Written Testimonials by STAESA Volunteers, Interns, and Professionals

Some volunteers/interns have approved their contact info to be posted on this website. For the ones who have not, contact us for their contact details. Click on a person's name to see their testimony.

Ghana

Julia P. (STAESA Official Representative in France) - Financial Internship at a Bank

Country of Origin: France

Duration of Stay: 8 weeks

July 2nd 2009 - August 27th 2009

Program: Financial Internship in a Bank

Email: provlia@hotmail.com

Project: Internship At Unity Rural Bank

As I am a student in finance, I decided to do an internship in a bank. I was the first volunteer working at Unity Rural Bank. So, my first 2 weeks were really boring because I wasn’t allowed to do anything except watching the staff working. They needed time to trust me and make sure I was able to do their work. Afterwards, they considered me like an employee and not like a simple intern. My work was different everyday so it was interesting but sometimes also boring! I had 3 different missions: a strategic mission in order to find a way to improve the bank services, an accounting mission to record all the daily transactions of the bank, and various administrative tasks regarding microcredits. As the bank is not computerized, everything is really slow. All the employees are very nice and I felt very comfortable with working with them. Nevertheless, I was sometimes annoyed to see the staff talking all the time instead of working. The only way to concentrate on working was listening to my MP3 player! My working hours were from 8am to 6pm. I couldn’t leave earlier because they really needed me when the bank closed to customers. However, I could easily ask the manager to take days off to travel or a couple of hours off during the day to do my laundry or to go to the orphanage to visit the other volunteers.

Community

As all the volunteers said, Aflao is a great town. You’ll hear all the time people calling you “yavoo.” If they are kids, just wave and smile at them and they’ll be really happy. Concerning grownups, it depends… If you go to the internet café, you can bring your own laptop. So, you can write all your emails before going there.

If you like swimming, there is a swimming pool at Nakave Hotel (3GH cedis for the full day) as it is hard to swim in the ocean because of the strong current and waves. At the beginning, I didn’t like Ghanaian food a lot because I thought it was too spicy, but after I got used to it. You need to try the food several times to appreciate it. At work, I had to buy my own food and my favorite was “beans and plantains” aka “red-red”

Your host family will be happy if you eat with your fingers (with your right-hand only). It’s a way to show them you’re integrating with Ghanaian culture. It took me four weeks to give up my spoon!

Host Family

I really enjoyed staying with my host family: Nama Lu. She and her sons are really nice and will appreciate a lot if you show them all the pictures you took during your weekend trips.

Weenends

I did the same week-end trips as the other volunteers except that I also went to Kpando, Mount Afadjato, and Tagbo (Wli) Falls. I went to Kpando with Ines for a couple of hours to see the third biggest grotto in the world dedicated to the shrine in Dourdes (town closest to my hometown in France). It was interesting to see a long statue of Mary in the mountain and 13 others representing the passion of Christ. If you’re not religious, it’s just a nice walk in the mountain full of statues! We took a trotro from Ho to Kpando (silent K, when you pronounce it) for GH2.50, then Kpando to Hohoe for GH1.2. As the grotto is situated 8km from Kpando, you need to take a shared taxi for 50 pesewas.

Mount Afadjato is the highest mountain in Ghana. If you’re used to practicing sports and you like hiking, you should definitely go there! It’s a really nice place; it will take you 1 hour to 1.5 hours to reach the top of the mountain and to have a nice view of the Northern part of the Volta Region. As it is hard exercise, you should go there in the morning so it won’t be too hot. Afterwards, you can go to Tagbo Falls; the flat path the reach the waterfall is really nice and wild because it’s not such a touristic area. According to me, it was my favorite hike in a tropical forest! To go to Mount Afadjato, you need to take a shared taxi at the post office in Hohoe (close to Miss Ghana statue) for GH2 cedis (and stay at Grand Hotel). As it’s not a touristic area, don’t go there on Sunday!

Other Tips

If you aren’t German and you came to Ghana with a non-European airline company, the program is supposed to pay you back 6% of your flight ticket. (Now we will give a 5% discount on all flights for all participants including volunteers, interns, and professionals) So, just send an email to Simon (STAESA’s International Volunteer Coordinator) with all the details of your flight and the amount you’re supposed to receive in Ghana cedis. Afterwards, you’ll be able to withdraw the money (via Moneygram) at Ghana Commercial Bank. Don’t forget to bring your passport with you!

