Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Ghana

By Projects Abroad   Reviews (27)   88% Rating

Projects Abroad has been placing volunteers abroad since 1992. As a volunteer in Ghana you will have the opportunity to work in a number of different capacities, including: Teaching, Care, Building, Medicine & Healthcare, Journalism, Veterinary Medicine, Sports, and Human Rights. All our volunteers work directly with local communities to have a meaningful and longterm impact.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering in Ghana with Projects Abroad! We look forward to seeing you in the field.

Program Info

Location: 
  • GhanaAccra
Volunteer Types: 
Sexual Health
Psychology
Computer Literacy
Program Length: 
2-4 weeks
1-3 months
3-6 months
Cost: 
See site for details.
See Additional Information
Age Group: 
50+
Languages: 
English
Housing: 
Home-stay
Application: 
Online Application
Age Requirement
Health Requirement

Program Reviews (27)

88%
Positive
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  • Impact
    84%
  • Support
    87%
  • Fun
    89%
  • Value
    87%
  • Safety
    93%
  • Kylegibson
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Regina
    University of Regina
    A life changing experience
    12/16/2014

    Projects Abroad provided a tremendous amount of support before I left, which helped alleviate any apprehension.

    The host family I was placed with absolutely made the experience! They cooked my meals, taught me about their culture, and treated me like a son.

    I was on a microfinance internship, which is a new project for Projects Abroad in Ghana. We helped setup two businesses, both are set up to be financially and operationally sustainable.

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  • Amanda Reichenbach
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Allentown, PA
    West Chester University of Pennsylvania
    Care Project in Ghana
    08/18/2014

    I always wanted to go to a country in Africa. I researched different programs and different destinations and chose to go to Ghana through Projects Abroad. I heard Ghana was a great place to start for new travelers in Africa and I couldn't agree more. Being all alone in a different country thousands of miles away from home can be terrifying but I never once felt unsafe in my host house, walking around the city, or even traveling to different areas of Ghana. The people of Ghana are very friendly and accommodating to travelers.

    The program itself was great. The staff was very informative and helpful months before departure up until I arrived safely back home. They were always willing to talk and help whether it was how to obtain my Visa, how to get around the city, or even just when I was homesick and needed someone to talk to. Even though I was all alone on this journey, I never felt alone because of the wonderful staff, the host family, and the other volunteers. The people I encountered on my trip made the trip great and I will never forget them.

    One concern I had about my trip was the assignment. I signed up for a Care program but found myself doing more teaching than I anticipated. When I asked to switch assignments, the staff did not hesitate and were calling up different facilities that day which was nice. They really went above and beyond to make sure that I enjoyed my placement and experience in Ghana.

    I would definitely recommend Projects Abroad to anyone looking for a respectable program to volunteer!

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  • Laura Longoria
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Emmanuel College
    Teaching Project in Accra, Ghana
    10/24/2013

    This was my second project with Projects Abroad. They take care of everything for you; arranging the airfare from your home city, picking you up at the airport with a friendly staff member clearly marked from Projects Abroad, and they bring you to safe and welcoming host family. The first full day that you're in your placement you are brought to store to buy a cell phone and add minutes to it so that you can contact the staff at any time day or night if you need to.

    I felt very safe on this trip. You are also taken to the offices and brought to the place where you will be working on the mode of transportation ("tro-tros") and are instructed how to get there by having a staff member do it all with you.

    I had never traveled abroad by myself before so these trips were very empowering, not only in the work I did but the independence and confidence I gained in myself.

    In Accra, Ghana working in the school was just heart touching; teaching underprivileged children (who quite literally come off the streets) English and math skills who hardly could communicate with you was very rewarding and eye opening when they learn something from you in that short time you have with them. The teachers at the school were very helpful and grateful for the volunteers to spend one on one time with the kids. I gained lasting friendships with volunteers that I still communicate with them often and I can't wait to volunteer again.

    How could this program be improved?

