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

Not every student who volunteers abroad is out to boost their CV: volunteering done right

Date Posted: 06/04/2017

There is much research and discussion on what’s wrong with volunteering, here we read about volunteering done right.

There is much research and discussion on what’s wrong with volunteering, this article highlights the benefits of international volunteering, when it’s done right.

In this example, volunteers were involved in projects that the communities needed or requested – as opposed to volunteering done wrong, when volunteers join organisations that have programmes which are pre-determined without consultation with the local community, designed purely to attract volunteers (and their money) with little thought of what the community want and need or whether the volunteer is qualified to do it. Volunteers also maintained contact with the students and organisation they volunteered with, encouraging cultural exchange and friendship.

Partner West Africa get it right by inviting volunteers to share their knowledge and skills with our staff and the communities we work with; share their knowledge of aspects the communities themselves have identified as areas of priority. All our programmes have the approval of both government and local community elders and encourage community members to be involved in the delivery of the projects where appropriate. Working alongside our local staff, volunteers can help improve the knowledge and expertise of our staff, the community and organisations that will benefit children and families after they have returned to their home country.

Some volunteers maintain an advisory relationship with Partner West Africa once they leave, allowing them to continue to use their expertise to improve the programmes offered to the community and local organisations. Others continue to fundraise and promote the charity to allow us to continue to offer the support and services to the children, families and communities we support.

Two examples of how volunteering with Partner West Africa is volunteering done right.


Find out more about the volunteer programmes we offer.

Find out more about donating to, or fundraising for, Partner West Africa.

Author: The Guardian

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