  • If you buy DVDs in the street, some computers can’t read them, so be careful; don’t buy too many of them!
  • If you buy a MTN chip, from midnight to 5am, you have free unlimited calls with other MTN users. With Tigo, I was told you can have special nights with unlimited calls to the USA and Canada.
  • If you want to bring back plantain chips to your country, buy them in Accra. They are better than in Aflao! (It’s what my host mother told me!)

Felicia R. - Volunteering at a Hospital

Country of Origin: USA

Duration of Stay: 3 weeks

July 14th 2009 - August 6th 2009

Program: Volunteering in a Hospital

Email: feliciar481@aol.com

Project: Helping Out at Central Aflao Hospital

I worked at the central Aflao Hospital. The administrator wants you to be gradually introduced to the hospital, so I started out in the laboratory for my first week and moved to the dispensary for my second week. Usually volunteers will go to the treatment room and then the consulting room but because I was only here a short time. I spent my last week on the ward, it is a very friendly hospital and the nurses don’t mind if you observe procedures. If you are there longer time you will probably be able to get more hands on. Overall I had a great experience here learned a lot. I also had the pleasure of having the matron of the ward, Sister Anna as my host mom – she is wonderful and does her best to keep the ward in order.

Community

The people here are so friendly and welcoming of course you will hear “yavoo” (White person) everywhere you go - it gets a bit annoying but I just try to let it go and wave and smile. I stayed with Anna and Massa in Denu; it is a bit far from the hospital so I took a taxi every morning which cost about 30 pesewas each way. Market days are nice – good place to get fruit and other stuff. If you need to exchange currency, when you are in Aflao / Denu you should go to the commercial bank of Ghana.

Weekends

I only had 3 weekends here but I made the best of them. The first trip was to Hohoe, where we went to the Tafi Monkey Sanctuary, the Wli water falls, and many other places. Please bring sunscreen! Make sure to bring enough money for souvenirs because the shopa have all the tourist stuff to buy like masks, jewelry, bags and carved figures. The bags cost 5 to 8 cedis , masks 3-5 cedis, and the drums 8 to 10 cedis. Just have fun. Ghanaians are very relaxed so just go with the flow. Like I said before, I had a great experience here in Ghana and will hopefully be able to come back sometime in the future.

Taryn B. - Internship at a Hospital

Country of Origin: Canada

Duration of Stay: 7.5 weeks

Program: Health Internship at a Hospital

Email: brown.taryn@gmail.com

Project: Handling Everyday Tasks at Aflao Central Hospital

I chose to do a health internship because I have just completed my 1st year of medical school. At this stage in school I don’t have too much practical experience, but I found this placement to be beneficial none-the-less. I was placed at the Cental Aflao Hospital (most cab drivers know it as Dr. Nkansa hospital - he owns the place), which is a small private hospital in Aflao. I rotated through each department for one week each, including the laboratory, injection room, dispensary, consulting room and the wards. I attempted at some blood collection and IM injections and helped with dressings, but most of my time was taken up with observation and assisting with small, not so hands-on-work. I felt it was appropriate for my level of experience.

Everyone at the hospital is extremely friendly and I felt at home / comfortable right away. As long as I voiced when I wanted to help with procedures, the staff was always happy to let me. I would just ask sister Aggie or Victor (accountant and administrator) about where I would go each week (my placement didn’t have an outline; I just worked it out with them). Some of my time was also spent painting the children’s ward with other volunteers (Felicia and Emma). The children’s ward is officially adopted by STAESA.

Community

I stayed with Ernest and Happy Gamashie in Avakome. Overall they were very welcoming and accommodating. Ernest is very religious so he spends a bulk of his time at church: they were always happy when I tagged along to church on Sundays. It’s not a problem if you don’t have to go to church with them though. The church is 3 hours long! I stay in my own room which was very nice and large. The kids seemed to ask for a lot (movies, biscuits etc), so I wouldn’t spoil them too much! Lastly I would recommend keeping money in a safe place (locked up if possible).

I made lots of friends in the community! In my spare time I would go to the internet café near the Pledge restaurant on the Hotel Makavo Road. On the beach, there is a good canteen. Once a while I would treat myself to “Fanice” which is quite good (if you like ice cream).

