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Atlas Volunteers

About

Atlas Volunteers is a volunteering group based in Abetifi, Ghana. We are ran by a mixture of British and Ghanaian staff who have all volunteered previously in the local area before meeting each other and creating a new group to focus on social impact and bringing a change to the people of our community.

Our low cost placements include accommodation in modern, clean housing with all utility bills covered and on site support staff.

We work with the local government and organisations to ensure that your visit is meaningful to both you and the local area with the highest social impact possible.

Founded
2017

Reviews

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Francesca
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Got a new family

I’ve spent with Atlas 6 months of my life. It’s been one of the best experiences I ever did and I would do it again a hundred times. I’ve had the opportunity to meet people around the world and l will consider most of them part of my worldwide family for the rest of my life.
Ghanaian people has made me feel part of them since day one. I’ve been travelling around Ghana during these 6 months and -even when I was alone- I never felt in danger.
About the Atlas team I really don’t know where to start.
When I arrived in may I didn’t know I would have felt at home so quickly. Sam, Frank, Gem and Dominic made me feel really at home, sometimes too much maybe (I know I’ve been stressing you guys, but I really do love you and everything I did, I did it for you).
Since I came back to Italy there’s not a day that I will pass without thinking at least once about that period and about them.
I miss all the kids, I miss all the panic with taxis in the morning, I miss having breakfast all together and waiting for the new volunteer to come. I miss playing football and basketball with the kids and the youth of Abetifi. I miss the bar and all the people dancing like there’s no tomorrow. I even miss waiting for hours for a trotro. And -most of all- I miss Richmond’s omotuo.
I can’t wait to come back to you all, you are always in my mind and heart. Medaase papapapa ❤️💛💚

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Stine
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

great experience with atlas volunteers

Overall a 10/10 experience! I came together with a friend of mine and we got to share a room just the two of us, which was perfect! The staff was always helping with whatever problems might occur or with planning trips. School can be exhausting but the kids are really polite and interested in what you’re doing with them. During the week atlas suggested activities like twi lessons, going to the lake as a group or having dinner with everyone. The weekend trips were amazing! Would totally recommend Atlas!

Pros
  • great preparation before the trip (help with visa, quick responding to questions, etc.)
  • really nice and supportive staff in the house (turned into friendship)
  • freedom to travel (on the weekends)
Cons
  • update the website (new house)
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Ann
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My stay with Atlas Volunteers in Ghana

I spend three months with Atlas Volunteers in Ghana and overall it was a unique and once in a lifetime experience. Together with a friend I did “reading club” at a school, where we practiced reading English one by one with the kids. I spend my whole time in one class so I could really focus on the individual kids and could see their improvement. They are all very polite, funny and enjoy it so much if you take your time to learn with them. Still, doing this for three months everyday was exhausting which is why I was glad that Atlas Volunteers offers other projects like reforestation, painting, renovation or eco bricking too. We were able to do other projects one day of the week.
Being in Ghana during the end of rainy season and the beginning of dry season was perfect. You are surrounded by nature and there’s so much to see. You can go to a waterfall, caves or do mountain hikes during the week. On the weekends we did trips to Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Busua, a beach Festival in Krokobite or to a Notional Park in the north. My highlights were surfing in Busua and seeing wild elephants on our Safari at the Moli Nationalpark!
It was so much fun to experience Ghanaian culture and to live together with volunteers from all over the world :) I made a lot of friends! Thank you Team Atlas!

Pros
  • I experienced African culture and I enjoyed the freedom to travel on the weekends.
  • I could help children to improve their English!
  • I met amazing people from all over the world
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Michael
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Education

Given the opportunity to work with and help the children improve their English in a beautiful part of the world was an absolute privilege.
You will reap the rewards if you commit to the task, seeing a child’s smile and excitement when they are able to read a new word or finish a page of a reading book was amazing.
The Atlas team are very open to individuals own ideas, encouraging and supporting. The school and all teachers were brilliant and we were included in any activities and events.
Oh! and the kids?… The kids were just wonderful, an absolute pleasure, polite, happy, funny and focused to learn. I miss them all!
There are plenty of things to do in your free time; organised trips, markets and socialising with the locals who were welcoming and friendly.
I wasn’t sure how I would find it being an ‘older’ volunteer but I was immediately at ease at the house as the team welcomed me.
This was my first time doing anything like this and definitely not my last. I can’t wait to return to the Atlas family and the African sunshine x

Pros
  • Hospitality
  • Culture
  • Satisfaction
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Beer
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The best decision I’ve ever made

Coming to Ghana was the best decision I’ve ever made! I was a bit nervous before traveling there, since I’ve never traveled abroad by myself. However, the staff and the other volunteers were very hospitable and welcoming, therefore I never felt homesick! :)

During the weekdays I would help at the primary school teaching project, in the weekends I would travel throughout Ghana and explore the country. Ghana is a beautiful country with amazing nature, such as waterfalls, vast jungle and wildlife.

The teaching project was amazing, the kids were adorable and it really felt like I was contibuting to the cause.

All in all, it was an amazing experience and I’d definitely recommend it to all the adventurous types!

Pros
  • Great value
  • Friendly staff
  • Beautiful surroundings

Programs

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Timna Angermair

Job Title
Marketing and Social Media Support
Timna Angermair is a former Atlas volunteer who turned into a staff member mid-way through 2020. As a media and communication student with a focus on marketing and PR, she decided to help out Atlas with its social media channels. That includes taking care of the social media channels and acting as an advisor behind closed doors.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My whole Ghana experience with Atlas volunteers has been my favorite travel memory of all time and holds a very special place in my heart. The organization and people in Ghana are the most loving and amazing people that I have ever met and I will cherish them forever. Waking up early in the morning and sitting on the balcony drinking black tea before going to school releases a positive feeling in me that not hold of other things manage to do.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Atlas Volunteers gave me my first chance to apply academic knowledge learned at university in real life and we helped each other grow, with each other. In that sense, I feel like I have a better understanding of the social media and marketing NGO field now than I had before. It also helped me understand what it is like for companies trying to get through a pandemic, especially one that relies on traveling so much and cannot reach people momentarily apart from new and social media.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

A lot of other former volunteers have told me that Atlas ruined them in the most positive way possible: Atlas put the standards way too high for any other volunteering program. Furthermore, I know from several volunteers that they are still in contact with people and teachers from Ghana, even after years. I feel like that just shows how great of an impact Atlas and Ghana has on volunteers but also the other way around.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Well as I have mentioned before I was already a volunteer myself and I would do it over and over again. I was part of the teaching program and while I am not a trained teacher, I was able to help so many kids and bring joy to their boring school day. Going into school every morning and everyone being so incredibly excited to see us made me motivated every day to prepare something nice for the kids. Seeing the kids develop and actually understanding things is the most rewarding feeling ever.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I think the fact that Atlas is such a small company makes it the most special place ever. It is not like big organizations with an incredible amount of volunteers each year, but it is as if you are joining a family. Everyone knows everyone, everyone eats together and goes out together at night. We all live together and help each other in every possible. The volunteers stay friends even after their time and Ghana and that is not something you get everywhere.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Especially for an NGO, I believe the most important aspect is authenticity and transparency. Especially when the company is not as known or a big corporation, it is important to show people that you can trust them. And the communication and transparency Atlas offers right from the beginning make you feel incredibly safe and welcome.