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!

You can 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 44 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 31 - 44 of 44
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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
Default avatar
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
Default avatar
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
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
Default avatar
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
Default avatar
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
Default avatar
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
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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
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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
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
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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
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
Default avatar
Laura
10/10

Ghana Orphanage Work

Not once did I hesitate in choosing International Volunteer HQ as the organization that would provide me with an unforgettable, life-changing experience. After heavily researching other volunteer abroad programs online, I stumbled across IVHQ and knew it was the perfect fit for me. Not only were the prices extremely affordable compared to similar programs, but the staff was also very accessible and prompt in answering numerous questions and sending out more information. I was also able to get involved in the IVHQ Facebook page, which connected me with previous volunteers and played a big role in my ultimate decision to go with IVHQ.

I knew that I was drawn to orphanage work in Africa, but wasn't sure exactly which country I wanted to work in. After talking to past volunteers via the IVHQ Facebook page and seeing their pictures, going to Ghana simply felt right in my heart. From the moment I signed up for the Ghana Orphanage Work Program, I was confident that IVHQ cared about me and my experience because of the apparent dedication they have to their volunteers. I was given all of the information necessary in order to have a successful volunteer experience in Ghana.

From January to March 2012 I was lucky enough to be placed at the Green Program: Achiase Children's Home located in the Central Region of Ghana. Mama Sarah and Mr. Sam are currently providing for 34 children ages 4-18 years old. The Sams also run Bethel Academy, the school that is located behind the home.

There really is no such thing as a "typical day" when volunteering. Sure, some things we did were routine, but other events come up that you have to deal with spontaneously. Every morning we would wake up early to help bathe the young kids, brush teeth, dress them in their school uniforms, and get them off to school on time. During the school day, the other volunteers and I tried to keep as busy as possible. There is always endless amounts of dishes, laundry, sewing, cleaning, and maintenance to do around the children's home. Sometimes we'd unexpectedly have to care for a sick child or take someone to the clinic. Other times we'd go into town to purchase food or other items that Mama Sarah needed for the children. Part of being a volunteer is being proactive and helping even when help is not asked for. In addition, it was nice to sit down for a while and get to know Mama Sarah and have her share stories with us. When the children got home from school it was like a rush of energy. They would come running back to the house, change into their play clothes, and we'd play games or help with homework. At night we held tutoring groups in order to supplement the children's math and English skills at school. On special occasions the kids loved watching movies or having dance parties. They could so easily put a smile on your face! The younger kids usually end up falling asleep on your lap, while the older kids eventually trickle off to bed on their own.

When 2 months was over and I was forced to realize that I had to leave this wonderful place, I didn't know what to do with myself. The way of life in Ghana became so normal and comfortable to me and I absolutely did not want to say goodbye to Mama Sarah and the children. Through this experience, I learned so much about myself and what's really important in life. After coming back to the United States, the things that were once important to me are just that--"things." The people and places I encountered during my two months in Ghana are forever in my heart and I thank IVHQ for providing me with such a meaningful experience!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
ME93
10/10

Memories that last a lifetime. Orphnage Program, Ghana.

Volunteering with IVHQ was a truly a life changing experience. Prior to deciding to volunteer in Ghana I had numerous questions which were promptly and patiently answered by Daniel Radcliffe. From the moment I was picked up from the airport as a wide-eyed and somewhat vulnerable 18 year old girl, I knew I was in safe hands. The fact that IVHQ were able to place my three friends and I together for our volunteering experience proves how accommodating the staff are for all ages and numbers as well as individuals.

We spent our first three days in country at the main volunteer house in Accra with Edward and Eric where we were able to get a taste of Ghanaian life and take part in orientation activities and language lessons-we were even able to attend a wedding with Eddie! We were lucky enough to spend our three months at Achiase Children's Home located in a small town surrounded by dusty orange roads and magnificent greenery, yet only a short two hour bus ride from the capital city (where we were able to satisfy our chocolate cravings).

From our first bombardment of hugs from both the children and directors, Sarah and Frank Sam, we knew immediately they had stolen our hearts and that we would forever have a place with this gigantic family. We spent the mornings getting the children ready for school; helping the younger ones shower and dress, find their missing shoes and chasing them around the home until we ensured their teeth were sufficiently cleaned! After the children had walked the 60 odd meters to the school (missing doors, windows and colour) we helped wash clothes, clean dishes and prepare lunch.

We also had the opportunity to head down to the school and assist the teachers in their lessons or merely carry the sleeping two year old students home for a snooze. After school it was play time! From dancing the 'hokey pokey' to cooking toffee to playing intensely competitive ball and card games, afternoons always seemed to fly by and before we knew it we were called 'home' for dinner (the volunteer house next door ownded by a local woman). It truly was a race to see how fast we could eat so we could head straight back over to the kids to help with homework, have a good old chat and joke with the older kids and Sarah and have the little ones fall asleep on you; like monkeys with their arms clinging around your neck.

Although our days were fairly basic each one was unique and so rewarding. After familiarsing ourselves with the running of the home we were able to see how we could make some improvements to their livelihoods. Through generous donations sent from back home in Australia, we were able to paint the existing school, build a brand new colourful, cement brick classroom equipped with desks rather than planks of wood, purchase a water tank to store water for the dry season and buy LOTS of chicken and fruit in an attempt to fill our children's bellies and supply them the vitamins and nutrients their bodies craved. Not only did we have fun painting the school and classroom but the kids had an absolute BALL; although most of the paint ended up on their faces and bodies rather than the walls.

Other highlights included numerous parties-fried rice party, fruit salad party and fufu party, dancing for hours to Ghanaian pop music with kids as young as 18 months and taking the older children to a national park to walk over canopy bridges. These big events and simple everyday moments instilled in our brains and hearts memories that will last a lifetime. Leaving my Achiase family was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do. When Sarah and the older girls were crying it was bad enough. But when 'tough' boys aged 9-12 cry uncontrollably because you are leaving them, you know you have made a difference and had an impact on their life. Needless to say the long journey back to Accra was a tearful one.

On weekends we had the opportunity to travel throughout Ghana where we visited some truly amazing and picturesque places such as waterfalls, slavery prisons, beaches and monkey sanctuaries. This was a great opportunity to meet other volunteers from other programs, where we realized how fortunate we were compared to those with other companies who paid thrice the amount as us for half the support and services we received.

Our trip could not have exceeded our expectations to such an extent without the 24/7 support and guidance of the IVHQ staff in country. Our safety was there absolute, number one priority and if ever we felt uneasy they were available to help us. We were also incredibly lucky to have a cook live with us from IVHQ, Florence or our 'Flo Flo.' Not only did Florence prepare our three delicious meals a day but was always up for a laugh or chat, looked after us when we became ill and was our surrogate mother. Bottom line- she became our best friend who we still keep in contact with six months later, along with Sarah Sam and the children. I cannot speak highly enough of my trip or express how grateful I am for this experience with IVHQ. Not only is the program highly affordable but the staff truly care about their volunteers and the Ghanaian people they are placed with.

Thank you IVHQ!

Yes, I recommend

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