Weekends

I recommend travelling on some of your weekends. Its full of fun! Overall I had an amazing experience in Ghana. It is such a friendly and beautiful country. Make sure to learn some ewe, you will feel right at home when you make some Ghanaian friends! – and make sure to try fried plantain.

Emma S. - Internship at a Hospital

Country of Origin: UK

Duration of Stay: 4 weeks

July 10th 2009 - August 10th 2009

Program: Health Internship at a Hospital

Email: els2vo7@googlemail.com

Project: Child Nursing at Ketu District Hospital

I was supposed to be working at Aflao Central Hospital, but Charles (The Coordinator) wanted me to go to Ketu District Hospital instead. It’s much bigger than Central, and run by the government. I spent most of my time on children ward, as I’m studying children’s Nursing back home. The staff was very welcome, and was keen for me to get hands-on. However, I declined mostly, as I was not comfortable with the way things were done, and there was nothing to check drug doses against. Inadequate pain relief is a big issue – for example there was a two year old girl with severe scald burns covering most of her body, and she was only on SPORADIC oral paracetamol.

Other Activites

I spent my last weekend here painting the children ward at Aflao Central Hospital with Taryn and Felicia. The children ward is officially adopted by STAESA. We haven’t had time to paint pictures like we wanted to, so it would be great if future volunteers would carry on with this. We were thinking rainbow, flowers, ABCs, etc. if there is anyone more artistically inclined that would be fantastic! GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING; CHANGES ARE JUST VERY SLOW – STAY POSITIVE, USE YOUR INITIATIVE AND HAVE FUN! Simon (The main coordinator) is good at getting things done. He bought us the paint and equipment for the children ward – but he is not around that much, as he lives in South Africa.

Weekends

Was really good! Make good use of your weekends for travelling.

Johanna K. - Volunteering at a School and Orphanage

Country of Origin: Germany

Duration of Stay: 8 weeks

June 25th 2009 - August 22nd 2009

Program: Volunteering at a School and Orphanage

Email: Johanna-kunert@gmx.de

Project: Teaching at First Baptist School and Helping Out at Good Sheperd Orphanage

Actually I expected to work in the orphanage but during the first 4 weeks I taught in the school because there was not much work I was able to do in the orphanage for instance (I don’t know how to cook Akple). The time as a teacher was really good. I had my own class (stage 4 and 5) and I was free to teach what I liked because the teacher wasn’t often around.

This work wasn’t always easy - no books, music, noisy, lazy pupils, unmotivated teachers but I‘ve done my best and I really loved the kids in my class. Actually they wanted to learn that’s why we started to make extra lessons/classes after school (twice a week). Then it was, for example, easier to train reading or explain something again. The subjects I thought most were maths and English, but I also thought French and Science. One thing you can also do is geography. Ask for world maps, they have them here. You’ll see they like it and they don’t know much above the countries and continents.

Sometimes it’s hard to motivate the pupils but just be creative with games and don’t be discouraged. And it was really good to see some progress when I tried to prepare them for the exams. Trust in yourself, everyone is able to learn with the kids. They are really wonderful and all in all I loved the work in the school.

I also spent 4 weeks here in the orphanage during the vacation. In the morning we had usual classes and the children of the neighborhood came too. So the classes were different every day. It is sometimes difficult to teach the mixed classes, but because of the lesser number of kids it wasn’t for example so noisy. In the afternoons we tried to make a little vacation program. We played sports games and other games with them, made creative things like huts and boats out of sheets, made cakes with them, made salt dough with them and so on. Actually I wanted to take them to the beach but I hadn’t enough time to get permission.

It is also nice to learn (teach them) new songs or dance if you know some. Actually I passed my whole days in the orphanage because I lived here. So I figured out the daily routine after a while and I really loved to participate and live with the orphans. So I helped them sometimes with their work and spent just time with the orphans. The best thing you can give them and they really need is love and attention.

In the beginning it could be that there is nobody introducing you and saying to you what to do. Then don’t hesitate to bring your ideas. May be you can also help to organize the new library that opened a few days ago.

Community

Aflao is a really great place to stay. The people are mostly very nice and welcoming but the love to talk to whites (yavoo) what is sometimes annoying. It’s amazing to spend the time at the beach or to go to the market (especially on market days).

