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Plan My Gap Year

Caring for Disabled Children

This is a fantastic project for anyone interested in contributing to the lives of disabled children and granting them the support and education they deserve.

Around 5 million people in Ghana live with a disability, which is around a fifth of the population. Approximately 100,000 Ghanaian children aged 6-14 have a disability and more than 16,000 of these children are out of school. Children with disabilities are often left at home, unable to go outside the house let alone make it to school. Many are shunned for their disability, marginalised and forgotten.

Ghana has recently introduced a nationwide inclusive education policy. It works on two fronts – enforcing the rights of children with disabilities to an education as well as educating parents through community sensitisation programmes. Resources are now being invested in addressing these issues on a national scale.

Whilst the government is making big steps to support people with special needs, the facilities that support them are still understaffed and families often do not have the means to give their child the support they need.

Essential Programme Information

As for all our volunteer programmes in Ghana, it is possible to combine multiple projects during your time with us. If this is something you’d like to do, then please apply for the main programme you’d like to take part in but also outline in your online application the details of the other projects you’d like to do. Our local team will finalise the details of your placements during your in-country orientation.

For the majority of our programmes you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the programme – particularly if you’re looking to travel between June and August, as spaces can fill up very quickly during this period.

It is best that you apply sooner rather than later as some of our programmes only have a limited capacity and spaces get filled very quickly. 

Travel tips

You should arrive into Kotoka International Airport in Accra (airport code ACC) on the selected Sunday start date. Programmes start on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure. The programme ends on the Sunday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

Can I use this program as part of a university or college placement? 

It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.

The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions. 

In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances. 

When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our UK team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.

While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups

Typical day

Volunteers are encouraged to spend one on one time with children in here who struggle with limited communication skills and in an attempt to promote positive inner mood and character development for the children.

Volunteers assist in a number of other capacities at the project too. Those with experience or a specific area of interest are encouraged to get involved and lead in physical and speech therapy sessions. Volunteers are encouraged to provide as much interaction and assistance to the children and young adults from singing songs and counting to going on walks and helping the local staff with feeding, washing and cleaning activities.

Working with disabled children can be an immensely challenging role, but one that brings with it great reward, variety and excitement! You will need to be enthusiastic and patient in order to succeed in this role.

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Any questions? Just ask. We at Plan My Gap Year are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator

Free-time activities

PMGY volunteers are based in a friendly neighbourhood of Ghana’s second city, Kumasi. The volunteer house is a 45-minute drive into Kumasi city centre, which is still dripping with Ashanti traditions and has some interesting sights.

Kumasi is still the heart of Ashanti country and the site of West Africa’s largest cultural centre, the palace of the Ashanti king. The city is surrounded by rolling green hills and has a vast and vibrant central market.

Close to the market is the city’s National Cultural Centre which encompasses a museum of Ashanti history and you can even try your hand at traditional dance and drumming classes!

KUMASI (KEJETIA) CENTRAL MARKET

One of the largest markets in West Africa with up to 11,000 stalls and four times as many people working there, this throbbing market is utterly captivating. Just 30 minutes from your PMGY base this chaotic and buzzing spot is a labyrinth of stalls selling everything you could ever want and quite a few things you didn’t! Definitely worth a visit.

BOABENG FIEMA MONKEY SANCTUARY

The people in Boabeng and Fiema consider the monkeys to be sacred and in the 70s actually came together to pass a law prohibiting causing harm to the monkeys. The sanctuary holds about 400 Colobus and Mona monkeys. They come into the village all the time to steal things, but as the people are not allowed to hurt them, they simply get away with it!

The guides at the sanctuary will take you on a tour of the rainforest and local village, where you will see monkeys everywhere. There is also a monkey cemetery in the forest, where the priests of the village have been buried alongside monkeys that have passed away.

FURTHER AFIELD

LAKE BOSOMTWI

A popular retreat for volunteers at the weekend looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Kumasi. The lakeside area has a range of decent, inexpensive hotels that you can go to for a night or two. You can take a boat trip, go swimming, or just chill out by the lake.

BEACHES & SURFING
Not far from Cape Coast you’ll find no shortage of great beaches such as Anomabo, Elimina and Busua.

And if you fancy your hand at surfing then Busua is a small, laid back coastal village with surfing at its heart. As surf destinations go, Busua really is a frontier town: it’s home to the only two surf shops in Ghana, and almost every one of the country’s surfers live in the village. Not that there are very many of them.

With gentle waves, warm water and an absence of sharks, the beach is an alluring proposition for anyone looking to learn to surf in a tropical destination off the usual circuit. It is perfect for beginner to intermediate surfers, but the more experienced can make easy trips along the coast to find more challenging and potentially unridden waves.

