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Volunteer in Ghana

Volunteer in Ghana and discover the "Africa for beginners" with its beautiful beaches, colonial cities, and natural treasures...

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Volunteer work in Ghana

Are you looking for a unique opportunity to combine your passion for traveling abroad with the chance to support meaningful work? Ghana is known as one of the most peaceful and friendliest countries in Africa. An abundance of social projects will welcome your volunteering efforts with open arms as the people of Ghana warm your heart with their kindness. Find out more about the many ways to volunteer in Ghana and contribute to the local community. Teaching programs, childcare projects, construction, and animal care initiatives all need your help. You’ve come to the right place to find inspiring volunteer work in Ghana!

Ghana is one of the safest countries to volunteer in Africa and offers a plethora of volunteer opportunities. Before we go into more detail on where to volunteer in Ghana, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about Ghana:

  • Ghana is the first sub-Saharan country to gain its independence in 1957, postcolonialism.
  • Ghana is ranked as Africa’s most peaceful country according to the Global Peace Index.
  • Kofi Annan is one of the most well-known Ghanaians. He served as UN Secretary-General from 1997-2006.
  • You can thank Ghana for your chocolate - it is the second greatest producer of cocoa beans in the world!
  • Due to its tropical climate, malaria is the number 1 killer in Ghana.

🇬🇭 Why Volunteer in Ghana?

Also referred to as "Africa for Beginners", Ghana is the perfect starting point to explore this continent. Sustainable politics, distinct exports, and their infrastructure have played an important role in leading Ghana to become one of the most developed countries in Africa. However, despite economic growth, poverty is still a major challenge. Become a volunteer in Ghana and help improve living conditions by supporting local teams in their social projects.

Although Ghana made huge economic progress thanks to political arrangements in the past few decades, it's still a developing country that needs support from NGOs. Volunteer in Ghana and help improve the current situation by assisting in:

If you haven't thought about which field to volunteer in yet, the following overview will give you a better idea of the best volunteer opportunities in Ghana and how you can contribute.

🩺 How to do a Medical Mission Trip in Ghana

As one of the most developed countries in Africa, Ghana benefits from a stable health system, but still suffers from widely spread diseases like any other African country. Especially the process of decreasing potential epidemics in rural areas is a major task where volunteers in Ghana play an important role.

To address this problem, it's crucial for teams on-site to teach children the importance of hygiene. It’s also important to establish a solid foundation by building clinics and volunteering in hospitals in Ghana. Whether you’re a doctor or a volunteer nurse in Ghana, your work is needed. Mental health volunteers will also find meaningful volunteer jobs in Ghana.

Volunteering for a healthcare project in Ghana can be a great opportunity for you to gain practical medical experience in your field. If you have skills and experience in any medical field, don’t hesitate to volunteer. You can join many medical volunteer projects in Ghana such as:

  • Health education
  • Hospital placements
  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Medical and healthcare internships

This is a great opportunity to gain experience abroad and contribute to the medical progress of Ghana.

👩🏽‍🏫 How to Teach Abroad in Ghana

Volunteers who want to support a teaching project will have a great impact on the future of Ghana. Volunteer teachers in Ghana will focus on assisting educational initiatives that give local children the opportunity to receive an education. Education is the key to the positive development of a community.

Good English skills are extremely helpful for locals to find a job in Ghana. That’s why your help as an international volunteer teaching English to children is invaluable. Depending on your own English skills, you can help children with:

  • simple English homework
  • practicing their conversational skills
  • teaching more complex grammatical lessons

🧒🏽 How to Volunteer for Child Care in Ghana

Child care volunteers in Ghana will find plenty of childcare programs where they can make a difference. There are plenty of opportunities to work with young children and give them the attention they deserve while their parents go to work. Engage them in stimulating activities that will encourage their development. Know that this attention will make a great impact on these children.

Orphanages in Ghana

Although we don’t actively promote orphanage programs because of their controversial nature, there are still a number of carefully selected orphanage programs you can volunteer for in Ghana.

We truly believe that de-institutionalized childcare is in the best interest of children. Extensive research has shown that institutionalized childcare like orphanages can have detrimental effects on the child’s development. Please keep this in mind when you select your volunteer program.

It’s also important to keep in mind that 80% of children in orphanages aren’t actually orphans. They have been separated from their families due to poverty or for being an ethnic minority. Many of these children have experienced violence or abuse and are traumatized. This is why it is essential that volunteers MUST have the appropriate skills. If not, you could be putting yourself and the children at risk. Therefore, if you wish to work abroad in Ghana at an orphanage, you need to meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • experience in working with traumatized children
  • training as a child caretaker
  • training as a psychologist
  • training as a social worker

Volunteers are also expected to volunteer for a minimum of 3 months when volunteering for an orphanage project. This guideline is also recommended for child care projects to offer children a stable environment.

👩🏿‍🤝‍👩🏻 How to Volunteer for Community Service in Ghana

There are various volunteer opportunities in Ghana to contribute to meaningful work in the community. Are you interested in football? Well, how about combining your passion with your commitment to a good cause? Because football is a highly regarded leisure activity in Ghana, it's a way to connect with disadvantaged children. Make a difference by coaching the little champs and create a safe space where they can learn important social skills.

