As a volunteer with disabled children in Ghana participant, you will assist local staff with the day-to-day routines at the volunteer placement. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs will see you do your bit to help care for children with special needs. Support local staff at the project in various essential education and rehabilitation sessions. Moreover, provide one-on-one interaction and care for children who need it most.
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE UN’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL NO.10 – INEQUALITY
MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT WITHIN THE DISABLED CHILDREN COMMUNITY OF KUMASI
SPEND TIME WITH THE CHILDREN IN THE SENSORY ROOM PROVIDING REHAB THERAPY
STRUCTURED WEEKEND TRIPS TO CAPE COAST & MOLE NATIONAL PARK
EMBRACE GHANAIAN CULTURE WITH DRUMMING & DANCING EVENING ACTIVITIES
BACKGROUND TO THE DISABLED PROGRAM
Around 5 million people in Ghana live with a disability, which is around a fifth of the population. Approximately 100,000 Ghanaian children aged 6-14 have a disability and more than 16,000 of these children are out of school. Children with disabilities are often left at home, unable to go outside the house let alone make it to school. Many are shunned for their disability, marginalised and forgotten.
Ghana has recently introduced a nationwide inclusive education policy that works on two fronts. Firstly, enforcing the rights of children with disabilities to education. Secondly, educating parents through community sensitisation programs. Resources are now being invested in addressing these issues on a national scale.
The government is making big steps to support people with special needs. However, the facilities that support them are still understaffed. Consequently, families do not usually have the means to give their child the support they need.
PMGY volunteers work with children and young adults who are intellectually challenged and/or carrying some form of physical disability. The children and young adults have different conditions and needs. These can vary from mild disability to more severe cases. When working within the local community at the projects, ages will vary from 7 to 25 years of age.
Working with disabled children can be an immensely challenging role, but one that brings with it great reward, variety and excitement! You will need to be enthusiastic and patient in order to succeed in this role.
Volunteer opportunities in Ghana provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact when working with disabled children. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a volunteer with disabled children in Ghana volunteer can bring. To volunteer with children in Ghana, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.
VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES
Kumasi Children’s Home – Established in 1965 by a private organisation, Kumasi Children’s Home later became a government-run organisation. It is currently home to around 100 children. The children are split into three different blocks – the girls’ house, the boys’ house and the disabled children’s house.
This community development volunteer abroad project provides a variety of support services to the students. This extends to focus on areas such as basic education and life skills classes. Similarly, the project supports in areas such as physical exercise, speech and physical therapy. Part of this has seen a sensory room developed on-site. The sensory room is designed to develop the disabled children’s sense through special lighting, music and objects.
You will complete daily volunteer work in Ghana at Kumasi Children’s Home. It is important you use your free time at the Volunteer House to plan activities for each day. As time progresses, you will grow through your volunteer experience assisting the local staff at the volunteer projects.
New Life Children’s Centre – Started in 1988 by the Late Mother Theresa, New Life Children’s provides childcare for local children. Please note the project is home to local children and young adults both with and without disabilities.
Participants work with the children and young adults at the project in a variety of ways. First of all, volunteers will be involved in promoting morning routines. This will extend to assisting with feeding during mealtimes. Finally, as part of your role as a volunteer with disabled children in Ghana, you will engage in activities that aim to promote both social and motor skills.
Volunteers also tend to lend a hand to the local staff with simple chores, such as washing. This helps free up the staff members to spend their time providing more specialised care for the children and young adults.
Volunteers are encouraged to spend one on one time with children who struggle with limited communication skills. By doing this, you will be promoting a positive inner mood and character development for the children. Utilising your volunteer experience, time and skills with energy and enthusiasm will definitely leave a positive impact.
Volunteers assist in a number of other capacities at the project too. Those with experience or a specific area of interest are encouraged to specialise. Examples can include taking a lead in physical and speech therapy sessions.
As a volunteer in Ghana, you are encouraged to provide as much interaction and assistance to the children and young adults. You and your fellow volunteers can do this by singing songs, going on walks and counting. Furthermore, helping the local staff with feeding, washing and cleaning activities will be a big support as you volunteer with children.
YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL VOLUNTEER DAY
Volunteers are required to provide valuable daily hands-on care, attention and interaction. More specifically, providing such support for disadvantaged children and young adults who need it most. Whether you join us in Ghana for 2 weeks or as part of your gap year, the local team will be on hand to assist your project work.
In general, you will volunteer at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-5 hours every day. The typical volunteer working hours are usually from 7am-1pm. The early start is required to provide the local staff with much-needed assistance at the project. The chores and morning routines are where the volunteers can provide the most hands-on support.
Transport to and from the disabled children project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, volunteers will usually travel by public transport, but may also choose to split the cost of a taxi. Our local team will show you how to get to and from your volunteer project location during the orientation period.
Most noteworthy, heavy traffic and poor road infrastructure can be commonplace within Kumasi. Subsequently, the journey to the volunteer project can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour upwards from the Volunteer House.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING IN GHANA
Project Flexibility – As for all our volunteer in Ghana programs, it is possible to combine multiple projects. First of all, please apply for the main program start date you’d like to partake in. Secondly, then outline in your online application the details of the other projects you’d like to do. Our local team will finalise the details of your placements during your in-country orientation.
Both Kumasi Children’s Home and New Life provide care for children with and without disabilities. Therefore, both childcare and disabled children volunteers usually have the flexibility and opportunity to work across both of these projects.
Cultural Differences – It is very important that volunteers join this program with an open mind and understanding of cultural differences. Children’s rights and the methods of discipline used often greatly differ from what is the norm in the west.
Although mistreatment of children is never condoned volunteers should be aware that physical discipline does happen in Ghana. This can be quite shocking, but it is important to remember that physical discipline is commonplace throughout Ghana.
Therefore, it is best for volunteers to be open-minded on arrival and come with limited expectations. You are there to help and make a difference in the local communities. However, this must be done in a framework where there are rules to follow and cultures to abide by.
Our local team will brief you on these issues during your in-country orientation. As a result, you will be fully prepared for your placement. If you see something that you believe is not right, then please do approach our local team. As a result of doing this, the team can then aim to resolve or give clarity on the issue.
Resources – On the disabled project in Ghana, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their volunteering experience in Ghana.
Weekends – Your project work in Ghana runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Ghana Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Ghana. We offer the Cape Coast & Busua Surf Trip along with the Mole National Park Trip with opportunities running every month.