  • The internet café I used was “ICTCentre” which had very friendly owners, but was a bit slow (Cyberlink in Makavoroad is faster)
  • The tailor I used was “God Provides Fashion Home” with good prices and good work. Make sure that you say exactly what you want but don’t be afraid to try the things they sell on the streets, they are really good. I don’t know the names of most things.

Host Family

I lived in the orphanage so I used to say that I have a huge host family. My room was in the Reverend’s house (with my own bathroom!). It could be that you don’t have much privacy living here, but I enjoyed staying here. Make sure, that you lock things you don’t want to be touched by the kids. The people who are living and working here are all really nice and you’ll meet a lot of people from outside used to coming here. I found some great friends here.

Andrea T. - Internship at a Radio Station and Newspaper

Country of Origin: USA

Duration of Stay: 8 weeks

July 20th 2009 - August 15th 2009

Program: Media Internship with a Newspaper and Radio Station

Email: andreat3@gmail.com

Project: Writing for the Catholic Standard and Broadcasting at Holy FM

My project seems unique, due to the fact that I came here to work in the media, as I am majoring in journalism; I was assigned to write for the Catholic Standard (a weekly paper) and to work also at Holy FM, a radio station in Aflao that is only few months old. I ended up being interviewed at Jubilee FM in Keta, but switched back to Holy FM for the last few weeks of my internship. However my work with the Catholic Standard was fairly steady. My contact there was Cephas and we would sometimes travel together to events and write the articles together later. I would always need his help, as ewe was often spoken at these events. He was a great guy to work with. We were good team in the fact we valued each other’s input. I am not a Catholic so I learned quite a bit. I hope I passed along some useful information also.

The radio station was unique in the fact that it was the first time I was interviewed, rather than the other way round. Also, I would often pass on the stories that I wrote for the Catholic Standard to the Holy FM once Cephas (Say-fahs) gave me the go ahead.

Mostly I was trying to learn from the media here in Ghana to report on Africa in a new way. The U.S. media seems to only report about the worst part of Africa, and does it in a way that portrays the people mainly as victims, I feel like I’ve learned a lot here that I can hopefully eventually apply to my work.

Community

The best part of my stay here has been the people. They have been incredibly welcoming and friendly admittedly; it took me a while to get used to the more laid back atmosphere, particularly Ghana time: meaning that if you were going to meet someone, you could probably expect them to show up at least an hour late. It really showed me how Americans are obsessed with time and money.

Host Family

My host family was amazing! I stayed with Roger and Evelyn, their three children, niece, and Evelyn’s brother in Aflao. I felt very lucky to have my own room and a host family who was very patient with me! I didn’t really see the negativity that the other volunteers reported. The children were all very well behaved, and incredibly considerate. I only saw Evelyn really have to discipline them once.

Other Matters

Mostly I would advise everyone to come with an open mind, flexibility, and willingness to try new things. And don’t be afraid to ask the coordinator if you need any help. One last thing: I never went anywhere without hand sanitizer and tissues. You never know what kind of bathroom facilities you’ll have when you are out.

Scott F. - Internship at a Radio Station

Country of Origin: USA

Duration of Stay: 12 weeks

Program: Media Internship with a Radio Station

Email: scottfine@yahoo.com

I came from a story background in the media. I have directed several movies and work in many countries all over the world. My time spent at Holy FM was DJ equipment and learned how to present a radio program. I came to Ghana with no previous experience in radio. I suggest for anyone in the future who works at the station to be extremely patience with the way everything is ran, coming from New York where everything is fast paced. It is the complete opposite here.

Host Family/Community

I have never been somewhere that I felt as comfortable as I did here in Ghana or more particularly Aflao. My host family treated me amazing within days I felt part of the family. There are just so many great words I can say about them. If you are lucky enough to stay with Roger I highly suggest asking him to cook some Tilapia fish for you. The fish is some of the freshest I have ever had! The community as a whole took some time to get used to. I love the fact that everyone is so friendly and want to welcome you to their country.

Kyo S. - Teaching at a School

Country of Origin: Germany

Duration of Stay: 2 weeks

I worked at the Victory International School, but only for 1 week because of the summer vacation. At my first day I taught Maths and English. The children were about 6 to 8 years old. They were very polite and want to learn. I like the work, but my timing wasn’t good.

