Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Ghana

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About

Projects Abroad has been placing volunteers abroad since 1992. As a volunteer in Ghana you will have the opportunity to work in a number of different capacities, including: Teaching, Care, Building, Medicine & Healthcare, Journalism, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Microfinance, Sports, Agriculture, and Law & Human Rights. All our volunteers work directly with local communities to have a meaningful and longterm impact.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering in Ghana with Projects Abroad! We look forward to seeing you in the field.

Highlights
  • Choose a project you are passionate about that fits your interests
  • Select your own start date and duration
  • Get 24/7 support from the local staff
  • Make a difference where it is needed most
  • Have fun exploring the country and its culture over the weekends

Questions & Answers

Reviews

90%
based on 37 reviews
  • Impact 8.6
  • Support 8.9
  • Fun 8.6
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 16 - 30 of 37
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Victoria
9/10

Koforidua Medical Internship

The hospital I volunteered in gave me many opportunities to work and gain some medical experience. At first, I was timid and didn't put myself out there to doctors and nurses, causing me to not have much work to do. Then, I realized that if I just asked questions, offered to help, and kept busy, the hospital staff was happy to help and teach me. I learned how and was allowed to draw blood, test for sickle cell disease, take blood pressure, change surgical bandages, set up operation theaters, observe surgeries, and even scrub in/assist on a surgery! I gained so much knowledge about medicine and became excited about becoming a doctor again! At outreach, I helped bandage injured children and educate them about Malaria and hygiene so that they could lead healthier lives. Throughout the rest of my trip, I made many new friends, both local and from many parts of the world. I was immersed in a rich culture of music, family, religion, food, and friendliness that is unparalleled in the US. Projects Abroad provided me with support from the moment I first contacted them about joining the program until the time I arrived back home. They ensured that all of my documents were in order, travel arranged, and stay organized/fun/educational! I would recommend this program to ANYONE seeking a stress-free medical internship, cultural experience, or a combination of the two!

How can this program be improved?
The only small problem I had while abroad was that of budgeting. Before the trip, I was given a rough estimate of how much money to bring if a) i planned to travel on weekends or b) i planned not to travel. I was not informed initially that almost every volunteer travels every weekend, so I did not bring near enough money, and neither did many other volunteers. The only thing Projects Abroad could do better is inform volunteers of this before they depart for their placements.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Ebo
10/10

Farming at Akuapem Hills

Projects Abroad, a very good example of subtle development work!

The offered projects seem to have a big impact to the local communities (which building schools, teaching and working at an orphanage has indeed), so you can satisfy your ego ("I did something very good in my free time!") and have a lot of fun as well.

The probably most important point in travelling abroad with Projects Abroad is that they didn't bring a lot of Europeans, Americans and whatever else to Ghana to organize everything but employed Ghanaians and gave them a job. Very good!

The Trip itself:
I think if someone is unsure about travelling trough Africa, the best thing to do is travelling with Projects Abroad! The organization was perfect. They picked me up, brought me to my hostfamily, were avaiable 24/7 (believe me, if you are in trouble you will love Projects Abroad...) and managed everything else in a very professional way.

My host family was very kind (apart from my macho-behaving hostfather). To be honest, after reading a few reviews I have to say that Africa - not even Ghana or South Africa - can be compared with any "western" country. You have to accept, that you probably won't have running water, electricity and wifi or even internet. You are not travelling to a developed country!

My project:
The farming project didn't seem to be really well organised but maybe I was in Ghana at a bad point of time. Our supervisor usually came late and I never got to know who will get the harvest. The work itself was hard, but I liked to do something "usefull" after 13 years of school.

To sum it up I can recommend Projects Abroad for young people who don't want to travel to Africa all alone.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Muffi-Smurf
1/10

wast of time and money if you search for a serious internship

My time in Ghana was and still is a total disaster. This project is too expensive for the service they gave to the volunteers.

