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🇬🇭 VOLUNTEER IN GHANA 🇬🇭

Volunteer in Ghana with Plan My Gap Year – an award-winning, international volunteer abroad organisation with programs based in Kumasi, Ghana. PMGY provides safe, trusted and affordable programs overseas, with a wide range of volunteer projects in Ghana, including ChildcareDisabled ChildrenEnglish TeachingMedical & Mental Health opportunities.

PMGY Ghana is located in the historic city of Kumasi, in the central Ashanti Region. The Ghana volunteer programs start on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of every month. Our projects in Ghana run across the year and participants can join us from 2-24 weeks. Volunteers in Ghana are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pick-up, orientation, meals, accommodation and local support.

KEY FEATURES

PROGRAM FEE FROM 375 USD

PROGRAMS FOR 17+ YEAR OLDS

✓ PRE-DEPARTURE BUDDY LISTS


✓ MEET LIKE-MINDED SOLO TRAVELLERS


✓ VOLUNTEER MON-FRI & TRAVEL SAT-SUN


✓ AVAILABLE TO WORLDWIDE VOLUNTEERS


✓ IDEAL FOR FIRST TIME TRAVELLERS

   

DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS

LOCATED IN KUMASI

1ST & 3RD SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH

✓ 24 HOUR AIRPORT PICK UP


✓ ACCOMMODATION, MEALS & WI-FI


✓ SAFE, SECURE & TRUSTED COUNTRY SETUP


✓ CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION


✓ 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY, UK & US SUPPORT

GHANA CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

Brighten up the lives of vulnerable children in Ghana and make a vital and important contribution to their daily lives.

FROM 375 USD

2-24 WEEKS

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GHANA DISABLED CHILDREN VOLUNTEERS

Do your bit to help care for Ghanaian children with special needs. Assist local staff by getting involved in essential education and rehabilitation sessions.

FROM 375 USD

2-24 WEEKS

MORE INFO

GHANA ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

Help young children develop the skills that will help improve their future job prospects. Teach a variety of subjects such as English, Maths and Art.

FROM 375 USD

2-24 WEEKS

MORE INFO

GHANA MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS

A fantastic opportunity to gain experience and insight into the health care system. Learn from local staff and get involved in supporting them.

FROM 465 USD

2-24 WEEKS

MORE INFO

GHANA MENTAL HEALTH & PSYCHOLOGY VOLUNTEERS

Designed for those currently studying mental health or psychology, this is an opportunity to gain insight and awareness within a hospital based setting.

FROM 465 USD

2-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

REAL AFRICA ENCOUNTER – GHANA, TANZANIA & SOUTH AFRICA

Spend a life-changing 6, 9 or 12 weeks of volunteering across the world’s second-biggest continent in Ghana, fascinating Tanzania & epic South Africa!

FROM 1,635 USD

6-12 WEEKS

MORE INFO

WHY VOLUNTEER IN GHANA WITH PMGY?

Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.

 

Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your PMGY adventure.

 

Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe and structured as possible.

 

Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.

 

Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.

VOLUNTEER PROJECTS

GHANA CHILDCARE VOLUNTEERS

As a childcare volunteer in Ghana, you will make a vital and important contribution to the daily lives of the Kumasi children. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs provide international volunteers with a platform to brighten up the lives of young children. You will work alongside local staff as you provide care and attention to disadvantaged children. Above all, you will be assisting with the general childcare and daily project operations when you volunteer with children in Ghana.

 

Background to the Childcare Program

 

Like so many developing nations, Ghana has a large number of children who find themselves in government care. Not all children in childcare homes have lost their parents. Some arrive from abusive homes and others are taken into care as their parents cannot afford to look after them. The children’s home is basic, under-resourced and in need of participant’s assistance.

 

The children will have their food and accommodation provided for them. However, with limited staff resources, it is the individual attention that the local children crave so much. Providing children with essential skills in life will help them on their way to successful futures. Such futures that will be free from poverty and filled with positive opportunity. As a participant, you will become a big brother or sister to the children.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Ghana provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working as a childcare volunteer in Ghana, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a childcare volunteer in Ghana 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.

 

Childcare Project 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.

 

Many of the children arrive at a very young age. This is due to mothers dying in childbirth and having no host family to look after the children. However, the home also accepts abandoned children, street children and children of unstable parents. They even occasionally care for children whose families are travelling. Generally speaking, ages can range anywhere from new-born babies to upper teens.

 

The children stay at the home for varying lengths of time depending on their situation. The home is now run and supervised primarily by the Department of Social Welfare and their supervisor is a government employee. Whilst the government pays the wages of most of the workers, much of the home’s funding comes externally. Catholic Relief Services provides a substantial amount of funding each year. Similarly, additional support comes from cash and in-kind donations from private citizens and organisations.

