Do I have to be a professional to participate?
No, you don’t. With even high school education you can take part in our teaching, sports and social services programs, and HIV/AIDS campaign. However, some health positions require some skills and related experience.
How do I Apply?
You can go to our volunteer/internship application page or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How far is Awutu Senya District from the capital, Accra?
The capital city is about 45 minutes drive from the Awutu Senya Community.
Can I select a location where I want to Volunteer or Intern?
Yes, as long as we do placements there.
Which areas in Ghana do you have volunteering and internship placements?
Our placements are mostly in the Awutu Senya District (Kasoa, Beraku, Papaase etc) in the Central Region of Ghana and few in Accra. Our placements are normally along the coast (along the beaches). The historic slave point of Africa (Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle), Kakuum National Park .etc can be found in our region of operation.
Can I make a request of an internship position not stated on the website?
Yes, interns can make an internship request anywhere in the Central or Greater Accra region and we would gladly assist you to get a worthwhile placement due to our partnerships with various institutions.
Can I volunteer / intern at anytime of the year?
Yes, you can intern or volunteer at anytime of the year. However, teaching placements are normally based on the school calendar in Ghana. CHF can place teaching volunteers within the following periods in the year:
5th September – 15th December (1st school term)
9th January – 15th April (2nd school term)
5th May- 10th August (3rd school term)
* Each school has relative freedom to decide on calendar modifications and holiday periods, so these dates are quite flexible and we could accommodate you almost any time of the year that you are willing to volunteer as a teacher. In between these periods, you can still keep your room if you are staying beyond one term. For childcare, orphanages, public health, social service, and sports volunteers and interns, it is open all year round.
What sort of training and orientation is provided?
Whatever training/ orientation/ preparation that is needed, will be provided by CHF and the institution you are going to serve. On arrival you will normally be given three days of orientation for your placement before starting work. This will introduce you to the culture of the local people, provide details of your placement position, a community familiarization tour, visits to some local chiefs and other local Authorities, and much other information that may be necessary to help you get acquainted with the community you are serving.
My interest lies in your teaching programs, what levels can I teach?
For teaching you have the choice of Nursery/Kindergarten, Primary, Junior High, and Senior
High, charity home schools, commercial, technical and vocational schools.
Which subjects can I teach?
You can choose to teach any of the following subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, Computer Studies (ICT), Social Studies, French, Geography, History, Accounting, Business Management, Home Economics, Technical Drawing, Creative Arts, Physical Education, Religious Studies, Music, or any other skills you are interested in teaching such as Photography, Web Design, First Aid .etc. If you are an experienced teacher, you could volunteer by training other educational professionals.
My interest lies in your health programs, which areas do you cover?
For those interested in the health sector, we have partnerships with hospitals and community clinics to place you according to your area of interest/ expertise. You can choose to work within areas such as: HIV/AIDS, general healthcare assistant, nursing, midwifery or obstetrics (pre-natal and post-natal care), mental health, autism, lab technicians, pharmacists, optometry, dentistry, physiotherapy, pediatrics, skin disease control, health consultancy, and medical health research.
What does a typical day look like?
Wake up around 7.00 am, bath, breakfast. Start work at 8.00am in assigned institution. Work as your schedule provides. Lunch at around 12 noon at the workplace or a nearby restaurant. Return to work until 3.00pm. The number of working hours ranges from 4-6 hours per day; though the schedule is flexible to suit the volunteer / intern. After working hours, the volunteer / intern plans how he/she uses the remainder of the day. The volunteer / intern can help with other community projects, including first aid training, planning health programs with CHF, or sports, games with the school children, or just relax and enjoy some free time. At about 6.00pm supper is served, warm friendship from colleagues at work and town folk to keep you company and show you around and immerse into Ghanaian culture. Ghanaians are renowned for their friendliness and hospitality. The volunteer / intern may also wish to spend their free time with other international volunteers in the area.
Weekends are for your free time. CHF members will be more than happy to show you around the local area or visit places such as the beach, the capital city, Cape Coast Castle, Hans Cottage, Kakum National Park, Nzulenzu .etc. You may also wish to travel independently or with other volunteers to different parts of Ghana or other neighboring countries.
What shots do I need to take?
Your health and well-being is very important to us, so be sure to take the necessary precautions before you arrive.
A pre-requisite for all visitors to Ghana is the YELLOW FEVER inoculation. The vaccination must be taken at least 10 days before your trip. Other vaccinations are also recommended, such as Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio; your doctor, GP or nurse will give you the necessary information. Remember that some of these vaccinations are free in public/state hospitals, but if you are short on time, then you can also obtain them from your nearest travel clinics.
