Voluntary Care work in Ghana is an ideal way to get involved and help improve conditions for local children. You can contribute towards this vital development work during a gap year, career break, or just a holiday. Volunteers with qualifications and experience are welcome but you do not need to have either to volunteer. Energy, passion and commitment to the work at hand should see you through.
Ghana in West Africa is a country of rich natural resources and ancient traditions. However, an ever-growing disparity between rich and poor has resulted in a large percentage of the population still living in poverty. Poor health and sanitation have contributed to the low life expectancy and high infant mortality rates. Problems such as violent methods of discipline, child labour and poor education means that childhood in Ghana can be a real struggle, which is why our volunteer General Care projects are so important.In the centres that do exist, staff struggle with limited resources to feed, cloth and educate the children in their care. More often than not, staff finds themselves not having the time to provide the individual attention and emotional support that these children need so they can have as normal a childhood as possible.
We have different volunteer options for you in Ghana, such as working in day care centres. Most of the placements are based in the Ho, but there are also Care placements available in Cape Coast, the waterfall Hill(Wlitodzi) and in Accra.
Some volunteers work in larger state-run care centres, whilst others may be placed in smaller care homes, day care centres and homes for mentally and physically disabled children. Volunteers can also work with HIV/AIDS patients on a challenging HIV/AIDS control programme.
During term time, the majority of children at care centres attend school during the day. Most volunteers choose to accompany the children and help out at the school or kindergarten during these hours, assisting the teachers with basic numeracy and literacy education. If you’re happy to get your hands dirty it may also be possible to stay at the centre and assist the house mother with cleaning and general house duties whilst the older children are at school, however, the level of interaction with the children will be less if you do this.
Day care centres often struggle with the limited resources and limited staff available to care for the children. Extra sets of hands can be extremely valuable to assist the caregivers in their duties and organise daily activities with the children including basic learning (numeracy and literacy) along with early childhood development and hygiene awareness activities.
NMH team in Ghana organises regular workshops for our care volunteers. The workshops will provide you with a valuable insight into the local care system and the background of the placement where you’re working. You will receive advice and suggestions regarding activities to carry out at your care placement. The workshops may also cover topics like Ghanaian culture, your role at the placement and useful resources to use.
In whichever Care project in Ghana you find yourself with NMH, you need to be ready for a challenge. Many of the children are desperate for attention and there will undoubtedly be children present who have health problems and who need special attention due to disabilities. It is in your role as a volunteer - spending time with the children, playing with them and putting a smile on their faces - that NMH Projects volunteers are so valuable. Whether you are helping older children with school homework or teaching the alphabet to the younger ones, you will be an essential part of their development. Any extra interests or skills that you have can be put to good use, and please let our local staff know about them when you apply.