Volunteer with Street Child Rescue, in Ghana
If you are considering applying for an "Adventure in Service
SRC Volunteer Program is an option
Volunteer in with Street Child Rescue Ghana, Teach English or work on any of our youth programs, health care and other community development projects alongside local people. Ghana, once part of the powerful Ashanti Empire, featured prominently amongst the most tragic chapters of Western history - the African slave trade. With her coastal forts, imprisoned Africans were forced onto slave ships bound for the " New World."
This damaging legacy is a challenge to the local people with great needs. So by working with SCR to improve educational and medical resources, you build a "bridge of understanding" and help create new opportunities for the disadvantaged teens in Ghana and foster bonds with their families.
Others may ask: Why Ghana? And we say practically a short stay with a mission to share cultural differences and experience the love for one another carry a special message that you would bring back to your respective countries so that others can also know the basic bonds between us.””
- Donna Marie Hudson, MIS
Street Child Rescue Ghana’s’ Volunteers are asked to assist with education, health care and community infrastructure.
Volunteers may teach In our elementary school: subjects such as English, basic sciences and math or assist with our vocational school program where teenagers from ages 18 to men and women learn catering, nutrition and home management, agriculture and family type growth. The volunteers with teaching experience will be very helpful. However, you don't need to be a certified teacher to be of service. Virtually any native English speaker can assist with English classes. And if you have an area of expertise in science or math and you can explain concepts to elementary- students, then you can help as well.
Health care professionals of various specialties, particularly those with public health backgrounds enroll to participate in our health for all outreach programs, their services are also needed at small village clinic and participate in our outreach programs that educate the youth on good medical practices. We must admit that the working conditions may not be what you are used to - the equipments available may be quite basic and the amount and variety of medicines are really limited. But, if you are an internist, family physician, gynecologist or other specialist, your input will surely be needed to perform patient examinations, provide prenatal care counseling and make referrals to the regional hospital. Nurses are needed to help vaccinate children and to assist. And eye-care
specialists can be especially helpful, since we have programs on cataract screening, prevention and surgery.
We also need volunteers who can assist with physical labor -- carpentry, landscaping, painting and masonry. Several basic village buildings and “SCR children’s’ Village” are scheduled to be constructed over the next couple of years, including an elementary school, preschool and a community center that would begin in 2006. If you can wield a hammer, swab a paintbrush, mix cement or lay blocks, you will be of tremendous help.
SCR – FOOD, LODGING AND TRAVEL
In Accra, the team will spend the first night of your service program at a hotel close to the Accra office. Volunteers will be in double occupancy rooms with two single beds, a telephone, refrigerator, telephone, desk and air-conditioning.
In Hohoe and other communities, you stay in single-occupancy air-conditioned rooms in a small, tourist-class hotel. Each room has queen size bed, a chair and ceiling fans. There is a closet with a few drawers, and a few hangers. There are screened windows, but we recommend that you keep the ventilation secures enough to protect from mosquito.
Are single rooms available?
Single rooms are available for an additional fee. To reserve a room, you must pay SCR office the charges no later than 30 days prior to the start of the service program. Rooms are sometimes limited and thus are available on a first come basis. (Hotel prices are subject to change. Please confirm with our volunteer coordinator for the current prices)
The bathroom facilities
In Accra, each hotel room has a private bathroom with western-style toilets, hot water and bathtubs with handheld showerheads.
In Hohoe, each hotel room has a private bathroom with western-style toilets and bathtubs with handheld showerheads. The water is heated and quite refreshing. Because of inconsistent water pressure, at times there is no running water. But the lodge has a reservoir that caters for that.
Please Note: Out door toilet facilities are also available on project site, but always keep extra tissues or toilet paper on hand since public facilities rarely have toilet paper.
There is no Laundromat. You may either do your own laundry in a sink, or pay the hotel staff to do it for you. Clothes are dried on an outside clothesline. You might consider bringing your own travel iron or steamer
The current in Ghana is 220 volts. Plugs are usually two round pins, similar to those in Europe. Power outages occur so it is helpful to bring a flashlight.
The local food is an important and enjoyable part of the cultural experience you will have in both Hohoe and Accra. It is also important to be aware that the local cooks are used to the needs and desires of Ghanaians and may not necessarily be familiar with Western diets. The local people eat many foods with their hands. However, utensils will be provided at all our lodging facilities.
Breakfast, it typically includes coffee, tea, eggs, bread and/or various types of porridge, i.e., hot oatmeal, rice or wheat cereal.
