Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Ghana from $270

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About

Are you ready for a meaningful adventure in Ghana? Then join International Volunteer HQ, the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, in Africa!

Choose from 6 volunteer project options based in rural villages and townships within the Greater Accra Region. Your program fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in dedicated dormitory-style volunteer houses, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for Ghana, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager.

If you’re all about authentic experiences, diving deep into culture, exploring a country that moves to a vibrant beat, and searching for opportunities to grow, give back and make real connections, then volunteering in Ghana is for you!

IVHQ Volunteer Projects Available in Ghana:

  • Teaching
  • Childcare
  • Sports Education
  • Medical
  • Agriculture
  • Construction and Renovation
Highlights
  • IVHQ’s Ghana program is available year-round, starting on the 1st and 15th of every month and you can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks.
  • Highly affordable program fees from $270 for 1 week - including airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support.
  • You’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure training.
  • You’ll be joining between 20 and 50 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Ghana each month and you'll be joining a network of 80,000+ volunteers.
  • Weekends are free to explore with fellow volunteers - discover the history of the culturally significant Cape Coast, wander through Kakum National Park and more!

Questions & Answers

I hope not as this is the question I am asking.

Reviews

96%
based on 47 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 31 - 45 of 47
Emma
10/10

Fire poop and malaria. And the best time of my life.

I volunteered in Ghana with IVHQ and Volunteer Corps Organisation for 27 weeks.

The first thing you need to know about going to Ghana is that is really is the ‘Gateway to Africa’. The country is safe, and the locals really do look out for you as an ‘Oburoni’. If you’re worried about visiting Africa for the first time, definitely visit Ghana!

When you get off the plane you will be greeted by a member of staff from VCO and they will be with you from that time until they leave you at your placement. The staff are wonderful and will help you with everything from how to catch a taxi or tro tro, to going to the best place to exchange money. Ghana is closed currency, so you til need to change your money when you get there. Don’t do it at the airport; definitely wait for VCO staff to assist you.

You are taken to the Volunteer House, and what I like to call my second home. In the house you are free to rest and recover from jetlag, watch TV (or Coach Carter 100 times), wander around town, or hang out with the staff. I loved learning to make Ghanaian food with Tina and Ruth; they are great cooks! The boys will take you to the mall if you feel like shopping, or the local markets for some cheap clothes.
While at the house, you will be taken through Induction; going over everything from safety, what to expect when you are on placement, food you will eat, what to do if you need help, phone numbers, money and valuables, and where your program costs go. The process is very transparent and I felt comfortable with everything while I was there.

I was placed in the Fante area in the Central Region, about 3 hours from the Volunteer House and Accra. It was amazing! The people, the tiny village, the welcoming nature, the kids (oh, my babies!).

The kids were definitely the highlight. We had a children’s home with a school on the other side of the village. We would split shifts and work with each other to get everything done. In the mornings, we would get up before dawn to heat water for the kids baths. Get them out of bed, bathed and fed breakfast. Dressed for school and then walk to class. Those of us who wanted to teach would devise lesson plans, and teach during the day in turns. Our school was private, so we were had to make sure we got copies of the national curriculum to teach, as well as our own lessons to supplement this. The kids at school were also given lunch, and when the school mum passed away, we would also make rice and sauce for the kids at school so they got a hot lunch every day.
When not teaching, the others would rest away from the heat, wash the kids clothes and bedsheets, ready afternoon lessons for when they got home from school, cook dinners, or paint the home. Being a new home, we painted the walls to make them more fun for the kids. We would also shop for fresh food, supplies or DVDs for the kids (I swear, I watched the Lion King every day for 6 months).

Village life is so easy to get used to, and the locals will help you out as much as you need them to. How to buy bananas and how much they should cost, how to properly hand wash your clothes (this one took me a while to get), how to cook rice and corn on the cob the Ghanaian way. The village was perfect, everything that you should expect from life in Africa.

Including the illness. With each new volunteer, we would count the days until they got their first bout of diarrhea. It’s usually 2 weeks. To the day. To minimise the risk, you can eat only what your house-mum/ IVHQ staff member makes, but where’s the fun in that? Ghanaian food is amazing and you will want to eat it! All of it. Fire poop or not.

