Volunteer in Ghana
At a glance…
- Available year-round
- 6 meaningful project options
- Projects based in rural villages and townships within the Greater Accra Region
- Accommodation in a dormitory-style volunteer house
- Between 20 and 50 volunteers start in Ghana each month
- Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
- Program fees from US$270 for 1 week (approximately CA$335)
- Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in Ghana to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
- Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in Ghana will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
- Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
- Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
- Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organizations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
- New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
- Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore Ghana with your new-found friends.
The IVHQ Ghana volunteer program has volunteer placements and accommodation located in rural villages and townships within the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Volunteers are required to fly into Kotoka International Airport, which is a 10 to 13 hour flight from most major airports in Canada. Volunteer programs begin on the 1st and 15th of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks.
The focus of the Teaching project is to stimulate the interest of school children in studying and speaking English, while simultaneously offering international volunteers the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the Ghanaian culture and education system. Although Ghana is an English-speaking country, many school children cannot communicate effectively in the English language. This is common in both rural and urban areas of Ghana and there is a real need for volunteers to assist in communities with a shortage of teaching staff.
If you’re someone who is genuinely interested in education, or aspiring to become a teacher, this is a great project option for you.
As a volunteer on the Teaching project in Ghana, you will be working in both rural and urban communities in Accra, where you will teach solo or assist one of the few local teachers. While on this project, you will follow the syllabus of the Ghana Education Service, which is made available to you during your orientation. Music, Math and Arts are also incorporated into the syllabus and you are encouraged to bring resources that can assist with your teaching.
As you will be volunteering with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, you do not need to be qualified or experienced as a teacher to participate. However, we do encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing some relevant training, like a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally-recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.
Please note that the school year has three terms and there are holiday breaks of 4 weeks, which fall between each term. If you apply for the Teaching project during these holiday breaks, you will switch to another project or work with school directors and placement staff in creating school holiday workshops for the children, and you will run these workshops unassisted.
School Holidays 2018:
- 13th April - 7th May
- 27th July - 10th September
- December 17th - January 7th 2019
Childcare volunteers in Ghana work in both rural and urban communities, providing education, care and attention to children from low-income families. The aim of this project is to increase access to care and youth development opportunities for children within under-resourced communities in Ghana.
This project is well suited to volunteers with a warm and caring nature, who love working with children and are passionate about supporting early childhood development.
Your primary tasks may include helping the children with their morning and evening routines, assisting with food preparation and meal distribution, and providing care and entertainment to the children. You may also have the opportunity to implement effective teaching initiatives in your spare time, in the form of activities and lessons which contribute to the development and abilities of the children you work with.
You are welcome to bring along books, pencils, basic first aid supplies and musical instruments to help entertain the children and assist with activities. These supplies can generally be purchased in Ghana, which IVHQ recommends to support the local economy.
Construction and Renovation
As a volunteer on Construction and Renovation project in Ghana, you will work alongside local people to help improve the infrastructure in small rural communities. This project focuses on the construction and renovation of children’s homes, clinics, community centers, toilet facilities and schools. You may also have the opportunity to meet chiefs and community elders, and learn about the various cultures of the different communities through music and dance.
If you are passionate about being outdoors and have a good level of fitness, this will be a perfect project for you. Your tasks may include painting, brick laying, plastering, digging, block shaping, carpentry, steel bending, mortar mixing, etc. Keep in mind that projects and volunteer roles will vary from community to community, so come prepared willing to help out wherever your support is most needed.
You are not required to have experience in construction to participate, as you will work closely with members of our local team who will guide your work each day.
Please note that this project has an extra cost of US$49 (approximately CA$60) per week for supervision, materials and the logistics involved. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply. Volunteers should bring gloves, flash light, light weight scarf for sun protection or hat, insect repellent, working boots and water bottle to Ghana.
The aim of this project is to help small rural communities in Ghana which are deprived of access to basic healthcare and medicine. In the major cities of Ghana, such as Accra, medical care is fairly good and accessible relative to other African nations. However, once you leave the major cities, the standard drops considerably and there is a real shortage of trained medical professionals to work in these communities and provide basic healthcare services.
This project is well suited to medical volunteers with an interest experiencing medical work in settings much different to your traditional medical environment.
When volunteering on this project you can expect to be placed in a larger clinic within Accra, or in a small rural clinic, where you will work closely with the local staff. Some Medical volunteers also have the opportunity to be placed within our Childcare project, where they visit the various children’s homes we work with, providing medical care and guidance to those in need. It is important to note that the facilities and resources on this project, especially in the more rural clinics, are extremely limited and provide a much different working environment to what most Medical volunteers have experienced before. Therefore, short term volunteers must understand that the clinic work will be be primarily observational, but the longer you spend on this project and the higher your qualification, the more likely it is you will be able to participate in a more hands on capacity. This will be determined by our local team and based on your level of education and previous experience.
This project is open to qualified medical or nursing professionals as well as volunteers who have completed at least two years of medical or nursing training. You will need to provide a copy of your qualifications, or a letter and transcript from your school to the local team in Ghana on arrival. Midwives are also able to work within one of our rural clinics on this project.
As a volunteer on the Sports Teaching project in Ghana, you will be working with children and young adults to help develop their interest in physical education and increase their skill base across a range of sports. In addition to the physical benefits of sports education, this project helps in developing mental discipline, as well as enhancing alertness and coordination among the students you will be working with.
This project is well suited to individuals with a love of sport and real enthusiasm for supporting youth development and working with young people.
When volunteering on the Sports Teaching project, you will be using physical education as a platform to teach the students how to work as a team, bringing the best out of the players, and developing their self-confidence. Football/soccer is a popular sport in Ghana, however volunteers are also encouraged to introduce new sports to the students. To teach these sports, you may need to bring equipment from home, as there is a chance it may not be available for purchase in Ghana.
This project is open to all volunteers and previous teaching experience is not required to take part. It is important to note that you may also be required to teach other classes during your time on this project, such as Math, English, Science or Social Studies (Geography and History) as sports is usually taught in the afternoon and early evening.
Please keep in mind that during the school holidays, you will work on school holiday workshops that will be created by the school directors, placement staff and other volunteers.
School Holidays 2018
- 13th April - 7th May
- 27th July - 10th September
- December 17th - January 7th 2019
The focus of this project is to help provide a sustainable food source for the Childcare placements where IVHQ volunteers work in Ghana. If you’re someone who is passionate about sustainability and is looking for some hands-on volunteer work, this project will be perfect for you.
Volunteer work on the Agriculture project involves both crop farming (corn, eggplants, capsicums and palms) and animal farming (pigs, rabbits, goats, chickens). When volunteering on the Agriculture project on Ghana, you will be involved in clearing land for growing crops, assisting with fertilizing the land, developing land for cropping, planting crops, nurturing crops, teaching farming techniques to local staff, assisting with purchasing stock, caring for stock, and fencing and moving stock. The work available is dependent on the season and your exact placement, which will be determined based on the existing needs within the community. Work on the Agriculture project usually stops during the hottest period of the day and during this time, you may assist with teaching in local schools to ensure you have sufficient volunteer work.
You are not required to have previous agricultural experience to participate on this project. However, more experienced volunteers may be able to assist in developing the project and teaching new techniques to the staff and older children at the homes, helping them to farm their crops and animals more effectively.
Please note that the resources and machinery are extremely limited on this project and most work is very labor intensive. Volunteers should bring gloves, flash light, light weight scarf for sun protection or hat, insect repellent, working boots, water bottle (all can be purchased in Accra). This project has an extra cost of US$49 (approximately CA$60) per week for supervision, materials and the logistics. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply.
The program orientation begins on the 1st and 15th of every month and volunteers need to arrive in Accra on the day before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Kotoka International Airport (ACC) in Accra. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Accra. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Ghana prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up at a prearranged location in Accra on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our local team in Accra and begins on the morning of your chosen start date. This covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program Ghana – Introduction to Ghana, Culture and Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities, Introduction to Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
First Day: On the first day of volunteering, volunteers will be escorted to their placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff they will be working with. A typical daily schedule would be as follows:
7.30AM Breakfast with host (childcare volunteers usually get up earlier to assist the children with bathing and having breakfast).
8.00AM Volunteers can expect to leave home and walk to their placement, where they join the placement staff. Volunteers will be given a duty roster and plan for their work. There is usually a tea break and a lunch break.
2.00PM - 5.00PM Work at the project usually ends. Volunteers are free from this point to go sightseeing or do some shopping.
6.30PM Dinner at the volunteer accommodation.
Please note, this schedule can vary depending on the project that the volunteer is participating on.
Volunteers are accommodated in a volunteer house where they live with other volunteers. In some locations, volunteers are accommodated at their placement or stay together in a volunteer house alongside a local family. There are separate rooms for male and female volunteers with shared common room and toilet facilities. Living is basic but the majority of volunteer houses have electricity, while only few have running water. Power cuts are common in Ghana and most rural houses do not have running water during times of drought. Bedding (pillows and sheets) is provided, however it is recommended that volunteers bring their own towels and mosquito nets (these can also be purchased in Ghana).
There is WiFi access available at local cafes and restaurants in a nearby village, which is a 15 to 20 minute walk from the volunteer accommodation. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to keep connected.
Volunteers in Ghana are served three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Breakfast generally consists of tea and coffee, and a hot breakfast. A typical lunch and dinner can include meat and vegetables with rice or noodles. If you have special dietary requirements, please let us know ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for you.
“Being in Ghana was the most incredible experience of my life. I learned so much about myself while learning lots about Ghana’s culture, people, geography, economy and more. I felt safe in my environment, surrounded by many wonderful volunteers and locals. I always had the help of our coordinator in case I had any questions or concerns. We were ALWAYS very well taken care of.” - Caitlin Bird (Orphanage Work Volunteer in Ghana)
During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of their local town and Ghana. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield such as Cape Coast or other Western African countries. If volunteers wish to volunteer over the weekends they can join local teams and visit other orphanages (or other children helping organizations) to spend time simply playing with and entertaining the children.
See our Ghana Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Ghana!
|Currency||Ghanaian Cedi (GHS)|
Weather and climate: Ghana has a tropical climate and the average temperature falls between 21°C to 28°C (70°F to 82°F). In the north, there is a rainy season from April to June and September to November. The rainy season in the south lasts from April to mid-November. The weather is typically humid however, over the dry season, desert winds in the north can create cooler evenings and a drier atmosphere.
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteeer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Ghana. Additional requirements apply for Medical volunteers, please review the project description above.
Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.