Nurturing the potential of the differently abled
Interested in Woodfield Manor and want to Volunteer ?
What happens on arrival?
The nearest airport to the project is Accra. We will send you flights details to the local team for you and once you arrive at the Accra airport, one of the regular drivers will be waiting for you with your name on a sign. More detailed instructions for your arrival are emailed closer to travel. 90% of all volunteer flights to Accra arrive in the evening between 7pm and 9pm.
The money exchange desk is still open if you want to get the local currency, Cedis. On arrival at the hostel if it is late, the housekeeper will be waiting to take your luggage to your room and show you where the bathroom is before you take a much needed sleep.
On your first morning and after a complimentary breakfast, the volunteer programme manager will escort you to town to buy a SIM card, change money and go shopping for any basics from drinking water, soft drinks and snacks. On return, they will cover all the project options and discuss which area you are most interested in. Most non-health volunteers decide on their chosen areas after chatting at this stage.
What is a normal day like in Ghana?
As with flexible and informal volunteering anywhere in the world, schedules can change at the last minute due to local projects and schools closing or organising their own activities without notice. A typical schedule follows below:
Most volunteering takes place on Monday to Friday or Monday to Thursday if the volunteer group has chosen a longer weekend tour. The coordinating team always endeavour to offer a day off here and there as may be required, perfect for local exploration relaxing in a local pool or some lesson planning.
A volunteer schedule to give you an idea of what to expect.
08:00 – All volunteers leave the house after breakfast to go down to meet
the children who start arriving by 7:30am.
09:00/09:30 – Classes starts.
12:00 – Lunch / volunteers supervise and play with children
13:00 – Classes continues
15:30/16:00 – School closes and planning for the next day.
16:30 – Volunteers may take taxis together or public transport to town, stopping off at Erata hotel on the way for a swim as the hotel has a larger pool for a small fee, some go on to Central Accra to walk around.
17:30/18:00 Volunteers all back at the house to relax, eat, watch TV and plan the next day’s activities.
What else do I need to know?
Are meals provided?
The volunteer programme in Ghana is usually self-catering. Between Monday and Friday most volunteers shop for their breakfast, lunch and dinner on at the end of the day. Most weekends are spent traveling or on the coast where hotels and nearby cafes are plentiful.
If you would like to cook meals, the house has its own large kitchen accessible to volunteers. Pasta, rice and instant noodles and other staples are easily available in local shops. There are markets at Adenta and a big main market at Madina to buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. Dairy products are in short supply in Ghana, as much as of Africa. Laughing cow processed cheese is about the only available cheese product. Sometimes, flavoured milk drinks can be found.
What do i need to take, equipment wise for me?
Essential: malaria tablets, small backpack for everyday use to carry all your resources, snacks and water to your project.
Recommended: Wet wipes, hand cleaning gel, mosquito repellent (50% Deet), shower flip flops, buy toilet roll on arrival, umbrella handy for rainy season (May to September), coloured beach and bath towels so won’t show the dirt, swimwear (two sets ideal for longer stays), plenty of clothes and underwear and washing in a bucket tricky! Sheets or-single duvet cover to sleep inside, most hostels you visit in your free time will not have any bedding.
Optional: Sun cream, old mobile for Ghanaian SIM card, lmmodium tablets, practical sandals and trainers, pillow, board games/books for evening, DVDs to watch, small travel kettle (there is a pot to boil water in the volunteer house), torch, Ghana guide by Bradt has been recommended. For female volunteers, tampons are easily available, biodegradable ones or a Moon cup may be an alternative to save on waste.
Is the water safe to drink?
Drinking water is usually bought in 500ml sachets for under GH¢1 (One Cedi) , about 50 British pence and bottled water at GH¢1.50. Many volunteers manage well at the house on soft drinks and tea and coffee.
Will there be other volunteers?
We can Buddy you up with another volunteer so you can fly out together, just let us know at the time of booking. Even if you do travel alone, and about 7 in 10 do, you will never be alone on this this busy and popular project.
