Volunteer in Ghana with Youth Challenge International
88% Rating
(13 Reviews)

Volunteer in Ghana with Youth Challenge International

Join Youth Challenge International as a volunteer in Ghana. Located in West Africa, Ghana is was the first country in colonial Africa to achieve its independence in 1957. Ghana has undergone huge population growth and employment and educational resources have not been able to keep up.

Volunteers with Youth Challenge International will work closely with YCI's partner organizations in organizing and hosting youth programs. All projects are focused on empowering youth through leadership and health related programs. Participants will work closely with youth in the local community providing an environment for genuine and meaningful cultural exchange.

Learn more about volunteering opportunities in Ghana with Youth Challenge International on their website!

Locations
Africa » Ghana » Accra
Africa » Ghana
Length
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
Project Types
Language
English
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Other Locations
Takoradi, Koforidua

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    83%
  • Support
    91%
  • Fun
    88%
  • Value
    86%
  • Safety
    92%

Program Reviews (13)

Default avatar
Ting
Female
42 years old
Toronto
York University

Observe and Express - enjoy the experience of sharing

8/10

I went to Koforidua on a youth entrepreneurship project in summer 2014. Together with two other partners, we designed and implemented workshops on topics including business opportunity identification, business plan writing, entrepreneurial concepts, CV writing and source of financing for the local youth who were interested to start their own small businesses.

During our work, we found the local youth can be shy, yet love to share when the ice broke. We loved the interactive workshops that we had with them, regardless of the number of attendants we had. Sometimes we are frustrated, as the locals do not prefer to come out after a rainfall, yet sometimes we got more surprises from the people who showed up. In addition, Ghanaians are very polite people, highly religious and honourable. Our home stay mom was on top of that. She treated us as her own children and made us a home in Ghana.

Our group had an eventful project yet through the interaction with YCI, we realized that they are taking very good care of us, both in normal or emergent situations. This is what we appreciate the most for. And one key point that I would recommend for people to join YCI's program.

Throughout the project, volunteers were able to develop the capabilities in terms of teamwork, leadership and public speaking skills, adding the professional knowledge related to the project goal. Also, we get a taste of living in an entirely different environment which can be challenging. It changes people positively as long as there is eagerness to open oneself up to this world. And there is way to learn!

How can this program be improved?

I am impressed with the information that YCI organized and delivered for the project participants' learning and reference. To go further, I would prefer that in addition to the paper materials, alternative methods can be added to the pre-learning session. For example, in the pre-learning session, YCI can put the participants in the scenario which they would most likely encounter in the local community, for example in a role play, and deliver the mock experience to them. Moreover, and integrated learning sessions can be held in the team context so the group can know one another better before going into a challenging changing environment. If the team works well, it would certainly enhance the quality of work in the project.

Default avatar
Kayla
Female
24 years old
Canada
Other

It is what you make it

7/10

Your volunteer experience will open your eyes to an entirely different world and your enjoyment depends on how you handle it. Our situation was a unique in that we were working on a pilot project with a lot of ambiguity. YCI did a good job of giving us everything we needed to work with but it was up to us to decide the best methods for our project. This freedom has pros and cons.. pro: ability to make local adaptations, change easily, huge sense of accomplishment and cons: lots of ambiguity, increased responsibility to not only teach the lesson plans but create them. Would recommend to anyone who is willing to put in the work it takes to create something meaningful. :)

How can this program be improved?

Location was somewhat isolated, would have benefited from being around other volunteers from a social perspective.

Default avatar
Leelee
Female
42 years old
Barbados
University of Sussex

Akwaaba Ghana & YCI!

9/10

I had always wanted to volunteer internationally and in 2010 the opportunity came up when Youth Challenge International had 20 scholarships for its 20th anniversary. I was one of the first non-Canadian volunteers on the program and since I was born in Guyana and lived in the Caribbean, I ruled out Guyana and Costa Rica and applied for a one month program in Ghana instead. While the scholarship covered some of my costs, I still had to fund raise which is a critical component of the YCI program and it allowed me to be creative with my efforts (dog sitting, baby sitting etc.). I also like the online program and support where I was able to share with other volunteers how we were preparing for this adventure.

Once in Ghana we had in country orientation and debriefs and we always had the support of the Country Program Manager. I must admit it was a bit overwhelming at first, new environment, new skills being developed but sometimes you do need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone in order to grow and become a better person.

The one difficulty I encountered was a short bout of a bad reaction to some food but that was over and done with in 24 hours.