    I would have the tro-tros paid for, the volunteers had to pay for their own tro-tros every day when going to work. It was very cheap, but it still was a daily expense.

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  • Victoria Hoelscher
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Austin, Texas
    Barry University
    Koforidua Medical Internship
    07/05/2013

    The hospital I volunteered in gave me many opportunities to work and gain some medical experience. At first, I was timid and didn't put myself out there to doctors and nurses, causing me to not have much work to do. Then, I realized that if I just asked questions, offered to help, and kept busy, the hospital staff was happy to help and teach me. I learned how and was allowed to draw blood, test for sickle cell disease, take blood pressure, change surgical bandages, set up operation theaters, observe surgeries, and even scrub in/assist on a surgery! I gained so much knowledge about medicine and became excited about becoming a doctor again! At outreach, I helped bandage injured children and educate them about Malaria and hygiene so that they could lead healthier lives. Throughout the rest of my trip, I made many new friends, both local and from many parts of the world. I was immersed in a rich culture of music, family, religion, food, and friendliness that is unparalleled in the US. Projects Abroad provided me with support from the moment I first contacted them about joining the program until the time I arrived back home. They ensured that all of my documents were in order, travel arranged, and stay organized/fun/educational! I would recommend this program to ANYONE seeking a stress-free medical internship, cultural experience, or a combination of the two!

    How could this program be improved?

    The only small problem I had while abroad was that of budgeting. Before the trip, I was given a rough estimate of how much money to bring if a) i planned to travel on weekends or b) i planned not to travel. I was not informed initially that almost every volunteer travels every weekend, so I did not bring near enough money, and neither did many other volunteers. The only thing Projects Abroad could do better is inform volunteers of this before they depart for their placements.

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  • Ebo
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Germany
    Farming at Akuapem Hills
    02/28/2013

    Projects Abroad, a very good example of subtle development work!

    The offered projects seem to have a big impact to the local communities (which building schools, teaching and working at an orphanage has indeed), so you can satisfy your ego ("I did something very good in my free time!") and have a lot of fun as well.

    The probably most important point in travelling abroad with Projects Abroad is that they didn't bring a lot of Europeans, Americans and whatever else to Ghana to organize everything but employed Ghanaians and gave them a job. Very good!

    The Trip itself:
    I think if someone is unsure about travelling trough Africa, the best thing to do is travelling with Projects Abroad! The organization was perfect. They picked me up, brought me to my hostfamily, were avaiable 24/7 (believe me, if you are in trouble you will love Projects Abroad...) and managed everything else in a very professional way.

    My host family was very kind (apart from my macho-behaving hostfather). To be honest, after reading a few reviews I have to say that Africa - not even Ghana or South Africa - can be compared with any "western" country. You have to accept, that you probably won't have running water, electricity and wifi or even internet. You are not travelling to a developed country!

    My project:
    The farming project didn't seem to be really well organised but maybe I was in Ghana at a bad point of time. Our supervisor usually came late and I never got to know who will get the harvest. The work itself was hard, but I liked to do something "usefull" after 13 years of school.

    To sum it up I can recommend Projects Abroad for young people who don't want to travel to Africa all alone.

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  • Muffi-Smurf
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Accra, Ghana
    wast of time and money if you search for a serious internship
    02/24/2013

    My time in Ghana was and still is a total disaster. This project is too expensive for the service they gave to the volunteers.

    I was brought to my host family and left: nobody was explaining to me, which things (which kind of food, drinking stuff toilet paper, soap and things for cleaning...) you will get and which you have to buy by yourself; where and in which occasions you have to ask for this stuff; where you can get washing water etc. It was the same at my first day in the office I was just parked there: "Wait till the head of the office comes to pick you up" - That was 6 hours later and nobody was taking notice of me till that time. And after the short induction I had all the time problems in the office: nobody gave me work, I had to run around and search for it; nobody asked if I need help; nobody had explained how the computer systems were working, where I can get food, where do I have to go to take the firm car etc.