 

As you volunteer with children in Ghana, you are encouraged to get involved with as many day-to-day activities as you can. For the reason that keeping a children’s home of 100 children plus maintained and entertained is no easy feat. This includes daily care and interaction with the children and spending time in the playground area. Consequently, this will turn more mundane but essential tasks such as cleaning, feeding and washing.

 

There is also the opportunity to assist in morning classroom-based activities for preschool-aged children. The staff are also very grateful for any hands that can be offered for the performance of chores. Doing these tasks with a positive and proactive attitude is a great help to the children and their hygiene. Furthermore, it will also help build rapport and respect with the local staff who continually commit their time and devotion.

 

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.

 

PMGY participants at New Life Children’s Centre will often work with a range of babies. Most noteworthy, this will range from babies aged a couple of months to a couple of years. Participants aid the staff with tasks such as washing, feeding at mealtimes and helping during playtime. Likewise, as you complete volunteer work in Ghana, further tasks will include helping with chores including mopping floors and washing clothes.

 

This role is perfect for someone with a big heart. Even more to someone who has a desire to do something meaningful with their time abroad. Working in a children’s centre will require heaps of patience and a real sense of self-direction. Your level of impact is based on your willingness and pro-activeness to get involved and make the most of your time. Experience of working with children is not necessary but it does help.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Childcare Day

 

As a childcare volunteer abroad, you are required to support and assist with the daily care, attention and interaction of the children. Maximise your free time at the Volunteer House preparing activities accordingly. In general, you will volunteer at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-5 hours every day. The typical 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 participants can provide the most hands-on support.

 

Transport to and from the childcare project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, participants 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.

 
 

GHANA DISABLED CHILDREN VOLUNTEERS

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.

 

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 participants 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 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.

 

The 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 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, participants 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.

 

Participants 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.

 

Participants are encouraged to provide as much interaction and assistance to the children and young adults. You and your fellow participants 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 Work Day

 

Volunteers on this community volunteer abroad program 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 work at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-5 hours every day. The typical 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 participants can provide the most hands-on support.

 

Transport to and from the disabled children project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, participants 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.

 
 

GHANA ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

As a volunteer teaching English in Ghana, you will provide additional support to schools in Kumasi. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs will see you help young children in Ghana. Play a vital role in developing the English skills that will help improve their future job prospects. Demonstrate your passion, energy and enthusiasm for learning within a new culture. Teaching other subjects such as Science, Maths and Art represent further opportunities as you teach English in Ghana.

 

Background to the Teaching Program

 

Ghana is a multilingual country in which about eighty languages are spoken. Many of these languages are local dialects only spoken within local communities. Officially, English is the official language of Ghana. The language was inherited from the colonial era. However, with many indigenous languages, English is not frequently known or spoken within local communities.

 

Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves local peoples language skills, essential for future employment. Education is a priority for the Ghanaian government. Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education was implemented in Ghana between 1996-2005. As a result, many poorer families are now able to send their children to school.

 

However, severe classroom overcrowding, lack of educational materials and overall weak infrastructure are common problems. Because of this, the Ghanaian educational system can be very fragile. Nevertheless, you’ll still find the children extremely excited to see you and eager to learn. Whilst resources are limited, if you are creative and determined then you can really make a difference.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Ghana provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact when teaching English to the local community. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking to improve their English that you as a volunteer teaching English in Ghana can support with. To teach English 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.

 

The common teaching practises in Ghana are largely repetitive. Most noteworthy, this often results in the children memorising information without really understanding it. It is important to understand that discipline and teaching styles are quite different from those in the west. Furthermore, conditions are poor and classes are extremely overcrowded. This may be a culture shock for some.

 

As you teach English in Ghana, the majority of your time will be spent teaching the core subjects. However, there is always the opportunity to initiate extra-curricular activities such as sports. Physical education is usually a weekly activity at schools in Ghana. Experience is required should participants look to specialise in certain subjects.

 

Participants will also get the chance to join with the younger classes. Once you have joined the projects with the younger children, you can spend time leading more creative and relaxed activities. Such activities include singing songs, dancing, storytelling and colouring. Participants provide a great valuable cultural resource for the children where they can learn about different people, places and traditions.

 

Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you teach English in Ghana. When working at our English teaching volunteer projects in Ghana, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Many of these students will benefit from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in Ghana. As a volunteer teaching English 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.

