Gap year Ghana
Situated on the coast of West Africa, Ghana is a country full of beautiful beaches, lush vegetation and the world’s largest artificial lake – Lake Volta! Hailed as one of Africa’s great success stories, Ghana is reaping the benefits of a stable democracy in the form of fast paced development.
Although a stable country, many Ghanaians live in poverty, so volunteers really do make a difference. English is learned at school and widely spoken, but a little effort to learn a few phrases in one of the local languages will go a long way. With so many opportunities to make a difference, spending your gap year in Ghana is a truly rewarding experience.
Ghana Placement Roles
Gap year volunteers can teach a variety of subjects including English, Maths, Science and other subjects depending on their skills and the school’s needs. Volunteers working with pre-school children will also do some care work and help with any extra-curricular activities. Schools in Ghana are very under-resourced, but you will find that the students are eager and willing to learn and the more effort you put in the more you will be rewarded. Resourcefulness, initiative and ingenuity are key attributes needed.
There is plenty of opportunity for proactive placement volunteers to get involved in more than the role of a teacher. Often gap year volunteers set up extra-curricular clubs such as sports coaching, drama or music clubs. These clubs are often very well attended by the local school children and become a great part of the week for the community and also the volunteer to enjoy.
Community Development Worker
Our placements in Ghana are embedded in local communities, designed to deliver sustainable outcomes that make a positive impact on members of the local community. Working in support of the UN’s Millennium Goals, our Community Development projects in Ghana focus on local intervention programmes that support national priorities. We support programmes for economic growth, which build resilience and support the long term benefit of overseas communities.
Lattitude volunteers have worked on programmes that support women’s empowerment, HIV and AIDS education programmes, engaging local youths in education and sustainable food production. Volunteers will work closely with local staff and in addition to involvement with project activities Community Development Workers can also be involved in the planning and management of the project, monitoring and reporting. Some projects give the opportunity to work alongside in-country volunteers.
This role is a unique opportunity for enthusiastic and committed individuals to gain essential professional experience in community-level international development on their gap year, while also developing transferable employability skills in leadership, communication, team work, confidence, cross cultural understanding and problem solving.
Health worker placements are some of our most challenging but rewarding volunteering placements. Based in local health centres, volunteers help the local staff, who are usually overworked and responsible for almost everything medically-based in their community. The role of a local health centre is vital within a rural community and is greatly respected; it’s rare to find doctors or nurses at rural health centres, so the demands on local staff are great and your support and flexibility will be much appreciated.
The role does not require any technical or medical experience and you will volunteer under the supervision of local staff (although if you do have experience, that would certainly be welcomed). Typical activities of a Volunteer Health Worker will include: assisting with some of the running of a health centre, looking after a basic pharmacy and providing general administration for patient care, helping to maintain patient records, assisting with activities with babies and under-fives and monthly baby monitoring (weighing) and feeding, assisting with outreach programmes and involvement with health education campaigns.
Lattitude works in partnership with organisations such as the Football for Hope (FFH) movement which uses sport to re-engage young people. FFH builds on the historic hosting of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and harnesses this enormously popular sport to address education and health challenges in underserved communities across Africa. One of the first FFH centres was built in Cape Coast in Ghana and Play Soccer Ghana (PSG) was selected to be the Centre Host.
Volunteers on this placement will be helping to educate the users through a range of different sports. Volunteers on this placement should have an interest in sports and will be focusing on raising awareness, training, peer education, resources development and teaching.
What To Expect
Most volunteers live with a host family providing a unique opportunity to live amongst local people. Ghanaian society is far more traditional than western society and your hosts will expect you to live as a family member and spend time with them, whilst welcoming you with open arms. Some volunteers in Ghana choose to live in staff accommodation or have a room in a boarding school. This gives you more independence, but you will still be living close to teachers and students. You are free to travel at weekends and during school holidays, provided that you let your host know that you will be away.