    Some of the descriptions of the projects here in Accra are too much gloss-over. The same goes for the host families, too. Nowhere is written, that you regularly don't have power for 10-12 hours; our longest blackout was 35 hours and the intervals between the blackouts shortened from once a week to every second day! Then you have problem with the washing water in a few host families: sometimes you will never have running water in the washbasin and the toilet, not at all a shower. You have to wash with water from a tank and a small bucket. But there is a big difference in host families and you can't decide in which family you will go. Here the two extreme examples: in one host family they have great rooms, running water, electricity nearly all the time, Wifi and a cleaning lady. But the house is far away, you need a lot of time to go to work. In another host family you have to bag for everything - toilet paper, drinking water, jam, peanut butter etc. every time you run out. Nobody will ask if you have enough or bring it by him-/herself. One time the volunteers had no water for 3 days in that host family because they did not want to pay more for a man who brings the water earlier, so that the volunteers bought small water bags at the market to flush the toilet and to wash. Sometimes there is running water for a few hours on Saturdays but not longer - then the volunteers can fill up the tank themselves. So in the end there are very different conditions in the different host families. And what they don't tell you: you have to pay by yourself to go to work if you are too far away to walk to your placement. I think If volunteers pay such a fucking high amount of money to go work for free (!) somewhere, they must be treated like kings and queens, provided all with the same standard: good balanced food and different beverages, constant running water and electricity, reasonable rooms and the transport to the work placement!!!

    And if you have problems the first thing they told you: you must be patient and understanding. It is a different culture here. Things need time and you have to adjust to live here. So please be patient and try to solve the problems by yourself. The Projects Abroad staff will help you, if you feel sick or if you are in big arguments at placement or in the host family but not if you feel unhappy or something like that. Then you have to be quite and calm and patient and try to solve the problems yourself. Only if you bother them every day with emails and messages there will be a reaction and a try to assist. But most of the time it seems to be half-hearted.

    TO SUM UP: If you want to gain some overexpensive experiences in a foreign country without so much trouble in organizing and little working hours a week then Project Abroad is the right decision. If you want to gain experiences for your curriculum vitae and you a searching for a serious internship with a lot of work and appropriate results as well as a western-country standard accommodation for the lots of money you spend for the project you should try to organize the trip by yourself or search for a higher qualified volunteering/internship organization.

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    Response from Projects Abroad
    03/21/2013
    Thank you for your review of Projects Abroad although I'm sorry to read that you wouldn't recommend us. At Projects Abroad we pride ourselves at providing first rate support to our volunteers - we have over 60 members of staff in Ghana alone - so I was surprised to read that you felt the level of support was not up to your expectation. If you could let me know more information about what happened when you arrived I will definitely follow this up. We send nearly 2000 volunteers to Ghana every year and I think a large part of the appeal of volunteering in Ghana is that the country is still developing and that the infrastructure is basic and this means there's a lot of worthwhile and needy projects for volunteers to join. Unfortunately, occasional electricity cuts and water shortages have to be endured when volunteering in the developing world. Regarding your host family we do have measures in place to make sure there is standardisation amongst all our families. I'm sorry that you felt yours was worse than what other volunteers experienced. Please feel free to privately email me the name of your family and I will look into it further. You can send it to gregthomson@projects-abroad.co.uk Best wishes Greg Thomson Operations Director Projects Abroad
  • Kathrine Raabjerg
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Denmark
    Time of my life!
    02/22/2013

    Volunteering in Ghana is the best i've ever done.
    I worked at a small Children's home for 4 months, where I took care of the small kids (0-4 years) and disabled kids. Sure, sometimes it was hard knowing how the kids future might look like, but when you start getting to know the kids, you realize it's all worth it, and that you are giving the kids a lot that actually can help them as they grow up. The kids love you, and all they want from you is kisses, hugs and love. And what ever you gave the kids, you would get back x 10.
    In my sparetime i hung out with the other volunteers at either wednesday meeting, where we had quiz nights, cooking lessons, played football/volleyball agains local schools or children's homes etc., and in the weekend the entire group often travelled around Ghana together - learning the people, language and culture.