 

Teaching Volunteer Placement Examples

 

Divine International School – Volunteers at Divine International school can work with children of all ages. Children can range from the age of 4 right up to the age of 16. You will work as a teaching assistant to the local English teachers. Similarly, you will also have the opportunity to lead your own classes.

 

A volunteer’s first day at Divine International School is purely observational, allowing participants to become familiar with their new surroundings. New participants then have an opportunity to meet their class before getting down to business the next day. You will be greeted every day by the children running over to welcome you. Thus every day at Divine International becomes a special day.

 

Christian Life Teaching School – Opening its doors in 2013, Christian Life Teaching School originated a small-scale project. Indeed, the school was originally home to a class of only two students. However, word of a new school quickly spread and the institute now hosts almost 400 pupils.

 

Split across only 11 rooms, each class accommodates close to 40 students. This puts a large strain on the quality of lessons that can be offered. This makes the contribution of a volunteer teaching English in Ghana at this project invaluable.

 

Participants at Christian Life Teaching School will be provided with a timetable. Such a timetable dictates the classes they will be working with on a day-to-day basis. You will work as a teaching assistant and also have the opportunity to lead your own classes.

 

As you complete your volunteer teaching English abroad program in Ghana, you will be playing an important part in supporting local teachers at Christian Life. Furthermore, you will be providing a new lease of life in the classroom through creative thinking and innovative teaching techniques. Just by being able to speak English with the students, you will be making a positive impact.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Teaching Day

 

As a volunteer teacher in Ghana, you are required to assist local teachers and plan and lead your own lessons. Your role is to create a more student-orientated approach to teaching, which is more interactive and engaging. It is important to have an open mind and recognise that change is slow. However, your efforts to promote best practice at the teaching English projects will lead to improvements in the long run.

 

In general, you will volunteer at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-5 hours every day. Project timings are usually from 9am-2pm with lunch taken at the project. Transport to and from the English teaching project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, participants 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.

 
 

GHANA MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS

As a medical volunteer in Ghana, you will gain first-hand experience and insight into the Ghanian health care system. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs provide a once in a lifetime cultural experience. The medical project offers a fantastic opportunity to spend time a range of departments in a large government hospital. Learn from local staff and get involved in supporting them.

 

Background to the Medical Program

 

Access to healthcare in Ghana has improved dramatically since the introduction of the National Health Insurance Act in 2003. However, the healthcare system in Ghana still faces a number of challenges, particularly in rural areas. The large majority of patients arrive due to illnesses related to poor sanitation.

 

Malaria is also a huge issue and remains the cause of many deaths and illnesses. In addition, HIV/AIDS continues to harm the lives of so many Ghanaians. Many of the major causes of death and serious illness are avoidable. The work of the healthcare system in Ghana largely centres on treating immediate cases. However, it also extends to educating the local communities in preventative measures.

 

We offer medical placements for people of all backgrounds. Therefore if you’re a school leaver looking for work experience to boost your university application we can accommodate you. Alternatively, if you’re a nursing/medical student organising an overseas elective placement we also have you covered.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Ghana provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform. Such a platform that allows for valuable exposure to medicine and healthcare projects within a new culture. For the reason that many of the facilities, procedures and operations you observe will be completely new to you.

 

More specifically, they will be completely different from how things are done in your home country. As a medical volunteer in Ghana, you will need to schedule your time and skills effectively to make the most out of your project time. This is to ensure you can maximise your exposure and learning opportunities at the project.

 

Should medical volunteers in Ghana wish to consider alternative or additional projects, our India medical volunteer program is recognised as our leading medical volunteer opportunity. For the reason that participants receive high exposure and involvement across a range of placement and project settings.

 

Medical Volunteer Placement Examples

 

Manhyia Government Hospital – Based in central Kumasi, Manhyia Hospital is home to a range of departments. Participants are likely to have the opportunity to observe within more than one division. However, it is recommended that volunteers spend a minimum of one week per department. Such departments include:

 

Adolescent Counselling, Community Health Education, Dentistry, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), General Surgery, Laboratory, Nursing, Maternity & Midwifery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Paediatrics, Pharmacology, Physical Therapy, Physiotherapy, Prenatal, Psychology, Radiology, Ultrasound

 

During orientation, participants will receive a comprehensive introduction to Manhyia Hospital. A local member of the PMGY Ghana team will lead a tour around the whole institution. Thus allowing participants to become familiar with the hospital’s layout. Furthermore, this will also give you an opportunity to meet staff members within each department.

 

We welcome school leavers and healthcare-related undergraduate students, looking to gain invaluable exposure. Your role is largely observational. The hospitals are poorly resourced and under-staffed by western standards, so you will have a very eye-opening experience. You will be placed in a number of different departments. As a result, you will receive a broad insight into the Ghanaian healthcare system.

