Volunteer BuildingGhana

The Building team improve access to education and health by building vital facilities.

You will work alongside the local team of builders and carpenters building and renovating schools and community buildings as well as building hand washing facilities to help improve the health of the community. The project aims to alleviate poverty by improving access to clean water, sanitation facilities and schools to educate the next generations.

Experience local Ghanaian life while supporting development. Visit the stunning local sights including waterfalls, national parks and the vibrant and beautiful markets.

Support the vital work being done by the award winning charity!

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Key Info

key info
  • Location: Rural village in Eastern Ghana
  • Start dates: Throughout the year
  • Duration: 1 - 12 weeks
  • Age requirement: 18+ (13+ for families or groups)
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £795 / €875 / $985 - see fees table below
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Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Volunteers live in the heart of an African village and play a vital role in the charity’s life changing development work. With the help and funding from building volunteers, the community have seen an improved standard of living through access to safe drinking water, toilets and much needed health clinics, as well as better education facilities. To read more about the charity click here.

You will be working in a team on projects such as building a school, a health clinic, rain water harvesting, improving sanitation by building a toilet block or hand dug wells. Depending on the current building stage it may involve digging foundations, mixing mortar, cutting / moving / treating timber, fixing window mesh, laying cement, building walls, plastering or painting. You may also be involved in the maintenance and repairs of previous builds.

You don’t need to have any specialist experience, just enthusiasm, energy, an open mind and patience! Experienced local masons, carpenters and craftsmen will lead the work, teaching you the required skills and supervising you. The building techniques and tools available are very different in Ghana so the team will ensure you have the necessary skills to work safely.

If you have specialist experience then you can pass this onto the local team, who have limited access to training within Ghana and are eager to develop their skills.

“We love our volunteers and the community welcomes them with open arms! They are a key part of the charity and the team in Ghana. They help the local team assist and reach more communities by giving their time and energy”
Neil, Charity Director

Other roles

The charity also needs Early Learning, Photography, Sports Coaching and Teaching volunteers and it's possible to combine roles.

In addition to the main roles, you may have the opportunity to get involved in additional activities such as IT mentoring and the after school club. Click here for more information.

Typical day

In your first few days in the village you will have an amazing introduction and welcome ceremony with the Chief, Elders and the community as well as an induction for your role and living in Ghana.

Volunteers normally work 5 days a week with 2 days off. Working days generally start at 8am and finish at 4pm. The building projects take place across villages in the local region and volunteers will be transported to the building site by a four-wheel-drive vehicle each day.

On your days off, there are lots of fun free time activities to do.

Other volunteers

There are usually 1-5 volunteers, with a maximum of 20 when there are larger groups.

Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) award

This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award.

Child Protection

Pod is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults - please see our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy. All volunteers are required to have a criminal records check, which we will arrange with you.

Local support

You will be supported by the friendly and experienced local team of international and local staff, led by Fiona and Aitkins. Fiona is the Director of Operations, with a background in public and civil society roles. Aitkins is the Volunteer Coordinator and grew up in the local community so is a great source of advice and help for volunteers.

Accommodation

Volunteers live in the heart of the community, opposite the village primary school. The main volunteer accommodation is shared dormitories. Alternatively, there is a private basic mud hut available for couples, which is located a few minutes’ walk from the volunteer base.

There is an outside communal area and kitchen where volunteers can cook, eat and socialise; there is also an inside kitchen with a fridge and a social area next door to the volunteer bedrooms.

There is intermittent 3G internet access in the village.

Meals

Volunteers visit the local market weekly to buy food and take it in turns to cook meals for the rest of the group. A member of the local team is also available to offer any help you might need with cooking or to teach you a few Ghanaian meals!

Here are typical examples of the food you will have: 

  • Breakfast – toast, spreads and porridge 
  • Lunch and Dinner – you will be provided with basic ingredients for you to use such as pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, noodles, sauces, fresh local fruits and vegetables. Meat is a luxury in the village and is rarely eaten

Vegetarians and vegans are welcomed and can be catered for.

Volunteers buy bottled drinking water.  

Location and free time

The projects are based in a friendly village in the heart of rural, tropical Africa. The village is 2.5 hours’ drive from Accra, the capital city. The village is home to 400 members of the community and most are subsistence farmers. It is a very welcoming community and they love having volunteers helping in the village. Culturally it is very important to take time to greet the members of community and talk to them.

Volunteers usually spend afternoons reading in the hammocks and evenings relaxing playing card games, enjoying a weekly meal with a local family, visiting the vibrant local market or making a trip to a local bar once a week.

In their free time, volunteers can explore more of vibrant and friendly Ghana. Whether that’s Shai Hills nature reserve, historical Cape Coast and Elmina Castle or the tropical Volta Region – there is plenty to see! The nearby city of Koforidua has a weekly bead market that draws bead buyers and sellers from all over the region and is a popular place for volunteers to visit on a day off. Boti falls and Umbrella Rock in the Yilo Krobo District of Ghana and Aburi Botanic Gardens are also popular destinations, or for the more adventurous, Kakum National Park has a canopy walk through the treetops. These activities are best booked locally once you are at the project.