Need to know
- Pre departure briefing – all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure
- On arrival – all volunteers have an orientation in Accra
Free time & travel
Free time and travel
As one of the region’s more prosperous countries and with over 50 ethnic groups, Ghana offers visitors a diverse and welcoming introduction to the African continent. Explore the country by boat, bus, train or air and witness a range of sights, from beautiful beaches and stunning national parks to lively cities. At weekends or during your holidays from work, you could travel to Mole Park in the North of the country, and find yourself face-to-face with forest elephants, gazelles and baboons. Alternatively, head south to Lake Volta: this vast body of water is the world’s largest artificial lake and provides Ghanaians with hydroelectric power.
Ghana is situated just a few degrees above the Equator, so in the past volunteers have chosen to spend some time cooling off on one of the country’s many handsome beaches. Ghana is blessed with hundreds of kilometres of picturesque coastline, and the two fishing villages of Busua and Dixcove are particularly favoured for their sandy assets. History buffs will also find fodder for their curiosity in the country’s ruined European forts, such as Cape Coast Castle. If you have a spare weekend but do not want to travel far, you can also explore the local culture and traditions. Music and dance are highly diverse in Ghana, and each ethnic group and occasion has its own individual dance. Also, you cannot travel to Ghana without noticing the importance of textiles to its culture. Locals buy their preferred cloth first then ask a tailor to make them into clothes. Past volunteers have also taken advantage of this and enjoyed getting some one-off garments made up for them at very reasonable prices. With so much to do, Ghana is the perfect place for an inspiring, memorable gap year.
Lattitude Application Fee – $175
The application fee covers the cost of processing applications and conducting interviews.
Whenever possible, we like to travel to your area to interview you in person, but if not possible, video conferencing using Skype is an alternative.
All applicants are guaranteed an interview. This fee is non-refundable.
Lattitude Placement Fee – $4000
The Lattitude placement fee covers your preparation & support prior to departure as well as in-country support whilst on placement. This is payable in two installments:
Upon acceptance to the Lattitude programme, a non-refundable $1000 deposit is payable within 7-10 days.
The balance of your Lattitude fee is payable 40 days prior to departure.
Orientation – $500
Volunteers receive an informative group orientation upon arrival in their placement country.
This includes safety & security briefings, an overview of the local culture & customs, language skills (where relevant), and other handy tips. Teaching skills courses may also take place where relevant.
• In depth matching process to align your skills and interests with a placement that really suits you
• Assigned Volunteer Coordinator to help with all your pre-departure advice and guidance
• Links with returned volunteers
• Advice on obtaining police checks
• Advice on obtaining a Visa
• Pre-departure briefing seminar
• Airport pickup on arrival
• Accommodation for the duration of stay (either with a host family or on placement site)
• Food provided by host (may not include every meal, but you will know what to expect before your arrival)
• Day to day support from your placement host and a member of staff as your mentor
• 24/7 support from Lattitude, including in-country support from local reps and the Lattitude Country Manager
• Focus on your personal volunteer learning and development
• Returned Volunteer follow up and Debrief Event
• Opportunity to join the Lattitude Alumni Association
• Certificate of completion and references (on request)
What’s not included:
In addition to the Lattitude fees above, volunteers will be required to pay for their own international flights, travel insurance and any visa costs. Lattitude staff will assist you in making these arrangements.
• International Flights – ex Auckland – approx. $2500
• Travel Insurance – 6 months – approx. $840
• Visa – $195
(based on 2018 prices – subject to change).
• GP medical clearance
• Travel doctor consultation (mandatory)
• Vaccinations (if applicable)
• Onward travel to placement (if applicable)
• Pocket Money for weekends/ holidays/post-placement travel
• Accommodation and food during holiday periods
As a charity we always recommend our volunteers to fundraise to help meet the costs involved in volunteering overseas. In many ways it is part of the whole experience. For more information and fundraising ideas please click here.
Placement Availability – 2019
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|Teaching||August 2019||6 Months||Spaces Available|
|Community Worker||August 2019||6 Months||Spaces Available|
Placement Availability – 2020
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|Teaching||January 2020||6 - 12 Months||Spaces Available|
|Community Worker||January 2020||6 - 12 Months||Spaces Available|
|Teaching||August 2020||6 Months||Spaces Available|
|Community Worker||August 2020||6 Months||Spaces Available|
I have to admit my heart is still in Ghana. It was a life-enhancing and truly unforgettable experience.Lucy, Teacher