There are plenty of NGOs doing meaningful work in Ghana. If you’re eager to learn more about the ins and out of an NGO, then doing NGO volunteer work in Ghana will give you great insight into what it takes while helping the community get a better future. NGOs are always looking for volunteers and will welcome enthusiastic volunteers.

Whether you become a youth volunteer in Ghana, contribute to women empowerment or join a construction program, volunteering in Ghana will change the way you view the world and give you a new perspective.

🔨 How to Volunteer for Construction Projects

Another area where volunteers are needed to support the local community with building schools. You can help increase the capacity of schools and participate in reconstructing buildings. This will enable the schools to welcome more children to their classrooms which will allow more children to gain access to education.

Construction programs in Ghana are also focused on building homes for disadvantaged communities. Are you ready to roll up your sleeves to make sure families have a roof over their heads? Rest assured that these families will be forever grateful for providing them with this basic need.

🐘 How to Volunteer with Animals in Ghana

Did you know that Ghana only has 10% of its initial forests? This is why wildlife conservation is an important cause in Ghana. Your help is needed in Ghana at animal rescue centers. Ghana’s wildlife is threatened by habitat loss and poaching. These species need all the help they can get. Ghana volunteer projects in animal care give you the opportunity to learn everything about Ghana’s wildlife and put your skills to practice at the same time.

Take care of sick and injured animals by nursing them back to health or assist veterinarians in diagnostics and treatments. Either way - your effort will help to solve Ghana's veterinary problems and be a huge support for the rescue centers. Nature and animal lovers will love these projects abroad in Ghana.

🌍 Where to Volunteer in Ghana?

The majority of volunteer programs in Ghana are centered in the capital, Accra which is located along the coastline, and Kumasi, another big city that is located more inland.

Community service programs focused on healthcare and teaching are spread equally between both cities. Volunteers in Accra will experience the hustle and bustle of the big city while they support local communities and work as teachers, healthcare providers, or humanitarians.

Those who want to work in nature or with animals or do veterinary work will have a better chance in Kumasi.

🤑 How Much Does it Cost to Volunteer in Ghana?

The suggested daily budget for living as a volunteer abroad in Ghana is between US$ 12 and US$ 35. This is an estimate made considering the average price of some of the goods and services you may need. It gives you a general overview of how much things cost in this country, so you can be prepared and save the money you need.

Additional costs you should consider will be:

An exemplary overview of living costs for Ghana (in US $, for one person) is:

💲 Can I Volunteer in Ghana for free?

Yes, you can! Most volunteer opportunities in Ghana require a fee to be paid to cover your accommodation and support the volunteer organization in Ghana. This financial contribution is crucial to continuing their work.

The number of free volunteer programs in Ghana is limited but you will find them. Volunteers on a budget will also find very affordable programs in Ghana. You can search for programs that fit your budget by using the filter option on our program page. Get in touch with our live chat team if you have trouble finding it.

💡 Good to Know Before Traveling in Ghana

🦺 Is it Safe to Volunteer in Ghana?

When you travel to a different country, it’s important to familiarise yourself with its culture and social characteristics. This helps you to settle in quickly and avoid misunderstandings. These are some tips that you might find helpful:

Safety & Precautions

Listed as one of the 40 most peaceful countries in the world, there are not many precautions when volunteering in Ghana. Still, you should pay attention to the following:

  • Be aware that smoking in public areas is banned in some regions.
  • Almost no taxi-driver has a license. Use good judgment to find an appropriate one.
  • Don't leave your bags or camera on the car seat next to you while driving.
  • Always be careful if you decide to rent a bike or car. Road conditions aren't that good in Ghana.

Health Advice

Traveling always requires certain precautions, especially if you are traveling to a country with tropical temperatures and wilderness. The risks to health whilst traveling will vary between individuals and may depend on your activities, length of stay, and general health. Be sure that you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before you go.

  • Eat and drink safely: Don't eat undercooked food, avoid eating street food, and don't drink water from the tap!
  • Also, wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • Plan on how you will get health care during your stay. Get travel insurance and bring your medication with you along with your prescription.
  • Prevent bug bites: You might want to cover exposed skin, use an insect repellent, and use a bed net.
  • Be aware that rabies exists in domestic and wild animals. There are many street dogs in Ghana and you should avoid direct contact with dogs, cats, and other animals.
  • Make sure you are up-to-date with routine vaccinations before every trip. These vaccinations include MMR, Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, Chickenpox, Polio, and your yearly flu shot. Moreover, the US-based health protection agency CDC recommends Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations because you can get these diseases through contaminated food or water in Ghana.
  • If you are planning on traveling to Ghana you are required to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
  • With Ghana’s tropical temperatures, make arrangements to prevent a heat stroke. You might also experience "Harmattan", a dry desert wind. You may need to use eye drops for this.

Culture & Religion

Volunteering in Ghana isn't only about participating in a social project. Many projects encourage you to travel around the country before or after volunteering. Once you've entered this breath-taking country, you will be overwhelmed by the variety of things to see and do.

