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Our Generation Voluntary Organisation

About

Established in 2004, OGVO runs volunteering and internship programs Africa - Ghana. Our volunteers & interns come from all around the world including the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and South America. They are students, career breakers, families, and retirees. Our volunteers work abroad at orphanages, schools, hospitals/clinics, media companies, law firms, wildlife parks, human rights organizations, many more!

Founded
2004
Headquarters

Post Office Box KS 13919
Kumasi
Ghana

Reviews

Default avatar
Josh
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Without a doubt, this will be an experience that you will not forget. I volunteered at Adehyee school in a small town 30 minutes from Kumasi. The town did not have much, but it was great getting a real life experience of people that live in Ghana. If you want a real experience, I would suggest going to a smaller town instead of the city.
The town was amazing, the people are so loving there. Everybody loves seeing visitors in their small towns, everybody will know who you are very quickly. Everybody will want to talk and meet you, so be ready to meet people. "Brownie" means white person there, everybody/kids know this word so get use to it.
At the school, I was an English teacher and a swimming instructor. Teaching swimming was the highlight of my experience. The kids had never been in water before, and seeing their smiles and excitement is the best feeling ever. Instructing swimming was teaching them lessons that could save a life sometime.
Try and meet new friends that you can trust, but be very careful. Keep your room locked and do not trust people with your stuff. Many people in Ghana are poor and you never really know who you can trust for the longest time. You will have to meet friends though, it will make the experience so much better.
Just some information for future volunteers, be ready to not have all the luxuries that you have been granted in life. Running water and electricity are not always available, but this allows you to enjoy the culture and nature around you.

What would you improve about this program?
Similar to the last reviewer, I would say the money issue is totally accurate. Many meals you will have to buy yourself, even though it is in the amount that we pay. Everything is really cheap, so it was not that bad, but be ready for that.
Default avatar
Alex
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering as a premedical student with OGVO was an extremely worthwhile and enlightening experience. As an inexperienced Westerner, the tasks and duties for which I was responsible were challenging, educational and ultimately very rewarding.

I learned a huge amount not just about the science and practice of medicine in a resource-challenged clinic, but I also learned about the strength, kindness and resilience of people living under difficult circumstances.

I will never forget the warm smiles and conversations with my colleagues and patients, which we had on a daily basis. I will never forget that wonderful feeling of being able to actually, really, help somebody, and see them through to recovery. I will never forget the look on an infant's face the moment it is born, and peers out into the world for the first time in its life. These were just some of the incredible highlights of my time volunteering with OGVO.

While I also faced many difficulties - such as the language/cultural barrier, pollution, lack of funding and resources, and personal differences among staff and patients - I would unequivocally recommend volunteering through OGVO and consider it an absolute must for anybody considering joining the medical profession (or any profession, really).

What would you improve about this program?
I would provide more information about the meals you receive while living with a family - in the end I purchased most of the meals myself, in spite of paying for them as part of the overall program cost. Also, I would be more upfront about some of the associated living costs - such as needing to buy A LOT of water (you can't drink the tap water, and it is so hot that you can easily go through 4 or more litres a day). While Ghana is still comparatively cheap, these little costs add up over time and can blow your budget out if you weren't expecting them (I wasn't).

Programs

Displaying 10 - 11 of 11

Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Anouk Jans

Anouk Jans is from Eindhoven, Holland and is currently in her 1st year of college studying Physiotherapy. She is a vegetarian and enjoys traveling, climbing, and spending time with her friends. She went to Ghana on October 20, 2011 and returned April 21, 2012.

Why did you decide to volunteer with OGVO in Ghana?

Boy in Ghana

Anouk: I knew I wanted to go to Africa for 6 months, and I had heard that Ghana was a very safe country to travel to.Because I was only 17 and this was my first time traveling on my own, this was very important to me. I started looking on the Internet for an organisation, and I found a lot of commercial organisations. These were very expensive and not very personal.

When I came in contact with OGVO they seemed very organized, and it was also a lot cheaper then the other organisations I found. Also, the money that I paid for the OGVO program went to charity funds for Ghana. This was a big reason why I chose OGVO.

They really care about their volunteers; for instance, the first week there was someone showing me around in Ghana and teaching me how everything works there. They promised to help me with public transportation and teach me about the do's and don'ts of the Ghanian culture.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Ghana boys

Anouk: I was teaching English and mathematics in a small village called Akrudwa. The schooling there was not good at all, and most of the children only spoke a few words of English. The books they gave weren't very useful because it was way too difficult for the children. However, they were really excited when I came into the classroom to teach them.

