A Partner West Africa Testimonial
Testimonial 100 of 102
Volunteer with children in Ghana, West Africa
Volunteer with children in Ghana, West Africa
Volunteer as part of the international schools partnership scheme in Ghana, West Africa
PWA Volunteer Alex in Ghana, West Africa

Alex - UK

Programme Completed: New - The PWA Daycare & Nursery Centre

Date Posted: 07/12/2013

My volunteering experience has been just that, an experience. In a lot of ways it was exactly what I was expecting, but in so many other ways, it surpassed my expectations and has left me with no choice but to come back to Africa again as soon as possible. 

"My volunteering experience has been just that, an experience. In a lot of ways it was exactly what I was expecting, but in so many other ways, it surpassed my expectations and has left me with no choice but to come back to Africa again as soon as possible. 

Right from the start I felt very welcomed by the team. Having Matt Craig (Director) and Ramatu (Guest House Manager) waiting for me at the airport ready to help me with my bags was fantastic. The drive to the house was long, but it gave us enough time to properly introduce ourselves and get a quick heads-up as to what I could expect over my volunteer placement. When we arrived at the volunteer guest house, the welcome continued: My volunteer roommate has stayed-up past midnight to welcome me, so I wasn't going to be spending my first night sharing a room with someone I didn't know.

Over my first week I was brought straight into the action. A day of volunteer orientation about what I should and shouldn't expect, do's and don'ts and other important information gave me the best idea of how to behave and the things that I might encounter. It was a lot of information to take in, but it was all useful and helped to keep me safe over my first few weeks as I settled in and got used to the way things happen in Ghana. As part of the Partner West Africa (PWA) orientation process, my welcoming, friendly and helpful roommate also helped show me the ropes. He took me around Kokrobite (the village the volunteer guest house is located in), showed me where things were, introduced me to the people I would be meeting on a regular basis, and of course showed me the bar! Ha. Once we had seen the village, I took my first shared taxi, to get up to the nearest town, something you will get very used to as a volunteer. This was an experience in itself, but nothing compared to the tro-tro (Ghanaian mini-bus). Once you have been on a tro-tro, you will never again complain about public transport. I love to been thrown in at the deep end, hit the ground running, and this is what I did over my first few days.I got to know as much about the area that I would be staying and volunteering in and I got used to the systems as quickly as possible.

Once I was settled in, got my baring's about where I am and had time to get used to the African heat, I was introduced to the rest of the PWA team and my project for the next 3 months. The team, only one word to describe them: Amazing. It doesn't even take you a day to go from feeling like you are working with strangers until you feel like you are working along-side friends.

Inusah (Project Manager) was the first team member I was introduced to, and he couldn't be more helpful; he will support you if are struggling with your work. He's worked on countless development projects of all sizes, so he's seen it all. Just ask and he will, without a doubt, be able to give you support. 

Big Chris (Security Guard) was the second team member that I met. It wont take much of your imagination to work out where he gets his name from. Chris acts as security for the PWA team and volunteers but you will often find him helping out on the projects as well. Chris is without a doubt the most enthusiastic person I have ever met, and that enthusiasm comes from an unbelievable about of pride and love for the place he lives in and the organisation that he works for. His enthusiasm is contagious, it wont take you long to see things the way he does and be head over heals about Africa. 

Chillie was the final team member that I met. Chillie is the Volunteer Co-ordinator, so he will be looking after you a lot of the time. I couldn't have felt in safer hands. He speaks pretty much every language that is spoken in Ghana, and to a very high standard. The same goes for his English; there is no language barrier here. He knows where everything is, where you should and shouldn't go, and a whole lot more. Just make sure you take him along if you want to go shopping in the local markets, you will always get the best prices when Chillie is around. 

I enjoyed all of my time spent out working with the team, whether it was working directly on my project, or tagging along with anything else that was going on.. One thing you will find is there is always something to do; you will never be caught at a loose end when working for PWA. 

