the school holidays, you will have plenty of time to explore this varied country. In the Volta region, you can climb Mount Afadjato, visit Tafi Monkey Sanctuary or take a boat trip on the lake. There is so much to see and do in Ghana; you definitely won’t be short of places to explore!
Volunteering overseas can help you gain confidence by giving you the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement with a long term placement to test your abilities a supportive structure. By immersing yourself in a community overseas you’ll learn about cultures, languages, religions, foods and lifestyles completely different to what you’re used to. At the same time you’ll apply your energy, talents and existing skills to engage in an exchange of mutual benefit with the community you’re working in.