What happens if I book with a friend?
All friends are met on arrival and transferred to the volunteer house together. Let us know at the time of booking that you are traveling with a friend so we can place you both at same volunteer house.
How much is it to volunteer in Ghana?
After you have booked on to the programme with the once-only registration, the weekly project costs for the Ghana programme are £95 pw for week l and 2 and £50 from week 3 onwards (this includes accommodation and organization of the placements by your dedicated volunteer support team). Get in touch and we will be happy to go through all the costs with you including the little things you might not have thought of!
Airport pick up from Accra is £13 and is organised for you before arrival. All volunteers purchase a return flight to Accra (Kotoka is the name of the Accra airport, airport code ACC) and travel insurance (this can be added on easily when you buy your flight).
A visa is required for all visitors and costs approximately £655 if bought in the UK. Allow £7 – £10 a day for meals and local transport. If you buy western imported brands you may need a little more. In 2016, Pringles crisps and similar products were often bought daily and these will not help you keep to a £7 a day budget!
Don’t forget to bring extra for the many trips which are available, £100 should cover a basic highlights tour and a weekend at the coast with other volunteers, although like any holiday it is a good idea to take as much as you can extra in case to cover anything else you might want to do in your free time or things you may w-ant to buy or donate for the project you are working with.
What additional costs are there?
Because of the lack of funding for any resources some projects require an additional contribution. The projects requiring these are buildings and conservation.
How much does it cost to volunteer in Africa? It’s less than you think.
Ghana prices accommodation in our modern volunteer house and an experienced local coordinator to escort and assist you during your stay. These cost are separate: Registration to join creating new beginnings volunteers £125, return flights to Accra, £26 airport pick up and return, visa, jobs, daily spending. Please note the school programme requires an extra once-only cost of $100 Dollars paid locally for to the school. Building and conservation volunteers should allow at least £50 extra per week for tools and materials use on your project.
Volunteer Period Price (UK) Price (US)
1 Week £95 $130
2 Weeks £190 $260
3 Weeks £240 $320
4 Weeks £290 $385
5 Weeks £345 $460
6 Weeks £395 $525
8 Weeks £495 $660
10 Weeks £595 $790
12 Weeks £645 $860
TRIP INFO FOR GHANA
Ghana placement details
Volunteer in Ghana in health, building, conservation, teaching, play work and sport where you can combine experiences on the same trip. Perfect for first time volunteers of all ages, young and mature looking to help the poorest children through play work and teaching. Sport or repairing work at the school.
Health students and qualified health professionals, psychologists, ADHD nurses, speech and language therapists are also in need at the school as well as gardeners, swimming instructors, painters, electricians, plumbers and cooks. Not sure what you would like to do? Choose after arrival when you have met the local team and chatted to other volunteers who arrived before you.
Below you will see everything you need to know about the programme, including how it works, daily schedules, costs, health and safety and popular free-time trips available. Got a question big or small? Ask us!
If you need help with funding and are lucky enough to be under 25 years old you can google the potential sources for travel awards. If you are self-funding your trip, no need to panic, our Ghana programmes costs are kept as low as practically possible and are £95 per week including accommodation, housekeepers and a support team to help you during your stay. From week 3, programme fees, which include accommodation, drop to £50 per week to help you stay and help that bit longer if you can.
What can I do in Ghana?
Our Ghana volunteer programme offers an unrivaled variety of projects to get involved with. Volunteer choose one or more of the following arrears to work in: play work, sport, teaching, health, building, repair work. Fill a call back form to talk to a Ghana projects advisor today who will be happy to guide and advice on all aspects of our Ghana programme. All ages are welcome and no experience is required for non-health volunteer options.
Can I volunteer with infants and young children?
Yes, our children range from 5 – 16 years. From nursery songs, colouring and playing with toys to washing dirty hands, cuddles and care work can be exhilarating. Working with young children can be very rewarding as you watch them grow and know you have been involved with their development.
