This is your chance to gain valuable first-hand experience into the healthcare system in Ghana. You will get a real insight into the difficulties faced and meet some of the amazing people trying to help make a difference to the lives of the local community.
During your time on the placement, you will get to shadow and assist the professional medical staff where you will get an unparalleled experience. You will be involved in the day-to-day activities of the hospital, observing the doctors and nurses where you can help out in simple but practical ways, vastly increasing your own knowledge and understanding of medical practice.
You will have the opportunity to be placed in many different departments so that you can receive a broad view of the hospital. Your time in the clinics can be spent in a variety of ways including on maternity wards, operating theatres and recovery wards (a full list is below).
Over the course of your volunteering placement, you will witness a range of illnesses and cases that you may never come across back in the UK, such as Typhoid, Polio and TB. You will also get the chance to learn about several tropical diseases such as Malaria and Dengue.
Our medical work experience welcomes people of all backgrounds. So if you have just left school and looking for experience to boost your university application (pre-med) or are currently a nursing / medical student organising an elective placement overseas – this programme is perfect for you.
We are able to offer a more specific programme for medical, midwifery, dentistry and nursing students looking to take part in an overseas elective. We will be able to tailor your placement around your needs and design a schedule to meet all of your requirements to maximise your time in Ghana. Our UK and local teams are able to complete any paperwork required by your university or other scheme.
Although healthcare in Ghana has improved dramatically since 2003, hospitals are still poorly resourced and under-staffed and this eye-opening experience will show you first hand the challenges faced by the staff.
The large majority of patients that arrive each and everyday are due to illnesses related to poor drinking water and sanitation with many of the causes of death and serious illness being avoidable. You will get to see how cultural factors and a lack of education / health awareness cause an alarmingly high number of preventable cases admitted each day.
At the moment we support Dixcove Government Hospital that sees up to 100 patients arrive everyday. With a wide range of departments for you to be involved with and over 100 beds, you will get a huge experience with all the problems faced at a local hospital in Ghana.
You may be involved in general nursing duties, such as checking temperatures, blood pressure, general health care as well as laboratory duties like dispending of drugs.
Your presence and assistance will help with the burden on the stretched resources of the medical service as well as provide a more personal caring service to the patients.
Ghana is one of the most secure and friendly destinations and is often referred to as the “friendliest place in Africa”.
You will be staying in the small town of Busua, where all amenities are within walking distance. Being so close to the beach (2-minute walk) means your free time can be spent seeing the sights, lazing on a sunny beach or partying with your newfound friends.
You will also have the opportunity to learn to surf, watch the sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs or simply sit and watch the sun go down at one of the small beach bars. You can also head further afield and visit the famous Cape Coast, Elimina, Kakum National Park or Dixcove!
Your varied role and the ever-changing scenarios of a hospital will mean everyday is different. You will generally be working Monday to Friday for approximately 6 hours per day. There are several shifts throughout the day and night that you will get to work on to ensure you see all of the procedures throughout a normal working day at the hospital. These are 8am – 2pm, 2pm – 8pm and 8pm – 8am.
Depending on your duration of the programme and if you have anything specific to be involved in, you will get the opportunity to observe and help many departments and cases. Some of the departments you may cover include:
- Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT)
- General Surgery
- Maternity & Midwifery
- Physical Therapy
Please note, your level of involvement within the hospital is dictated by your medical experience, duration of the programme and your willingness to get involved. During your time in the hospital, it is solely down to the medical staff that oversee the programme as to whether or not you can get involved in any hands-on procedures.
During your time in Ghana you will be staying with our friendly and welcoming host family in the heart of Busua. Live life as a true local and learn all about the culture and taste the mouth-watering cuisine.
You will be volunteering and living right next to the palm tree lined beach that spans the whole bay with golden white sand. A popular tourist hot spot for surfers, you will be able to swim in the blue waters of the Atlantic or learn to surf by one of our trained local team members (additional cost).
There are a few small bars and restaurants along the beachfront that serve both local and western food and is the perfect place to sit back and relax while taking in the beautiful views that surround you.
You will be sleeping with up to 1 other person within your spacious bedroom with nice comfy beds, a basic en-suite bathroom, mosquito nets and a ceiling fan. Volunteers can come together in one of the communal areas and play some card games, although everyone chooses to spend their time on the beach – and why wouldn’t you!
You will feel part of the community from day one, with everyone being so friendly. You can join in with a game of football with the children on the beach after school, go for long walks along the pristine beach, explore the famous Cape Coast or simply relax under the sun.