In return for help from my new extended family, I was able to help them too. We learnt to sew together, count and speak English. We had women and children come into our compound often to learn and converse with us. It was like having a huge family, and I miss them all the time.
Weekends were free to hang out with the kids, or travel as you please. We took holidays during my placement, and went up to Mole National Park (such a long trip but so worth it for the elephants!). We also took weekends to Wli Falls, Cape Coast, Kumasi and Accra. I definitely recommend all of these places.

Just make sure you keep your bug repellent with you always. Mozzies everywhere. I’ve been to Ghana twice now with IVHQ and VCO, and I’ve had Malaria three times. It’s not so bad; just make sure you get to a clinic quick-smart. Laying in bed with a fever and chills in 40 degree weather can get you down, but you do get past it so it’s god to remember that.

I would recommend you immerse yourself into this culture. The history is strong and Ghanaians are a proud people. I loved every minute of my time in Ghana, and would recommend the programs to anyone and everyone! There are no age limits; you can be 18 or 90, and you can travel alone or with a friend. Cook, clean, teach, travel, play. Repeat. 27 weeks went by too quickly, and I would do it for the rest of my life if I could.

Malaria or not.

How can this program be improved?
Communication with volunteers may be improved. We were lucky though, as we were pretty self-sufficient and volunteers were placed in our program after meeting staff and staff knowing they could handle being far from the capital, over an hour from the nearest city, in a village which was isolated, sometimes cut off from cities when it rained, with snakes and spiders and bugs galore.
We loved every minute.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Emma, It's great to hear from you. Thanks for sharing a little about your experience in Ghana. We are glad you had such a positive experience despite getting sick. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Katelyn
10/10

Amazing Experience

I volunteered in Child Care at the silver program and it was an amazing experience. IVHQ is an incredible program that truly wants their volunteers to have an experience of a lifetime, and is not solely concerned about making a profit. They were very helpful with answer questions immediately and makings sure that I was prepared for my trip. It is significantly cheaper than any of the other programs I had found also and all of your money goes to your direct costs for your stay.

When I arrived in Ghana, the staff that greeted me were all very kind and welcoming. They made sure that I was ready to go to my placement and had everything I needed for the rest of my trip. At orientation, we also were given important lessons about the culture differences and advice for traveling on weekends.

At the silver placement, I stayed with the sweetest family and all of the amazing kids at the orphanage. I am so grateful to be placed here because we were truly a member of the family to all of the staff and kids at the school and the orphanage. All of them were so appreciative and grateful for us and we definitely felt like we were making a positive difference in their lives. We stayed with the family who ran the orphanage and they were very accommodating to our needs and very helpful and understanding. Every week, a staff member would also come and meet with us and make sure everything was going alright and wanted our feedback to made the program the best that it could be.

On the weekends, we got to travel to different cities in the area and IVHQ was very helpful with anything we needed, from recommendations of where to stay to restaurants we needed to eat at, etc. Words cannot describe how pleased I am with IVHQ and happy that I chose this program for volunteering abroad. I met so many amazing friends that I will have for a lifetime and I am already planning for my return. Ghanians are a very kind and welcoming people and Ghana is a beautiful country.

How can this program be improved?
Not at my program specifically, but I have heard about other programs in which volunteers are not being utilized many hours of the day. IVHQ should find other ways that they can help the community during that time, even if it isn't possible to work with the kids while they are in school.

I would also like if there were optional travel parts of the trip. I would have loved to stay longer and see more of Africa, but I did not feel safe or prepared to travel alone and I was not sure if there would be anyone else to travel with. If IVHQ could add on a week of traveling with a group or something similar, I bet a lot of volunteers would be interested. Since transportation takes much longer in Ghana, weekend trips were not adequate to see all the sites that I would have liked to.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Iman
10/10

Fantastic experience

I spend three weeks in the gold programme (construction), summer 2015. I had no idea what to expect, how many people would be there, or what kind of work I would be given! I can tell you this though, it was an extraordinary experience and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

The work, the people, the children, the programme supervisors, the volunteers, it was all excellent. During the day we did construction work, which varied, everything from creating bricks from scratch, to laying them. Late afternoon/evening we got time off, we'd usually play with the children or go into town. In the weekends we usually went on trips and explored.