KAKUM NATIONAL PARK

From Cape Coast, it is highly advised that you take a day-trip to Kakum National Park.

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Safari/Zoo
Museum/Opera
Contact & Reservation
$159
/week
$159
/week
4 - 24
weeks
4 - 24
weeks
18+
age
18+
age
Airport Pickup
Housing
Food
Internet
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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Your fee includes both your registration fee and programme fees.

Your programme fee includes
  • accommodation, 
  • all meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner), 
  • airport pickup (24 hours), 
  • in-country orientation, 
  • private transport to projects, 
  • 24 hour in-country support.

Your registration fee includes; 
  • 24 hour UK based support, 
  • comprehensive volunteer handbook, 
  • live pre-departure webinars, 
  • regular programme inspection.
Airport Pickup at Kumasi

All volunteers must arrive into Accra on the Sunday. You should book your flights into Kotoka International Airport in Accra (airport code ACC). The airport pickup is available 24 hours. Please note that if you arrive before the set Sunday start date then you are responsible for arranging your accommodation and time in Ghana until we collect you on the Sunday.

A member of our local team will be waiting for you when you arrive at the airport holding a Plan My Gap Year sign. You will be taken straight to our partner hostel near the airport. The journey will take around 20 minutes and will allow you to gather your first glimpses of this amazing country.

The rest of the day is yours to spend relaxing and getting to know your fellow volunteers. Meals on the Sunday arrival date are NOT included, so please budget between £5 to £10 for this.

Accommodation

Your first night in Ghana will be spent at a hotel near to Kotoka International Airport in Accra. Our partner hotel offers basic but comfortable accommodation. You will share a room with fellow volunteers. Rooms are fanned and have mosquito nets. A member of the PMGY Ghana team will also stay at the hotel to ensure you have 24/7 support. Our staff will travel with you to Kumasi the following day.

During your time with PMGY in Ghana you will live in our Volunteer House located in a friendly neighbourhood, 45 minutes drive from Kumasi city centre. You will find restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs in the centre of town. There is a small shop opposite the Volunteer House. The local community are extremely friendly. As soon as you step out of the house you’ll be greeted by smiling children! Just one of the amazing experiences you’ll have with PMGY in Ghana.

The accommodation is basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has bunk beds with up to 6 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with fans in the room and their own mosquito net and bed linen. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Ghana is hot all year-round!

The house has free Wi-Fi (although intermittent) and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. There is a lounge, TV and DVD player and an outside seating area. Volunteers are welcome to use the kitchen to prepare meals or even help out when meals are being prepared. We also have a refrigerator where you can store your personal food items but please remember this is dependent on electricity and power cuts can be a frequent occurrence in Ghana!

Clothes can be hand-washed or you request a local maid to wash them for you. Living in the PMGY Volunteer House offers a great social experience. Volunteers are given their own privacy and locks to their rooms, so it is a very laid-back atmosphere.

A member of our local team will also live at the house. The house is gated and secure and our local coordinator lives on-site ensuring you have around the clock support and security.  

Please note that power cuts and water shortages are very common in Ghana. Whilst we have backup measures to combat this, there maybe times where the power cuts out or there is no water for a while so its important to be aware of this in advance.

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Volunteers will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner every day during their time with PMGY. Breakfast and dinner are served at the Volunteer House, whereas for lunch we provide you with a packed lunch or the project may provide you with lunch.

Pork, lamb and beef are difficult to source in Ghana and usually quite expensive. The main meat is chicken, fish and goat. There is also a real lack of fresh dairy products, so you should be prepared to live without milk and cheese etc. Most milk is tinned.

There are a number of western restaurants around a 45 minute drive out from the accommodation should you fancy picking up some home comforts. There are also some Chinese and Indian restaurants in Kumasi. Our local team will tell you all about the options available to you during your in-country orientation.

Please note most meals will incorporate lots of carbs and not so much dairy or meat compared to the UK so please be open minded around this! It may take you a few days for your body to accustom to the local food as well.

* Please inform us in your application if you have any dietary requirements. Furthermore, meals on the Sunday arrival date are NOT included, so please budget between £5 to £10 for this.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$804.00
5 weeks
$904.00
6 weeks
$1,004.00
7 weeks
$1,103.00
9 weeks
$1,303.00
11 weeks
$1,502.00
24 weeks (max. stay)
$2,799.00
Average fees
$159.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Kumasi/Ghana between 4 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Plan My Gap Year will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Ghana

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Ghana. Please check the visa regulations for Ghana.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Ghana and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Ghana.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Ghana.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Kumasi (KMS) in Kumasi. We assist you to find cheap flights to Ghana.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Ghana provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Ghana you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ghana.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Ghana while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Kumasi, Kumasi, Ghana zoom="6"

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