I was brought to my host family and left: nobody was explaining to me, which things (which kind of food, drinking stuff toilet paper, soap and things for cleaning…) you will get and which you have to buy by yourself; where and in which occasions you have to ask for this stuff; where you can get washing water etc. It was the same at my first day in the office I was just parked there: “Wait till the head of the office comes to pick you up” – That was 6 hours later and nobody was taking notice of me till that time. And after the short induction I had all the time problems in the office: nobody gave me work, I had to run around and search for it; nobody asked if I need help; nobody had explained how the computer systems were working, where I can get food, where do I have to go to take the firm car etc.

Some of the descriptions of the projects here in Accra are too much gloss-over. The same goes for the host families, too. Nowhere is written, that you regularly don’t have power for 10-12 hours; our longest blackout was 35 hours and the intervals between the blackouts shortened from once a week to every second day! Then you have problem with the washing water in a few host families: sometimes you will never have running water in the washbasin and the toilet, not at all a shower. You have to wash with water from a tank and a small bucket. But there is a big difference in host families and you can’t decide in which family you will go. Here the two extreme examples: in one host family they have great rooms, running water, electricity nearly all the time, Wifi and a cleaning lady. But the house is far away, you need a lot of time to go to work. In another host family you have to bag for everything – toilet paper, drinking water, jam, peanut butter etc. every time you run out. Nobody will ask if you have enough or bring it by him-/herself. One time the volunteers had no water for 3 days in that host family because they did not want to pay more for a man who brings the water earlier, so that the volunteers bought small water bags at the market to flush the toilet and to wash. Sometimes there is running water for a few hours on Saturdays but not longer – then the volunteers can fill up the tank themselves. So in the end there are very different conditions in the different host families. And what they don’t tell you: you have to pay by yourself to go to work if you are too far away to walk to your placement. I think If volunteers pay such a fucking high amount of money to go work for free (!) somewhere, they must be treated like kings and queens, provided all with the same standard: good balanced food and different beverages, constant running water and electricity, reasonable rooms and the transport to the work placement!!!

And if you have problems the first thing they told you: you must be patient and understanding. It is a different culture here. Things need time and you have to adjust to live here. So please be patient and try to solve the problems by yourself. The Projects Abroad staff will help you, if you feel sick or if you are in big arguments at placement or in the host family but not if you feel unhappy or something like that. Then you have to be quite and calm and patient and try to solve the problems yourself. Only if you bother them every day with emails and messages there will be a reaction and a try to assist. But most of the time it seems to be half-hearted.

TO SUM UP: If you want to gain some overexpensive experiences in a foreign country without so much trouble in organizing and little working hours a week then Project Abroad is the right decision. If you want to gain experiences for your curriculum vitae and you a searching for a serious internship with a lot of work and appropriate results as well as a western-country standard accommodation for the lots of money you spend for the project you should try to organize the trip by yourself or search for a higher qualified volunteering/internship organization.

Response from Projects Abroad

Thank you for your review of Projects Abroad although I'm sorry to read that you wouldn't recommend us.

At Projects Abroad we pride ourselves at providing first rate support to our volunteers - we have over 60 members of staff in Ghana alone - so I was surprised to read that you felt the level of support was not up to your expectation. If you could let me know more information about what happened when you arrived I will definitely follow this up.

We send nearly 2000 volunteers to Ghana every year and I think a large part of the appeal of volunteering in Ghana is that the country is still developing and that the infrastructure is basic and this means there's a lot of worthwhile and needy projects for volunteers to join. Unfortunately, occasional electricity cuts and water shortages have to be endured when volunteering in the developing world.

Regarding your host family we do have measures in place to make sure there is standardisation amongst all our families. I'm sorry that you felt yours was worse than what other volunteers experienced. Please feel free to privately email me the name of your family and I will look into it further. You can send it to [email protected]

Best wishes

Greg Thomson
Operations Director
Projects Abroad

No, I don't recommend
Default avatar
Kathrine
8/10

Time of my life!