During my time there I learned many things and got some wonderful memories out of it. I learned how to value the most simple things in life, and not take anything for granted. I came close to many people during this experience and made great friends in the progress.

I highly recommend it to anyone that's considering volunteering. Ghana was in my experience very safe, the programme supervisors knew exactly what they were doing and took good care of us. It's 10/10.

How can this program be improved?
Construction work:
Needed to be more organized. Weekly goals. Monthly goals. There was no deadline, no schedule. It felt more like winging it. We needed a concrete project plan, which I felt was lacking here. The supervisors were however very kind and knowledgable which made the experience well worth it.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Iman,
Thanks for your review and for sharing your photos. We are so glad that you had an amazing experience on the Ghana program and that you learnt from your time there. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to have you join us on another program!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Robbie
10/10

Volunteering in the Volta Region

In Ghana I learned the meaning of the acronym TIA. After all of my travels around Africa it dawned on me that this was my answer to everything I love about the continent. This is Africa.

People think that you have to do something huge, like go to Africa and build a school, but you can make a small change in a day. If you change Wednesday, then you change Thursday. Pretty soon it's a week, then a month, then a year. It's bite-size, as opposed to feeling like you have to turn your life inside out to make changes.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey there Robbie! What a great attitude - thanks for your fantastic review of Ghana! We hope that you can join us again on another Program - thanks for being an amazing IVHQer!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Emily
10/10

IVHQ Ghana...Amazing!

I have traveled to Ghana through International Volunteer HQ in the summer of 2014 and in May of 2015. My experience was absolutely incredible, so incredible that I went back a second time! From the moment I landed in Accra I felt at home. The local staff is amazing. They are organized, helpful. and are always there to make you feel right at home. The programs are excellent and well organized. Whether you are in a home stay or volunteer house you will feel safe and get a true local experience. The people I met (volunteers and locals), the culture, the music, the landscape, etc truly changed my life. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about my time spent in Ghana. Ghana will forever hold a special place in my heart. I encourage everyone to visit Africa at least once in their life and I HIGHLY recommend Ghana, you will not regret it...I promise!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey there Emily - thanks so much for the review and recommendation! It's so awesome that you loved it so much the first time you went back! Thanks for being an IVHQer - we hope to see you again and again!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Marisa
9/10

If you go you're never [Ghana] regret it.

I had the most amazing experience in Ghana. The staff at IVHQ are so welcoming and really have your best interest in mind. I met so many life long friends and I am so excited to go back and visit the family I made while volunteering over in Ghana. Its one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. All the Ghanaians are so friendly and welcoming. I have traveled many places and this has by far been the been trip and most rewarding experience of my life. If you're going to do something DO IT WITH IVHQ! They are the best!

How can this program be improved?
More communication between volunteers and leaders.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Marisa! Great pun in the title :-) thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences from Ghana! We are so happy that you had the best time - thanks for being an IVHQer!!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Chloe
9/10

A beautiful blessing and a challenge.

Volunteering is not an endeavor for the faint hearted or for those who are high maintenance. Flexibility, patience and rolling with the punches are attributes that go a long way and you should expect that your expectations will be both exceeded and lowered at the same time.

Two months ago I returned from my IVHQ trip where I spent a month on the Scarlet program in Ghana at an orphanage called Blessed Bright Future and I have thought about it every single day since. It is important to be aware and accept before you go, the fact that the people and the country and the experience will change you, much more than you will be able to make change. Regardless of the hardships you may face and the many cultural differences and difficulties (like the heat, the smells, the pollution the bathing and the bathrooms) if you're experience is anything like mine, it will be perhaps the greatest in your lifetime.

When I think of the highlights of my experience, the root of my joy and my happiness and my love was the people I met and grew with. Many of the specifics (and there are so many they never seem to end) I find too personal and close to my heart to share here. Waking up and falling asleep to the sound of their voices and their laughter and their language and goats; so many goats, is something I miss so very much.

Nights spent staying up far too late hearing stories that make you laugh and cry bittersweet tears of both joy and sadness, learning their faces and names and their hopes and dreams, and holding each other until both of you fall asleep with intermingled limbs, hearts beating together as one.

Watching how they live and love together as a whole but also as separate individuals is something quite phenomenal. Their incredible intelligence and endurance and the way they taught me that love can happen in an instant and that family is much more than blood and body.

