Early LearningGhana

Help equip children with skills they will need when they start school and support vital baby-weighing sessions.

Volunteers create fun educational activities for the children at the understaffed nursery and offer greatly appreciated extra assistance whilst inspiring a passion to learn. You can also support the local nurses during community baby weighing clinics as well as working with the team promoting hand washing to local schools which improves general community health and wellbeing.

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: 2 - 12 weeks
  • Age requirement: 18+ (7+ for families or groups)
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £895 / €985 / $1110 - 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. Since the project began, the children have increased pride and enthusiasm to attend school. To read more about the charity click here.

You will assist the teacher with the day to day running of the kindergarten and class, helping equip the children with the skills they will require when they start school. You will also act as a positive role model for the children and the interaction with volunteers naturally improves the children’s English and confidence.

There are 15-25 children in the class aged 2-5 years and it can be quite chaotic, so volunteers are greatly appreciated for their assistance. You may also work with small groups and do individual sessions with the children which would not otherwise be possible as the school is understaffed. You should come prepared with ideas for activities suitable for children of different ages – think of your old favourite playground games, nursery rhymes, stories and arts & crafts sessions!

You may also help with community baby weighing. This normally takes place 3 times a month and can take 3-5 hours. You will travel with the community nurse to local villages to hold drop-in clinics for mothers with children who are under 5 years old. The drop-in baby weighing clinic monitors the children’s weight and provides them with free vaccinations.

“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 Building, 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 health sessions and baby weighing take place in and around the community and transport will be arranged when needed. The school and kindergarten are located within a few minutes’ walk of the volunteer accommodation.

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

2019: 12 Oct, 26 Oct, 9 Nov, 23 Nov

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
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 Early Learning project

Abbie

“I never really thought I was a ‘kid person’ before I went on this project but the love I felt for the kids in the village is indescribable. They are so happy all the time, even if they do have hardly anything in their lives. It was the most incredible experience of my life so far and it was so rewarding to donate your time, money and hard work to these amazing people who need it but also appreciate it so much. They will do anything for you to show how much it means to them and their families.

Most rewarding was spending the weekends and evenings with the kids. We would play games, read books, draw pictures, go on walks, have cuddles and just sit and chat. Also witnessing how happy the kids were to be spending time with me as well was very rewarding.”

Jo

“It was an amazing experience; it completely lived up to my expectations, even though I didn’t really know what to expect! The villagers were so welcoming of the volunteers - I felt like we were a real part of the community and played an important role in the everyday life of the children. Before I went, I wasn’t sure how much difference such a small charity could make, but it became clear that the impact on the local community is huge.

The support while I was there was excellent, and the project was really flexible, so if we had our own ideas or things we wanted to do outside of our chosen projects, we were able to do that. They were also keen for us to get a lot out of the experience, so we were given cultural lessons and experiences and encouraged to travel. Most rewarding was getting to know the local children and teenagers and feeling like a real part of the community.”

Lucy

“Volunteering in the villages has been an absolutely amazing experience. From the minute I arrived in the village I felt so welcomed and made to feel at home by the villagers, project manager and my fellow volunteers. I found I bonded really well with members of the local community during my month. A month may not seem like a long time, but I felt I had achieved so much in that time, working with the children was the most rewarding, worthwhile experience.

I have had some amazing experiences, which I will cherish for the rest of my life. The hardest part of this project was leaving the village to return home. The children were so enthusiastic and keen to learn that seeing how triumphant they were once they understood a new concept or even learnt a new word- was the most rewarding part of my trip. To anyone sitting on the fence, unsure whether to go for it, I say do it as it was the best decision I have ever made!”

Rebecca

“Most rewarding was getting to live in the actual village and be a part of the children’s - and the adults- everyday lives rather than watching from the sideline, and being able to contribute to them learning and having fun! Getting to know the locals who lived in the village more and more throughout your stay was also very rewarding. Throw yourself into it- you will have a much more rewarding experience if you get involved in as much as possible.

Getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing something completely different has been an amazing eye opening experience for me, and I believe that everyone should try something similar where they are doing something that is new and exciting to give them incredible memories that they will never forget. The sense of reward you get from volunteering is also amazing and I will definitely be doing it again.”

Read more reviews

3000

children taught the importance of handwashing and good hygiene

"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 Child Care volunteer – Katie

    "Volunteering in Ghana was the most amazing experience I wouldn't have changed it for the world the village and people I met where the nicest of people."

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Ghana Child Care volunteer – Lucy

    "Working with the children was the most rewarding, worthwhile experience. To anyone sitting on the fence, unsure whether to go for it, I say do it as it was the best decision I have ever made!"

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Ghana Child Care volunteer – Sasha

    "I had a absolutely brilliant time! I went to do childcare but due to the flexibility I was also able to do some teaching, which was a incredible experience. The whole project is really well run and incredibly rewarding."

    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