It is essential that you speak with a registered GP/Doctor or nurse on advice about what immunizations are necessary. Prepare in advance of taking your trip.
Do I need malaria treatment for Ghana?
Malaria is, unfortunately, present in Ghana, so be sure to bring preventive medication that your health professionals deem necessary. There are three common options for malarial pills, Larium, Doxycycline and Malarone. These vary in price and side effects (although the side effects are not serious), ask your Doctor/GP for more details.
It is advisable for volunteers and interns to bring a suitable supply of malaria drugs to last the duration of their stay. You can also buy some malaria preventives including Malarone and Doxycycline from the community where you will be staying. Malaria drugs are quite cheap in Ghana due to Government subsidies, and you can buy more incase you are short, but we strongly advise that you purchase enough supply in your home country before you leave.
Your room of stay will be protected from mosquitoes, although we advise that you bring mosquito repellent or deet for the evenings. A mosquito net is optional.
Any doubt you have concerning health issues you should let us know and we will help you by providing you with the necessary information.
Do I need a visa for Ghana?
All visitors coming to Ghana are required to obtain a visa from any Ghanaian embassy or consulate in their home country. Typically this is a 1-3 months visa, although it does vary from country to country. If you intend to stay longer than 3 months, your visa can be easily renewed once you are in Ghana. You will need a valid passport, your vaccination certificates and other supporting documents to obtain a visa.
Countries where Ghana has no embassies or consulate, application for entry visa may be made to the nearest diplomatic mission authorized by the Ghana Government.
You can also obtain a visa at the Kotoka International Airport when you arrive in Ghana, but this should be a last resort. Please contact the nearest Ghanaian embassy in your home country for more enquiries.
Please find below the Ghanaian Consulate websites for various countries
Canada : www.ghc-ca.com
Other General Countries: www.embassyworld.com
Director of Immigration
Ghana Immigration Service
Private Mail Bag
Ministries Post Office-Accra
Tel: +233-302-221667 / +233-302-225321 / +233-302-224445
Do I need travel insurance?
Some health insurance companies do not cover travelling abroad, so it’s a good idea to check and otherwise obtain appropriate travel insurance before travelling abroad. Make sure that it covers you for all eventualities, medical assistance and personal items whilst in Ghana. Prices will vary according to the provider and extent of coverage.
What do I pack?
All of this information will be in your pre-departure handbook you receive on acceptance on your placement.
What services can be found in the Awutu Senya District?
Post office and telecommunications, hospitals and clinics, fair access roads, taxis and buses (tro-tro), markets, football parks, hotels & guest houses, restaurants & bars, tourist sites and internet cafés.
What happens when I arrive in Accra?
Prior to your departure, you will be sent an email containing instructions on how to meet a CHF representative at the airport in Accra without difficulty. He / she will take you to your accommodation and provide you with anything you might need.
What about lodging?
Cheerful Hearts Foundation will provide your accommodation.
What is the accommodation like?
You will be assigned to your own bedroom with a lock, flush toilets & bath in most of the towns; in the rural areas, you will have to manage with a pit toilet & bath. You will not always have running water but there will be clean washing water to bathe and shower in. A mosquito net can be quite helpful. You will be living in a host family house and automatically become a member of that family, which gives you the opportunity to learn their culture, learn a new language, and virtually do everything with them. Host families are carefully selected and decent people who are very caring and friendly.
You can also let us know the type of accommodation you prefer and we will help you get it if you send us advance notice.
What variety of foods can be found?
You can get all kinds of dishes, including continental dishes in the hotels, restaurants, and guesthouses. You can also get local foods at the market, side stalls or ‘chop bars’ including: rice, fish, chicken, ampesi, kenkey, plantain, fufu, banku, gari, all kinds of fruits and vegetables .etc. In local shops and markets you can usually find most of the ingredients you would normally use in your country. There are also supermarkets for imported western foods, although these are more expensive. You should let us know in advance if you have any requirements in this aspect.
Can you give me an idea of the cost of living in Ghana?
Cost of living depends on individual choice and lifestyle! On a general budget we advise that you come with an additional US$30-60 a week to cater for your personal needs such as lunch, phone credit, transportation, snacks, entertainment, drinks and excursions if preferred, and any other things you may wish to buy.
Below are some typical prices within the local area. Prices are in local currency of Ghanaian Cedi where US$1 = $1.40 Ghanaian Cedi
|Street side meal of rice and beans or fish||$1-1.50||Toothpaste||$1.00|
|Meal at restaurant||$2-$5||Phone Credit (average per week)||$2-6|
|500ml pure drinking water||$0.05||Minibus (tro-tro) single journey||$0.25-$1|
|Pineapple||$1.00||Minibus (tro-tro) to Accra (return)||$2|
|Small orange (during season)||$0.10||1 hour Internet Access||$0.60|
|Snacks (i.e. biscuits, plantain chips)||$0.10-50||Bottle of Beer||$2|
|Sachet of washing powder||$0.25||Night at Beach Guesthouse||$10|
|Roll of toilet paper||$0.40|
How is transportation in Ghana?
Transport within town and other cities is mainly by shared minibuses (called ‘tro-tro’) seating about 14 passengers, with very low fares (from $0.50-$1).
A shared taxi within town will cost you from $0.25-$0.50. A private taxi ‘drop-in’ to a specified location will cost from $1-$2. In Accra, it will cost more from $3-6.
Do I have to pay any fees?
Yes, you are required to pay a Program Fee to participate. The fee for the first month of your stay is US $650. Each additional week is US $120.
What does this program fee cover?
Pre-Departure Handbook (details on everything you need to know about your arrival to Ghana), Airport transfers from Accra airport (pick up and drop off), rent and accommodation throughout your stay, breakfast and supper throughout your stay, utility bills (electricity, water and gas), compensation to host family, orientation transportation and tours (first three days of arrival to familiarize yourself with the community you serve), day tour to the capital city, Accra (seeing the major sights such as Independence Square, National Theatre, Arts and Cultural Center, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park), continual assistance and contact from members of CHF staff, 24/7 emergency Support, and cover of small administration costs of organizing your placement.
When and how do I pay my program fee?
You pay your program fee on the day of your arrival or the morning after, in US$ (or GBP or EURO equivalent). The Ghana banking system means that we can only accept cash.
What types of money/credit cards shall I bring?
The most common and easily changed currencies in Ghana are US dollars, British Pounds and Euros. It’s advisable to convert your home currency to the US dollar or any of the above before coming to Ghana. It’s also advisable to come with large denominations (50 or 100 notes) to get the best exchange rates.
It’s a good idea to also have some money on a credit or debit card as they can be widely used, the most commonly accepted card is Visa or Mastercard. You can also use your debit or credit card through many ATMs in Kasoa and Accra, and other cities you may travel to, 24 hours a day. Though debit/credit cards are widely used, we still advise that you come with cash to avoid any inconveniences.
Travelers’ cheques may also be used for security although they are rather outdated nowadays and can only be exchanged at the major banks in Accra and other major cities. To avoid inconvenience with travelers cheques, you may want to explore some post offices and banks in western countries which also offer a US Dollar or Euro travel card. This is useful as another type of ATM card.
The typical US dollar exchange rate is $1 to GH¢ 1.50 (to check the current exchange rate, visit www.xe.com).
For how long can I volunteer?
Volunteer placement is for any length of time between 2 weeks to 6 months (renewable). Once here you can decide to stay for more than the stipulated time of your placement. We can help with renewal of your visa in Ghana.
Who pays for my air ticket?
Airfare in and out will be paid by volunteer / interns, as well as visas, vaccinations and travel insurance.
Is there ready access to Internet?
Yes, there are a number of internet cafés spread around town and you may have a café close to your house. An hour browsing is for $0.50. The speed is not very fast but can be used to all browsing or projects you want to do.
What language do they speak?
The local spoken dialect is Twi but English is the official language used in Ghana. Moreover, every local person can speak some English.
What should I bring for my project?
You will be sent a detailed handbook containing what to bring for the project support. This is normally based on the kind of project or program selected or your project choice. You may also decide to make any material or financial donations especially towards our regular quiz programs which can use as awards for contestants.
Any other things that I need to know?
1. Periodic tours to special places like game reserves, waterfalls, natural habitats, zoos, museums, cultural centers and various interesting places in Ghana can be organized for volunteers and interns by CHF.
2. You must inform us of any health issues, medication etc. you are taking at the time of your journey to Ghana, i.e. allergies, epilepsy, etc. This will allow us to be aware of any special measures to be taken during and before the placement.
3. On acceptance of your placement, you will also receive a pre-departure handbook with all the essential information for preparation of your experience in Ghana.
Do not hesitate to contact us for any questions you cannot find here or any further information you may require.
CHF will do anything possible within our reach and means to make you happy and for your visit to Ghana to be a memorable one.