For English I just tried to talk with them and help them pronounce the words better. Also, I was trying to speak the language they spoke so we were teaching each other languages. For math it was easier. They were learning fractions, addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

To make it more interesting for them I sometimes bought candy and used that to teach them math; if they had the correct answer they could keep the candy. I also supervised tests and helped going over the tests. I also helped the teacher with typing the tests and other paperwork because I was a lot faster at it.

What made this experience unique and special?

Children in Ghana

Anouk: This is a very difficult question because the whole experience itself was unique and special. But the most important thing were the friends and family I had there. I stayed with a host family for 6 months who didn't speak English much, and it was just unbelievable what a connection and bond I made with them.

I really started to see them as my own family. They helped me when I was sick, when I was sad they made me laugh, and they helped me understand the culture. The same goes for the friends I made over there.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Anouk: I was in a small village where the conditions were very primitive. You had no running water and sometimes not even electricity. It was very special for me to experience this and also to see how happy these people are. They were always smiling and they were so happy with what they had. This made me be happy with what I have and made me less materialistic.

When I was there the culture was so different than what I am used to.However, different doesn't mean that they didn't do things the right way just because it wasn't how we do it back home. This was also a very important lesson for me. It made me change my perspective on a lot of things. You never stop learning. Because I went to Ghana for 6 months and loved it so much I am sure I will travel a lot more. You can learn so much from other countries and their cultures, and I am planning on doing that more in the future!

Staff Interviews

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

Frank Odoi

Job Title
Program Coordinator

Tell us a little about OGVO and your role at the company.

OGVO Staff

Frank: Our Generation Voluntary Organisation (OGVO) is a registered non-profit and non-governmental African Organisation in Ghana. It was founded with the goal of helping participants to see the world while making a difference. We provide affordable and flexible volunteer and internship programs in Africa, Ghana.

Our programs are designed to help local communities while at the same time providing cultural learning and living experiences to our volunteers and interns. We also believe that through these individual participants will learn about Africa and our ways of doing things. My role at the company is Program Coordinator.

What makes OGVO unique?

Frank: In the international volunteer industry, you usually have to pay thousands of dollars for just a few weeks of volunteer work and major non-profit organizations are no exceptions. In contrast, at Our Generation Voluntary Organization (OGVO), we aim to provide you affordable, flexible, and customized international volunteer and internship programs. Our programs are designed to help the local communities at the same time of providing a valuable learning and cultural experience to our volunteers and interns. Here is a summary list of factors that make us stand out in the industry:

  1. Extremely Affordable: Our program fees start from only $270. You simply cannot find a lower price. Does lower price mean lower quality? Not with us. The organization was founded with the goal of helping international students and young travelers to easily access the volunteer abroad experience. We aim to provide the best value you can get in the international volunteer industry.
  2. Flexible Start Dates and Durations: Unlike other organizations that limit your arrival to only certain fixed dates every year, we offer you flexible arrival dates. Whether it is because of a personal reason or a discount flight that you want to take advantage of, you can start your program any week of the year with advanced notice. The duration can vary from 1 week to 6 months. You may also extend your stay with advanced notice.
  3. OGVO Volunteer
  4. Customized Programs with Flexible Work Schedule: The volunteer programs are customized for you according to your needs. Most of our work placements have flexible work schedules. We understand that some volunteers want to work a lot while others want to relax and travel more. Whether you want to work a lot or a little, whether you prefer urban or rural areas, we will do our best to make sure that your program is what you want, not what you are given.
  5. Meaningful and Enjoyable Work Placements: We regularly inspect the programs and make sure they have an impact to the society and be worthwhile to the volunteers and interns. We will do our best to make sure that you feel needed and you do make a difference in the global community.
  6. Quality and Friendly Services: At our head office, we provide extremely rapid response to email inquiries (usually within 24 hours). After your arrival, we provide you a 24/7 hotline for on-site support.
  7. Our outstanding service has a personal touch to it. We pay lots of attention to your individual needs and we want you to come as a guest and leave as a friend.
  8. We regularly arrange cultural and social activities to help you enjoy your time and build friendships abroad (Ghana).

In your experience, what characteristics make a good international volunteer?

Frank: A good international volunteer must be flexible, willing to work hard skilled/unskilled job and willing to live with others in simple living conditions.

What does the future hold for OGVO?

Frank: To facilitate the development of communities to reach a level that is most dignifying to the total and holistic progress of mankind. It is also the vision of OGVO to develop at network within the West African sub-region with Liberia being our next target.