What is it like to be volunteer teacher?
Volunteers can also choose between primary and secondary schools. We can organize for this. The preferred choice is for primary schools. Volunteers often share classes or divide the class up into smaller groups of ability as preferred.
When schools are closed for the holidays, summer schools are opened up and classes operate. The children receive very little education even during term times that it is in their necessary for teaching and it is very relaxed.
Often there are few local teachers (if any sometimes) so you will not feel you are being judged and have more freedom to explore ideas. In the summer volunteers often share classes with two or three other volunteers together at the front of the class. Mostly, the children just need help with reading, writing, spelling and some very basic adding and subtraction.
Basic number skills will be important. You may like to introduce them to their own Ghanaian currency and set up a shop where they can practise. Also there is always an opportunity to introduce new activities. Art and craft activities are always popular. Some children will not have a pencil or paper at home so do provide everything you can.
Fun sports days are popular, Woodfield Manor School offers water at all times as well as juice and snacks. This may not be the case in all schools, some children may be malnourished or may have a distance in the heat to get to class and may not be so enthusiastic to run an egg and spoon race. Find out more with call back from one of our expert advisors on how we can make use of your skills even if you have never taught before.
Can I do building work?
Yes! Nearly everyone has a go at something during their stay whether mixing cement or painting the walls of a new classroom. It can be great fun to work as part of a team whether you choose to build throughout your stay for a day to help the others out with an extra pair of hands.
Recent projects have varied from repairs to existing classrooms, toilet blocks, installing water boreholes and repairing homes to laying sewage pipes. Some of the schools that volunteers work at were built by volunteers just like you from scratch without any real funding, just small donations and hard graft which added up to a whole school over time!
Bring at least £50 a week for materials if building is your thing, although for the most basic projects you might only need a few pounds a week if you only need to buy some lime wash or a bag of sand and nails. No experience or not sure how to get started? One of our team will be happy to give you a call to discuss the building programme in more detail and help with any questions you have.
What sport volunteer options are there?
There is plenty of opportunity to get the children together to play sport. Although football is the national sport, the children are always keen to try something new from rounders to volleyball to ‘fun’ sports day events and athletics.
Volunteers with sports coaching and swimming instructing backgrounds can work with all ages (5 to 16) to coach and organize tournaments. For more serious coaching, it is recommended to spend at least a week on this rather than a day on and a day off. Spaces for coaching are limited to 2 – 3 volunteers at a time.
Free time in Ghana
All activities and excursions below can be organised for you by your volunteer coordinator. Let us know before travel on your final form or at any time if there is any trip below you are interested in.
There is no obligation or payment before arrival but it will be helpful for the coordinators to know how many are interested so they can organise a group trip around everyone’s dates and fit this in around the project work. Group trips are in case more fun when shared with others. There is a notice board at the volunteer houses with trips, costs and details.
Got a question about how much time you will have, places to visit and how it’s organised over there? Fill in call back form and we’ll be happy to help. Seeing the country helps you to get to know Ghana better and understand the area you are volunteering in enabling you to compare to the other places you visit.
Here is a suggested itinerary preferred by volunteers over three weekends:
weekend 1: Cape Coast canopy walkway/slave castles/monkey sanctuary and beach.
Weekend 2: Mole National Park, the best wildlife West Africa has got to offer.
Weekend 3: The rest of the Kokrobite beach/ Kumasi Region/Ada Beach Estuary.
Prices from just £25
Coordinators regularly organise guided tours for the volunteer group to Cape Coast which include the beaches, slave castles and the canopy walks at Kakum (see below). Approximate cost per volunteer £25 – £45. Going with the volunteer group is a great way to see everything quicker and cheaper than on public transport. Coordinators can usually get volunteers into parks on reduced entry fees too.
LIVE WITH CROCODILES
From £20 a night
If you are to go to Cape Coast beaches at the weekend with the other volunteers, Hans Cottage is popular. A quirky beach side hotel with swimming pool, it even has its own reptile pond where they look after crocodiles. Pet them only if your nerves can handle it.
