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 $270 for 1 week
- 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. 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 Agriculture Project in Ghana is designed for those volunteers who enjoy the more physical aspect of volunteering and don’t mind getting their hands dirty. The focus of this project is to address the difficulties facing Childcare placements in terms of providing a sustainable food source for the children. Volunteer work on the Agriculture Project involves both crop farming (corn, eggplants, capsicums, palms etc.) and animal farming (rabbits, goats, chickens etc.). The work available is dependent on the season and where volunteers are placed. Volunteers 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. To support the Childcare placements where our volunteers work, the produce grown through the Agriculture project is donated to the various homes to supplement the children’s food intake. Work on the Agriculture project usually stops during the hottest period of the day and during this time volunteers will assist with teaching in local schools to ensure they have sufficient volunteer work. While previous agricultural experience is not a prerequisite for this project, more experienced volunteers will be able to assist in developing the project and teaching techniques to the staff and older children at the homes, helping them to farm their crops and animals more effectively. Please note, resources and machinery are extremely limited on this project and most work is very labour 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). Please note, the Agriculture project has an extra cost of US$49 per week for supervision, materials and the logistics involved in this project. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply.
Construction and Renovation
Based in rural Ghana, the Construction and Renovation project offers volunteers the special opportunity to 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. Volunteers also have the opportunity to meet chiefs and community elders, and learn about the various cultures of the different communities through music and dance. Volunteers work closely with the local people and IVHQ Ghana staff on tasks which include painting, brick laying, plastering, digging, block shaping, carpentry, steel bending, mortar mixing, etc. If you’re a keen outdoors person with a good level of fitness, this will be a perfect project for you. Please note, projects and volunteer roles will vary from community to community. Volunteers should bring gloves, flash light, light weight scarf for sun protection or hat, insect repellent, working boots and water bottle. Please note, the Construction and Renovation project has an extra cost of US$49 per week for supervision, materials and the logistics involved in this project. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply.
The Medical project in Ghana works within rural Ghanaian communities. This project aims to help smaller Ghanaian communities 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. Volunteers on the Medical Project in Ghana are placed in small rural clinics where they 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 are extremely limited and provide a much different working environment to what most Medical volunteers have experienced before. Volunteers on the Medical Project in Ghana must be qualified medical professionals or have completed at least two years of medical training and provide a copy of their medical qualifications, or a letter and transcript from their school to be provided to staff in Ghana on arrival. Midwives are also able to work within one of our rural clinics on this project.
Through providing education, love, care and attention to less fortunate children in Ghana, the Childcare project aims to address the problems that these children face. Volunteers on this project are placed in both rural and urban communities, where they teach and provide care and affection to children. Volunteers are responsible for designing and implementing effective teaching programs, activities and events to inspire and develop the talent and abilities of the children. Volunteers 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 country, if packing space is limited (IVHQ encourages the purchase of supplies in Ghana to support the Ghanaian economy, rather than buying the goods pre-departure)
Volunteers with a love of sport and real enthusiasm for working with children are well suited to our Sports Teaching project in Ghana. Volunteers on this project work with young children and older Ghanaians to help develop their interest in a range of sports and increase their skill base. In addition to the physical benefits of sports education, this project helps in developing the mental discipline of the children, as well as heightening their alertness and coordination. The Sports Teaching project will generally involve physical training, teaching the children how to work as a team, bringing the best out in the players, and encouraging children to have more self-confidence. Football/soccer is a popular sport in Ghana, however volunteers are also encouraged to introduce new sports to the children. To teach these sports, volunteers may need to bring equipment from home, as there is a chance it may not be available for purchase in Ghana. Volunteers do not need any previous teaching experience to participate on the Sports Education project, however it is important to note that volunteers may be required to teach other classes during their project, such as Math, English, Science or Social Studies (Geography and History) as sports is usually taught in the afternoon and early evening. During the school holidays, volunteer will work on school holiday workshops that will be created by the school directors, placement staff and volunteers.
School Holidays 2017:
- 14th April - 8th May
- 28th July - 11th September
- December 18th - January 3rd
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. The Teaching project in Ghana seeks 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. Volunteers are placed in both rural and urban communities in Accra, where they teach solo or assist one of the few local teachers. Volunteers on this project follow the syllabus of the Ghana Education Service, which is made available to volunteers during their orientation. Music, Math and Arts are also incorporated into the syllabus and volunteers are encouraged to bring resources that can assist with their teaching. The school year has three terms and there are holiday breaks of 4 weeks, which fall between each term. Volunteers who apply for the Teaching project during these holiday breaks will switch to another project or work with school directors and placement staff in creating school holiday workshops for the children, and volunteers will then run these workshops unassisted. As volunteers work with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, they do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate. However, we 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.
School Holidays 2017:
- 14th April - 8th May
- 28th July - 11th September
- December 18th - January 3rd
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.