Known as West Africa's "golden child" in part for its massive gold deposits and its sunny beaches (the "gold coast"), Ghana was also the first African nation to successfully achieve independence from the European colonists. A stable, fast-growing multi-party democracy since 1957, the country is now lauded as one of the continent's greatest success stories. Rich offshore oil deposits and cocoa (as well as gold and other minerals) have funded Ghana's continued economic development and the country has invested in education and the development of industry.
As much as Ghana is a great place to visit, there is still need. The majority of Ghana's population lives in rural regions and are involved in agriculture. Primary education is free but secondary schools are in short supply, as are healthcare facilities outside of the major cities. A large population of people with AIDS and HIV has also led to a significant number of young orphans and there is little support for the disabled or chronically ill. Our volunteers work with the acclaimed activist Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, whose national Education Fund helps support young people and the physically challenged.
What You Will Remember...
Ghana has its own blend of hip hop, jazz, and traditional African music and dance and a strong tradition of Rastafarian reggae. Drums and dance are part of the country’s soul and the intricate beats of the djembes play as a constant soundtrack almost everywhere you visit. It is happy music that lures people onto their feet.
Ghana is a remarkably diverse country. Home to more than 100 ethnic groups and 70 dialects, the country also has diverse ecology ranging from coastal savannahs to tropical jungles and including spectacular rivers and waterfalls and the world’s largest manmade lake. There are bustling cities, a burgeoning tech industry and national preserves teeming with a wide range of wildlife.
Family and friends (new and old) are of utmost importance in Ghana. There is hierarchy and a formality to social interactions but politeness and hospitality are universal. Ghanaians enjoy entertaining visitors and go out of their way to ensure everyone feels welcome and comfortable. You may come a visitor but will leave as family.
Projects are based on community needs and vary from trip to trip. Here
are examples from recent trips.
The Young Dreamers Network hosts a youth summit
Meeting up with local Young Dreamers in Accra
Students recognized for academic honors at girls high school
Partnering with athlete, activist, and dreamer Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah
Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah continues to train to raise money for St. EGIS (school)
Skills training at the Mission and Mandates workshop
In addition to volunteering, you will have time to travel and explore
some of the many highlights the country has to offer.
Learning about cocoa in the botanical gardens
Shopping for beads in Koforidua
A view of Accra from the ridge
Headed to a match
Strangler figs in the Botanical Gardens
People-watching in Accra
Colorful and musical celebrations
Kyinkyinga (pronounced "chinchinga"), favorite street food
Independence Day festivities in Koforidua
Attending a ceremony hosted by the King of Korofidua
Check out our upcoming trips to Ghana:
From playing soccer with local kids to attending an official ceremony with a Tribal Chief, to helping launch a job-training facility for the community of Koforidua, this trip was a completely rewarding and exciting experience!