    What was important for me, was the people around me. My first week was hard due to the cultural shok, but the other volunteers and especially the local staff helped a lot. The staff really cares about you - if you fell homesick, you're always welcome with the staff, if you fell sick, they'll bring you to the doctor, and so on. They are there for you all the way, no matter what it is.

    I would definitely travel with Projects abroad again.

    How could this program be improved?

    Projects Abroad is a bit expensive (but worth it, though).
    And the entire country (= also the staff) lives under Ghana time, which means that if you are supposed to meet up at 9am, you will probably still be early if you meet at 9:40am ;-)

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  • Kathrine Raabjerg
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Denmark
    Time of my life!
    02/22/2013

    Volunteering in Ghana is the best i've ever done.
    I worked at a small Children's home for 4 months, where I took care of the small kids (0-4 years) and disabled kids. Sure, sometimes it was hard knowing how the kids future might look like, but when you start getting to know the kids, you realize it's all worth it, and that you are giving the kids a lot that actually can help them as they grow up. The kids love you, and all they want from you is kisses, hugs and love. And what ever you gave the kids, you would get back x 10.
    In my sparetime i hung out with the other volunteers at either wednesday meeting, where we had quiz nights, cooking lessons, played football/volleyball agains local schools or children's homes etc., and in the weekend the entire group often travelled around Ghana together - learning the people, language and culture.

    What was important for me, was the people around me. My first week was hard due to the cultural shok, but the other volunteers and especially the local staff helped a lot. The staff really cares about you - if you fell homesick, you're always welcome with the staff, if you fell sick, they'll bring you to the doctor, and so on. They are there for you all the way, no matter what it is.

    I would definitely travel with Projects abroad again.

    How could this program be improved?

    Projects Abroad is a bit expensive (but worth it, though).
    And the entire country (= also the staff) lives under Ghana time, which means that if you are supposed to meet up at 9am, you will probably still be early if you meet at 9:40am ;-)

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  • JDN
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Paris, France.
    The best experience of my life
    02/21/2013

    I went to Ghana for a month last July, and was only 17. I was a bit worry because of my age, however it was the best experience I never have, and I will never forget it. I worked in an orphanage in Accra. At the beginning, I was just playing with the little kids (4 to 6 years old), with the things I brought (color books, bubbles, ...). But I then decided to get more involved. First, I gave french lessons to older kids (16 to 18 years old) : they were my age and some of them were even older than me so that was quite disturbing, I didn't want them to think that I felt superior or anything, I just wanted to learn to know them, and to learn them about the french language and the french culture. It went perfectly well, and I'm happy I have learn them some french words, sentences and songs ! I also bring, with 4 other volunteers, 5 of the little kids to the beach. This was amazing : we went to the beach for an afternoon, just the kids and the volunteers, no member of the orphanage staff (which shows that they trust us totally). The kids almost never go there so they were really excited and had a lot of fun, and we brought them some cookies for the break so they were really really happy, which made us even happier.
    This trip had such an impact on me that I want to continue to help these kids as I can : I am doing presentations to students in my school, and i'm trying to raise money with cake sales for example. Then, I want to go back next summer to bring them the money I raised, some clothes, some games, and most of all to see the kids again. I miss them so much, I'm still dreaming of them sometimes.... They brought me so much more than I brought them.
    Projects Abroad was really great : they took care of us from the first day I registered to the day I left. They try to organize events so the volunteers get to know each others, with Pizza parties, Football cups, shows, etc.

    How could this program be improved?

    The cost.

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  • TC
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Odense, Denmark
    Other
    Ghana
    02/21/2013

    Ghana is the most amazing place you an go with Projects Abroad, and the local staff are great. Due to being so far from home, you make friends for life with both the local people and the other volunteers

    How could this program be improved?