Travelling in Ghana before or after your placement

Ghana is widely regarded as one of the most friendly and safe destinations in western Africa. It is an ideal destination for first-time visitors to Africa. In the heart of West Africa, it is an exciting country to volunteer in and experience traditional life in a beautiful relaxed environment. Popular activities in Ghana that you might like to combine with your project include:

  • Exploring the fascinating local sights such as Umbrella Rock
  • Visiting Accra and learning about the history of the city
  • Exploring historic Cape Coast 
  • Visiting Larabanga Mosque and Mole National Park

For more information on Ghana and some of the things we loved when we visited there please see our Ghana country page. This also features all our other Ghana volunteering projects as you might like to consider combining this project with one of the others we offer to make a trip of a lifetime! 

Climate

The Eastern region of South Ghana has a year-round tropical climate, being hot and humid throughout the year. The dry months are from November to March and in July and August, with the heaviest rains typically falling from April through to June. Temperatures are typically around 25-30 degrees Celsius, reaching up to 38 degrees on a hot day and lows of 19 degrees on a cold night. Even during the rainy season, Ghana can still enjoy averages of 5 hours of sun a day and downpours are usually powerful but shortlived.

Dates

Start Dates

2020: 11 Jan, 25 Jan, 8 Feb, 22 Feb, 7 Mar, 21 Mar, 4 Apr, 18 Apr, 2 May, 16 May, 30 May, 13 Jun, 27 Jun, 11 Jul, 25 Jul, 8 Aug, 22 Aug, 5 Sep, 19 Sep, 3 Oct, 17 Oct, 31 Oct, 14 Nov, 28 Nov

Closure Dates

15 Dec 2019 - 11 Jan 2020

What's Included

Included

  • Dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist to support you
  • Airport pick up (Accra)
  • Accommodation - shared
  • Food - all main meals
  • Induction and training, including health & safety and culture
  • Local introductions and tours
  • Local language lessons given by the Headmaster of the school
  • Support from the local team
  • Support from the Pod Volunteer UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Volunteering certificate and reference (on request)

Not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Criminal record / police check
  • Vaccinations and medication
  • Transfer from the project
  • Living costs - snacks, drinks, laundry
  • Any tourist trips / activities you choose to do in your free time
Price table
1 week £795 GB Pounds
2 weeks £895 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £100 GB Pounds

Discounts

  • £75 discount for every additional project you book as part of the same trip
  • £100 discount for any family members who are under 18
  • £75 discount if you have previously volunteered with Pod Volunteer 

Where the money goes - financial transparency

Your fee covers the overseas costs of volunteering and the costs of running our organisation in the UK, on a non-profit basis.  For more details and a breakdown of our costs please click here.

Book with confidence - financial protection

All monies paid to us are financially protected through The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT). 

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Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com

Read volunteer reviews from the Building project

Philipp

“It was my first volunteering experience and I absolutely loved it. I was placed in Abenta, near Adawso, and took part in Building and Early education projects, and even whenever you feel like you have nothing to do, you can just ask anyone for a task or find something on your own. 

The people I was there with were the most pleasant personalities I ever came across. Not just with the local team on site, but also the people in Abenta, in other villages, on the market, wherever you go!”

Ronan

“I really enjoyed my time in Ghana and feel like I made a second home in the village. When I researched volunteering I wanted to really do some hard work to help a community less advantaged than mine - not just a token day or two helping out here and there. I definitely received that opportunity in Ghana, some days I came home from the building site absolutely exhausted but feeling great about what I had accomplished!

The atmosphere created at the base and in the village is incredibly welcoming and supportive and I feel like I really got to know the volunteers and staff. Travelling to Ghana and opening my eyes to local perspectives has been humbling. Life for locals is far more difficult yet they always seem to have a smile on their faces and I hope what I learnt from the experiences there will stay with me for a long time.”

Zita

“My time in Ghana was absolutely amazing. I was involved in the construction of a Health Clinic and a Creche. The team there is fantastic and very welcoming. I loved working with the builders there as they were fun and very inspiring. For me, it didn’t take long to get used to the village life though it was strange waking up to natural noises instead of cars and sirens.

I would highly recommend anyone who would like to take a break and would like a challenge in his/her life. You get to know great characters and a beautiful country with its breathtaking treasures. Most rewarding was the people I’ve met and that I was part of something great for two weeks which will go on to make great impact on the village life.”

Dave

“Overall I had a fantastic experience and would recommend this to anyone. The Team in Ghana we excellent - they had everything organised, even the social events! I worked on 2 building projects along with another UK guy and a group of American Students. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of comrades! It was hard work at times, but I felt very rewarding.

The greatest reward was meeting the people. Both Ghanaian’s and volunteers. Also experiencing their culture and feeling in some very small way - I actually helped. The Ghanaian people are so welcoming and friendly. Go on…take the plunge!! I did and feel great for the experience.”

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people given access to fresh water after the construction of a new well

"It was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever! Pod Volunteer provided the ideal amount of support and guidance"Satvinder

Bee

Pod UK Specialist

Bee has visited the project, apply and you'll hear from her soon!

We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.

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VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Ghana Building volunteer – Adam

    “My month in Ghana was my far the most rewarding and humbling ever and I would encourage any potential volunteers to book up immediately! We were looked after extremely well, given constant guidance and support.”

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  • Ghana Building volunteer – Janet

    “It was such a rewarding experience! We were constructing a school alongside a local building crew who were incredibly welcoming, positive, and hard-working. I can't recommend this project enough!”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Ghana Building volunteer – Michael

    “Seeing the building work improve and knowing that you participated in it is so rewarding because you know you're really helping a community. You develop a different perspective on life and definitely grow as a person.”

    Read more volunteer reviews

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AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal