A Partner West Africa Testimonial
Testimonial 44 of 102
PWA volunteer Alex talking with local stakeholders in hygiene and sanitation in Ghana, West Africa
PWA volunteer Alex talking with local stakeholders in hygiene and sanitation in Ghana, West Africa
PWA Volunteer Alex at the guest house planning out different sanitation options as part of his work placement
PWA Volunteer Alex giving a presentation to local health, hygiene and sanitation experts
PWA Volunteer Alex at a local health facility in the village of Oshieye, Ghana
PWA Volunteer Alex conducting research with nurses from the Ghana Health Service

Alex - UK

Programme Completed: Multidisciplinary Volunteering Programmes

Date Posted: 09/11/2016

We have had a hugely varied and insightful time here in Ghana, doing work right in the heart of the local communities with the invaluable support of the PWA team here at the volunteer guesthouse...As horrendously cliché as it sounds, this placement at PWA has definitely helped me to grow as a person. It has given me invaluable experience working in developing communities, even if the project ended up using less engineering expertise that planned, we followed the need, and so it has been clear throughout that all the work we do is directly for the benefit of the local community.

"Hello, I'm Alex and I've done a 6 week work placement at Partner West Africa (PWA) as part of a team from Engineers Without Borders UK, a PWA partner organisation.
 
We have had a hugely varied and insightful time here in Ghana, doing work right in the heart of the local communities with the invaluable support of the PWA team here at the volunteer guesthouse.

Arriving at the start of August, there were a lot of volunteers already working on their own PWA projects. All the other volunteers were extremely welcoming and it didn't take long before the guesthouse felt like a home away from home. I was immediately struck by how welcoming and friendly Ghana was, with people always looking to say hello and help you wherever you go here.

The volunteer guesthouse is comfortable and well equipped; the local town of Kokrobite provides a wide variety of social options due to its fledgling tourist industry. One of the beach bars in Kokrobite hosts an amazing weekly reggae night that us volunteers hold very close to our hearts, we try make it every Saturday if we can!

During the time that I have spent here it has been sometimes difficult to conduct our work, purely due to the challenges of working in a developing context, for example there are very limited IT resources available and the Ghanaian power grid can be unpredictable at best. As such, PWA recommends bringing a laptop and buying 3G internet data packages on arrival, although the volunteer guesthouse does supply limited Wi-Fi for work purposes, and is extremely secure to leave any valuables.

I was really struck by the contrasts here, the inequalities in society are far more pronounced when the poorest cannot afford food, good shelter and medical care. Just the difference between Oshieye, the low-income fishing village next to where Partner West Africa focuses their programmes, and the large houses and beach bars scattered along the coast line is physically painful. I would describe volunteer work here as having more in common with work in urban/peri-urban poor communities in developed nations than the stereotypical volunteering in a remote village in the developing world. 

In terms of actual project work, if you take it upon yourself to plan and manage what you want to achieve here, the support which PWA gives to aid you works well. The Engineers Without Borders project was centred on healthcare infrastructure, originally researching the health of the local community to plan and equip a new on site medical centre. However, the outcome of the research was that PWA could not feasibly provide an effective service here, therefore our project reacted accordingly and adapted:
  • To come up with a plan for the re-development of the nursery site, to be broken down into stages that allows PWA to provide higher levels of care to an increased student intake.
  • To deliver a report and presentation to selected local healthcare stakeholders about the health situation in Oshieye with the aim of knowledge sharing and networking to present some solutions.

As horrendously cliché as it sounds, this placement at PWA has definitely helped me to grow as a person. It has given me invaluable experience working in developing communities, even if the project ended up using less engineering expertise that planned, we followed the need, and so it has been clear throughout that all the work we do is directly for the benefit of the local community.

Anyway, back to work now to get our designs finished before we leave.

Medasi (thank you in Twi) PWA for this awesome opportunity, Alex"
 
 
How can you help?
  • 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 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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