 

The maximum recommended duration for a medical experience is 6 weeks. You are able to combine your healthcare program with other volunteer work in Ghana. This includes helping at the children’s homes or teaching project, should you wish to get involved in multiple projects.

 

We also offer more specific program opportunities for medical, midwifery and nursing students looking to focus on an overseas elective. You can schedule the placement around your needs and design your work schedule around the requirements for your elective. PMGY can also complete any paperwork required by your university. This is because we receive many healthcare students in Ghana for their elective placement.

 

You will find the staff at the healthcare facilities appreciative of your support and positive towards information sharing. Over the course of your placement, you will witness a range of unique cases. This may include cases such as Typhoid, Polio and TB. There will also be the chance to ask questions about tropical diseases such as Malaria, Leishmaniasis and Dengue.

 

Whilst the hospital adopts modern forms of treatment, you will experience how cases are treated within an under-resourced and poorly staffed healthcare system. Most noteworthy, you will gain exposure and insight into the challenges the local staff face. Furthermore, cultural factors and a lack of education/health awareness will give you an insight into the alarmingly high number of preventable cases admitted each day. Many students also find it fascinating to witness the dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship compared to that of the western world.

 

Community Outreach – On an ad-hoc basis, the team will arrange a community outreach day for participants to engage in. This will involve working alongside doctors in providing primary healthcare to rural communities outside of central Kumasi. This specific outreach project in Ghana only runs under the supervision of local medical staff.

 

Participants will join together to provide care and education to the local communities surrounding Lake Bosomtwi area. These communities will open your eyes to what a local Ghanaian’s lifestyle is like. As a result, they are sure to help you identify the real needs of the people of these villages.

 

Please note, the community outreach program in Ghana usually only takes place once a month. Because of this, there are no guarantees the outreach program day will be running during your time with us in Ghana.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day

 

As a volunteer teacher in Ghana, you are required to assist local teachers and plan and lead your own lessons. Your role is to create a more student-orientated approach to teaching, which is more interactive and engaging. It is important to have an open mind and recognise that change is slow. However, your efforts to promote best practice at the teaching English projects will lead to improvements in the long run.

 

In general, you will volunteer on the medical volunteer abroad program Monday-Friday for around 3-5 hours every day. Project timings are usually from 9am-2pm with lunch taken at the project. Transport to and from the English teaching project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, participants 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.

 
 

GHANA MENTAL HEALTH VOLUNTEERS

The mental health volunteer in Ghana placement is designed to provide an insight into how psychiatric services operate within Ghana. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs provide a once in a lifetime cultural experience. The mental health and psychology program provides international volunteers with a unique learning experience. Most noteworthy, participants will establish a deeper understanding of the history and developments of mental healthcare in Ghana.

 

Background to the Mental Health Program

 

Ghana’s mental health sector is funded primarily by the government. Its psychiatric services stem back to the early 19th century. Traditionally, patients who suffered from mental health illnesses would be detained in prisons. These prisons later developed into a ‘lunatic asylum’.

 

1904 saw the first purposeful psychiatric hospital built in Ghana accommodating 200 patients to start with. Extensive amendments focussed on mental health were made to hospital buildings to burden overcrowding. Rapid expansions in staff training and recruitment for mental health followed.

 

From the 1950s innovative treatments for psychiatric illnesses such as ‘chlorpromazine’ and ‘electroconvulsive’ therapy began to emerge more prevalently. Patients were removed from chains and isolation between patients became discouraged. Staff were now refrained from punishing patients as previously had been a norm.

 

Essentially, knowledge and understanding began to increase in and around mental health and the issues associated with it. Despite such advances, many citizens in Ghana still believed and practised in the traditional forms of psychiatric treatment.

 

Many patients or their relatives would still opt for a traditional or herbal form of treatment. This is due to a widely held belief that mental health illnesses remain caused by supernatural evil forces. Such forces are best exiled by traditional medicine methods. Examples include visiting shrines, herbalist centres or prayer camps. Methods that would be relatively more accessible and inexpensive.

 

Nevertheless, government policy in the long term remains to establish and expand psychiatric facilities in all regional and district hospitals. The 1970s saw the creation of registered mental nurses (RMNs) and community psychiatric nurses (CPNs). This program expanded into Kumasi in the 1990s.

 

To summarise, recent government policy has attempted to normalise, ingrain and mainstream up to date psychiatric services into the primary healthcare. However, the reality is a lot more needs to be done to achieve this even today. With a population of over 26 million, Ghana only has 13 practising psychiatrists in the public service. Inadequate staffing remains a recurrent problem with occupational therapists, social workers and CPNs all hard to come by.