Lunch and dinner will consist of soups, rice, beans, chicken, fish, yam and fried plantain. Beef, pork and goat are also served, as are a limited variety of vegetables. You will have the opportunity to try our typical Ghanaian dishes such as kenkey (fermented corn meal) and fufu (mashed cassava and plantains). Palm oil is used in many recipes as is red (hot) pepper making many dishes rather spicy.
Where to eat
While in your destination, most meals would be prepared at the hotel because it comes with kitchenettes. Special dietary needs cannot be accommodated. Many dishes do not have meat, but might be cooked with animal products.
We suggest you bring items such as nutrition bars and crackers to supplement your diet if you have special needs or if you might develop a craving for familiar foods.
We provide potable drinking water
The organization will provide purified water for the team's use. Please bring a refillable water bottle.
Our organization’s representative will meet you at Kotoka International Airport on the first day of your service program and transport you and other team members to the host community. You will stay in a small, tourist-class hotel in Hohoe
Attractions: Free time occurs primarily on Saturday and Sunday of the second and third weekends of the program. Additionally, there is free time during the week after the workday. Volunteers often use their afternoon free time to explore the village. The weekends are a good time to visit sites outside of Hohoe especially the greater Accra area for the beach scenery
You can learn more about the history of Ghana's slave trade with a visit to one of several colonial "castles" that dot the Cape Coast. It is a powerful and moving experience. You can also visit Kumasi in the Ashanti region. These trips may include visits to the palace of the Asantehene, the Ashanti king, to the National Cultural Center and to Bonwire, the birthplace of kente cloth.
Other natural and cultural attractions include a rain forest tour, a day at the local beaches, which are unspoiled and lovely, or the arts and crafts marketplaces in Accra and Tema. All of these free-time arrangements and costs are your responsibility.
There are some health risks in Ghana. The following is not intended to be an exhaustive list. You may contact your Center for Disease Control for additional information.
HIV AIDS is prevalent. You would have to protect yourself from this disease by your own behavior.
Malaria is also prevalent throughout the country, especially at altitudes below 6,000 feet. There are medications that help protect against malaria and insect repellent and loose fitting cotton clothing also offer some protection.
Tap water may be contaminated so, we suggest you only drink bottled or boiled water. Do not even use tap water to brush your teeth. SCR provides bottled or purified drinking water throughout the service program.
Food preparation is very important. Eat only cooked vegetables, preferably when they are still hot. Wash and peel fruit. Do not eat food from street vendors. Eat only at restaurants in large hotels or those recommended by your team leader.
Please Note: Infectious tropical diseases can be largely prevented by vaccination. Proof of immunization against yellow fever is required to enter Ghana. For tourists’ diarrhea is common among foreign visitors. We recommend you ask your physician about a prescription for Cipro or another antibiotic.
There are bees in rural villages. Consult with your physician if you are allergic to bee stings.
Traffic accidents are perhaps one of the most serious safety risks. Whether walking along the road, crossing the street or riding in a vehicle, so be care when traveling. Always use your intuition on the safety of the vehicle before embarking on any trip.
It’s required for all travelers to Ghana to carry proof of the yellow fever vaccination. You may consult with your physician or a travel clinic for other requirements and specific recommendations based on your medical history.
For general recommendations, as well as medical information on Ghana, consult the following sources:
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Travel Health Information Service website http://www.travelhealth.com
1. Always remember that malaria and other travel-related illness can be prevented if you consult with your health care service provider at least 6 weeks prior to your departure to any foreign country. The necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial drugs should be obtained before your travel.
2. To prevent mosquito and other insect bites, always use insect repellent on exposed skin and flying insect spray in the room where you sleep.
3. Always wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, especially in the evenings; this is the time mosquito that spread malaria are prevalent.
- All recommendations are found on the website for the Center for Disease Control in your respective countries
Water Safety precautions
Boil all tap water before drinking. You can also drink bottled water. Do not even use tap water to brush your teeth. SCR will provide bottled or purified drinking water throughout the service program.
Food purchased from street vendors
Please note: It is not safe to eat food purchased from street vendors
It is very important that you be covered by a health insurance policy while traveling both within your country and internationally. Insurance is not included in your service program fee. Our organization does not provide health insurance.
You may contact a travel insurance provider before your travel. You'll need other insurance to cover the costs of medical services.
We strongly recommend that you be covered by a medical insurance policy while traveling. Travel agents have information on travel insurance providers
Situated 8 degrees north of the equator, Ghana has a tropical climate with high humidity and temperatures ranging from 70 degrees to 90 degrees F.