I was able to work with my peers to develop and deliver training programs in Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Active Citizenship and much more.

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David
Male
24 years old
Ottawa, Canada
Carleton University

A very hands-on experience

8/10

The living conditions for my YCI project were excellent and the community was a wonderful place. YCI supplied us with a wealth of resources, but also a huge amount of free-reign, and consequently responsibility. At first this was very overwhelming; however the support staff they have in the field are fantastic, and after a few rocky weeks, I was working like a dog and loving every minute of it.

For this project you'll need a lot of initiative because YCI will not spoon-feed you, and every day will be different. YCI's pre-project preparation could be better, so I would highly advise talking to an alumni (like myself) before leaving to get a clear idea of what you've signed up for. It is not essential, but it will help mitigate the inevitable culture shock.

Leaving the community behind will be a tear-jerker, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you'll be able to keep in touch with all those you met long after you leave... I know I still do!

How can this program be improved?

I would change the pre-project preparation, hands down. I have been working on and off with YCI to streamline their online resource database, but progress has been slow. The poor preparation makes adjusting to the project hard for the first few weeks, but there is continual support from phenomenal staff/volunteers in the field, and this why I still rate YCI so highly.

Default avatar
Jean
Female
24 years old
Toronto
Queen's University

Ghana 2011 Youth Employability Review

10/10

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Ghana with Youth Challenge International. From the wonderful YCI staff, to the warm and friendly Ghanaian people we got to work with, in addition to a strong team of volunteers and the feeling that we were accomplishing meaningful goals, it was truly an amazing experience.

The staff was incredible throughout the project, from preparing us ahead of time, to in-country support, to post-project engagement. In-country, we were given enough guidance to feel supported, but had freedom to be flexible with our project. In the end, our group of 4 created our own goals and felt that we were doing what was most effective for our time there. For example, we proposed and organized a "Women and Leadership" conference for International Women's Day that celebrated powerful women leaders in the community and focused on certain women's issues that we felt needed to be discussed. So, while the staff was 100% there for us, we felt like we were in charge of the direction of our project.

What also made the experience so memorable, was getting to know the community members and working with dedicated and passionate local volunteers and leaders. We got to learn so much about a fascinating culture and experienced the Ghanaian warmth in every situation. For example, going to church on Sundays was boatloads of music and dancing (even for the non-religious!), and the celebrations of a funeral is something to be remembered.

In the end, although I ended up learning lots about international development, educational strategies, and community building initiatives, I learned the most about myself and was able to re-define important values and make some great friends along the way!

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Anon
Female
24 years old
USA

A very hands-on experience

8/10

The living conditions for my YCI project were excellent all things considered and the local community was a wonderful place. YCI supplied us (volunteers) with a wealth of resources and facilitators, but also give us a huge amount of free-reign, as well as responsibility. At first this was very overwhelming; I would highly recommend having an in-depth talk with an alumni before going for optimal preparation and ease into the project. This would mitigate my one complaint with YCI which is its pre-project preparation. But after the first few weeks, the remainder go by much too fast, and leaving the community behind will be a tear-jerker!

How can this program be improved?

Pre-project preparation, hands down. I have been working on and off with YCI to create an online resource for volunteers (both preparing to go and in the field), but progress has been slow. The poor preparation makes adjusting to the project hard for the first few weeks, but there is continual support from some phenomenal staff/volunteers in the field which is why I still rate YCI so highly.

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Devon
Female
32 years old
Toronto, Ontario
McMaster University

Great way to gain international experience

10/10

Going to Ghana with YCI was a great way to break into the field of international development. I was able to apply my knowledge while gaining experience abroad facilitating workshops and training local residents to continue YCI initiatives upon my teams' departure. YCI's head office was extremely helpful in every step of my preparation and return - they have tons of resources regarding fundraising and everything you need pre-departure - the talk with an alumni who had just returned from Ghana a month prior was extremely helpful in my preparations. YCI also was in frequent contact with us while we were in Ghana and were open to receiving feedback. Since returning I have stayed involved with the organization by volunteering at local events and giving talks to future volunteers.

The in-country staff were great advisors to us and were fun to hang out with! Working with peers close to us in age was also a great way to gain insight into the community. Our training of residents within the community also helped to ensure the sustainability of our project.

The music, delicious food, and beautiful scenery are memorable but it is the Ghanaian people who will make the greatest impression on you - they are extremely friendly & welcoming to foreigners.