 

Traditional healers who can bring with them inhumane treatment methods remain prevalent in Ghana today. It is estimated that around 2.5 million people in Ghana currently suffer from some form of mental health illness. Public education plays a leading role today in helping to overcome widely held traditional myths about mental illnesses. Consequently, patients and relatives are encouraged to seek early professional and alternative treatment.

 

Such alternative treatments focus on areas such as occupational therapies and community outreach programs. As a mental health volunteer in Ghana, you will usually get the chance to experience this. In addition to this, a mental health act passed in 2012 aims to combat the stigma and discrimination associated with mentally ill people in Ghana.

 

Should mental health volunteers in Ghana wish to consider alternative or additional projects, our mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka program is recognised as our leading mental health volunteer opportunity. For the reason that participants receive greater exposure and involvement across a range of placement and project settings.

 

Mental Health Volunteer Placement Examples

 

Manhyia Government Hospital – All participants on the Mental Health Experience in Ghana will spend their first week within the Manhyia hospital. The psychiatric department consists of only two rooms and five physiatric nurses. The responsibilities of these staff members lie in diagnosis, prescribing and consulting.

 

Participants will have an opportunity to observe consultations and ward rounds for patients being treated elsewhere within the hospital. Common conditions witnessed by the staff include depression, mania, psychosis, enuresis, migraine, epilepsy, bipolar, alcoholism, dementia and delirium.

 

Tafo Government Hospital – Our participants spend their remaining time-based at the Tafo District at the Tafo Government Hospital. The Physiatric department of Tafo Government Hospital first emerged in 1970. However, almost 50 years later, the department still does not have a permanent location within the institution. This follows a lack of recognition of the importance of the services by leading bodies of the hospital. The team of 14 members are therefore frequently shifted between available rooms.

 

The team offers three main services. Such services being consultation, community outreach programs and the provision of education to patients with mental health disorders. With these services, the department has three main goals.

 

First of all, to make mental health services accessible within the community. Secondly, to educate the general public about the prevalence of mental health disorders and avoid stigmas. Finally, to have a permanent location for offering mental health services.

 

The department will often see between 60-70 patients per day. On the first day, participants will receive an orientation from the staff, introducing them to the services offered by the hospital. For the remainder of their time, participants will shadow a member of the team. This will include observing consultations, clinical reviews and perhaps even outreach programs.

 

Healthcare professionals in Ghana are very friendly and willing to support international volunteers. They are always on hand to answer your questions and describe consultations clinically. Furthermore, the local staff usually speak very good English to combat any language barrier.

 

Participants on the program will have the opportunity to spend time aiding the local staff. This may include assessing patient records, evaluating signs of progress, measuring any diagnoses and prescribing any relevant medicines. The doctor will talk through the different ways in which they take care of patients suffering from mental health issues.

 

Community Outreach – Part of the mental health volunteer in Ghana experience will see you embark on community outreach programs. These programs are led by psychiatric qualified nurses of Tafo Hospital. Such outreach work can include education talks in local schools as well as reaching out directly to people in the community. Such people who are suffering from psychiatric issues, but do not come to the hospital.

 

Community outreach work may also involve the performance of home visits. More specifically, visiting patients who had been to the hospital and checking up on their wellbeing. Please note, the outreach program usually runs on an ad-hoc basis. As such, it is not guaranteed during your volunteer work in Ghana. Various factors can influence this, including the number of patients at the time and local staff availability.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day

 

This project is designed to provide insight into mental health issues for those currently studying mental health or psychology. More specifically, it provides a platform to increase awareness and learning around psychiatric services in Ghana. This extends to developing an understanding of the history and developments of mental health in Ghana.

 

In general, volunteers work at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-4 hours every day from 9am-1pm. Usually, on this mental health volunteer abroad program, you will take lunch at the project. Use your free time at the Volunteer House to plan questions for the days ahead.

 

Transport to and from the mental health project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, participants 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.

FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE

Flights

 

After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. This means that we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. PMGY have an ATOL Licence to ensure any flights booked through us are financially secured by the Civil Aviation Authority. If you would therefore like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.

 

For your volunteer trip to Ghana, you should book your flights to Kotoka International Airport on the Sunday start date. The airport code is ACC. Volunteers in Ghana can arrive at any time on their designated Sunday program start date.

 

Travel Insurance

 

Having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. It is therefore mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. Although most of our participants experience a smooth ride during their time overseas, occasionally things may go wrong. Having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.

 

Plan My Gap Year Ltd is an appointed representative of Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada).