Ghanaian festivals are definitely worth a visit. Every sixth Sunday, Ghanaians celebrate Awasidee, a festival to honor the king. During this time, you can see tribal leaders leading colorful celebrations accompanied by drumming and dancing. Although Ghana is home to 100 different ethnic groups, religion is rather homogenous. The majority of the population is raised Christian or Muslim.

If you are not a religious person, the Ghanaian celebrations may still inspire you. The Ghanaian church services surprise every traveler with its liveliness.

Nevertheless, while enjoying Ghana’s culture, you should try to avoid misunderstandings. Please keep in mind that:

  • Things take time in Ghana. There's no need to be very punctual.
  • Moving your thumb up and down is a similar gesture to the middle finger in Europe.
  • Make sure you only use the right hand for eating, drinking or shaking hands.
  • Accept gifts that have been offered to you. It's considered rude to do otherwise.
  • Never swear because using vulgar words is strictly prohibited.

🕵🏽‍♀️ Who Can Volunteer in Ghana?

You might have noticed by now that each project requires different skills and abilities from their international volunteers. While you can find out the specific requirements for each project on their profiles on Volunteer World, here are some general requirements that apply to most projects in Ghana:

  • You need to be at least 18 years old for most of the volunteer projects in Ghana. When in doubt, we advise you to get in touch with the local project manager because some will accept volunteers from the age of 16.
  • You should have an intermediate level of the English language; some projects may require advanced English knowledge if you’re teaching or working on an educational project.
  • Depending on the project you're interested in, eg. working in childcare in Ghana, you might need to provide a criminal background check and a health declaration before volunteering.

❓ How to Volunteer Abroad in Ghana?

Take a look at the following 3 steps that will prepare you for your volunteer work in Ghana and an unforgettable adventure abroad:

  • Check whether there’s a match between you and the Ghana volunteer opportunity by looking at their requirements.
  • Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it’s a place you’re excited about traveling to.
  • Get in touch with the organization and see whether your expectations and schedules match up. If you want to volunteer in Ghana for a week or for a longer period of time, check the project descriptions for more details.

🛂 Do I Need a Visa to Volunteer in Ghana?

Please consider that the following information is based on a best practice approach, which has been made according to the best of our knowledge and in cooperation with several volunteer organizations. That's why you should please make sure to discuss your visa requirements with your project coordinator on Volunteer World. If in doubt, we also recommend getting in touch with the Embassy of Ghana or consulate in your country.

There are some general requirements you should comply upon your arrival:

  • Please check the current validity of your passport. Your passport should be valid for at least 6-months from the date of arrival in Ghana.
  • Make sure your passport has at least two blank visa pages. Ghana requires you to have an adequate number of unused pages in your passport. This allows for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure.
  • Check if you require a transit visa for any connections.
  • Make sure you have a valid return ticket.

Best Practice for Short-Term Volunteers

If you are planning to volunteer in Ghana for less than 60 days, you must obtain a volunteer visa. You must apply for your visa before you leave because there aren’t any visas issued at the airport on arrival. Make sure to apply for this Visa before entering Ghana at your closest Ghanaian Embassy or Consulate.

To start your application process, you have to get supporting documents from the organization you are volunteering with. The Ghanaian Embassy or Consulate will additionally provide you with all further information and give you a checklist of documents that need to be submitted to complete your application.

A volunteer visa is normally valid for 3 months from the date of issue. Keep this in mind as it means you have to enter Ghana within those three months, It’s also important not to apply too far in advance. The advice from the Ghanaian Embassy is to submit your application for a visa one month prior to the intended date of departure.

Even though your entry visa may be valid for up to 3 months, it will automatically be valid for only 2 months upon arrival at the airport.

Best Practice for Long-Term Volunteers

If you are planning to volunteer in Ghana for more than 60 days, you have to apply for a volunteer visa just like you would for a short-term stay. Make sure to apply for this Visa before entering Ghana at your closest Ghanaian Embassy or Consulate.

To start your application process, you have to get supporting documents from the organization you are volunteering with. The Ghanaian Embassy or Consulate will additionally provide you with all further information and give you a checklist of documents that need to be submitted to complete your application.

A volunteer visa is normally valid for 3 months from the date of issue. Keep this in mind as it means you have to enter Ghana within those three months, so do not apply too far in advance. The advice from the Ghanaian Embassy is to submit your application for a visa one month prior to the intended date of departure.

Once you are in Ghana, you can extend your visa every 2 months for as long as you like for about $5 US per month. The visa extension can be obtained at the Department of Immigration (Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 3:00 pm) in Kumasi, Accra, Sunyani, Cape Coast, Koforidua, and Tamale.

If you’re looking to volunteer abroad in Africa, Ghana is a top destination. With such a wide range of volunteer opportunities, you’re bound to find the perfect program for you. Those who want international work experience will also find excellent programs that will give your valuable practical experience.

Whether you’re excited about working in healthcare, with animals, want to teach, or give the local community a boost, Ghana is a great place to start! Ghana volunteer programs are waiting for your help!