Wifi – No
People per room – Up to 2
Single sex rooms – Yes
Nearest ATM & shops – 2 minute walk
Airport Transfers – 6 hours
All meals are provided at the volunteer house or in the local restaurant and are included within the programme fee. Meals are aimed to be as varied as possible across the week and you can expect some of the following meals:
Breakfast – Oats, sandwiches, tea, coffee
Lunch – Rice, fish, vegetables, fruits
Dinner – Rice, banku, fufu
What are the requirements to join?
We welcome all volunteers that are thinking about or currently studying anything medical related as long as you have no criminal convictions and are able to supply a clean criminal background check. In order to join the programme you need to be at least 16 years old on the programme start date.
Individuals need to have a good level / understanding of English but it does not need to be your first language. As some programmes can be quite strenuous, we recommend that you should be physically fit.
What date should I arrive and leave?
You should arrive at Kotoka International Airport in Accra (ACC) on your selected start date, being the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month. You will be met by one of our local team members or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to the nearby accommodation for you to settle in.
The programme ends on a Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day. Our local team will be happy to help organise any onward journeys or book transport back to the airport.
Are there any age restrictions for solo travellers?
The only age restriction in place is that you have to be at least 16 years old before your programme start date. Anyone over this age is welcome. Generally the average age range for our programmes is 18 – 25, although this is by no means definitive and we regularly have volunteers of all ages.
When should I apply for the programme?
You can apply for this programme at anytime, however we advise that you apply as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing your placement on your selected dates. Some of our programmes have limited capacity and spaces can get filled up quickly.
If you are wanting to volunteer within the next few weeks, then please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
It is possible to change your start dates once you have been accepted, however this is subject to availability and can attract a small administration fee.
What duration would you recommend?
On gaining feedback from previous volunteers, we believe 3 – 6 weeks is the ideal time to get settled in and really involved with the programme. This also allows you to make the most of your free time, to explore this beautiful country and to participate in any activities.
We regularly have volunteers come for 1 to 2 weeks that tell us that they did not believe they had enough time and wish they had stayed for longer.
What will my itinerary be?
Please make sure you arrive into Kotoka International Airport in Accra (ACC) on Saturday.
Day 1 (Saturday) – Arrival
A member of our local team will be waiting for you in arrivals holding a named sign. You will be taken straight to our partner hostel, which is around 20 minutes away from the hotel. You will have the rest of the day to relax and get to know your fellow volunteers and to explore what the capital has to offer.
Day 2 (Sunday) – Explore Accra
After a good nights rest and a delicious breakfast, you will head out with our local team and other volunteers to explore Accra. You will be shown around several famous landmarks, visit a museum and head down to Labadi beach.
Day 3 (Monday) – Travel To Busua
Today you will head to Busua where you will be based for the rest of your time in Ghana. We will be travelling by a luxury bus that has air conditioning and provides amazing views across Ghana. The journey takes around 5 hours to complete and the rest of the day will be spent settling in to your new home.
Day 4-7 (Tuesday – Friday) – Volunteering
You will receive your orientation first thing on Tuesday morning and then you will head off to your project. Our local coordinator will travel with you and introduce you to everyone. Your first day will be all about introductions, understanding your schedule and to learn what is expected from you. Volunteering times will generally be the same each day and as time goes on you will become more confident and independent and given more tasks to do.
Day 8-9 (Saturday – Sunday) – Weekend
Being next to the beach and with so many great sights and activities to do nearby, weekends are never boring! Whatever you plan on doing, our local team can advise and help organise any trips.
The following weeks
The following weeks will follow the same kind of pattern, with volunteering between Monday and Friday and exploring Ghana at the weekends. You will find that time will really start to fly by, so it’s important to make the most of it! Don’t forget, our local team are there to support you and to answer any questions you may have.
Last day (Saturday)
Time has flown by and it is already time to leave. If you are heading home then our local team can arrange your return airport transfer (not included within the programme fee) or recommend plans for your onwards journey.
How will I get to the project?
As Busua is a very small town, the hospital is located a 20 minute walk from the volunteer accommodation or a 5 minute taxi ride. Our local team will accompany you until you are happy with the route and feel comfortable.
Is there Internet and phone signal?
Busua does not currently have Wi-Fi capability, so we recommend that all volunteers take an unlocked mobile phone (or purchase one while in Ghana for around $15) and buy a local sim card. You will then be able to use 4G Internet (although sometimes intermittent) and contact friends and family at home with minimal costs. Our local team will be happy to assist with this.
