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Sample Volunteer Abroad Projects — Ghana

VIP works with a number of NGO's and host organizations in Ghana. Available Host Projects reflect changing needs and priorities and may vary from those shown. After you apply, we work closely with your Sending Country and our Host Project organizations to find an appropriate placement that best matches your skills, preferences and capabilities.

One of our recent volunteers said:

"In the beginning it was a bit difficult, but when we all got used to each other, I had a very good experieince working as a teaching assistant with the Somanya Presby Kindergarten. I would rate the IYEP Volunteer Program 10 out of 10"  (T. Amado, Brazil- 2013)

Rural Education


Through these projects we help enhance Rural education and development in Ghana and at the same time to promote healthy interaction among peoples of different cultures.


The key to the development of rural communities in Ghana is making education accessible to the rural populations and improving the educational infrastructure. This we believe will have direct impact on the future of such communities. The lack of adequate facilities (some children are still having education under trees) and the unwillingness of many educators to accept posting to rural areas make it difficult to achieve these objectives. Trained teachers prefer to live in the cities where facilities are relatively better and more attractive. To offset this disparity IYEP and partners in Ghana are developing programs aimed at attracting teachers in Ghana to these areas. Discussions are going on with various ministries and stakeholders to address the situation.

Presently we are seeking volunteers to teach English in primary schools, introduce computer skills to students to Senior Secondary school (SSS) students, teach Life and vocational skills in Junior Secondary Schools, (JSS) Develop and Build library facilities in schools in communities where students have no access to text books etc.

Opportunities are also available in career counseling -- helping students to realize their potential and work towards achieving a successful career. Communities available for this program are Greater Accra, Eastern, central, Western, Volta and Ashanti regions of Ghana.

Rural Development

Market at Ghana

Volunteers work on specific projects in communities where a special need has been identified. This could include income generating activities or assisting a community seeking funding to build a clinic, a school or a library or a community seeking a nurse or a medical doctor for a local clinc. When set goals are acheived and the direct impact of work on inhabitants is realised, these projects are especially rewarding for both volunteers and the communities.

For those volunteers involved in lobbying or efforts to communicate the need and raise support, time may also be spent in the capital, Accra.

Accommodations are usually provided with Ghanaian families. In home stay situations the volunteers have their own space and privacy. These projects are usually at least 6 months in duration. Longer stays are also desirable. To ensure consistence, IYEP and partners will endeavour to assign a replacement for a volunteer before the end of the duty tour. Communities available are Greater Accra, Eastern, central, Western, Volta and Ashanti regions of Ghana.


Ghana has two medical schools tuning out 200 medical doctors every year. The majority of these doctors are in the teaching hospitals in urban areas where facilities are relatively better. The Patient/Doctor ratio is 120,000:1 in urban areas. At the district level the doctor patient ratio is 144,000:1 The nurse/patient ratio is 1:3000.

The Ghanaian government owns 80% of all health delivery institutions and related facilities in the country with 10 regional hospitals located in all the regional capitals. District hospitals, polyclinics, health centers and dressing centers can also be found. The main diseases are malaria, HIV, TB, Diarrhea, road accidents, Typhoid fever, maternal deaths, Guinea worm, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

80% of Ghanaians depend on traditional medicine. Many factors contribute to this situation including the Ghanaian government's disturbing "Cash and Carry" policy that requires patients to pay for services in advance of receiving medical attention. There is substantial evidence that patients have died due to their inability to purchase medical services.

The Ghanaian health care system is also a victim of brain drain with trained medical professionals such as nurses and doctors emigrating to the western world where economic conditions permit better rewards and facilities for their work.

Lack of education, inadequate facilities and lack of trained personnel also play a role in the poor health conditions of rural people. Most rural dwellers depend on the social causation theory – attributing illness to the disturbances in social relations. Individuals turn to occultism for healing -allowing their conditions to reach unbearable proportions before seeking hospital care. A lot of education has been provided but there is still a long way to go before the germ theory will be functional in the rural areas.

Most of the placements the health sector are based in rural areas where medical facilities are not extensive. Health posts are located in some rural areas serving clusters of villages. Placements are available in the following areas: Greater Accra, Eastern, central, Western, Volta and Ashanti regions of Ghana.

Social Services


Nearly half its children live in poverty. Economic reforms have not benefited the poorest people, and increasing urbanisation and modernisation have brought social dislocation, leaving many children vulnerable.

Orphanage work in Ghana gives volunteers the opportunity to work with children who lack parental guidance. This includes abandoned children, those who have lost their parents due to AIDS related diseases, children plucked from the streets of Ghana and others who live in extreme poverty. These well structured volunteer projects attempts to create an atmosphere where orphaned children can experience the fun and excitement of life. The orphanage work project is highly challenging, as you will be changing the lives of children who rarely have opportunities to interact with other people. Working with orphaned children demands lots of patience, as harsh living conditions have often alienated these children from society.