OASIS HOTEL AND CLUB
Price from just £10
Although most volunteers will stay at Hans Cottage when they visit the coast, oasis has a bar and party nights which are popular with the young backpacking crowd.
Volunteers on the tree top canopy walkway at Kakum
KAKUM NATIONAL PARK
Entrance approx… £10
A visit to Kakum is best organised as part of a long weekend together with a visit to Cape Coast which is only 10 minutes away. Entry approx. £10, guides available
Kokrobite ‘Rastafarian# beach. Popular with the younger volunteers
Bus and hotel approx. £35
Very popular place that is becoming a bit of a backpackers destination, volunteers tend to stay at Millie’s but there are few guesthouses along the beach. Kokrobite is a Rastafarian community so lots of reggae and drumming on the beach. The beach is about 40 minutes from Accra, 70 Cedis for return trip in private van. Do not take valuables to Kokrobite and do not swim when the currents are string, stick to paddling and sun bathing”.
MOLE NATIONAL PARK
Safari tour from £100
Allow 3 days for this incredible trip to the heart of Africa to see Buffalos, elephants and crocodiles up close. Despite the 10 hour journey, every volunteer recommends it! The coordinating team organise everything for the volunteer group to go as there is only one hotel and getting there is difficult without a car. Cost approx. £100 including accommodation.
The Adriatic pool area at Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel, Accra.
TRADITIONAL DRUMMING AND DANCING
Price from just £5
Every six weeks or so, a local festival takes place in nearby countryside with a full display of traditional dancing, drumming and the odd animal sacrifice of a goat or hen. Attendance can be arranged. Also, a separate viewing area is provided for squeamish observers and tourists wanting to focus on the dancing.
SWIM IN LAKE VOLTA
Hire a boat for £10
Swimming in the world’s largest man-made lake. Lake Volta is the largest man-made lake in the world. Volunteers hire a fisherman and boat to swim for the afternoon or watch the sunset over the water. Cost of boat hire only, approx. £10
Experience something unique at a Sunday Worship
Price from just £1
Experience Sunday worship-Ghana style. Anyone around at the volunteer house on Sunday must get down to the local Church for Sunday mass. In most churches, it is a colourful “happy-clappy” event and participatory. To witness “speaking in tongues” and “miracle making” check out the Pentecostal churches for a surreal experience. Volunteers recommend. Prices from just £1 for collection.
The now famous Easter paragliding festival.
EASTER PARAGLIDING FESTIVAL
Launched in 2003 and growing in popularity as part of the Easter festival, join in the fun at the annual paragliding festival with paragliders from all over the world donating their time to support local good causes. See local chiefs, traditional dancing and drumming and enjoy good food all up the hill. You might not get a chance to paraglide due to demand and cost of a flight (all proceeds go to local projects) but there’s a great atmosphere and it’s local.
Swim and boat at this ancient meteorite crater.
Price from just £25
Swim or hire a pedalo at this ancient meteorite impact crater, Ghana’s only natural lake. 5 miles across, it is a popular recreational area with beaches, hills surrounding and villages and resorts. Approximately 2 hours from the volunteer houses near Kumasi. Most volunteers making a trip here will stop by the Golden Tulip hotel in Kumasi for a buffet style meal and use of swimming pool. Travel and hotel from just £25.
The local dish of Jollof rice and Wankye is tasty
WHERE TO EAT
Price from just £1
Erata hotel is popular as well as many decent hotels. Jollof rice is the most popular local dish volunteers enjoy as main dish. In the morning, most volunteers may have breakfast at the house or buy a delicious omelette sandwich breakfast. For lunch and dinner after volunteering is done for the day, meals can be taken at volunteer-recommended food stalls at Adenta or Madina.
Kempinski Gold Coast hotel, Accra.
A beautiful evening swimming pool scene at the Kempinski Gold Coast hotel, Accra.