A Partner West Africa Testimonial
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PWA Volunteer Ella in the field working on the PWA Daycare and Nursery Sponsorship Scheme promotional video
PWA Volunteer Ella in the field working on the PWA Daycare and Nursery Sponsorship Scheme promotional video
PWA Volunteer Ella filming the PWA Daycare and Nursery Sponsorship Scheme promotional video
PWA Volunteer Ella working with vulnerable children from the PWA Daycare and Nursery Centre
PWA Volunteer Elle helping at a creative education lession at the PWA Daycare and Nursery Centre
PWA Volunteer distributing oral health items in Ghana, West Africa

Ella - UK

Programme Completed: Fundraising, Promotion & Journalism

Date Posted: 18/08/2016
I feel as though my time in Ghana has equipped me with a diverse range of professional skills and a compassionate mindset that I will take with me to whatever the future holds...
 
Thank you VWA for a once in a lifetime opportunity!
"Hi, I'm Ella and I have just spent five weeks volunteering with Partner West Africa (PWA) [through their internal volunteering department: Volunteer West Africa]. I have been thoroughly moved by my experience here and the amazing services the PWA team work tirelessly to provide.
 
When I arrived in Ghana, Inusah, PWA's Project Manager, was waiting to collect me at the airport from where I was whisked to the volunteer guesthouse, where I was warmly welcomed. Over my first few days I was taken on a tour of the local area and had my health and safety and project orientations and training. There was a lot to take in, regarding working in a developing country during this period: from the unpredictable driving conditions, strange smells, constant shouting, unstable electricity and lack of sanitation - plus people everywhere shouting 'Obruni' (white person) to greet you - at times it was daunting. but most of all it was just really interesting to be so deeply embedded in another world.
 
My volunteer project involved developing the PWA Daycare & Nursery sponsorship scheme, as part of the launch to support and develop the centre, so I carried out a number of project activities including: 
 
  • I created a newsletter about the community of Oshieye, in which I interviewed Kindergarten 2 class student Viola's mother and grandmother as a feature. This was a particularly poignant moment for me; meeting the families of the children at their homes in the village of Oshieye. It was quite sad to see that the bright personalities from the centre were living in such basic conditions with such little little stimulation. 
  • I also worked on a sponsorship brochure, video advert and did a lot of research into promotional strategies for the scheme. Culminating in the final creation and launch of a fantastic video which all the volunteers helped me share and spread across social media! Check it out:
 
 
 
  • Alongside my own project works, I was lucky enough to get involved in other projects too, as PWA encourage this to give you a rich experience. I worked alongside the children in the nursery to make arts and crafts cards, assisted with an oral health talk where I demonstrated teeth brushing, and carried out loads of nursery games and events.
  • Aside from standard projects, PWA also made sure I was part of a range of extracurricular activities and trips. I visited the huge shanty town of Agbogbloshie and checked out PWA's work there, took a tour of the capital Accra, chilled out at Bojo beach, attended a traditional Ghanaian church service in Kokrobite and took a long weekend in Cape Coast visiting Kakum National Park and Cape Coast Castle. Last but not least we frequented local and world famous beach bar Big Milly's Backyard at the weekend for drinks, dancing and cultural entertainment.
 
One of the highlights of my time here has to be living with the rest of the volunteers, I met some brilliant and diverse individuals who I bonded with really quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed their company. I also really enjoyed chatting with local Ghanaians and exchanging stories about our different lives and cultures. I found the guesthouse extremely comfortable and facilitating and particularly enjoyed eating the traditional African dishes prepared by the cooks Sarah and Mary. I will definitely be trying them out at home- but will be steering clear of Banku and Okro soup!
 
I have enjoyed every minute of my time in Ghana and it has definitely given me a fresh outlook on life. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and friendliness of the Ghanaian people. I will genuinely miss hearing 'Good afternoon' and 'Hello, how are you?' whenever I leave the house. Although people here live in extremely difficult circumstances they thrive with the little they have and their resourcefulness and hard work ethic is admirable. I have found PWA's commitment to looking after the community and working together in harmony to be a refreshing change from the individualistic and often selfish nature we have adopted in much of the capitalist West.
 
I feel as though this experience has been extremely grounding for me. I've enjoyed taking quick showers, wearing no makeup and scruffy outfits and hand washing my clothes, living a simple life with little material possessions or luxury amenities. I will definitely be having a clear out when I get home! During my time in Ghana I found myself scrolling through Facebook posts struggling to find meaning in the kinds of things we find significant and important in our developed lives. There have been times where I've found it difficult to reconcile what I have seen here with the life I live at home. 
 
I hope to continue to work in the charity sector as volunteering with PWA has given me a unique understanding of the huge impact individuals can make to those less fortunate than ourselves and, in turn, what we can learn from the process. PWA's commitment to supporting vulnerable children and working within the local community is commendable and I am so glad that I chose them for my first overseas volunteering experience. I have been lucky that this experience has happened at a particularly significant time in my life having just finished university and looking to start graduate work when I return home (which PWA have promised to help with with references and recommendations etc!).
 
I feel as though my time in Ghana has equipped me with a diverse range of professional skills and a compassionate mindset that I will take with me to whatever the future holds.
 
Thank you PWA for a once in a lifetime opportunity,
 
Love Ella x"
 
 
How can you help?
  • If you would like to also volunteer on the fundraising, promotion and journalism 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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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