Waking them up and putting them to bed, making them laugh and holding them while they cry, walking them to school and playing water-bag football, constantly having your hands and body held.

A big highlight was Christmas day. Watching them open their gifts with such joy. If you ever think that going away over Christmas means you'll miss out on the fun back home, don't. Because it is the people back home who are missing out.

PS: If you have read through this far and are still going I am impressed and I thank you so much. It means the world.

Something I do also want to say is that weekends spent relaxing and touring, while a must do and see experience to have, I found to be bittersweet. I loved the running shower and the flushing toilet and the close to home food, but I hated it as well. Things that reminded me of home made me sad, not because I missed being at home but because it made me think of things like privilege and circumstance and it made me question what it means to have rights. These were things that I found challenging. Going on a 3 day holiday and being amazed and relaxed and having fun but at the same time feeling irrevocable guilt and anger at the fact that you can do this and they cannot.

These are just some of the highlights and challenges that I experienced. I hope this has given you a small taste of what volunteering with IVHQ can be like and I hope you say yes to an experience of a lifetime.

How can this program be improved?
Although my experience in Ghana was so incredible and so undeniably life and soul changing to the point that it took me almost two months to bring myself to write a review about it, there is always room for improvement. I did find in my short stay in Ghana that certain organisation skills were lacking. When I planned my Ghana volunteer experience I wanted to do 4 weeks in total, two weeks doing teaching and two weeks doing orphanage care.

Although I was told that this would be fine and definitely do-able it didn't work out that way. I ended up doing my full 4 weeks on orphanage care. While I don't at all regret spending all my time on the Scarlet program (once I arrived, two weeks anywhere just was not enough time) I was not expecting to have to re-evaluate the trip I had planned while I was on placement. Two girls I had arrived with, who were both doing 3/4 weeks of teaching were placed on a different program to myself and the other girls I was with. Their program was one where they ended up doing both orphanage work and teaching while I was placed on a program that was just for orphanage. This meant that if I wanted to do my two weeks of the teaching program, I would have to leave the kids and people I had bonded with, and move do a different placement altogether. It didn't make sense to any of us that while I was the only one who wanted to do both, I wasn't put on a program that allowed for me to do this without moving around.

As well as this it was organised that I would do my orphanage placement first instead of teaching. This too did not make sense considering that by the time I had completed my two weeks of orphanage, school would be finished for break time and I would have hardly anyone to teach. So even if I had decided I wanted to pack up and change to the teaching program as planned it would have been quite a pointless move. The way they had set this up seemed to create problems that didn't need to be created. It seemed odd that there was a simple and preventative decision that seemed to be overlooked in the first place.

Upon arriving at the volunteer house on the first day there was also not much communication about how my switching would take place. It was a bit of a 'we will cross that bridge when we come to it' approach. I was initially fine with that, and I was happy to be flexible and go with the flow, until I became aware of the predicament I was in with having to completely relocate and leave the kids I had fell so in love with.
I also didn't really agree with having to make our own way back to Accra airport at the end of our placement.

This was something that caused a fair bit of anxiety and worry for me as I wasn't leaving at the same time as anyone else and I had all my luggage with me moving from one vehicle to another. Ultimately it worked out fine in the end, and the people in Ghana as a whole are friendly, lovely and helpful people.

The last thing that I found about my placement was that a lot of the time I felt like I was not doing anything and that my time and presence were not being utilized. I didn't really feel like I did many helpful or practical things to help the kids at the orphanage. Don't get me wrong I understand that a huge, if not the biggest help and gift was my love and attention and time, but I feel like there was this enormous chunk of time while the kids were at school, where I had nothing to do. I felt very insignificant and useless at times and I didn't really know where to begin to change that myself. I didn't know where my skills could be best of use and there wasn't really any guidance or suggestions for a long time. The time the kids were at school was a bit of a free for all. Other volunteers would have down time, or sleep, or write in their journal, but I felt that was not why I came to Ghana to volunteer. I felt I could have down time at home or on a holiday which this to me was not supposed to be like. Once I got home and had a good hard think about the most practical things I could do and organize myself during that big gap of the day, for next time I go, I felt like I could make some helpful contributions. It seemed like the two other girls on a different program were constantly doing things and their services were so needed, whereas I felt quite the opposite at times.