The project work I was involved with was great. It defiantly kept me busy and gave me a chance to try a whole host of new things. Right the way through from coaching football to taking workshops on the importance of trees and conservation. 

The team couldn't have been more helpful when it came to the projects either. Inusah is an amazing project manager and he will always keep you involved and put you to good use. All of the kids that I spent my time with in Africa were amazing and all were willing to learn whatever I had to teach them. It's safe to say that I never had a dull moment while working with the team on my volunteer projects. 

When you finish your day's work on your volunteer project and want to take a break, or if you have a day off, there isn't a better place to relax than in Kokrobite. With the beach only a stones throw from the house and the best volunteer hang out in Ghana a short walk along the sea-front, you can't go wrong. You will soon find your favourite place to spend your down-time and then you can start to meet the wonderful people of Ghana and Kokrobite. Everyone is very welcoming and very happy to see you. Kokrobite is very well known throughout Ghana and many volunteers from all sorts of organisations travel here for the weekend.

I think the best thing I can do is offer future volunteers some advice that I know I would have found useful. Be prepared to sweat! It is hot, all the time, and you will sweat, all the time. There is no need to be embarrassed because everyone is in the same boat as you, and it is a sweaty one.

Just give everything a go. There is no harm in trying something, it all adds to the experience. The team will never let you be in any danger, so you never need to worry about that. But its great to try local dishes and all sort of other things that you will only experience in Ghana. 

Probably the best advice that I think I can pass on to future volunteers is just to be confident. If you just embrace the way things are done in Ghana, you will have an unforgettable time and you will meet some of the most amazing and inspirational people that are just in a league of there own. 

Speaking as someone who has volunteered with PWA and spoken to a huge number of other volunteers from different volunteering organisations in Africa over my time here, I would have to say that nobody seems to have had a better experience than me. With PWA you get a chance to have a go at everything, you will see as much of Ghana as you want to and you really feel part of a team, not just another tourist with money. Choice is what PWA gives you, that separates it from every other volunteer organisation I have encountered, and that is what makes it such an amazing experience. I whole heartedly and absolutely recommend that if you are looking to volunteer, you volunteer with Partner West Africa; I can guarantee that you will not regret it!"

 

 

How can you help?
  • If you would like to volunteer or partner with PWA on any of our projects or programmes, please click here.
  • If you would like to make a general donation, either on a one-off or monthly basis to our charity, please click on one of the three 'Donation Payment Methods' boxes below. 
  • If you would like to support our charity in any other way - for example by donating goods like children's clothes or materials like mosquito nets, or helping us promote our charity through social media or identifying like-minded potential partners - please download the 'How you can support  us' Brief which is located in the introduction text of our Donate Page here.
  • Or, finally, if you would like to talk to our team about any other issue regarding our charity, our projects, or our volunteering & partnership opportunities, please click here.

Thank you

Donation Payment Methods

CharityCheckout

Charity Checkout accepts all major debit and credit cards and allows you to make one-off or monthly donations that will be used to support our charity in general, so if you would like to donate to a specific appeal, or become a sponsor of our Daycare & Nursery Centre, please follow the donation information provided within those specific appeals. All donations to PWA are regulated by the UK Charities Commission and in line with our Terms & Conditions. Thank you.

JustGiving

JustGiving is a great fundraising site for friends of our charity who would like to set up their own fundraising pages, alllowing your friends and family to donate towards your specific project, aims or objectives with PWA. If you set up a JustGiving fundraising page, you describe your story and reasons for supporting PWA & your donors can link through to PWA's JustGiving page to learn about our charity & its work. All donations are regulated by the UK Charities Commission and made in line with our Terms & Conditions. Thank you.

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PWA banks with the Co-operative Bank, UK, the leading bank for charitable organisations. If you are a UK or international bank account holder, donations can be made quickly & simply online. You can also use this method to make one-off donations or to set up monthly donations to our charity. Please contact us to request our bank account details to set up a bank transfer. All donations made to PWA are regulated by the UK Charities Commission & made in-line with our Terms & Conditions. Thank you.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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