Sadie Hogya - General Care Projects in Ghana
This past summer, I spent two months in Ghana. I can honestly say that it was not only the most rewarding, but the coolest experience that I have had in my life. I was placed in Akropong, a small town located in Akuapem hills, about an hour and a half tro-tro ride from Accra (a tro-tro is a van service to travel throughout the country). I was a little nervous finding out that I wasn’t placed in Accra, the main city, but living in Akropong turned out to be the perfect place for me and a place that I would call my home for the next two months.
When I arrived at the airport, I was greeted by Nyame a Projects Abroad staff member who was there to take me to the Projects Abroad office in the hills. One of the first things that he said to me was that I was going to love Ghana and it would be a place that I would be counting down the days until I could go back. He couldn’t have been more right.
My host family and host mother, Comfort, were both great. She was always there if I or the other three volunteers who were also staying there needed anything. With family members always coming in and out of the house, there was always someone to talk to, which made me feel at home.
My Care Project
My placement itself was at Marcoff Foundation Home and the Bright Foundation School, a school and orphanage located in the small town of Nsutem, a 30-minute drive from Akropong. While the tro-tro rides were sometimes a hassle, it was always worth it knowing that I was going to Marcoff.
Once at Marcoff, it was always a surprise as to what I was going to do that day. Mondays and Wednesdays, the days I worked in the mornings, were spent at the Bright Foundation School. My role at the school changed from day to day depending on where they needed the most help. However, for the most part, I spent my time in the Kindergarten class, helping to teach English, leadings songs and games, and trying to keep 40 children in one classroom calm and paying attention, which was always a challenge!
Days that I spent working in the afternoons were just as great. Most afternoons were spent just hanging with the children whether this was an organised activity such as a soccer game, helping out on the farm, or simply colouring, the kids were always enjoying themselves and making me laugh. As much as I would like to think that I made an impact on the children, they changed my life not only teaching me something new every day, but also showing me that you don’t need much to be happy.
Free time in Ghana
On free afternoons and weekends, my time was spent hanging out with the other volunteers or just relaxing. On most weekends the volunteers would travel together to different places around Ghana. Two of my favourite places were the Wli waterfall in the Volta region and the Cape Coast Castle.
When somebody asks me what my favourite part of the trip was, I have a hard time answering because it was all so great. From the fufu to the tro-tro rides, the water sachets, to the friendliness of the Ghanaian people and most of all the children I fell in love with. This was an experience that I will never forget.
This volunteer story may include references to working in or with orphanages. Find out more about Projects Abroad's current approach to volunteering in orphanages and our focus on community-based care for children.