    It might be a bit expensive

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  • Lia Bastos
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    State College, PA
    Pennsylvania State University
    Care in Ghana
    09/23/2012

    I spent two weeks in Accra, Ghana during the month of April. It was the first time I was traveling to Africa and I was nervous because I had no idea what it was going to be like. Projects Abroad helped me a lot before my trip, sending me e-mails with tips of things I should take with me, and answering all my questions, even the silly ones.

    I got there on a Saturday night, around eleven and my first surprise was the warm weather! I knew it was going to be hot, but not that hot. It felt amazing! One of my favorite things out of that trip was the amazing weather. A driver picked me up and took me to my house. He was very nice and talked the whole way about things I should see, places I should visit and former volunteers. I was so excited! When I got to my house, I met the other volunteers who were all girls around my age. Along the trip, we became friends and I had so much fun with them!

    During my first week, I worked at a school. It was a school for the neighborhood children, who had no money to go to the public schools that all the other children go to. I asked the other volunteer who worked with me at the school if it was expensive and she said it was around 15 dollars per year. 15 dollars per year!

    The teaching I had to do was very simple, basic math and basic english. I loved doing it, and the kids were so sweet, they made it all worth it! on my last day at the school they had a dancing competition and it was so much fun watching them dance. I also met this girl, Abigail, who I fell in love with. I still think about her everyday, and wish more than anything I could bring her to live with me. I gave the kids all my stuffed animals, and they were so happy! It felt nice to give them what was once was so special to me, and see that priceless look on their faces. I worked for around three hours everyday, usually starting at 9 and ending at noon. Tuesday and Thursday I had the option of staying for long and helping with various activities the school offered after classes.

    The second week I worked at an orphanage. I could choose how many hours I worked each day, and I usually stayed around 5-6 hours each day.It was sad to see all those kids without parents, without families, and it was hard to imagine how they felt. Amazingly enough though, they were always smiling, always laughing. That good energy that they had changed me, made me realized how petty our society is, how we are always complaining when we have everything. That was my favorite thing about Ghana, a country without luxury, without extra comfort, but with a population that is always smiling, always happy, always ready to wave when you walk by and sing and dance. I think everyone could learn with them.

    It was an amazing experience, and it was only possible because of Projects Abroad and how organized and caring they are. They made me feel relaxed and safe during my stay. I recommend them to anyone who is thinking of taking a gap year, or having an experience abroad!

    How could this program be improved?

    I think that one thing that I wasn't bad, but was somewhat confusing was that, when I changed programs - from teaching to care- no one from Projects Abroad really explained to me what to do, or where to go, because one of the other volunteers in my house did the same project as me. It was okay because she taught me what I needed to know, but it would have been reassuring to have someone from Projects Abroad with me on my first day.

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  • Lindsay
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Toronto, Ontario
    Other
    Experience of a Lifetime!
    07/19/2012

    My time with WildLife ACT was incredible, and beyond what I was hoping for. We woke up early every day to head out and track the painted dogs in the back of our open 4x4, and spent the mornings trying to find them to monitor their health and numbers. We discovered quickly how important this was, as our dogs were dening in a highly poached area and could have easily been caught in snares. Two of the dogs had already lost a leg to snares, and it is thanks to the monitors and volunteers vigilant efforts that their lives were saved. In my time in the iMfolozi reserve, the volunteers captured a photo of a snared dog that would have gone unnoticed otherwise, and we were able to make a successful ID. I definitely think that the extra sets of eyes, cameras, and helping hands the volunteers provide is crucial to the conservation efforts at hand.

    The experience was also made more incredible by the phenomenal staff at WildLife ACT. I spent my time with 3 different monitors, all of whom were amazing. They all have so much knowledge of the area, the animals, the vegetation, and tracking. I learned so much in my 4 weeks thanks to them. They made sure we were all well versed on bush safety, and while they were able to get us extremely close to the wildlife, there was never a time I felt unsafe or worried. We also had a great time relaxing with the monitors on our breaks or at night, having fires, playing cards, or cooking delicious meals together.

