A Partner West Africa Testimonial
Testimonial 65 of 102
Ethical volunteering work placements in child rights and education in Ghana, West Africa

Sophie - UK

Programme Completed: New - The PWA Daycare & Nursery Centre

Date Posted: 12/09/2015

The last 5 weeks at Partner West Africa (PWA) have certainly been an unforgettable experience. Having never travelled by myself before, let alone volunteered I was extremely apprehensive about the whole idea. I had been extensively researching into opportunities to volunteer in the field of child rights for the summer before going into my final year at University and came across PWA's internal volunteering department: Volunteer West Africa. With the knowledge that that my money was going directly to benefiting the children combined with speaking to Matt (PWA's director) and a previous PWA volunteer, I felt PWA was the place for me.

"The last 5 weeks at Partner West Africa (PWA) have certainly been an unforgettable experience. Having never travelled by myself before, let alone volunteered I was extremely apprehensive about the whole idea. I had been extensively researching into opportunities to volunteer in the field of child rights for the summer before going into my final year at University and came across PWA's internal volunteering department: Volunteer West Africa. With the knowledge that that my money was going directly to benefiting the children combined with speaking to Matt (PWA's director) and a previous PWA volunteer, I felt PWA was the place for me.
 
Coming from a place primarily known for its vast amount of countryside the journey to Ghana was daunting to say the least. However upon arriving in Accra and being greeted at the airport by the smiling face of Inusah (PWA's Project Manager) I immediately felt at ease. The first week was overwhelming with friendliness and the difference in culture but being shown around by either Inusah or Kofi (PWA's Caretaker) I was able to gain confidence in such unfamiliar surroundings and consequently begin what I set out to do.
 
Ghana is a beautiful place, but like everywhere there are always the places that escape the limelight. One of these is PWA's partnered village Oshieye - where the children who attend the PWA Daycare and Nursery Centre come from. During my 5 weeks I worked on many projects which all enabled me to gain a broad picture of the general lifestyle of local children, one of these being the admissions for the nursery. This began with the initial job of seeking out children aged 2-3 from such a tight community where word of mouth is the main source of communication. It involved a hands on approach of conversations with the chief, nurse and a group of PWA volunteers going around door to door in Oshieye explaining about our admissions day. With PWA having already decreased child mortality in Oshieye by 60% it was clear this was an important process. The assessment involved initial interviews which were followed up by house visits. It was a long but informative process - especially with no house numbers or streets like in the UK!
 
Although having ratified the CRC, Ghana takes a different approach than the UK to child rights as there are more defiant aspects of culture as well as controversial opinions. The process of narrowing down the admissions to fill the 20 spaces available is constantly being put off by PWA in the hope of not having to do so - instead PWA is trying desperately to find last minute sponsorship and support that would enable the nursery and daycare centre to take in all the children who applied.
 
Organising the admissions gave me an insight into child rights - a widely regarded sensitive topic. It enabled me to see how evident it is for a strong relationship between PWA and the community however in 5 weeks this was not possible for me to achieve.
 
I was also able to visit other partnership villages of PWA such as Opeikuma and Agbogbloshie - a truly humbling experience to see the strength of community amongst what is known as one of the biggest slums in West Africa. PWA gave me the opportunity to spend time with the nurses at a health clinic, attend a cultural night with a chief, spend the weekend in Cape Coast were I could visit the infamous Elmina Castle as well as broaden my knowledge on the context of different child rights.
 
Partner West Africa is the perfect place to go if you want to volunteer and see first hand where all your money is going - the work they do is incredible. Amongst all this the PWA compound is beautiful, clean and well equipped and an easy place to make your second home. The other volunteers became like family and despite doing such different projects there was plenty of time to spend together helping in the nursery or at the one and only Big Milly's!
 
I couldn't thank everyone at PWA enough and I hope and believe that they continue to achieve many such amazing things!"
 
 
How can you help?
  • If you would like to also volunteer at the PWA Daycare and Nursery Centre on the Early Years Education & Child Rights programme, please click here.
  • If you would like to volunteer or partner with PWA on any of our other projects or programmes, please click here.
  • If you would like to make a donation, of any amount, on a one-off or monthly basis, to the PWA Daycare and Nursery Centre, 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.

Direct Bank-to-Bank Transfers

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © Partner West Africa 2018                           Partner West Africa is an officially registered UK-charity - UK Charities Commission Registration No: 1152479