A Partner West Africa News Story
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Ethical volunteering in Ghana, West Africa

Safe, Effective Volunteering

Date Posted: 05/04/2017

Sending unprepared inadequately skilled volunteers into projects puts both the volunteer and the people and communities in which they are working in a difficult and often unfafe position, read on to find out more and to see how Partner West Africa offer an alternative.

Sending unprepared inadequately skilled volunteers into projects puts both the volunteer and the people and communities in which they are working in a difficult and often unsafe position. This article from ‘The Guardian’ discusses concerns raised regarding the safety and effectiveness of some commercially available volunteer programmes.

What sets Partner West Africa’s volunteer programmes apart is that we only invite volunteers with a skill or knowledge that is of value to us here in Ghana and is directly related to the project they are taking part in: it is each volunteer’s unique expertise that is at the core of our volunteer placements. Our careful application process involving reviewing their CV and conducting an interview to assess their suitability means that our volunteer opportunities are better described as volunteer work experience. All volunteers are also required to provide a criminal record disclosure to provide additional safeguards for working with vulnerable individuals. Longer term volunteers are given a job description and responsibilities allowing them to become immersed in the day-to-day running of our small but busy NGO and learn about the ethical considerations of working in a developing context, whilst benefitting from the support of the Partner West Africa Team who have over a decade of experience in working and volunteering in developing countries. Our approach allows us to provide ethical, sustainable, community-centred volunteering where each volunteer leaves a footprint of knowledge behind that builds and expands the capacity of the staff, children, parents and community as a whole whilst allowing the volunteer to experience the many personal benefits that volunteering brings; this approach has lead us to become a member of the 'Better Volunteering, Better Care' network described in the article.

Find out more about the volunteer programmes we offer and how your skills and expertise can complement the priorities identified by the communities we serve.

Author: The Guardian

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