Anna M. - Teaching at a School/Orphanage

Country of Origin: USA

Duration of Stay: 2 months

Email: mottanna1@gmail.com

At first I expected to only be working at the orphanage but on my very first day they put me in the classroom. I was supposed to go ahead with teaching stage 1 everything but I quickly found that was not something I was comfortable with. I talked to Charles and Rev. Wisdom, the proprietor of the school and the orphanage, and they were very accommodating with my needs. I then observed classes for a while, graded homework and once I was comfortable I began to teach English and Math to stage 3-5. It was much easier to teach the “older” students because their English was a little better.

It takes time to adjust to the school systems and the way things are run. Don’t get discouraged. Try to learn why things are the way they are. The students loved the tutoring programs we began after school. They liked them and it was nice because the students that want to learn stayed. It was little easier than normal classes. They like learning small games that we know: Simon says, Heigman, hand clap games, dances – all of these.

Community/Host Family

The community is great. You will love the community. My host family was great too. She was not too clingy but was there when I needed her and listened to what I had to say. She was my favorite.

Weekends

I did pretty much everything everyone else did. Accra, Cape Coast, Kakum – all are definitely worth going to. Oh! Ho and Hohoe too were both very cool. Definitely take little trips. Its fun to see the country and it helps to pass the time.

I think everyone else mentioned the important information. It takes time to adjust but once you do, you’ll love it. I had a great experience.

Marine G. - Teaching at a School

Country of Origin: France

Countries Gone With STAESA: South Africa, Mali, Ghana

Duration of Stay: 6 months

Email: marine.girot@gmail.com

Ghana

I worked at the SDA demonstration school for the 2 months. It was really fine. The teachers are very welcoming and the children seem to want to learn (which quite different from what I ‘m used to in France) I was teaching French in stage 5 and Junior Secondary school. The students were wonderful and it was difficult to say good bye.

I had the oldest pupils write a play and play it in front of the school on my last day. It went very well. They really like this, and singing, if you can them some songs, they love it. I was planning on teaching them “ oh happy day” but I didn’t have the time. If someone feels like trying, the school doesn’t have a lot and good things bring is story books. The children like stories and they don’t read enough, so bringing books is really good idea.

Community

Living in Aflao is like living in a village and everyone will know you in 10 minutes after you arrived at Charles the coordinators place. People like to talk to foreigners and they are usually helpful. Even more if you really integrate by wearing appropriate clothes (some western shorts or skirts might offend if short!) and learning a bit of the language - My host family is good! I love them!

My stay has been great overall of course. I’ve had times when I was down and when I could not understand the culture, But you just need to keep your mind open and sometimes keep your distances, Ghana will not become Europe or USA and changes are very slow. If you understand why people act in a certain way, it helps a lot. And you will discover a lot of things that you will want to take home – hospitality, carrying babies on the back and things on the head. Talk a lot with people. They like it and it is a relief. And enjoy! Live in the present, like Africans, do not plan too much!

Diane F. - Teaching at a School

Country of Origin: France

Duration of Stay: 3 weeks

Email: dianouchett@hotmail.com

I’ve been working at SDA school for around 3 weeks. The first few days, I was asked to observe classes and teachers to see how everything was managed. Then I was asked to teach stage 3 and 4 French and English. The classes do not group children from the same age but are supposed to gather together pupils which have the same level. Therefore, stage 3 and 4 go from 8 years old to 14years old. If you do not know how to handle a class or get the children’s attention you should ask other teachers there. Everybody is really nice and always very welcome If you need something do not hesitate! ( This is generally comment for Ghana actually…)Mr. Fred the headmaster of the school is trying to make things change/evolve. During our stay, a rule was to be integrated in all mind “no beating is allowed” Although not everybody is ready for such a change, progress have been made and seen.

For the classes: it is best to (1) Do a lesson (2) do exercise (class works) (3) correct in class (4) give home works and grade them (5) ask few questions about previous lessons (6) remember to tell the children to learn at night

Charlote F. - Teaching at a School/Construction

Country of Origin: France

Duration of Stay: 3 weeks

Email: cf2252@cdumbia.edu

As an architecture student, I was originally meant to be working on construction projects and such. However due to the timing I ended up teaching at SDA school with Diane.

