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Volunteer and Teach in Ghana

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

IVHQ Ghana

I was in Ghana for 8 weeks, it was very hard for me to adjust at first because its very overwhelming and you are there on your own. In this period of adjustment I had a lot of help from the IVHQ staff who always said to me "We only want you to be happy. How can we help?"
After a rough first weeks I can say being there was one of the most amazing experiences in my life, I made such good friends who were my support through the hole program and got the chance to teach to amazing and brilliant children.
We taught summer school and the children were so eager to learn it motivated you to prepare a good class and different activities.
If you are thinking about going to Africa I really recommend this project, I would recommend 3 weeks or more and to be willing to help in everything you can. If you can bring things from home that you think could be useful for the project, do it.
BEST EXPERIENCE EVER!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Just go - it will change your life

It would be my first ever volunteer trip, ever. It would also be my first trip that I would do alone, without my friends or my parents. Of course, I had doubts about going, especially when the departure was getting closer, I started questioning my decision to go to Ghana for a month. But I got on the plane, I was a bit scared, I'll have to admit, and a little bit less than 7 hours later I landed in the country that would forever change my outlook on the world and would become my second home, I just didn't know it yet. I was immediately welcomed by one of the IVHQ employees when I walked out of the airport with my heavy loaded backpack. The first night was a bit rough, I was homesick and really didn't know what to do with myself. I would stay a month, and that sounded like ages to me at the time. This all may sound very negative, but I want to show you that - if you have any doubts- you can take it from me that this will be the best decision of your life. After a few days I wasn't homesick anymore, I loved the children and the people at the orphanage where I volunteered (pink program = best program ever) and I had met some of the most beautiful girls from America that became my best friends in a matter of days. With them I would spend the breaks playing cards or laughing and the weekends road tripping through Ghana, from Cape Coast to Accra Mall. Besides teaching the children I also did some childcare, like helping them with getting dressed/taking a bath/eating and taking care of their health. The children gave so much love and so much joy, getting to play with them, talk with them and teaching them everyday was amazing. Not only the children, but all the people I met in Ghana were some of the most welcoming people, and I've never felt unsafe.
If you have any more doubts about going, don't. Just go. You will love it and you will not regret going, I promise you. Leaving everyone in Ghana was harder on me than leaving home. I just found out that I will be able to get back to Ghana next year, and that's the biggest present anyone could've ever given me. I left a little piece of my hearth in Ghana, and you will too.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Purple is the best program

When I applied for International Volunteer HQ program, I knew exactly what I was applying for, due to the helpful website information and preparation. However, I was definitely not expecting to have such a great experience!
Firstly, I believe anyone who looks for this type of programs is afraid of the organization's safety or simply if there is really somebody waiting for you at the airport. As it was promised, everything went ok with the pick up and I was pretty well received in the volunteer house in Accra. Therefore, all my nervousness went away as soon as I got there.
Secondly, in terms of overall safety, at first it was quite scary that everyone approached me to know a bit more about myself, where I came from and how my life was back home. In Portugal, things like this never happen and I never expect some stranger to speak to me without any reason. In fact, this is really common in Ghana and was actually what I mostly appreciated about its culture and community: everybody loves and respects everybody. I felt completely safe to walk around the village at any time of the day (not during the night) by myself.
Thirdly, when it comes to living conditions, I was not expecting to have good ones. If I wanted to have a nice toilet and shower, I would not have applied to do this in the first place. Everything else, the people, the teaching program and the other volunteers' friendship was far more that enough to compensate the conditions. However, it is important to highlight that the program staff was always open to suggestions to improve our life while in Ghana and certainly tried to fit our requirements as best as they could. For example, I personally do not appreciate spicy food and food in Ghana is extremely hot! I asked the cooks to decrease their spiciness and they did so for me and for other volunteers who wished as well.
Finally, another positive aspect about the program was the opportunity to try other divisions apart from teaching. Since farming volunteers went to the farm from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and teachers had to be at school at 9 a.m., I was glad to have the possibility to join the agriculture program before classes. This flexibility enabled me to get the most of my two weeks in Frankadua and get to know even more about how people get by in life. After this, I went to school and taught a class with an average of 20 seven-year-old students and I this was the area where my effort had the most impact. I found that the educational system there is very weak and despite not having had any previous teaching experience, I believe that I could teach the children them so many useful tools and values to pursue a greater life.
In conclusion, I felt safe and respected, I made amazing friendships I will never forget and, most importantly, I could indeed make a difference in the community. I also learnt so many essential values that developed myself as a person and that I will try to transmit to other people in my country.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review November 21, 2016 at 3:13 PM

    Hi Maria, We are stoked that the Ghana program exceeded your expectations! It is interesting to hear that your initial apprehension towards being approached and talked to by strangers turned into a deep appreciation for the incredibly welcoming local culture. Thanks for going above and beyond by volunteering at the Agriculture and Teaching placements during your two weeks on the program. We would love to have you volunteer with us again!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Teaching in Ghana

The experience is incredible. The workers at my placement were very friendly and always made sure we were safe. There is no doubt that this opportunity will change your life and I still think about the children and the small town where my placement was everyday. The villagers were so welcoming and the children are lovely and always excited to learn! On the weekend a group of volunteers made the trip to Cape Coast with the help of a dedicated worker named Evan. I really wish I had gotten to stay longer and I am already looking forward to my next trip back.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review November 16, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    Hi Bella, It is awesome to hear that you had an incredible experience in Ghana! We would loved for you to have stayed longer and we can’t wait to have you back with IVHQ!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    4

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My time In Ghana

I absolutely loved every second I got to spend in Ghana. I was in the Gold Program for a month and everything about it was perfect. The staff was super helpful, the cook was amazing, and the children and other members of our village were very helpful, respectful, and welcoming to us. Our program leader was not that great and could have done a lot more to make this trip go a little smoothly, but aside from that the IVHQ staff was very helpful and I knew there were always other staff members I could go to and they were able to handle my advice or situations. The guy that was in charge of us at the accommodation, Prince was amazing and called us a taxi whenever we needed it, he helped us plan weekend trips, he taught us more of the local language, and he also made us feel safe 24/7.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review October 06, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    Hi Amanda, We are thrilled to hear that you loved every second that you spent in Ghana! It is great to hear that the people you met were helpful, respectful and welcoming. We are sorry that the leadership of your program could have been better and we encourage you to contact us with your thoughts on how this leadership could be improved. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to have you volunteer with us again soon.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

IVHQ GHANA TEACHING -- PURPLE

I’ve done a lot of traveling over the years, but no trip compared to the one month I spent volunteering in beautiful Ghana. The main reason for that are the people I met there, especially the lovely kids and IVHQ Staff.
At first I thought that the program was expensive, but after completing it I can say that it is worth every cent.
The program coordinators would check up on us at least once a week and we could reach at least one of them at any time via phone. They considered all of our complains and tried to solve any problems we had.
I am especially thankful to Evans, a program coordinator, working temporarily as a cook in our program. He was trying to make everyone happy and to find out if we were satisfied. He even discussed the food menu with us, sometimes fulfilled special meal wishes and made travel reservations for us.
I hope that I will have a chance to volunteer in this program again.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 10, 2016 at 8:27 PM

    Hi there, thanks for sharing your thoughts about our program in Ghana. It sounds like you had a really memorable time and we are glad that we could facilitate this for you. Thanks for being an IVHQer!