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Atlas Volunteers

School Teacher in Local Area

Abetifi, Ghana show on map

With total flexibility you will be able to choose from helping at a lower primary class up to secondary school. Providing support and assistance to struggling classes.

About The Placement

We offer placements among all classes of the Ghanaian education system, these are:

  • Primary School
  • Junior High School
  • Secondary School

Most volunteers will take placements in Primary and Junior High Schools which are based together therefore adding an extra level of flexibility to meet everyones needs. Secondary is usually reserved for qualified individuals as once students have completed this level they are university ready.

Within the schools the basic subjects are taught regularly such as English, Maths, Science, Local Language, Religious & Moral Education. Computing is taught with the best will however usually this is from a text book as most schools don't have access to a computer or laptop. Creative arts and music again are absolutely adored by the children however due to lack of materials these are mostly read and taught from textbooks.

Why This Placement?

Schools in Ghana not only need your help to cope with the growing size of classes, lack of a 'subsitute' teacher process but also to bring a fresh approach to lessons which are traditionally very dictation focused. Practicals are not experienced until secondary school and throughout primary schools there is a distinct lack of supplies especially for anything creative arts focused which is adored by the children.
We aim to improve the standard of education in our area by not only providing additional resources of staffing to seriously understaffed and deprived communities, introduction of new and fresh ideas to lessons and their planning but also supplying additional learning materials and books otherwise unavailable.

What Is Included In This Placement?

Although this placement is FREE of charge the following services are still included at no extra charge. This will include free accomodation and the use of the utilities, you will have use of the kitchen, electricity throughout the house and running water which is a luxury among the area of Kwahu. Daily transport to and from the project sites will also be covered for free by our organisation's vehicles. As well as the above mentioned we can also offer free airport collection upon your arrival and drop off on your return home, a member of the team will be waiting on your arrival and will accompany you to the volunteer house around three hours drive away.

How Do I Get To The Placement?

You will be living in a shared volunteer house with modern amenities, a member of staff will live on site and be able to offer any guidance or advice you may need. You will be taken to the project site in the morning and returned home in the afternoon for free by our organisation's vehicles. The town in which the voluneer house is based is fairly developed with local shops, restaurants, bars, banks and markets. However just a short distance away to the project sites you will be experiencing remote villages often with no modern amenities and a large amount of the communities living under the poverty line.

What Will I Be Doing?

Depending on the school that you select after your introduction and what you will feel comfortable with, you may be paired up with a teacher to primarily start supporting as a teaching assistant or you may be given a class yourself depending on your experience and confidence. Although the thought of your own class may seem overwhelming at first, the sheer enthusiasm and eagerness to learn of children will be a strong push to spur you on the way.
For the younger children basic reading, writing and creative arts lessons are usually required whereas for the older children we advise not only developing the previous skills but breathing new ideas and life into their textbooks. We have a wide range of teaching books and lesson plans within the store room of the volunteer house and we advise volunteers to make use of their free evening and weekend time to plan the following days lessons.
A good example that we seen recently was for a Primary 4 class, aged between 10 - 14 learning the topic of solid, liquid and gas in science. Usually this topic will just be dictated on the board and occasional notes made or exercises completed. However a volunteer seen this upcoming topic in a textbook and planned a cheap and effective practical lesson followed by a poster produced by each child to take home and a board display to not only brighten and improve the classroom but provide continuous learning even for the next class to have use of the room.

Who Will I Be Working With?

If the number permits we aim to group volunteers together at a particular school or project. You will work closely with a teacher and report to the Headteacher should you have any issues. A member of our team will also spend a portion of their day at the project to assist in anyway and offer any guidance should it be needed. Most volunteers strike up a strong bond with the teachers and are treat as another member of staff as if you were always there. It is not uncommon to be invited round their homes for dinner at an early stage as a way of saying thank you.

What Do We Expect From The Volunteers?

A teaching qualification or experience is not compulsory for this placement, your level of experience and confidence will gauge what level of students would best suit and will be discussed between the team and yourself on your first day introduction. The greatest traits of a volunteer are enthusiasm, empathetic and the ability to adjust to alternative cultures. You will get the most of our your trip by opening your mind to new experiences and beliefs whilst also bringing your own to the table.
We expect volunteers to visit their placements Monday - Friday, exceptions can be made for long weekends of travel etc but we hope for the children and yourselves to get the most of your placement this is kept to a minimum.

