Situated on the coast of West Africa, Ghana is a country full of beautiful beaches, lush vegetation and the world’s largest artificial lake – Lake Volta.
While Ghana is a politically stable country, social inequalities remain and many Ghanaians live in poverty, giving volunteers the chance to really make a difference.
English is learned at school and widely spoken, but learning a few phrases in one of the local languages will go a long way!
Teaching placements would have you working in often under resourced facilities and you will find that only basic supplies are available for teaching. Text books are sometimes limited so sharing, being creative and flexible with lesson plans is essential. Teachers cover all subjects from English to maths, social studies, science and even religious or moral studies. Volunteers teach classes on their own and will need to plan lessons. All placements have a host mentor who can help guide you with curriculum, teaching methods and discipline.
Medical placements are based in community medical centres and volunteers aid the health officer who does almost everything medically for their community. The role does not require any technical or medical experience and you will volunteer under the supervision of the Health Officer. Typical activities of a Volunteer Health Worker will include weighing babies, doing community outreach, taking vitals, observing tests and assisting with hospital administration.
Lattitude works in partnership with organisations such as the Football for Hope (FFH) movement which uses sport to re-engage young people. FFH builds on the historic hosting of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and harnesses this enormously popular sport to address education and health challenges in underserved communities across Africa. One of the first FFH centres was built in Cape Coast in Ghana and Play Soccer Ghana (PSG) was selected to be the Centre Host. Volunteers on this placement will help to educate participants through a range of different sports. Volunteers on this placement should have an interest in sports and will be focusing on raising awareness, training, peer education, resource development and teaching.
All volunteers live with a host family which provides a unique opportunity to share in the lives of local people. Occasionally volunteers live in staff accommodation or have a room in a boarding school.
Food will be cooked for you and provided at your accommodation or in the school.
Is it for me?
Ghana placements are rewarding, challenging and full of surprises. Volunteers must be flexible, mature and respectful. Lifestyle, weather and food will be different and volunteers must be willing to forgo modern comforts. Placements in Ghana offer an opportunity to directly contribute and become a part of a new community. If you are up to the challenge of teaching in a completely different environment and becoming immersed in a new culture, then an exciting time awaits.
The majority of placements are located along the south coast between the capital Accra and west towards the two medium sized cities of Cape Coast and Takoradi. Placements on the south coast range from urban to suburban and even more rural.
Volunteers have the opportunity to travel around Ghana during weekends and holidays. Many spend time at the coast, visiting the castles and forts left behind by colonial powers engaged in gold, ivory and slave trading.
Heading inland, volunteers often choose to take safaris in places such as Mole National Park where elephants, hippos and buffalo abound and elusive lions may even be spotted.
Ghanaians love festivals and wherever you go, you are sure to find something exciting and unusual happening.