Overall my experience was wonderful and I am so grateful to all the people at IVHQ for making it possible and so affordable. I wouldn't trade the bonds I made with those kids for anything. I would definitely recommend IVHQ to everyone and anyone (and I have been doing so with friends and family) however I do think these challenges and issues were ones that could be prevented and addressed for future volunteers to make their experience even more unforgettable.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Julie
9/10

Senya Bereku Turquoise preogramme

I would like to thank IVHQ for all the information & support before my placement in Ghana.

IVHQ in Ghana has been incredibly supportive throughout especially Gideon who phoned and visited us regularly, patiently listening to all our queries & suggestions.

Seth & Vivian at the Turquoise programme (Becky's Children's Home & School) in Senya Beraku were inspirational in what they are achieving, their kindness and support to us all was outstanding. Also a thank you to Robert and Frances who accompanied us often for our safely & guidance.

It has been a moving and amazing experience to live and work with people who do so much with so little.

Being close to the sea was a huge added bonus for me. After work at the clinic to be able to walk to the beach often with children from Becky's Home who absolutely delighted at being in the sea was wonderful.

I was also very grateful to share my experiences and room with another 'older' volunteer forming what I'm sure will be a lasting friendship so thank you for putting us together.

I would highly recommend IVHQ to anyone interested in being a volunteer.

Lastly, I wanted to mention the importance of preventative measures against malaria & typhoid, these diseases accounted for up to 90% of cases at Senya Beraku Medical Clinic. During my stay four volunteers from another organisation visited the clinic & were all ill with malaria (one with typhoid too). Two became very ill having to go to hospitals in Accra. I would advise sprays, nets as well as preventative medications.

So thank you again and I hope to be back!

How can this program be improved?
More details about the medical placement
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for your review Julie. This feedback is very important to us, as we constantly look at improving our programs abroad. We're so glad that you enjoyed your experience with IVHQ in Ghana, and that you felt supported by our local staff.

Thanks also for your advice on preventative medications against malaria and typhoid. This advice is crucial for our volunteers and information is always readily available to IVHQ volunteers when preparing for their trip abroad.

We would love to have you volunteer with us again in the near future!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Brianna
10/10

IVHQ GHANA- the best time of my life!

Where to start- my experience with IVHQ was nothing short of incredible and I would HIGHLY reccomend to anyone thinking about the experience. I have noticed that there is a negative post on this site, and I simply cannot believe that anyone would have anything bad to say about this volunteer group.

The staff are wonderful, inspiring, honest, and approachable people who will do anything and everything to ensure you feel comfortable and safe. There were several people in my orientation group who had special diets (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free) and they were able to accomodate all, which I can ensure you is not any easy thing to do in rural Africa. These people really do bend over backwards to ensure that you feel safe and can focus on what you are there to do- volunteer and make an impact. There was not one moment in my two months in Ghana that I did not feel cared for.

I was placed in the Turquoise program, located in the central region of Ghana. Myself and several other volunteers lived in one room with three bunk beds (6 beds total), and we had a ceiling fan and electricity in our room. There was a washroom indoors, which was nice, but you still had to take bucket showers with well water. It is rural Africa, after all. However the well water was clean and provided to us whenever needed.

I worked in the medical program, so I had the opportunity to volunteer in both the orphanage and the local clinic. At the clinic, I treated patients primarily with malaria, typhoid fever, cholera, wounds from machetes, and delivered babies/ provided pre and post-natal care. I work as a registered nurse in the U.S. and can say that this has been a truly eye opening experience. The staff at the clinic were absolutely wonderful and willing to teach everything. I was also able to participate in government-run vaccination clinics for the local children of our town.

Not all malarial medications are 100% effective, and myself and another volunteer contracted malaria while there. The IVHQ staff took great care of us and we stayed in Accra at the volunteer house with wonderful accomodations until we were well enough to return to our placement. They were very sympathetic and helpful.

Working at the orphanage was even more rewarding than the clinic. There were about 50 orphaned children at our placement. Daily duties included doing laundry, cooking meals, helping them bathe and brush teeth, and teaching in the local school. The children are truly wonderful, and the family that runs the orphanage are absolutely inspiring. The IVHQ staff came by every week to see if we were faring well, which was nice but not necessary as everything was incredible.