 

If you’d like to purchase PMGY travel insurance, you can add this option on during your online application. You can also add this to any upcoming trips with us by getting in contact via telephone or email.

PRE-DEPARTURE SUPPORT

Our International Team will work hard to provide extensive levels of support in the build-up to your trip. From our online chat service to email support and telephone conversations, our team are always ready to help. All international volunteers with PMGY will receive a Volunteer Handbook. This detailed hand guide will provide you with all you need to know in the build-up to your trip. From visa guidance to suggested packing lists, this will be the ultimate guide, helping you plan for your volunteer trip abroad.

 

We have Facebook groups for each of our destinations. Here you can find members of our international and local teams, as well as past, present and future participants. These pages, therefore, provide a great forum for participants to network, share experiences and community updates year-on-year.

 

Sometimes it can be difficult to picture yourself abroad without yet being there. We, therefore, do our best to further manage expectations before you arrive through a variety of informative and action-packed videos on our PMGY Vimeo channel. These clips help provide you with a visual perspective of what you can expect during your time volunteering with us. Our webinars are not to be missed either. Running on selected Tuesdays, at 4pm UK time, our International Team provides invaluable advice for your upcoming trip. Each webinar covers something different. Our pre-departure webinar covers all of the essentials you need to know and do before joining us abroad. Our program preparation webinar is more project-specific, with advice and information for the time you will spend on placement. Finally, our safety webinar offers you some top tips on how to manage your safety and wellbeing across the pond. For those who are simply interested in learning more about PMGY, our team also run an introductory webinar. This provides an introduction to the volunteer organisation, our background, goals and volunteer opportunities overseas.

 

Teaching and childcare participants may wish to take their program preparation even further, through a 60 hour online TEFL course. This is the perfect introductory course for working with children and teaching English abroad. Participation in this course enables international volunteers to acquire key skills whilst working towards an internationally accredited certificate.

PROJECT LOCATION AND DURATION

Our volunteer placements are based in Kumasi. Located in central Ghana, the city is around 6 hours away from Kotoka Airport in Accra. Kumasi is Ghana’s second-biggest city and the capital of the Ashanti region. It is a bustling city with so much going on! The surrounding area is made up of rolling hills and rural areas, with a much more laid back approach in life. Although based in an under-developed country, you will find all the amenities you may require. This includes international standard hospitals, banks, supermarkets, restaurants and lively bars. Kumasi’s central location makes it a bus transport hub. This makes it the perfect starting point to explore Ghana during your weekends! You will find our two most popular weekend trips are visits to the Cape Coast and Mole National Park.

 

Every sixth Sunday of the year, Kumasi celebrates the Adae. This is a celebration where the king of the Ashanti Region opens the palace gates to accept homage from his people. The event showcases the Asante lifestyle at its most traditional. Drumming displays, elaborate dancing and rainbow robes make up the general air of fantasy of the Adae celebration. Visitors are welcome and this a really fun experience to be part of. It’s not every day you get to meet a king!

 

Our volunteer opportunities to volunteer in Ghana run from 2-24 weeks, beginning on the first and third Sunday of each month.

PMGY GHANA LOCAL TEAM

PMGY’s volunteer opportunities in Ghana program are run by our dedicated and experienced in-country local teams.

 

All staff have been fully vetted by our International Team. The committed local community network provides the structure for your stay with us as a volunteer in Ghana. Our local team will arrange your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support. Whether you are teaching English in schools, working with children or interning at the hospital, our local team will support you. Our team provides a great framework for you to enjoy a unique experience with us in Ghana.

ORIENTATION

Your orientation for your volunteer program in Ghana will begin on Tuesday. We’ll kick the day off by introducing you to the local area. In addition, our team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time. Whether it be the nearest shop or bus stop, the team will cover all the fundamentals! Furthermore, you will also get a chance to visit the volunteer projects we support during the orientation day. As a result, you will engage in initial introductions before officially starting volunteer work in Ghana on Wednesday.

 

Across the day, we will head into town to show you around Kumasi city centre. You will have the opportunity to explore Kumasi’s most bustling market and tour Manhyia Palace. Our team will assist you with any currency exchange and help you pick-up anything you may require. We’ll then return back to the Volunteer House for a traditional Ghanaian lunch. The theoretical part of your orientation will then make up the rest of your induction day.

 

Our team will go through important health and safety information to follow during your time as a volunteer in Ghana. We’ll teach you more about the way of life in West Africa, more the history of Ghana including its independence in 1957, cultural differences and the local community. In the same vein, our team will also try to teach you the basics of the main language in Ghana, Twi. Finally, we will also provide you with some top tips on what to do in your free time.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Kotoka International Airport in Accra (ACC) on Sunday.