Volunteering in Ghana is the best i've ever done.
I worked at a small Children's home for 4 months, where I took care of the small kids (0-4 years) and disabled kids. Sure, sometimes it was hard knowing how the kids future might look like, but when you start getting to know the kids, you realize it's all worth it, and that you are giving the kids a lot that actually can help them as they grow up. The kids love you, and all they want from you is kisses, hugs and love. And what ever you gave the kids, you would get back x 10.
In my sparetime i hung out with the other volunteers at either wednesday meeting, where we had quiz nights, cooking lessons, played football/volleyball agains local schools or children's homes etc., and in the weekend the entire group often travelled around Ghana together - learning the people, language and culture.

What was important for me, was the people around me. My first week was hard due to the cultural shok, but the other volunteers and especially the local staff helped a lot. The staff really cares about you - if you fell homesick, you're always welcome with the staff, if you fell sick, they'll bring you to the doctor, and so on. They are there for you all the way, no matter what it is.

I would definitely travel with Projects abroad again.

How can this program be improved?
Projects Abroad is a bit expensive (but worth it, though).
And the entire country (= also the staff) lives under Ghana time, which means that if you are supposed to meet up at 9am, you will probably still be early if you meet at 9:40am ;-)
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
JDN
9/10

The best experience of my life

I went to Ghana for a month last July, and was only 17. I was a bit worry because of my age, however it was the best experience I never have, and I will never forget it. I worked in an orphanage in Accra. At the beginning, I was just playing with the little kids (4 to 6 years old), with the things I brought (color books, bubbles, ...). But I then decided to get more involved. First, I gave french lessons to older kids (16 to 18 years old) : they were my age and some of them were even older than me so that was quite disturbing, I didn't want them to think that I felt superior or anything, I just wanted to learn to know them, and to learn them about the french language and the french culture. It went perfectly well, and I'm happy I have learn them some french words, sentences and songs ! I also bring, with 4 other volunteers, 5 of the little kids to the beach. This was amazing : we went to the beach for an afternoon, just the kids and the volunteers, no member of the orphanage staff (which shows that they trust us totally). The kids almost never go there so they were really excited and had a lot of fun, and we brought them some cookies for the break so they were really really happy, which made us even happier.
This trip had such an impact on me that I want to continue to help these kids as I can : I am doing presentations to students in my school, and i'm trying to raise money with cake sales for example. Then, I want to go back next summer to bring them the money I raised, some clothes, some games, and most of all to see the kids again. I miss them so much, I'm still dreaming of them sometimes.... They brought me so much more than I brought them.
Projects Abroad was really great : they took care of us from the first day I registered to the day I left. They try to organize events so the volunteers get to know each others, with Pizza parties, Football cups, shows, etc.

How can this program be improved?
The cost.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Lia
10/10

Care in Ghana

I spent two weeks in Accra, Ghana during the month of April. It was the first time I was traveling to Africa and I was nervous because I had no idea what it was going to be like. Projects Abroad helped me a lot before my trip, sending me e-mails with tips of things I should take with me, and answering all my questions, even the silly ones.

I got there on a Saturday night, around eleven and my first surprise was the warm weather! I knew it was going to be hot, but not that hot. It felt amazing! One of my favorite things out of that trip was the amazing weather. A driver picked me up and took me to my house. He was very nice and talked the whole way about things I should see, places I should visit and former volunteers. I was so excited! When I got to my house, I met the other volunteers who were all girls around my age. Along the trip, we became friends and I had so much fun with them!

During my first week, I worked at a school. It was a school for the neighborhood children, who had no money to go to the public schools that all the other children go to. I asked the other volunteer who worked with me at the school if it was expensive and she said it was around 15 dollars per year. 15 dollars per year!