Yes, it is rural Africa. You will be hot, sweaty, tired, and probably not used to the food. You will be emotional because of the poverty you will experience and your want to make a bigger impact than you can. You will have the best moments of your life, you will meet new people, and you will never be the same. You just need to have an open mind and and open heart.

Thank you, IVHQ, for giving me the greatest experience of my life. I cannot wait to go back again.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Holly
10/10

Honest , Trustworthy , Life Changing, AMAZING Program!!!!

Firstly I would like to say how HONEST & TRUSTWORTHY all staff within IVHQ Ghana are. Getting to know them while volunteering and staying in contact with them after has been an absolute pleasure they have hearts of gold and would do anything for anyone especially their extremely appreciated volunteers. Please know that they would never take money for themselves or be untrustworthy in anyway. I have and always will have complete trust and faith in them. The world needs more people like them!!! .

Where can I begin to explain the life experience that completely changed my life. This was something that i had been wanting to do for a long time and this year I decided to go ahead with my plans. I did a lot of research on lots of organisations and finally decided to go with IVHQ and this was an excellent choice. Not only was it very affordable compared to all the other organisations they are very professional and reliable.

When planning my trip they were very helpful as i had a million questions and so did my worried Mother! Arriving in Ghana is very daunting at first but there is clearly marked IVHQ friendly staff welcoming you. At the Volunteer house your first night you are made to feel welcome and anything you are unsure or worried about they will do anything they can to help you. THEN the day you have been so excited about going to your placement myself and my brother choose to do orphanage work. We where placed in West African children's Foundation (sliver program). We stayed in a families house who also runs the orphanage who made us feel at home. Remember guys you are in AFRICA i think some people forget that and look for there 5 start treatment.

When we first meet the kids it was one the the greatest moments of my life , opening the gates and they all just came running , arms open , screaming for joy. Seeing those beautiful smiles and all the love they have to give is so priceless. Honestly the first few days were hard i guess being jetlagged and an experience that you have never had before and major eye opener. Our daily duties were to wake the kids up and bath them , clean teeth , get dressed and serve breakfast. Lunch time we would serve them also , in the afternoon was my favourite was time to just play with the kids and get lots of cuddles!!! IVHQ were great they would come often and see how we were going and if anything was bothering us , if anything was it was always just a phone call away.

We were there for 3 weeks and i cannot even being to tell you how amazingly , life changing , challenging , fulfilling , hardest best thing I have ever done in my life. The love those children have and the size of their hearts is incredible. They have made me want to be a better person and have made me look at life very different.

If you are even thinking about it stop thinking and just DO IT !! Sign up with IVHQ and i promise you wont be disappointed . It is everything you could imagine plus 100 times more ! I never once felt unsafe in Ghana you just have to use common sense like anywhere in the world. You have to be wanting to do this for all the right reason at the end of the day if you go in with love and an open mind that is what is going to make your volunteering experience.

I dont know what they would do Without volunteers , you will be helping more than you will ever know. When first looking into volunteering its hard to figure out who to plan your trip with , who isnt a scam , knowing where your money is really going . Well look no further IVHQ is very reliable , honest & your best choice !!!! ENJOY!!!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Rebekah
2/10

Second time volunteer with IVHQ Ghana and VERY Disappointed

So I went to Ghana over 12 months ago from Australia for a month to volunteer. I came back raving about IVHQ Ghana and had the best time of my life that I went back to Australia, ran fundraising events and rallied a group of ten together to return to the program 12 months later. I was so excited to return and we had been building a Library. Then head of the program agreed to help me build the library in the school and I felt safe as I trusted him. His wife, who was Australian, did most of the communicating with me and I was told numerous times $3500AUD will build the entire thing. A week before leaving for Ghana I was Asked for another $1000 AUD and told me that he had all the receipts. I was told it would be built before my arrival so that we could set it up with the 300kg in books we took over.

On arrival I was told we had to stay in the capital for two nights because our accommodation was not ready as they had overbooked and needed to create new accommodation for us. I took it all in my stride until the day we were leaving to go to the village the head of the organisation sat me down told me he did not have any receipts and if I wanted it done by the time I was there in Ghana i needed to get another at least $2500US.

I was so upset and as the leader wanted to be positive for the group but I did not have that money to pay and I could not just leave the school with a half built library. Anyways after multiple calls to try work things out in the first week I ended up getting called names and being disrespected by some staff in Accra in which I had the utter most respect for just a week before. I found out the so called builder who had the receipts and who I never got to see was actually the head guy from IVHQ's brother.

Over ten people in the village whom were business owners, including the mayor of the town and many others that I was cheated and the building should have only cost maximum $4000 Australian to build. Whilst all this was going on my group were given water out of a petrol barrel that was stinging their skin and they could not wash their face with. Eating outside and as a result a number of them got malaria as we did not have anywhere inside to sit.

From there we had a lot more problems from our gluten free girl and vegetarian having the same meals pretty much everyday and the cook not sticking to the menu and cooking what she liked when she liked so we ended up missing things such as a church service on a Sunday or our bus to an attraction, which consequently was the only bus. We also had no fridge in our vicinity which meant we had to walk to the other volunteer house to get water to drink and never could keep it cool. We also did not have a key for their kitchen so if we were thirsty around 10.30pm at night we could not get water and had to buy our own, when we paid for it with our price.

Finally there were so many things that went wrong and that I was so disappointed as this was a program I could trust and now definitely would not. So I can not inform other potential volunteers, they have deleted me off all Facebook and social media groups to do with them.

There were some "dodgy" aspects to when we arrived in Ghana this time including the staff in Accra trying to sell my volunteers items that were much more expensive then on the street etc... I offered IVHQ Ghana a ten year contract with our University in Australia in which a group of at least ten would come a min of once a year, mostly likely twice a year.They seemed really happy with this agreement. When these issues arouse I spoke with them about talking to resolve them so we can move forward with this friendship and they wanted nothing to do with it.

I would recommend volunteering in Ghana but not with IVHQ, they may be cheap but you get not much for what you give. The local staff also give you a cost breakdown and in that is a $100US donation to your program from every volunteer. I asked multiple times if we could use our 10 X 100US and I kept getting told it went to an orphanage in another part of Ghana. I asked to see receipts it went to the orphanage and got no where.

Please I am someone who is honest I will tell you what was good about IvHQ too so please do not hesitate to contact me. I would rather you do that rather then have a bad experience as Ghana is a beautiful place and the locals there are amazing!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Rebekah,

We appreciate all feedback from our volunteers and it is disappointing you feel this way about your experience, as our local team in Ghana consistently strives to provide the best possible service to all IVHQ volunteers. This is why the program receives such positive feedback from past volunteers.

We fully support volunteers who take the initiative to raise funds for self-initiated projects, however it is important to understand that managing the implementation of these projects on behalf of volunteers is outside of the responsibility of IVHQ and our in-country coordinators. We understand that as a token of gratitude, our program coordinator in Ghana agreed to assist you in building the library in Ghana (as you were not in country to do so). We are also aware that the building of the library did go over budget, as with any building project, it is difficult to estimate an exact cost of the entire project, as materials are purchased as required. As you are aware, when the building commenced, it was discovered that the land was waterlogged and therefore the building had to be raised off the land to prevent flooding. This contributed to the extra cost of the building, as extra sand and materials were required to flatten out the land raise the building. All of the receipts for the materials that our coordinator was able to obtain were provided to you. Unfortunately, as some of the building materials are sold on the roadside in Ghana, such as sand, it is not possible to obtain receipts for these items.

In regards to staying in the capital prior to your orientation beginning, every volunteer on our program in Ghana spends at least one night in the capital (Accra), as volunteer orientation is carried out before our new group of volunteers travel to their individual placement destinations. Orientation is not carried out on the first day, to allow our volunteers sufficient time to rest after traveling to Ghana. When your group arrived in Ghana, our local team suggested it would be nice for the group to spend a day in Accra to visit some tourist sights and go to the cultural market before beginning your project. You were not informed that your accommodation was not ready, as this was not the case, and our local team had spent the week prior to your arrival to ensure their were enough beds and facilities to accommodate your entire group.

As you are aware, after complaining about the smell of the water barrel, the very next day the barrel was replaced. Unfortunately, Malaria is a reality in Africa, which is why IVHQ and our local teams ensure volunteers are well informed of this and the necessary pre-cautions to help avoid the contraction of Malaria. In addition to taking ant-malarial pills, we advise volunteers to wear long sleeved/legged clothing (in the evenings) and mosquito repellent with deet.

The program fee volunteers pay to volunteer in Ghana covers the costs associated with their stay, including airport pickup, accommodation, food and in-country support. A regular monthly donation is made to some of the orphanage placements in Ghana to assist with purchasing food and other necessities for the children, however it is not stated anywhere and has never been communicated to you that $100 USD of each volunteer’s program fee is allocated towards donations.

We hope that despite your disappointment, your group was still able to enjoy the experience of volunteering in Ghana and were happy with the contribution you were able to make at your placement.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Christina
10/10

Life changing experience!

The first day that I walked into the West Africa Children's Foundation, I knew there was no where else in the world I was suppose to be. The beautiful children taught me more in a month than what I could teach them in a lifetime. Their love knows no boundaries! My life has been completely changed by these beautiful little souls!

How can this program be improved?
The cultural issues were difficult for me. I cannot stand around and just watch a child get hit for the smallest thing. There needs to be more education about the damage physical abuse can do to a small child.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Ricardo
8/10

IVHQ Ghana

My experiences with IVHQ Ghana was the most remarkable experience I could have endured. I have volunteered before in Costa Rica and Europe before but this experience lifted my opinion on international volunteering. I was picked up at the airport by IVHQ staff and they immediately welcomed me, gave me food and housed me for the night before the orientation the next day which was more than enough to prepare for the adventures. I was there for one month working in a community outside Accra. The school, the Virgin Kids Academy was my post for my month stay. I was given plenty of food and lived in a room with three other volunteers. There was no running water but we did have electricity. We had a large tub of water which we would use to wash and bath. It was always plentiful and there was enough for us all.

Madam gave plenty of instruction and feedback for the work assignments which included teaching, cleaning, cooking and setting up educational programs. Her husband is a travel agent so he helped out with the travels. The work was hard more than rewarding. We worked down the street from another group of volunteers so there was enough socializing. The kids are go grateful and happy. This experience made me reevaluate my priorities and made me value my luxuries.

The children are the most energetic and happy people I have ever met. I have never felt so welcome.

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

Ghana Orphanage Program

I spent the best 6 weeks of my life on the Orphanage program in Ghana with IVHQ. We were caring for over 70 amazing children who never failed to put a smile on my face. They are some of the kindest and most loving children I have ever met. They have so little and yet are so happy and willing to give. We spent our days helping the children get up in the mornings and ready for school, bringing them to school, playing with them, improving their reading and writing, administering basic first aid and helping them with homework. It was so rewarding and enjoyable. Being able to see the difference in a child's understanding of their homework after you spent an evening helping them was great and inspiring. Nursing a child back to health after sickness was also another very rewarding thing I found. I have so many wonderful memories that I will never forget.

At the weekends we had the opportunity to travel so for my first 3 weekends I went to Kokrobite, Cape Coast and the Volta Region. It was great fun getting to hang out with the other volunteers and seeing Ghana. It was very easy to plan these trips and to travel around. It was hard leaving the children even for 2 days and the best bit for me was always walking back into the orphanage after a weekend away and having delighted children jumping into my arms. I hardly ever had a bad moment during my stay in Ghana and if I did there was always a hug from a child available to make me feel instantly better.

Before leaving I was very nervous but any question that I had was immediately answered by the IVHQ staff who also kept in contact during my stay so I always felt at ease and reassured. From the moment I met the local staff I felt welcome and comfortable. They gave us orientation, brought us to our programmes and visited every week. They were fantastic and so nice. If we ever had something that need fixing in the volunteer house or a problem, they got it fixed as quickly as possible. The volunteer house was very safe, clean and comfortable, and the food was delicious! The only terrible thing during my entire stay was having to leave! I'm going back this summer for 3 months and I cannot wait!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
bghana2011
10/10

Supportive, safe, affordable, & life-changing

I absolutely loved the five weeks I spent with IVHQ in Ghana. The program staff in New Zealand and in Ghana were incredibly supportive from the beginning of my application process to well after I departed from Ghana. The children of Ghana are amazing and will feel like your own by the time you leave.

This program was by far the best value for high-quality support of any volunteer program I've found - I have already recommended it to many friends. I recommend it to you as well!

Yes, I recommend this program

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