 

Day 1 (Sunday) Arrival

 

Welcome to Ghana! You will be collected from Accra airport by a member of our local team. They will be holding a PMGY Volunteer in Ghana sign. You will be taken straight to our partner hostel near the airport. The journey will take around 20 minutes. The taxi ride will provide you with your first glimpses of this amazing country.

 

The rest of the day is quite informal. Choose to relax, catch up on sleep or get to know your fellow participants. Finally, it is important to note that dinner at the hostel is not included in the Program Fee.

 

Day 2 (Monday) Travel to Kumasi

 

After a good breakfast at the hostel, we will take a taxi to Accra central bus station. Secondly, we will then take the VIP bus from Accra to Kumasi. The VIP buses are air-conditioned and are a very comfortable and safe way to travel. The journey takes around 5 hours and our local team will accompany you. Some of the views along the way are breathtaking.

 

On-arrival into Kumasi bus station, we will take a taxi to the Volunteer House. The rest of the day is very relaxed and informal. The team will be on hand to show you around the local community. In addition, they can help you pick up any amenities you may need for the rest of the day. In short, Monday will be your initial introduction to life in Ghana.

 

Day 3 (Tuesday) Orientation

 

Your orientation as a volunteer in Ghana will begin on Tuesday. We’ll kick the day off by introducing you to the local area. In addition, our team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time. Whether it be the nearest shop or bus stop, the team will cover all the fundamentals! Furthermore, you will also get a chance to visit the volunteer projects we support during the orientation day. As a result, you will engage in initial introductions before officially starting volunteer work in Ghana on Wednesday.

 

Across the day, we will head into town to show you around Kumasi city centre. You will have the opportunity to explore Kumasi’s most bustling market and tour Manhyia Palace. Our team will assist you with any currency exchange and help you pick-up anything you may require. We’ll then return back to the Volunteer House for a traditional Ghanaian lunch. The theoretical part of your orientation will then make up the rest of your induction day.

 

Our team will go through important health and safety information to follow during your time as a volunteer in Ghana. We’ll teach you more about the way of life in West Africa, cultural differences and the local community. In the same vein, our team will also try to teach you the basics of the main language in Ghana, Twi. Finally, we will also provide you with some top tips on what to do in your free time.

 

Days 4-6 (Wednesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

Wednesday is your first day at the volunteer project. Our local team will usually show you the routes on how to get to and from your project during the orientation day. This usually involves taking public transport. Alternatively, you can choose private transport but this will be more expensive. The team will introduce you to the volunteer project staff. The local project staff be your main points of contact when you complete volunteer work in Ghana.

 

Your first day on the Ghana volunteer programs is all about introductions, understanding your schedule and what is expected of you at the project. Furthermore, our local team is always on-hand to assist you should you encounter any problems. For your peace of mind, a local team member will stay at the Volunteer House.

 

Days 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend

 

After a week of volunteering, it is your time to explore the wonders of Ghana. Whether you are hitting up a resort in Kumasi, travelling to the Volta region or heading to the coast – Ghana has it all. As a volunteer in Ghana, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team help to organise trips to Mole National Park and Cape Coast.

 

The Following Weeks

 

Your next week(s) will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Weekends will be free to travel. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Last Day (Sunday)

 

Sunday is your last day with PMGY as a volunteer in Ghana. If you are heading home then we can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

SAFETY

If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect. When anticipating their time overseas, many international volunteers (and their loved ones) are often concerned about safety and security. Although we can never guarantee experiences to be 100% trouble-free, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe as possible. Every program that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by a director of PMGY. We have lived in the accommodation, experienced the orientation and worked on the projects. Through our frequent visits and daily communications, we have built strong, trusting relationships with our local staff.

 

In the unlikely event that something was to happen, participants have various layers of support available to them:

 

• Volunteer in Ghana Local Team
• Project Staff
• PMGY International Team

 

Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge participants’ experiences. With the help of feedback, we are able to continually improve our placements and volunteer opportunities. Security and safety are frequently assessed as part of this. We ask our participants to raise any concerns with our local or International Team. This ensures that these can be addressed and/or resolved as readily and appropriately as possible.

 

Through pre-departure and in-country guidance, we do our best to prepare our international volunteers for their time in Ghana. All participants are provided with a comprehensive safety briefing during their orientation period. Our local teams will go through everything from project introductions, to emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. During this period, our team also provide participants with a full list of the important contact numbers.