School however turned out to be wonderful and I am glad that I ended up teaching. I would teach English and French to the Junior High School class and spend my mornings playing with the KG kids during their hours of break time – the kids are so sweet and for the most part eager to learn while the staff are extremely welcome and kind ( Although after they would just stop teaching and came out to chat for hours?

I think that due to my short stay, I am leaving Ghana with the feeling that I wasn’t be able to accomplished that much. However this has been the case for every single volunteer I have met on weekends, working with various other organizations all over the country. All this being said - I love my project and I am very happy with the way that I spend my 3 weeks here.

Nadine M. and Alena L. - Orphanage and Teaching at a School

Country of Origin: Germany

Duration of Stay: 4 weeks

We enjoyed all the time here very much. We love the kids with all our heart. The way of live here is enviable for us busy Europeans. It could be that you in the first days think, that the kids have a one side and poor live, but consider they have to eat, they learn to read and write, everyone have his own jobs here and the near to God. These they all need, want and love. When you see the kids in the street they live a heavier life. We wish you a lot of fun during your stay here and collect many experiences.

Barbara S. - Orphanage and Teaching at a School

Country of Origin: Germany

Duration of Stay: 12 weeks

Email: schwertner@gmx.de

I like my work as a teacher very much. The children really want to learn, they just need motivation. I just taught maths because my English is not that good but the most important thing is to teach them English. They children can’t read or write properly.

If you don’t like to teach you can just sit on a chair and be a “mummy” for the children or orphans. Its important to be there for the children. They like to be hugged and touched. The orphanage is the good place for the children. But even my first impressions were terrible.

Community/Host Family

I like everybody, I like Aflao very much. You can find almost everything but you have to search. If you cant see the sweet white bread anymore you can go to the beach there they bake the French bread (Baquette). I like all the fresh fruits very much: Oranges, Pineapples, Bananas, Papayas and many, many more. ( I don’t remember their names) But don’t forget to wash them with salt water before eating.

Michael W. - Development

Country of Origin: Chicago, USA

Duration of Stay: 4 weeks

Email: mtwolk@neiv.edu

Host Family/Community

Wow! My stay in Aflao was amazing. My host family Dr. Nkansa and his wife Aggie and their daughters Akos, Audra, and Agvia were so welcoming, generous, and happy. I highly recommend Kobe which is salted tilapia that is prepared in a spicy tomatoes based souse with a heaping amount of ground pepper, it is delicious. The fruit in Ghana is wonderful, fresh from the tree. Everything from Pineapples, Mangoes and Bananas.

Project

I volunteered at Central Aflao Hospital landscaping the side and front façade of the building. I tore out the sod, added top soil and planted about 600 to 620 plants. These plants flower in colors of red and white. It was a great honor to help out in any way that I can and I hope I was able to beautify the grounds a little more than what was previously there. I feel that the flowers will bring life and beauty to a place that sees people sick and die. My trip is bitter sweet, I am sad to go I feel that there is so much more for me to do and my stay was much too short.

Free Time

So on my spare time I went to the beach in Aflao and swam, the waves are nice with a strong under toe so you have to be somewhat alert so you are not swept out to sea. If you like football there are plenty of opportunities to join a game on the beach.

Weekends

Kakum national park just about 30 minutes from Cape Coast is sweet. There is a canopy walk above the trees it is 120 ft in the air and you sight see across a series of 7 bridges, the forest is wonderful and the vantage point is something else. Cape Coast is a must, the roads are very well maintained.

Anna M. and Jessika S. - Orphanage and Teaching at a School

Country of Origin: Germany

Duration of Stay: 10 weeks

Email: annalenamoosmann@online.de / jessileaschuab@web.de

In school we teached English and maths. Very basic staff like plus and minus or some English reading. It is very important to learn them how to read and the numbers. They learn a lot by heart (eg. Counting or poems) but don’t know anything about the basic rules. They have a lot of teaching materials, but unfortunately they never use it. If you are going to teach just ask ( or it - They have a big library) the kids love it! It is very hard to teach, because they have non-separated classrooms and the smaller ones (we taught) like to run away and their English-understanding is not that good.

Our last week we started teaching the older ones and recognized that it’s easier with them. You definitely have to say what you want and what you don’t want!! If you decided not to teach, you gonna sit in the classroom and observe the lesson ( can become very boring) The rest of your day you have free time, but the kids are always happy when you play with them.

