Justin’s Volunteer Teaching in Ghana Recap
I had the great honor of Volunteer Teaching in Ghana in November 2017. During those four weeks, I had the pleasure of working with an incredible group of children who constantly challenged me. They taught me that there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing them smile after you teach them something new.
The school is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Resources are lacking, but the dedication of the staff and other volunteers is commendable. The children immediately accept new volunteers and are incredibly caring and affectionate. When break time comes, though, chaos reigns supreme. It’s not uncommon to have half a dozen little ones hanging all over you, looking at photos on your phone, climbing on all of your limbs, and insisting that you play with them. It’s total bedlam and an enormous amount of fun! You will be exhausted at the end of each day (classes end at 2 PM), but it’s worth it. This project will also give you a much deeper appreciation for teachers and having had access to proper educational materials.
As I want all potential volunteers to have an unfiltered, honest impression of volunteering on projects with our NGO partner, I’m sharing some highlights, challenges, surprises, and frustrations I experienced during my time Volunteer Teaching in Ghana.
The road trip with the team and a group of volunteers from another organization to Cape Coast was a huge highlight. Touring the Slave Castle was a very somber experience but incredibly interesting. Relaxing at the beach all day before heading home was great as well. The local cook/chef who prepares the volunteer meals is AWESOME! We ate very well despite her working with a very small food budget.
Finding ways to keep the kids focused on their work while doing 1-on-1 sessions. I like to get them out of their seat and moving around the school (it’s mostly outdoors) to keep them engaged through more activity-based learning.
I was concerned that it would take a while for the kids to warm up to me as a new volunteer. But to my surprise, from the day I arrived, they were totally welcoming.
Finding out when I got here that I had to pay for essentially all taxi travel regardless of who was riding with me was frustrating, but the rides are ridiculously cheap so it wasn’t a big deal. Program costs are kept to a minimum, so small expenses like this are to be expected in a developing country.
It’s no surprise that Ghana is GOAT Volunteers’ most popular destination so far. Our NGO partners are fantastic and always have activities planned for volunteers. The road trip options are amazing and the facilities are very comfortable for a developing country. Since my time volunteering in Ghana, a new school was built, so the kids (and volunteers) now have a much better learning environment.