Community DevelopmentGhana

Join a passionate team, helping to build a brighter future for rural West African communities. Get involved in diverse community initiatives to improve skills, health and wellbeing whilst living in the heart of a village community.

You will get to experience local Ghanaian life while supporting rural development. In your free time, visit the stunning local sights including waterfalls, national parks and the vibrant markets.

Apply now to be a part of the vital work being done by this 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+ (7+ 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?

Build a brighter future for some of the world’s poorest communities, roll up your sleeves and get directly involved living and working with locals. Volunteers joining the Community Development project get to do just that, playing a vital role in the charity’s life changing development work. To read more about the charity click here.

The activities you’ll get involved in are varied and diverse. Depending on your skills and the needs of the local team whilst you’re there, you will rotate around some of the following initiatives each week:

Eco Solar Light Project

Head out to surrounding villages with the local team to give solar lamps to children in remote communities. The team work in partnership with SolarAid to deliver a clean and safe alternative for children to do their homework in the evenings whilst minimising environmental impact. Assist with monitoring and evaluating through discussion with the children and their teachers.

Cycling Project

Many children can’t attend school because the distance is too far or struggle to study because they are tired from the long walk. Working in partnership with the Village Bicycle Project, this project gives children living in isolated communities access to a safe, cost-effective, and eco-friendly transport (bicycles!) to get them to school. You will help the local team with bike maintenance and safety training.

“Clean Hands Save Lives” Project

A handwashing project has been established in over 25 schools in conjunction with building toilets and handwashing facilities. By teaching children to wash their hands you will help to reduce illness and create a culture of hygiene. Visit the schools with the local team and give presentations, quizzes, and dramas to reinforce the vital training. Get involved with using ultraviolet light and gels to help children understand how germs operate on their hands.

“Tech to Teach” Project

You will help facilitate after school IT clubs that get the children engaged in learning in new and creative ways. Donated tablets are refurbished and loaded with learning resources (music, educational and cognitive development games). You don’t have to be knowledgeable about tech yourself – just come with a positive attitude and lots of enthusiasm!

Sports Coaching

Sport lovers can share their passion by organising after school sports sessions for children and the local community on the village sports pitch, improving health, concentration, team work and confidence. Sports that have proved popular in the past are football and volleyball but you are welcome to introduce new activities!

Construction

Help out with the Building project and get directly involved in building and maintaining schools, libraries and water and sanitation projects in remote rural villages.

“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 and Teaching volunteers and it's possible to combine roles.

If you have specialist skills, the team can create a bespoke volunteering placement for you and maximise your impact. This includes builders, carpenters, mechanics, electricians, doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, teachers, management and marketing specialists. Just get in touch to find out more.

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. You may be working across different villages and will transported to the volunteer site 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 Alice and Aikins. Alice is the Director of Operations, and orginally volunteered with the project herself 10 years ago. Aikins 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

2021: 9 Jan, 23 Jan, 6 Feb, 20 Feb, 6 Mar, 20 Mar, 3 Apr, 17 Apr, 1 May, 15 May, 29 May, 12 Jun, 26 Jun, 10 Jul, 24 Jul, 7 Aug, 21 Aug, 4 Sep, 18 Sep, 2 Oct, 16 Oct, 30 Oct, 13 Nov, 27 Nov, 11 Dec

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
  • Donation to Pod Environmental Fund supporting reforestation in Belize and solar lights in Ghana
  • 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 £125 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 Community Development project

Erin

“It was my first time volunteering and I’m sure I will volunteer again just because of the great experience I had with Pod. Everything was well organised - the communication was great prior to the trip. They were fantastic at answering any problems I had and equipping me with all the information I needed before I went. 

The project that we worked with in Ghana was amazing! The work they have done and still continuing to do is phenomenal - It was a pleasure to be a part of it! Everything from the food to the accommodation was amazing and I hope one day I can volunteer again because it was a very rewarding experience.”

Scott

“I had an exceptional time in Ghana, and was proud to be a part of such an excellently-run charity with some truly outstanding operational staff. The work is always meaningful and very “bottom up”... so you’re always working with the community to make it stronger, rather than awkwardly imposing ideas from afar. From a social point of view, you will form life-long friends from other like-minded volunteers that you are staying with.

From my first week of coaching, it was clear that my team hadn't received a lot of formal (in spite of a high skill/fitness level!), so it was wonderful to teach some fundamental drills and to watch my players develop on the field."

Lee

“My three weeks in Ghana were an amazing experience and something I will never forget. The team in Ghana made us feel very welcome from day one and were always on hand if we needed any help or support. The local villagers welcomed us with open arms and were some of the friendliest people I have ever met. It was fantastic to live within their community, experience their cultures and really feel like we were playing our small part in making a big difference.

Most rewarding was to see the children, both in the school and at sports coaching, so engaged and eager to learn. Seeing their development during our time there was really great.”

Mabel

“The village which we stayed at, was very friendly and welcoming. We lived as part of the village and children and locals would come round for games and a chat. Coaching football was good fun! It was chaotic at times and you had to be quite flexible but they love football and were always keen to play and learn. Lots of the girls hadn’t played much before but it was great to see them improve! It was nice to meet and work with local people of a similar age to me.

Coaching the girls was extremely challenging, however the girls showed great enthusiasm and were keen to try new things and challenge themselves. They enjoyed playing even with the limited resources and seeing them have lots of fun and improve was very rewarding. I was really impressed by the charity, I think they were very effective in empowering local Ghanaians. Living in the village, you feel part of the community and make lots of friends which I will miss!”

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 Community volunteer - Mabel

    “Coaching football was good fun! Lots of the girls hadn't played much before but it was great to see them improve! They showed great enthusiasm and were keen to try new things and challenge themselves.”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Ghana Community volunteer - Scott

    “Being accepted as the coach of a very enthusiastic, very receptive soccer team was very rewarding indeed. It was wonderful to watch my players develop on the field as they started to feel natural and comfortable.”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Ghana Community volunteer - William

    “Volunteering in Ghana far exceeded my expectations mainly in the relationships that I formed with the Ghanaians in the village who were fantastic people. It was amazing to be a part of this project!”

    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