The teaching I had to do was very simple, basic math and basic english. I loved doing it, and the kids were so sweet, they made it all worth it! on my last day at the school they had a dancing competition and it was so much fun watching them dance. I also met this girl, Abigail, who I fell in love with. I still think about her everyday, and wish more than anything I could bring her to live with me. I gave the kids all my stuffed animals, and they were so happy! It felt nice to give them what was once was so special to me, and see that priceless look on their faces. I worked for around three hours everyday, usually starting at 9 and ending at noon. Tuesday and Thursday I had the option of staying for long and helping with various activities the school offered after classes.

The second week I worked at an orphanage. I could choose how many hours I worked each day, and I usually stayed around 5-6 hours each day.It was sad to see all those kids without parents, without families, and it was hard to imagine how they felt. Amazingly enough though, they were always smiling, always laughing. That good energy that they had changed me, made me realized how petty our society is, how we are always complaining when we have everything. That was my favorite thing about Ghana, a country without luxury, without extra comfort, but with a population that is always smiling, always happy, always ready to wave when you walk by and sing and dance. I think everyone could learn with them.

It was an amazing experience, and it was only possible because of Projects Abroad and how organized and caring they are. They made me feel relaxed and safe during my stay. I recommend them to anyone who is thinking of taking a gap year, or having an experience abroad!

How can this program be improved?
I think that one thing that I wasn't bad, but was somewhat confusing was that, when I changed programs - from teaching to care- no one from Projects Abroad really explained to me what to do, or where to go, because one of the other volunteers in my house did the same project as me. It was okay because she taught me what I needed to know, but it would have been reassuring to have someone from Projects Abroad with me on my first day.
Yes, I recommend
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Lindsay
10/10

Experience of a Lifetime!

My time with WildLife ACT was incredible, and beyond what I was hoping for. We woke up early every day to head out and track the painted dogs in the back of our open 4x4, and spent the mornings trying to find them to monitor their health and numbers. We discovered quickly how important this was, as our dogs were dening in a highly poached area and could have easily been caught in snares. Two of the dogs had already lost a leg to snares, and it is thanks to the monitors and volunteers vigilant efforts that their lives were saved. In my time in the iMfolozi reserve, the volunteers captured a photo of a snared dog that would have gone unnoticed otherwise, and we were able to make a successful ID. I definitely think that the extra sets of eyes, cameras, and helping hands the volunteers provide is crucial to the conservation efforts at hand.

The experience was also made more incredible by the phenomenal staff at WildLife ACT. I spent my time with 3 different monitors, all of whom were amazing. They all have so much knowledge of the area, the animals, the vegetation, and tracking. I learned so much in my 4 weeks thanks to them. They made sure we were all well versed on bush safety, and while they were able to get us extremely close to the wildlife, there was never a time I felt unsafe or worried. We also had a great time relaxing with the monitors on our breaks or at night, having fires, playing cards, or cooking delicious meals together.

Going to Africa was a dream of mine for many years, and choosing WildLife ACT was a great decision. I had so much fun with both the people and the animals, and I was so happy to be a part of the conservation efforts. Though the mornings were cold, the water sometimes stopped running, and my clothes were never fully clean, I would not change a single thing about my trip. If you enjoy nature, animals, and are looking for a truly unforgettable experience, this is the place to go!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
ghanaboy
8/10

HIV/AIDS Program

It is important to note that I was one of the first participants of this program, so I'm sure it has matured since my participation.

I was fortunate enough to travel to Ghana to volunteer under the HIV/AIDS program offered by Projects Abroad. I wasn't fully sure what to expect, but hoped that I would get a thorough understanding of the virus, treatments, and its social, cultural, economic, and personal impact on the people of Ghana. The Projects Abroad staff helped deliver in most of these arenas and exceeded expectations in others.

