Volunteering with Projects Abroad was the best decision I made! Projects Abroad is number one on my list when it comes to volunteering abroad. I traveled to Accra, Ghana, to volunteer at the human... Surabi AKUA Para
Health & Safety
An Unforgettable Journey
Submitted by Surabi AKUA Para - Markham York University | August 19, 2014
Volunteering with Projects Abroad was the best decision I made! Projects Abroad is number one on my list when it comes to volunteering abroad. I traveled to Accra, Ghana, to volunteer at the human rights office for 4 weeks after completing my undergraduate studies in Human Rights & Equity Studies. It was my first time traveling alone and I’ve always wanted to travel to an African country.
When I arrived at the airport, I was greeted by a friendly staff who took me to my host family. They were accommodating, cared for my well-being and respected my privacy. The cook was a lovely individual and provided me with delicious meals. I had such a great time because I liked the atmosphere, and the people were friendly and lively.
My work at the office and field placement was a new learning experience for me because I had the educational background but lacked training prior to working in Ghana. I got the amazing opportunity to work alongside intelligent and trained staff members who assisted me on projects such as Child Marriage, Gender Equality, Slum – Health Assessment, and Fundraising for Schools in the Slum, that required conducting interviews, delivering presentations and writing reports.
I immediately developed friendship with almost all the volunteers there which created more of a work-play environment. We usually hung out in groups after work and had some really good time together. I did pretty much everything I could possible do in 4 weeks; attended language, cooking and African dance lessons, salsa and reggae night, night out for some delicious desserts in a heavy storm (that was crazy) and eating out at nice restaurants. During the weekends, we traveled in groups to some of the most breathtaking places; went on safaris to see animals that live in their natural habitat, did the longest hike of my life to see the beautiful Wli waterfalls, and had a relaxing weekend by the beach at Cape 3 Points.
The Projects Abroad staff members definitely played a huge part in my experience because they were extremely friendly, responsive, caring and made sure I was feeling happy at all times with my accommodation, work and social activities. On a personal experience, my flight did not depart from Ghana on the set date, so I ended up staying two days extra and my supervisor made sure I was safe, given proper meal and accommodation, and called often to check up on me and arranged for my travel.
I am so grateful for all the people I met because they enriched my experience and some of us still keep in touch. I’m glad I chose Projects Abroad because the human rights program was truly an eye-opener and I feel confident when I apply to jobs now. I will always cherish my time and the memories I’ve created in Ghana.