 

Listed below are some general safety tips:

 

• Be modest with the amount of jewellery worn in public
• Do not drink tap water
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents can occur when is confusion to distract you.
• Be cautious about removing money in public
• Always try to know where you are going before you attempt long journeys. Be especially careful at night
• Use reputable transport only. Our local staff will be able to recommend some during orientation
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets
• The recognised tourist areas can be considered potentially high-risk areas for pickpockets and thieves
• Leave your valuables behind before a night out in the town
• For traffic safety, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly when crossing the road
• Do not accept drinks or food from strangers

WEATHER

Like most African countries, Ghana has a tropical climate. The temperature is generally warm with temperatures between 21-35-degrees Celsius throughout the year. There are two rainy seasons: March-July and September-October. These rainy seasons are separated by a short cool dry season in August and a relatively long dry season from mid-October-March.

 

The most moderate weather comes during December-February when it is dry and relatively cool. The worst of the rain comes between April and June. However, when the rains do come, it’s usually in short, sharp bursts which quickly clear-up. So you shouldn’t let the rainy season put you off coming to Ghana!

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS

ACCOMMODATION

Volunteer House

 

Your first night in Ghana will be spent at a hostel near Kotoka International Airport in Accra. Our partner hostel offers basic but comfortable accommodation. You will share a room with fellow participants. In addition, as it is a dorm based setup you may be sharing with other international travellers. Rooms are air-conditioned and a local team coordinator will also stay at the hostel. As a result, you will have 24/7 support if needed. Furthermore, the team member will travel with you to Kumasi the following day.

 

During your time on the Ghana volunteer programs, you will live in our Volunteer House. This is located in a friendly neighbourhood, a 45 minute drive from Kumasi city centre. You will find restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs in the centre of the town. However, there is also a small shop opposite the Volunteer House. The local community are extremely friendly!

 

The Volunteer House is basic but comfortable. Each room has bunk beds with up to 10 people in same-sex rooms. Participants are provided with fans in the room. In addition, each international volunteer is provided with their own mosquito net and bed linen. Bathrooms are shared and each has a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Ghana is hot all-year-round!

 

Each participant will also be provided with a locker for storing small valuables and important items. Living in the Volunteer House offers a great social experience! The house has a communal area for participants to hang out in after completing volunteer work in Ghana. A lounge, TV and DVD Player are all to be enjoyed. Furthermore, there is an outside seating area for participants to relax in during their free time.

 

Wi-Fi is not available at the accommodation. However, our local team provide all participants with a free local SIM card. As a result, participants can purchase a data package that is reliable, cheap and allows for good internet access. A 4G data package costs approximately 10 Cedis for usage across Ghana. Please make sure your phone is unlocked before arriving in Ghana.

 

We also have a refrigerator where you can store your personal food items, however, please remember this is dependent on electricity. For the reason that, power cuts can be a frequent occurrence in Ghana! Clothes can be hand-washed or there are local laundry services nearby the Volunteer House. A member of our local team will also live at the house. The house is gated and secure and our local coordinator lives on-site ensuring you have around the clock support and security.

 

Please note that power cuts and water shortages are very common in Ghana. Whilst we have backup measures to combat this, there may be times where the power cuts out or there is no water for a while. It’s important to be aware of this in advance and be able to adapt accordingly.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) on the volunteer in Ghana program, you may be placed at alternative accommodation. For instance, you could be placed in a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

MEALS

During your volunteer trip to Ghana, participants will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and dinner are served at the Volunteer House. Conversely, lunch will be provided in a packed lunch format. Packet filtered water is also available at the Volunteer House for participants.

 

Please note most meals will incorporate lots of carbs. Subsequently, do not expect much dairy or meat and please be open-minded around this! Moreover, it may take a few days for your body to get accustomed to the local food.

 

Pork, lamb and beef are difficult to source in Ghana and usually quite expensive. The main meats are chicken, fish and goat. There is also a real lack of fresh dairy products. Therefore, volunteers in Ghana should be prepared to live without milk and cheese. Most milk is tinned.

 

There are a number of western restaurants around a 45 minute drive from the accommodation. Therefore, home comforts are not too far away. Similarly, there are Chinese and Indian restaurants in Kumasi. Our local team will tell you about the options available to you during your in-country orientation.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Please note our local team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Most importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the volunteer program.

TRANSPORT TO PROJECT

Transport to and from your volunteer project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, volunteers in Ghana 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.

PHOTO GALLERY

VOLUNTEER IN GHANA REQUIREMENTS

PMGY welcome participants of all nationalities and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 17 years and there is no upper age limit. All participants need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. You do not need to speak Twi. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in Ghana will go a long way!

 

All participants must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! Medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.

 

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY program, you need to pay your Registration Fee of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.

 

Please check out our Application Process for more info on how to join our volunteer projects overseas.