    Going to Africa was a dream of mine for many years, and choosing WildLife ACT was a great decision. I had so much fun with both the people and the animals, and I was so happy to be a part of the conservation efforts. Though the mornings were cold, the water sometimes stopped running, and my clothes were never fully clean, I would not change a single thing about my trip. If you enjoy nature, animals, and are looking for a truly unforgettable experience, this is the place to go!

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  • ghanaboy
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    USA
    University of Minnesota
    HIV/AIDS Program
    05/02/2012

    It is important to note that I was one of the first participants of this program, so I'm sure it has matured since my participation.

    I was fortunate enough to travel to Ghana to volunteer under the HIV/AIDS program offered by Projects Abroad. I wasn't fully sure what to expect, but hoped that I would get a thorough understanding of the virus, treatments, and its social, cultural, economic, and personal impact on the people of Ghana. The Projects Abroad staff helped deliver in most of these arenas and exceeded expectations in others.

    My one month placement brought me to the Police Hospital in Accra where we were to be rotating through different departments, such as the lab, pre-natal care, counseling, and the anti-retro treatment team. The lab exceeded expectations as the staff was very open to sharing as much info as they could while still managing the lab operations. However, that rotation carried on a bit too long considering my short timeline here. Same thing with the pre-natal care; it took about 2 days to cover the material and truly see everything the department had to offer- yet I was scheduled a week in the dept. Moving to the counseling team, I felt as though I was not taken very seriously by the hospital staff- my general curiosity about the impact of the virus was taken as being a "nosey" individual and was shunned. I had words with the program staff about this and they worked their best to accomodate... in the end, they ended up looking to other hospitals for the experience. I think that says something about their commitment to the program's success. All in all, I'm glad I participated in this program, but hope they can work the kinks out and offer the flexibilty of transferring departments when you've maxed out on your experience.

    As for the social aspect of Projects Abroad, it was fantastic and exceeded expectations. The staff is fully committed to making your experience a safe and memorable one and I felt that the social aspect of the trip was the best part.

    Having volunteered with other companies out there, the best thing Projects Abroad has to offer is the number of other volunteers out there. Chances are if you are in or near a big city, there are many volunteers around you and it is a fantastic social opportunity. However, it is easy to then shift your focus from the volunteering to just socializing... but that's a personal issue. I would highly recommend Projects Abroad, especially if you are looking for a social volunteering experience. If you are truly looking to go make a solid impact and change the world, commit yourself to the cause when abroad... but I warn it is hard to ignore the fun.

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  • Volunteer2011
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Denmark
    Other
    Ghana, an amazing experience
    05/02/2012

    I spent 3 months living in Koforidua and working at the local hospital, and can without a doubt look back at this time as the best 3 months of my life. The work at the hospital was challenging, and so different from anything I would be allowed to experience back home, but I definetly learned a lot. Besides that I lived with the best hostfamily, u can possible imagine, and they definetly made me feel like part of the family. And meeting all the other volunteers and traveling all around Ghana with them, is something I will always remember. Furthermore I have to mention that the local staff was the best, they quickly became your friends and would do anything for their volunteers as well as being available 24 hours/day. Definetly a country I can recommend to anyone.

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  • Brittany
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Other
    Projects Abroad Ghana
    03/19/2012

    This was an amazing experience. You meet great friends all over the world and get a better understanding of not only the west african culture but the culture of many different countries as well. Throughout the week you will go to your placement with weekends off, which gives you a great opportunity to travel around the country and see more of the sights.

    Going with a program gives you the security to live in a forign country, I personally was very glad that I did not try to travel there myself as the customs are very different and the culture takes some getting used to.

    As for the work placement its self the work is very challenging but rewarding. I worked in a care placement in the orphanage and found the children difficult because they are not used to time outs and the only form of punishment that they recieve is the cane. That being said this is the custom in Ghana and although it took some getting used to we showed the teachers different ways of discipline and convinced them to be open to other methods. The children are fun and great to work with, many people think that they will volunteer and "Change Africa" but as a volunteer you need to understand that the rewards come from teaching one child on one day to say please and thank you, or helping a child with their math homework and watching them get excited because they got the answer right. As a single volunteer in Ghana you will not make a world of difference, or change the whole country, but you are the buliding blocks that collectivly over time will help to change the country.