What Can You Expect From Us?

We will be on hand any time of any day to support you in your placement and trip as a whole. There will always be someone you can speak to or get a hold of should you want to discuss anything or require any guidance, from organising after school clubs to changing your placement. Our team living in the volunteer house will also be able to offer advice regarding travel plans and the local area so you will soon feel at home.

What Should I Bring?

Regarding your placement we advise bringing plenty of school materials, arts & crafts items and some ideas from teaching resource websites. These will prove invaluable throughout your placement as there is a lack of materials able to purchase in the local area. Basic pens, pencils and cheap paper are available as well as moderate priced photocopying should you wish to bring activity sheets.

What Happens During School Holidays?

During school holidays if a volunteers placement falls within these dates then we will organise a holiday school. Usually in a remote village where the children are more than willing to join in, these days usually are more focused to arts and sports from lunchtime onwards.
The school holidays usually fall three times a year; few weeks around easter, few weeks around August and a few weeks during December.

Typical day

  • 07:50am - Volunteer transport leaves the volunteer house to project sites
  • 08:00am - School starts
  • 10:30am - 11:00am - Morning Break
  • 12:30pm - 01:00pm - Lunch Break
  • 02:00pm - School closes
  • 02:30pm - Return to volunteer house
  • 03:00pm onwards - Free time
  • Please note this an example of a schedule. Times vary on different schools and term time.

    After school volunteers are free to go shopping in the local markets, return to the volunteer house or visit the local swimming pools.

Free-time activities

Mid Week Free Time
After school and evenings offer these local opportunities around the local area:

  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Swimming
  • Sightseeing (Waterfalls and breathtaking scenery)
  • After school & Homework Clubs
  • Sports facilities
  • Live Music
  • Plenty of Nightlife
  • Restaurants & Hotels providing western cuisine

Weekend Free Time
Most volunteers will travel at weekends, across Ghana we have many amazing experiences which you can discover. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Safari
  • Museums
  • Slave Castles
  • Canopy Walk
  • Waterfalls
  • Malls and Cinemas (Showing latest films)
  • Beautiful Beaches
  • Surfing

We are on hand to offer any advice that you might need.

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Climbing
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports

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). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High School / Secondary School level
Required Documents
CV/Résumé
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 14:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Included Services

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Airport Pickup at Kotoka International Airport

We offer a FREE airport pickup and drop off service. You will be met at Kotoka Airport by one of our team and drove to the Eastern region straight to the house for you to relax.

Accommodation

The volunteer house accomodation is a large 8 bedroom storey building set in the relaxed town of Abetifi looking out over the local forest.

Bedrooms -

We aim to give bedrooms to single occupants or couples, we can offer group rooms should you want to share with a travel partner or for a dorm style experience with other volunteers. Most bedrooms are a medium size, come with a single or double bed and will easily fit whatever size bags you travel with. All doors and windows in the house are covered by mosquito netting or covered completely however you are more than welcome to bring a mosquito net for your bed although usually not necessary.

Bathrooms -
There are 4 shared bathrooms in the house so offer plenty of space and privacy during your stay. We have the benfit of running water which is a local luxury so showers and toilets will work as usual. We ask to consider others when using the water as it's a valuable commodity in Ghana.

Kitchen -
We have one large kitchen with modern facilties such as gas stove, fridge freezer and a range of utensils. It is a self catered placement however plenty of food stuffs can be bought from the market such as bread, rice, pasta and many fresh ingredients. Our team on site will be happy to show you the ropes and prepare the occasional meal for yourself.

Living Room -
There is a large living room with sofas, TV and a dining set for use by the volunteers. Evenings are often spent in here and volunteers are welcome to bring DVDs to watch although local television channels are provided.

Garden -
Surrounding the house is a fenced garden, this offers privacy for relaxing in the sun or sitting out in the evenings. There is also a washing line space for volunteers to use.

Store Room -
On the ground floor is a small store room where we keep left over teaching materials and resources for new volunteers to use. You are invited to leave any items you may not use here for the next person to continue the flow. Master copies of activity sheets or lesson plans are a key item we hope to see keep growing in the store.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Kotoka International Airport (ACC) in Accra. 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.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Ghana you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ghana.
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