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Pamy
Female
32 years old
Vancouver, Canada
University of British Columbia

My Ghana experience in 2008

8/10

When I went to Ghana back in 2008, it was a really positive experience for me. Our team was well rounded, the local community was generous and the projects we were working on were really interesting. The only issue I had, at that time, things may have changed now, is I didn't feel we made a lasting impact. I feel we touched the hearts of a lot of the young Ghanian boys and girls through our workshops and through passing on knowledge on issues they were not so sure of but I didn't know what the follow up looked like: Were there volunteers going right after us to follow up on our progress?

I absolutely loved going and have recommended the program to many. I feel, at the end of the day, that I got more from the experience as an individual than the impact I made overseas. After this experience I have dedicated my life to working in the not for profit sector, becoming more specialized in impact assessment and measurement.

The training before the trip was really good. We however were a little unclear about the project until we got to Ghana. Looking back, it would of been nice to know a bit more so those that wanted to could have prepared and researched somewhat. Our program leader, I felt, was good. She gave us space but was there when we needed her. Our team was full of bright mid twenties women and I think that helped in making our trip as successful as it was.

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Sarah
Female
42 years old
Canada
Other

A Life Changing Experience!

10/10

I first went to Ghana as volunteer with YCI in 2008 and I returned for a second placement in 2009. Literally three months later I was on a plane heading back to Accra.

Through volunteering I learned so much about myself, Ghana and most importantly, the process of development. I Loved working directly with youth and feeling the solidarity (and common ground) between young people in other countries.

YCI provided all the key components of volunteering abroad (I always felt safe, supported and that the project was useful/beneficial), it was the youth to youth work that made it such a life changing experience for me. Immediately after my first volunteer project, I returned home and applied for a post graduate program in International Development and applied for my second YCI project.

I have recommended YCI to many friends and classmates. Ghana is a fabulous country to visit, with some of the nicest, warmest people I have ever come in contact with.

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Veronica
Female
42 years old
Canada
Other

Short, but very sweet with YCI in Ghana

9/10

I recently had the opportunity to spend six weeks at the Ghana YMCA in Accra, where I was working as Marketing and Communications Innovator with Youth Challenge International. I can't say enough good things about my experience; everyone at the Ghana YMCA was exceptionally welcoming, and YCI staff friendly, helpful and professional. I felt completely supported during the duration of my stay, and while only a short placement, learned an incredible amount about the YMCA, partner relations and CIDA programming. Writing with appreciation for what YCI is working to achieve, I would recommend its programs without hesitation. I consider myself very lucky to have participated in the Innovator program.

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Stephanie
Female
32 years old
Toronto
Other

Great and rewarding experience

9/10

I really enjoyed my time in Ghana with YCI, and nearly two years later, often think about my experience and how it has shaped me.

From project implementation to experiencing a new culture, YCI Ghana provided a wide range of experiences.

The project allowed me to use the skills I gained in my education and to apply them in a very practical sense. Giving me the experience that was necessary to gain meaningful employment in a field that I am passionate about.

Through the support of the country staff, I was able to feel comfortable in a new culture, and felt that I had the tools I needed for success. While our group did have the support of YCI staff, we also were able to run the project under our own initiative.

I really enjoyed my experience volunteering in Ghana, it was a unique opportunity to work with and learn from my Ghanaian peers.

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Lisa
Female
32 years old
Ottawa, Ontario
University of Ottawa

Ghana is the place to be

8/10

I have volunteered with YCI in Ghana twice now, in 2010 and 2012. Both times, I enjoyed myself while gaining practical work experience in the field of international development.

What's not to love about Ghana, from the music to the dancing and beautiful beaches! Combine this with facilitating daily workshops on health, environment, or your field of expertise, to local peer mentors and school children and leave feeling rewarded and wanting more!

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mgbe
Female
24 years old
Halifax, NS, Canada
Other

YCI in Ghana (Youth Innovator)

10/10

I had an amazing experience volunteering in Ghana with Youth Challenge International. YCI had phenomenal support staff, both Canadian and Ghanaian, that couldn't have been more helpful. YCI provided support for all logistics, including accomodation, so that my arrival in Ghana was smooth and stress-free. The placement at a local NGO provided interesting work, and YCI supported the work I did at the partner organization. I would highly recommend others to participate in YCIs programmes.

About The Provider

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Youth Challenge International (YCI) is confident that the youth of North America has the power to make an important impact on the development of global youth as well as international community development. With youth development volunteer programs in seven countries around the world, YCI offers

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