Many people choose to combine their travel with humanitarian work and there is no end of opportunities to do this in Ghana. Throughout the whole country, there are projects and organisations that cover conservation, medical, construction, teaching and childcare, to name a few. Here’s a roundup of some of the organisations you can volunteer with and the interesting and useful activities you can get involved with.
Voluntary Service Oversees (VSO)
With over 50 years of experience working in Ghana, VSO is one of the top volunteer organisations, working through aid in farming and teaching to make a difference in the country. Not only international volunteers but also local young people are encouraged to volunteer, in order to bring greater balance and empower young Ghanaians.
House No. F58/5 Clotey Close, Labone, Accra, Ghana, +233 30 2773 775/ 710/ 781
Humanitarian Aid Foundation
Working to address critical issues facing underprivileged communities in Ghana, Humanitarian Aid Foundation connects volunteers to work with the organisation and improve the quality of healthcare, education and nutrition in these communities. They aim to match volunteers with jobs that play to their best skills, which include teaching, agriculture, childcare, orphanage work, building and construction, health and medical work, micro-finance and sports.
Humanitarian Aid Foundation, Teshie, Accra, Ghana, +233 54 878 8388
Green Ghana Volunteers
The vision of Green Ghana Volunteers is to build a healthy and sustainable environment and to inspire everyone to be involved in managing and protecting it. The establishment of tree nurseries, regenerating lands that have been degraded due to the prevalence of mining and planting tree nurseries in urban environments, are just some of the things that this ecologically minded organisation does.
Green Ghana Volunteers, H/No 6, Wulomo Street, Accra, Ghana, +233 30 243 4640
International Volunteer HQ
Billing themselves as the world’s most affordable and trusted volunteer programme, International Volunteer HQ offers year-round projects in rural areas of Ghana including medical, teaching and construction work. They offer online training before programmes commence, as well as a massive amount of support to make sure that their volunteers are well looked after. Weekends are spent exploring the country.
Volunteer Projects West Africa (VPWA)
VPWA is a large organisation that runs volunteer programmes along a wide breadth of categories: administration (including PR and film and video production), culture (including sport, fitness and women’s empowerment), journalism, construction, waste management, agricultural projects, human rights, microfinance, health and education.
Teach on the Beach
An organic, locally grown volunteer service that encourages local youngsters to supplement their school learning which can often be lacking in many educational materials by taking after-school sessions at a building on Ghana’s Busua beach. Teach on the Beach encourages learning in a friendly environment with a large world view with their nightly ‘news hour’ that draws kids into discussions on international topics. Their ‘scholars’, as the students are known, encourage the sustainability of the project by becoming teachers themselves after a few years on the programme.
Premier Volunteers of Ghana
With a focus on community projects, Premier volunteers immerses its charges in all aspects of Ghanaian life, where during orientation they have language lessons and lectures on political and social history, as well as cultural and social manners. Their programmes include sports volunteering, orphanage work and teaching, all while maintaining close-knit ties to a community.
Premier Volunteers, P.O. Box TN 2151 Teshie Nungua Estate, Accra, Ghana, +233 30 271 3828
Unite For Sight
Working with villages to provide eye care throughout eight of the nine regions, Unite For Sight touches on a very real area that the majority of rural Ghanaians (and many city-based ones) don’t have access to: eye care. Volunteering can be from one week up to one year with a specific eye clinic and travelling by van with professional optometrists and eye nurses to rural locations. Their ‘global impact fellows’, as they like to call their volunteers, assist the nurses and optometrists, collecting medical histories, distributing medication and glasses, as well as providing eye-health lessons in villages and schools.
Agape Volunteers invites you to choose between four volunteer programmes: teaching, music, orphanage or medical work. Accommodation is provided with a host family and there is a great emphasis on absorbing the culture, understanding Ghanaian life and idioms and the camaraderie you are sure to find a long way from home when sharing living quarters and working alongside many other volunteers, the majority of which are young people.
This multifaceted organisation has something to suit everyone’s tastes and talents: from wide-ranging medical-based volunteering in hospitals, pharmacies, and the areas of physical therapy, dentistry and HIV/Aids care (to name but a few) to volunteerships in law, journalism, sports, veterinary medicine and teaching. You can volunteer seasonally or for a longer period of time and there are also placements for everyone from high-school graduates to professionals willing to share their skills.