My one month placement brought me to the Police Hospital in Accra where we were to be rotating through different departments, such as the lab, pre-natal care, counseling, and the anti-retro treatment team. The lab exceeded expectations as the staff was very open to sharing as much info as they could while still managing the lab operations. However, that rotation carried on a bit too long considering my short timeline here. Same thing with the pre-natal care; it took about 2 days to cover the material and truly see everything the department had to offer- yet I was scheduled a week in the dept. Moving to the counseling team, I felt as though I was not taken very seriously by the hospital staff- my general curiosity about the impact of the virus was taken as being a "nosey" individual and was shunned. I had words with the program staff about this and they worked their best to accomodate... in the end, they ended up looking to other hospitals for the experience. I think that says something about their commitment to the program's success. All in all, I'm glad I participated in this program, but hope they can work the kinks out and offer the flexibilty of transferring departments when you've maxed out on your experience.

As for the social aspect of Projects Abroad, it was fantastic and exceeded expectations. The staff is fully committed to making your experience a safe and memorable one and I felt that the social aspect of the trip was the best part.

Having volunteered with other companies out there, the best thing Projects Abroad has to offer is the number of other volunteers out there. Chances are if you are in or near a big city, there are many volunteers around you and it is a fantastic social opportunity. However, it is easy to then shift your focus from the volunteering to just socializing... but that's a personal issue. I would highly recommend Projects Abroad, especially if you are looking for a social volunteering experience. If you are truly looking to go make a solid impact and change the world, commit yourself to the cause when abroad... but I warn it is hard to ignore the fun.

Yes, I recommend
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Volunteer2011
10/10

Ghana, an amazing experience

I spent 3 months living in Koforidua and working at the local hospital, and can without a doubt look back at this time as the best 3 months of my life. The work at the hospital was challenging, and so different from anything I would be allowed to experience back home, but I definetly learned a lot. Besides that I lived with the best hostfamily, u can possible imagine, and they definetly made me feel like part of the family. And meeting all the other volunteers and traveling all around Ghana with them, is something I will always remember. Furthermore I have to mention that the local staff was the best, they quickly became your friends and would do anything for their volunteers as well as being available 24 hours/day. Definetly a country I can recommend to anyone.

Yes, I recommend
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Brittany
8/10

Projects Abroad Ghana

This was an amazing experience. You meet great friends all over the world and get a better understanding of not only the west african culture but the culture of many different countries as well. Throughout the week you will go to your placement with weekends off, which gives you a great opportunity to travel around the country and see more of the sights.

Going with a program gives you the security to live in a forign country, I personally was very glad that I did not try to travel there myself as the customs are very different and the culture takes some getting used to.

As for the work placement its self the work is very challenging but rewarding. I worked in a care placement in the orphanage and found the children difficult because they are not used to time outs and the only form of punishment that they recieve is the cane. That being said this is the custom in Ghana and although it took some getting used to we showed the teachers different ways of discipline and convinced them to be open to other methods. The children are fun and great to work with, many people think that they will volunteer and "Change Africa" but as a volunteer you need to understand that the rewards come from teaching one child on one day to say please and thank you, or helping a child with their math homework and watching them get excited because they got the answer right. As a single volunteer in Ghana you will not make a world of difference, or change the whole country, but you are the buliding blocks that collectivly over time will help to change the country.

Going to Ghana after high school was probably the best decision that I could make for myself. It was beautiful and great fun, and opened my eyes to all of the different opportunities that the world has to offer.

Yes, I recommend
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Nina
7/10

Teaching in Ghana

My time teaching in Cape Coast, Ghana was a wonderful experience. The Projects Abroad staff were always available and extremely helpful. For example, I got sick during my first week and they immediately brought me a doctor and took care of contacting my placement. When I did start volunteering, it was at a wonderful school close to where I was living. Teaching the children was an exciting challenge and the Projects Abroad office had some great resources for me to use in my lessons. They also had weekly events to put me in touch with other volunteers and I made a bunch of great friends who were always up for traveling on the weekend. Overall, Cape Coast was a lovely city where I always felt safe and was greeted by people. My only regret was that I didn't stay longer!