There are two seasons in this part of the world - rainy and dry. The rainy season generally begins in May and ends mid August.
Hohoe in located north and about 203 km of the capital, Accra. What is the current exchange rate?
The “Cedi”, which is the local currency, fluctuates against the US dollar and the Euro. You will have to confirm with the organization to know the currency conversion exchange rate which presently is approximately USD 1 = approximately 8,950 cedis.
Where to exchange money
At the airport: You can exchange money at the airport upon your arrival, however the rate is generally not as good as you can find in Accra or Hohoe. Please note that under Ghanaian law, no more than 50,000 cedi in local currency can be taken out of Ghana per traveler.
In Hohoe: Once in the community, you can travel to foreign exchange offices and banks in Accra and Hohoe. It is easy and relatively inexpensive for you to arrange transportation to these cities during your free time. Please consult with the project staff for assistance.
Frequently asked Questions
Cash, credit cards or checks
Credit Cards: Visa card is the most widely accepted credit card in Ghana. MasterCard and Visa cards may only be used to get cash advances in a few banks in Accra so they are not reliable options. American Express cards are not accepted for cash advances but there might be an American Express affiliate in Ghana.
Traveler's Checks: Traveler's checks are accepted at some, but not all, foreign exchange offices. Also, banks close at 2:30 in the afternoon making exchanging traveler's checks more difficult. In some foreign exchange offices traveler's checks are not accepted
Cash: Cash is more widely accepted and generally gets a better rate than traveler's checks.
Q: When arriving early, where do I stay?
There is a hotel within the distance to the Airport. The office in Tema will be happy to reserve a room for you if you plan to arrive early, or if you want to stay after the program. You will be responsible for making reservations for your extra nights and paying for your extra nights.
Q: How much money should I bring with me?
The amount of money you bring depends on your personal spending and shopping habits. Street Child Rescue Ghana’s’ service program fee covers all meals, lodging, transportation and work project expenses during the service program except free time expenses and alcoholic beverages. There are many souvenir items that can be purchased for less than $5.00 USD. If you are planning to stay extra evenings in Accra, either before or after the program, cost of a first class hotel is around $80 USD per evening and economy class is around $60 USD. Approximately $100-$150 USD should cover an individual's transportation and lodging expenses for a typical weekend free-time excursion.
Q: How can my family contact me while I am in Ghana?
You will be given information on Emergency Contacts prior to your departure to Ghana. In the event of an emergency, your family should refer to the Emergency Contact Sheet. This will include all the directions for getting in contact with you should the need arise. Be sure to leave a copy with them. Ghana is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) .
Q: What about international phone calls?
There are telecommunication centers and pay phones in Hohoe. You may also make calls at Internet cafés, where international phone calls can be placed. However, calls placed through telephone operators can be expensive .
Q: Is Internet service available?
There are telecommunication centers/ Internet cafés in the cities of Hohoe and Accra and some of these have Internet services.
Q: What is the average airfare?
Average roundtrip airfare depends on your country of origin. Please inquire from your travel agent.
Q: What is really included in the service program?
The following are included in the service program fee :
- All lodging while in the community.
- All meals while in the community.
- Ground transportation to and from the hotel and the work site,
- Project material expenses
- Program materials, and
- The services of an experienced team leader.
Note: The following are not included in the service program fee:
- Airport departure taxes
- Alcoholic beverages
- Personal items
- Free-time activities
Q: Does SCR provide emergency medical evacuation insurance?
You will need to be covered by emergency medical evacuation insurance on the days of the service program through an international insurance agency up to a maximum of $50,000 USD. This insurance may only covers the costs of medical evacuation. You may need other insurance to cover the costs of medical services. A card with important identification numbers will be provided. Remember to keep it with you while you are traveling.
Program Schedule and Fees
- Program fee - $350 Registration fee
WHAT IS THE SERVICE PROGRAM FEE?
The SCR Volunteers service program fee reflects the actual costs of establishing and maintaining the program in our country. Eighty-five percent of the fee pays for program costs such as administrative, team leader expenses, project materials, volunteer coordination, program development and coordination, volunteer materials, and on-site consultants. The balance is used for overhead. Street Child Rescue Ghana receives no operating funds from any religious or government agency. Ninety-seven percent of all our funding comes from the contribution of the members and service program fees.
To hold a position on a volunteer program, a $350 deposit is required with your application due 60 days before you are scheduled to arrive in the country, or immediately you advice on your arrival date. The service program fee is used to support the program.