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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

Default avatar
Ben
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Atlas Volunteers Summer 2022 Review

Where do I start. There are so many areas of this project which are amazing. I was quite nervous about travelling alone for the first time, but as soon as I was introduced to everyone I knew I would be ok. I felt that I was really lucky at the time I arrived, as there was an amazing group of people already in Abetifi. This made it really easy to adjust. I hadn't really planned on doing a lot of teaching when I first arrived, but it is hard not to when you see the impact that Atlas has.

A huge positive to Atlas is the amount of flexibility. Whilst I had applied for the Football academy, I was also given the opportunity to try almost every project. This was great as it meant that I could say that I tried everything. It was also great how flexible everyone was regarding trips and excursions, as we had the opportunity to travel to other parts of Ghana.

Everyone involved in the organisation is very friendly and helpful. If there are any issues that arise, or if there is anything that you are not sure about, then there is always someone that you can ask, either at the house or by phone. I didn't really know what to expect when I arrived regarding the safety of the place, but I can truly say that I did not have a moment where I was worried about my personal safety or my belongings.

I only stayed at the project for 5 weeks which was not nearly long enough, but in this time it allowed me to experience what life is like for people in Ghana, as well as build relationships with people I would otherwise not have met, and that I will keep in touch with for many years to come.

Pros
  • Flexibility regarding project choice
  • ability to travel round the country
  • Amount of support from everyone involved in the projects
Default avatar
Antonia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Second time with Atlas

It was already my second time with Atlas in Ghana and it does feel like a second home for me.
I would definitly recommend staying there as long as possible. Because the longer I was there, the better I was able to understand and appreciate all the things that were so new at the begining and that had perhaps also scared me a little.
The second time was not as adventurous as the first time, but I think you have a bigger impact the longer you are there.
I was able to get to know the children a lot better and I hope I was able to help more.
Also I think that it is super intresting to have a completly diffrent erveryday life.
I felt super safe especially with the team who are always there to support you no matter what.
I have realized how much less I can live with and most importantly how much less I can be happy with. Nevertheless, I was glad when I had my washing machine back :)
I really can not do more than recommend it. So that the projects can continue and maybe you can help a little bit.

Default avatar
Attila
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable

Everyone has a different reason for coming to Ghana. Honestly, mine was to help myself and to get over some things in my life - I expected that will do some work, and that will keep my mind busy, but I got so much more than that.

I experienced an entirely new culture, met some amazing people, had some great nightouts, took part in the Easter celebrations, visited the western rainforest, travelled through the country, spent some time in the capital, made some friends, had some great conversations, all in the span of two months. I can't recommend this organisation enough, Atlas made sure that we have a safe, fun and meaningful experience, that we wilI never forget as long as we live.

The volunteer house was spacious and comfortable, with running water, electricity and internet, which are all luxuries in Ghana. I lived with some great people, we cooked for each other, had movie nights, learned some of the local language, played games together, and enjoyed everything that Ghana could offer. The coordinators helped us to get to know the area, buy everything we needed, helped to start our projects, find the right people, spoke to the authorities whenever it needed, and generally made our lives a lot easier.

If you are looking for a sign to go to Ghana, this is it. I went there as a 30 year old guy from Hungary who has never volunteered before, and I had a lot of fun, it quite literally made me want to live again. The entire traveling procedure took less than three weeks for me, and I had a smooth flight.

Take some time off. Apply. Pack your things. Go. Yes, it's that simple. It's a trip you'll never forget.

Pros
  • Full support from Atlas
  • Lots of fun activities is your free time
  • A rewarding and meaningful volunteer experience
Cons
  • The placements can be a little far from the volunteer house
  • Can be difficult to communicate with the locals, if they don't speak English
Default avatar
Sansano
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Atlas volunteers Abetifi

I had a very great first volunteering experience during 4 months at Atlas Volunteers. People are very nice and the connection with the local schools is great ! People in the area are nice and respectful, it is simple to talk with them as most of the people speak english. The spot we are housed is perfect and very clean, located in the mountains area it is an absolutly pretty place and also not too warm wich is very appreciable. I really recommande to go their if you want to have an affordable education volunteering experience abroad !

Pros
  • Good connection with local communities
  • Great housing
Default avatar
Ziggy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing opportunity

I visited Atlas volunteers between early December to mid February. I honestly feel really lucky to have found this Organization and this feeling has increased since seeing other volunteer organisations around Ghana. It is virtually all I could’ve asked for when I envisaged coming to volunteer in Ghana. The Organization is run by a group of humble, real people and this just results in a much more happy and interesting stay partly through the conversations you have. There is absolutely no sense of it being a big business.
I took part at school and at the football academy. The football academy is brilliant in giving kids something to do after school and just providing them with a meaningful fun activity teaching them lessons on and off the pitch. I played in some local football games with the academy and they will be some of my best memories of this trip.
The teaching is obviously not as easy as this. You can imagine it being an idyllic time with lots of happy kids, as it can be, however it also comes with challenges. I recommend you come with some ideas of how to teach young children in order to give you the best chance of having an impact. Given the severe lack of resources, it would be really beneficial for both you and the kids to have some lesson ideas. Having said that you do not categorically need to teacher experience, as long as you come with confidence and energy you will find your feet. I will 100% return to the school I was at. You create real bonds with the kids and there persistent joy is lovely to be around. I couldn’t recommend this place more. It is a top place to volunteer for in Ghana and a time I won’t forget.

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.