The job responsibilities of orphanage volunteers in Ghana will depend on the needs of the particular orphanage as well as the skills and interests of the volunteer. Most of the orphanages aim to provide education opportunities to orphans. Therefore, in most of the cases, volunteers will teach basic English or help in developing creative programs such as art, music, dance, sports, etc. Additional help with day trips, sanitation, cooking, and administration might be also requested.

One of the most wonderful opportunities that work on an orphanage can give you is the chance to share your love and skills with poor children. By sharing love and caring for innocent, troubled, and forgotten children, you will be offering a profound gift. For many volunteers this has been a life changing experience for them and for the children they have cared for. Whether you have a background in childcare or simply enjoy sharing love with kids, a smile or kind hug can offer something meaningful in the life of a child deprived of love and care.

There are 8 orphanages in Ghana each under different managements. What they have in common is their desire to offer shelter, food and clothing to these disadvantaged children.The challenges of globalisation are enormous for developing countries in Africa. In most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa per capita incomes are less than $500 a year. Government resources are largely over stretched leaving few resources to attend to the needs of the destitute, the disadvantaged and those who live on the margins of society.

To implement and sustain needed programs requires support from wellmeaning individuals and groups to achieve the desired impact. IYEP has teamed up with all the orphanages in Ghana and, with volunteer help, provides services including building physical structures such as school blocks or kitchens, and providing scholarships to some of the kids. Currently we provide volunteer placements in the following areas.

The orphanages are based in various areas in the country: two in Greater Accra region, two in the Ashanti region, one each in central, northern and Eastern regions of the country. Volunteers are provided with accommodations at the various sites. There are areas of work that require special skills such administration, nursing etc. However other assignments do not require any formal skill or training.

Arts Education and Performance

Film and Television

The Academy of Screen Arts

The Academy of Screen Arts is a non-profit film and television institute founded in 2002 by the IYEP. It serves as a primary training ground for elevating the standards of film and television programming in West Africa to a level capable of competing internationally. The Academy offers both degree and diploma courses in technical and artistic departments of filmmaking. The objective is to build high esteem among people in West Africa by promoting African personality and culture.

The Academy of Screen Arts is looking for recent graduates or film/acting professionals to research, develop and teach a chosen course(s) within the basic conventions of various disciplines in film making or screen performance. Specifically, they are looking to cover the following vacancies:

Applicants should apply at least 4 months before the start of the program and be prepared to provide a resume and two professional references. Participants must be able to stay for at least 1 semester (16 weeks). The program fee covers an allowance for living expenses and transportation to and from work. Accommodations are provided by the Academy. This program will be available starting June 2007.

The Academy's mission statement:"To establish a screen arts training school of the highest quality, which will expose West African cinematic locations to the outside world and develop a Ghanaian communications industry capable of competing internationally."

Workplace and Business Support

Small Scale Enterprises

The country is undergoing transformation in all spheres. The government of Ghana launched a program identifying the private sector as the engine of growth. Through her Economic Recovery Program (ERP) in the mid-1980s, which reviewed financial systems that were fragmented and repressed by restrictive monetary and physical policies, many new companies emerged in the market. The old ones are encouraged to inject dynamism. The Small Scale Enterprises are not left out in this economic crusade.

One of these enterprises is AKUABA LIMITED. The company survived the tumults of political struggles in the 1980 and the 1990s. Established in 1971, Akuaba's focus is on Educational and Kitchen furniture targeting kindergartens, primary, secondary schools and hostel furnishing and workers. The company uses primary products such as tropical hardwood and other imported materials for their finishing. AKUABA initially concentrated on wooden toys for school children but has widened their scope to include building.

The emerging competition in the market place exposed the inadequacies of Akuaba in the area of effective marketing programs, information flow through current technology and the need for skilled manpower. Akuaba's current product lines including beautiful real estate products are not generating the needed cash flow. This coupled with external factors including access to credit and the attendant high cost of capital, unstable exchange rate of the dollar to the cedi and inadequate information on export market. The company intends to revamp the entire system and requires volunteers skilled in the above areas to complement the local staff. Akuaba has the potential to be a leader in the field of operation if they are able to correct the above errors.

Community Service Projects for Groups

Since its establishment in 1994, IYEP has collaborated with development partners such as WORLDLEARNING INC in the USA and WORLDwrite in UK to provide service to various communities in Ghana.

This program is designed for groups – usually with a minimum of 10 participants. Volunteers live in the host community during the program and work with a community in building school blocks, libraries or clinics. Participants and the local community members work hand in hand during the entire period of the program.

Usually the duration is 5 weeks beginning with a 5-day orientation in Accra and a travel segment to interesting tourist sites in Ghana at the end of the program. Accommodation is home stay situation in the rural community and hotels during the orientation period in Accra. The program is available in the following areas: Greater Accra, Eastern, central, Western, Volta and Ashanti regions of Ghana.

If you interested in joining or organizing a group program, please contact the sending office in your country or the VIP International Office for more information.

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