Yes, I recommend
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rds726
10/10

Medicine in Ghana

My placement with Projects Aborad was at Central Regional Hospital in Cape Coast and my first day was awesome. I got the tour around the hospital like everyone does. The fun part of my day happened when we got to the operating room during my tour. I got sucked in with some medical school students and got to watch an appendectomy! The surgeon was a Bulgarian doctor who has been in Ghana for more than 4 years. He explained everything about the procedure and let me come in close to see the perforation of the appendix. That was my first day and it just got better from there.

I was in Ghana for a total of 4 months and I chose to spend most of my time in the Surgery Department. A doctor on ward duty basically had to stay in the surgical wards and do anything that was needed from putting in catheters and NG tubes to washing burn victims. This is when I got my most hands-on experience because less people were around. I got to do many awesome things, as odd as some of it may sound. I helped bath burn victims, dressed wounds, gave a rectal exam, put in IV lines, drew blood for analysis, and assisted in a minor surgical procedure. For example, one time a doctor that was supposed to assist could not be reached so Dr. C asked the nurse to get me a gown and gloves. We had to put in a suprapubic catheter into an old man who had an obstruction that wasn’t allowing him to release the urine from his bladder. He was too old to have an operation so they decided to put a catheter directly into his bladder through the abdomen. Dr. C made a small incision and then clamped the catheter tube with a forcep. He handed it to me and told me to push down as hard as I can until I felt a rip. Skeptical, but definitely willing, I did as I was told. I pushed and urine began to flow out through the tube and into the bag, much to Dr. C’s satisfaction. He showed me how to do a proper stitch then allowed me to do the remaining few stitches. This was probably the most hands-on, doctor-like experience I had while I was in Ghana and it definitely confirmed my desires to go into surgery.

Aside from the hospital, I also went on medical outreaches to villages and schools about once a week. We provided minor health services by treating ringworm, small infections, cuts and wounds, etc. This weekly experience helped me to apply a lot of the things I learned while at the hospital, and one weekend, a bunch of volunteers went to a rural village in Assin Praso to have our own one-day health clinic where almost 200 village people came.

Every week I also got a chance to do something outside of the medical-related area. On Tuesdays we took the kids from New Life Orphanage to Han’s Cottage to swim in the pool and see crocodiles in the nearby lake. They were the sweetest kids ever and they even gave me a tearful goodbye ceremony on my last day with drumming, dancing, poem-reading, and singing.

Needless to say, my experience in Ghana is one that can’t be fully expressed in mere words. All I can say is that I gained so much from this trip. Educationally, I learned a tremendous amount about medicine and the practice of human care. However, my gains were not limited to the educational benefits, because I also created so many memories that have changed me in some way through the different people, culture, and ideas that really defined my experience and every time I think back to my time in Ghana, that’s what I remember. And I thank Projects Abroad for giving me that experience.

Yes, I recommend
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HHesley
8/10

Physiotherapy review

This was a great experience meeting other volunteers with the same goals, to help the people. My day to do was go to work at the hospital for 3-4 hours then we have the rest of the day to go to the bead market, do laundry, local bar, or just visit shops or the people. It was so great, food was delicious and my host family was great.

Yes, I recommend
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amanda
10/10

projects abroad ghana

Most amazing trip of my life. I learned so much and it gave me a new perspective on the world. going with projects abroad is a must! The staff was very friendly and i felt safe the whole time. An experiance that i will never forget

Yes, I recommend
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Deborah
10/10

Everyone Needs to Volunteer Abroad

My experience with Projects Abroad in Ghana was amazing, fulfilling, surprising and well worth the $ and the time. I volunteered in 2006 when I was in my late 40's and Ghanaians and my host family created lasting memories for me. I have been back to Ghana several times and continue to find ways where I can be of service.

The best advice I can give anyone volunteering in a developing country is to remember, "it's not about you." Allow your hosts to lead and guide, and you will see how you can best contribute.

Yes, I recommend

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About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad is a global organization formed around the need for gap year programs abroad designed for students taking a break from studying. Since its inception, Projects Abroad has expanded to offer high school volunteer programs, and a vast...