    Going to Ghana after high school was probably the best decision that I could make for myself. It was beautiful and great fun, and opened my eyes to all of the different opportunities that the world has to offer.

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Alumni Interviews

  • Woman walking with a baby
    Kathrine made a new friend!

    Why did you decide to volunteer with Projects Abroad in Ghana?

    Kathrine: I found their internet page, and from the first second I felt that PA was a safe and good company to travel with. After a short time of consideration I called the Danish office to talk with them about which projects they could offer me, and in which countries. It should be said, that I planned my entire trip in less than 3 weeks.

    The man at the office and I agreed that he should contact the people in Kenya and Ghana and learn about what projects they had. After a couple of days he called me back, and I decided that the project in Ghana was the one I wanted, and I ordered the trip online. I decided to travel with Project Abroad because from day 1 they were really helpful, I felt safe with them, and they took me seriously.

    Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

    Kathrine: I worked at an orphanage with disabled and/or abandoned children everyday from 8 till 12. At 8, I would go the the bigger kids (4-10 years) and help the mothers with feeding the kids. At 8.30, I went to the babies room (0-4 years) to change and feed the babies, and after that I stayed with the babies, played, sang and gave them love. The doors were open, so the bigger kids often came and joined us in the babies room. At 11-11.30 the babies got lunch, we changed them and they were put to have a nap, and I went home.

    The days I did not have plans with the Project or the other volunteers I went back to the Orphanage from 14.30 till 17.00, and I did more or less the same as from 8-12. Every wednesday the project had a meeting, where all the volunteers and coordinators met for a quiz, cooking lesson, football or volleyball match against a school or children's home. We, the volunteers, came with suggestions, and the coordinators tried to make it happened.

    What made this experience unique and special?

    Kathrine: The fact that I helped the kids at the home of course made it a special and memorable trip. But when i look back, the things i remember the most is all the people i meet. In my 4 months. I got to meet a lot of different volunteers, and all of us had a unique and fantastic friendship. But I also got to know a lot of people who live in Ghana. In addition, I was able to meet people that were Lebanese, German, Spanish etc. people - and all of them were amazing, welcoming and helpful. The people I met and came to love were what made my trip the best.

    How has this experience impacted your future?

    Kathrine: It made me more confident. I know now that I can make a difference. It might have been just a small one at the orphanage, but even though I just made a difference for 4 kids, I made a big difference for them. So I've returned home proud of what I've done - and I now know how little you need to do to make a small difference. And this realization has made me want to study something where I can help other people make a difference, and thereby make a bigger difference.

  • Kathrine Raabjerg - Volunteer in Ghana

    Why did you decide to volunteer with Projects Abroad in Ghana?

    Kathrine: I found their internet page and from the first second I felt that PA was a safe and good company to travel with. After a short time of consideration I called the Danish office to talk with them about which projects they could offer me, and in which countries. It should be said that I planed my entire trip in less than three weeks. So from my first call to the Danish office and till I was sitting on plane on my way to Ghana, three weeks passed.

    The man at the office and I agreed that he should contact the people in Kenya and Ghana and hear which projects they had. After a couple of days he called me back, and I decided that the project in Ghana was the one I wanted and I ordered the trip online.

    So I decided to travel with Project Abroad because they were really helpful from day one. I felt safe with them and they took me serious.

    Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

    Kathrine: I worked at an orphanage with disabled and/or abandoned children every day from 8 till 12. When I meet at 8.00 I would go the the bigger kids (4-10 years) and help the mothers with feeding the kids. At 8.30 I went to the babies room (0-4 years) to change and feed the babies, and after that I stayed with the babies, played, sang and gave them love. The doors were open, so the bigger kids often came and joined us in the babies room. At 11-11.30 the babies got lunch, we changed them and they were put to have a nap, and I went home.