Community

We stayed in the Reverents’ house and we really enjoyed it. Always when it was getting to much for us in the school (the noise and the kids) We went in our rooms and rest for a while. They really take good care of us. They bought us minerals, ice cream ( Fan Yogo) and fruits. When you get sick and tired of the food just go to the boarder side between Ghana, Togo and buy some French fries or French bread ( Boguett). The people here are very friendly and they like when you you talk to them, a friendly good afternoon “ makes them feel happy.

Weekends

We stay here for a long time, we travelled a lot. This is what you also should do, to see most of as possible of the country. Don’t worry, you can also travel longer than a weekend (eg leave on Friday and come back on Monday or Tuesday) we are volunteers, so it shouldn’t be a problem. In the following we want to give you a small impression, of what you can visit.

Places We Visited:

  • Hohoe: Wli Waterfalls
  • Tafi Atome: Monkey Sanctuary
  • Ada Foah
  • Cape Coast
  • Kumasi
  • Tamale: Mole National Park
  • Wechiau: Hippo Sanctuary
  • Busua
  • Cape Three Points: Green Turtle Lodge
  • Ho

Kathleen P. - Health Program

Country of Origin: Germany

Duration of Stay: 4.5 weeks

Email: Kathleen-poetzschke@web.de

I am a medicine student in the 4th year in Germany. So I decided at home to come here to see how is the work in an African hospital. All people here in the Central Aflao Hospital are very nice and helpful. I stayed mostly with the Medical Official in-charge of the hospital who is also the CEO of the hospital and see how they work. There are lot of patients and not many doctors. – so it was quite busy very often and the doctors had no much time to explain or teach me most of the things in the hospital - but they really tried their best.

Christine S. - School/Orphanage

Country of Origin: Germany

Duration of Stay: 10 weeks

Email: chrissi-schulz@gmx.net

Nearly every day I stayed at the orphanage and also assisted the teacher at school. I thought mathematics and English for students at stage 2 and 3. What I learned is that the teachers are always glad if you try to create the lessons very excited eg. If you invent interesting exercises or use pictures in order to explain something.

Free time

Like the others volunteers I visited many places in Ghana and travelled also to Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso. In Benin I visited Ganviet. It is a village with houses located on water. It was very in interesting painting by the wooden house. Furthermore, I travelled to Quidah ( Benin) a place with a slave history. You can walk or take the motor taxi to follow the slave road and visit the big gate of no return.

It was the best decision to come to Ghana. I learned to adopt to a new culture and gain new experiences. Although I missed my boyfriend very much, I had the chance to find out more about African social life in order to understand my boyfriend better. Im so glad that I took the opportunity to come to Africa , because for so many years I was dreaming of visiting this interesting continent. Had my dream became reality!

I promise to come back and then I can see all the people I met here back again. Ghana and Africa in general is a place that you have to visit once in your life time.

Janina B. - Orphanage, School, and Hospital

Country of Origin: Germany

Duration of Stay: 8 weeks

Email: janinabuss90@googlemail.com

In my first month I worked in Agbozume orphanage and the school in Agbozume. We helped the children in the morning to bath and dress up for school. I did not teach but I helped with research ( most needy children in the area – micro financing) and I helped the children doing their homework and played with them. I really enjoyed the time there living with FIVE other volunteers behind the school/orphanage in a compound with other Ghanaian families. To work and eat we came to the school. I really like to be with children and the people.

Community

I have to say that I like more living in Agbozume with the other volunteers and the kids. I felt more comfortable in the area because everybody knew that we were working at the orphanage and helped us whenever they could. People in Aflao are more annoying. Agbozume is quieter and the people were just nice to you.

Julia S. and Franziska S. - Medical Students

Country of Origin: Germany

Duration of Stay: 4 weeks

Email: Julia-scharf@web.de / franzi-schueler@web.de

We are two medical students from Germany in our 5th year. We came together to do an internship for 4 weeks at Central Aflao Hospital. During our stay we have been to the laboratory, dispensary room, treatment room and consulting room. Nearly every day we went with Dr. Nkansa to the wards rounds. Most of the time the work was quite boring, there are not enough patients for too much staff. The difference to work in Germany is huge. Here three people do the work of one. Physical examinations and lab test are often not by the doctors even though they have the technical / lab possibilities here.