    The days I did not have plans with the Project or the other volunteers I went back to the Orphanage from 14.30 till 17.00, and I did more or less the same as from 8-12.

    Every Wednesday the project had a meeting where all the volunteers and coordinators meet for a quiz, cooking lesson, football or volleyball match against a school or children's home. We, the volunteers, came with suggestions, and the coordinators tried to make it happen.

    What made this experience unique and special?

    Kathrine: The fact that I helped the kids at the home of course made it a special and memorable trip. But when I look back, the things I remember the most is all the people I meet. In my four months I got to meet a lot of different volunteers, and all of us had a unique and fantastic friendship. But I also got to know a lot of people who lives in Ghana. Not only Ghanaians but also Lebanese, German, Spanish etc. people - and all of them were amazing, welcoming and helpful. So what made my trip the best was the people I meet and came to love.

    How has this experience impacted your future?

    Kathrine: It made me more confident. I know now that I can make a difference. It might have been just a small one at the orphanage, but even though I just made a difference for four kids, I made a big difference for these four kids. So I returned home proud of what I've done - and I now know how little you need to do to make a small difference. And this realization have made me want to study something where I can help other people make a difference, and thereby make a bigger difference.

  • Why did you decide to volunteer with Projects Abroad in Ghana?

    Ali: I knew I wanted to volunteer overseas, but arranging the entire trip on my own without an organization to help seemed to overwhelming. I did a lot of research about various organizations. I liked that Projects Abroad wasn't affiliated with any particular religious group, political party, etc. - it was strictly a volunteer organization rather than an organization with another agenda.

    It also seemed to me that they were very well organized, with a helpful website, helpful employees, etc. They provided me with contact information of former volunteers so I could get answers to some of my questions about the program, which was also really helpful. Overall, after a lot of research, Projects Abroad was the organization I most trusted to handle such a big responsibility.

    Ali worked as a medical volunteer in Ghana
    Ali worked as a medical volunteer in Ghana

    Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

    Ali: That's a little hard, because it completely depended where I was working at the time (what facility, and in what department). On weekdays, I would wake up, have breakfast with my host brothers and sister, and then walk down the street to the "line taxi" station. I might take the taxi to the hospital, where I would report directly to my assigned department and start helping. For instance, I spent a lot of time working in the lab, so when I would arrive I would begin doing the testing needed that day. My host mother always sent me to work with a packed lunch.

    At the end of the work day, I would get a taxi back home and might either spend the evening at home with my host family, or meet up with other volunteers for a meal out and socializing. On weekends, I was most often traveling with a few other volunteers from the program. We would catch a "tro" (van) or bus and use our guidebooks to help us navigate around the country. I was able to see a huge amount of the country this way in a series of weekend trips.

    I also journaled every day, which I highly recommend to anyone who travels for an extended period of time.

    Ali reading to some of the local children
    Ali reading to some of the local children

    How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?

    Ali: Really in too many ways to count - but I can name a few. First and foremost, the trip reaffirmed my desire to be in the health care profession. My world view changed a lot as a result of my trip, and I learned to see the world in a different way; my experiences abroad helped to put many things into perspective. I left with an enormous appreciation for a foreign culture and a new way of life, but also full of gratitude for how fortunate I have been in my life. I became very close to my host family, and still cherish the relationship I have with them. We are in touch regularly and I still send Christmas gifts to the kids every year.

    A year and a half ago I was accepted into my top choice graduate school after writing my application essay about my time overseas. When I applied for a summer job a few months back, the manager of the department spent nearly our entire interview asking me about my volunteer work, and she was extremely impressed by it. Having this sort of experience will change you in many positive ways, but it will also positively change the way others see you.

About the provider

Projects Abroad is a global organization formed around the need for gap year programs abroad designed for students taking a break from studying. Since its inception, Projects Abroad has expanded to offer high school volunteer programs, and a vast variety of programs geared towards those taking a gap year or a career break. Visit the Projects Abroad website for more details on volunteer, teach, study and internship programs abroad.