What is Busua like?
Busua is a small village, located some 20 miles west of Takoradi on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Many backpackers and travellers love coming here to relax on the beach for a few days and to surf. There’s a sociable and friendly vibe with several chilled out beach bars and cafes and during high season there are often bonfires and parties on the beach!
All amenities are nearby, including ATMs, hospitals, restaurants (serving local and western food), as well as good transport links to the rest of Ghana – with taxis always readily available.
The Mighty Roar Local Team in Ghana
Our programmes in Ghana are run by our dedicated local team, who are committed to ensuring you have the best time ever. Ebenezer and his colleagues provide the structure for your stay, including the accommodation, meals, airport pickup, in-country orientation and of course support.
They are sure to become your good friends and they will give you a unique insight into Ghana, teach you about their culture and traditions as well as recommend and organise the best places to see while there.
Will I get an in-country orientation?
Yes. Your orientation will be on Tuesday morning and will go through everything you need to know for your time in Ghana. You will be shown around the local area and the shops, ATMs and taxi rank will all be pointed out to you. If you need to, our local team can assist with any currency exchange and help you pick up anything you may need.
We will also show you the main points of interest, such as western restaurants, the stunning beach, bars and other tourist attractions. You will also get the chance to visit the projects we support where you can make initial introductions and get familiar with the programmes we provide.
Our local coordinator will go through all of the important health and safety information that you should follow during your time in Ghana. You’ll learn about the Ghanaian way of life, and the cultural differences.
What is the weather like in Ghana?
With Ghana being so close to the equator, the tropical climate here is always generally warm with temperatures between 21-35°C throughout the year. There are two rainy seasons, March to July and September to October. However, the rain normally comes in short, sharp bursts and then clears up – so don’t let this put you off. The hottest time of the year is between December and February.
Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?
Yes of course. We welcome volunteers from around the world, no matter how far away from the programmes you are. The majority of volunteers that we host come from the UK, US, Germany, Canada and Australia.
Can I go with my friend / partner?
We have many volunteers that travel with their friends, family members or with their partner. If required, we can ensure that you are based on the same project and stay within the same accommodation. On request, we can normally organise a private room too.
Is it safe to travel to Ghana?
Did you know that Ghana is often referred to as “the safest country in Africa?” The locals will welcome you with open arms and make you feel part of their community from day one.
We regularly visit and participate in each and every one of the programmes we offer in Ghana to rigorously check all aspects of the project and accommodation are safe and that all procedures are being followed. These include but are not limited to checking the living conditions within the volunteer accommodations, checking the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, tasting the food you’ll be eating and going on any weekend trips recommended by us or our local team.
We monitor the stability of all of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis and have constant contact with our overseas teams to ensure that our volunteers are safe.
All volunteers will receive a comprehensive volunteer handbook when you choose to join us on one of our programmes. This detailed document addresses a large range of issues such as health, safety, visas, as well as going into details about local cultures and traditions.
When you arrive in-country, you will be given a safety briefing during your orientation that will cover things like emergency procedures, how to use local transport and any cultural differences.
Our in-country team are on hand to help with any issues or to answer any questions and please do not forget that our UK office is available 24/7 in case of any rare emergencies.
While we can never guarantee your volunteer experience will be 100% trouble free, we have taken all of the necessary precautions to minimise all risks and to ensure the programme is as safe as possible.
Before You Depart
When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?
To confirm and guarantee your placement on one of our programmes, you need to pay the registration fee of $129 within 7 days of receiving confirmation that your application was successful. The remaining balance is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.
Payments can be done all at once or be spread out over several months and can be paid via BACS (bank transfer). We do accept additional payment methods such as debit and credit cards, although there may be additional fees.
Do I need any vaccinations and / or malaria tablets?
As we are not trained medical experts we cannot tell you exactly what vaccinations or other medication you may need for your trip. You will need to consult with your local doctors or travel clinic.
You can also find additional information on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights?
All flights need to be booked by you, although we can point you in the right direction on where you may be able to find the best prices.
Before booking any flights, we strongly recommend that you wait to have confirmation that your application has been successful.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a compulsory part of your volunteering trip, that’s why we have teamed up with Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy. It is suitable for all of the programmes we offer and can be taken out at any time. You can read more about our insurance here.
If you decide to purchase your travel insurance from an alternative provider, please ensure it covers you for everything you will be doing. Adequate travel insurance must be in place no less than 60 days before your programme start date. Without proof of this insurance, we will not be able to accept you onto the programme.
When will I receive my volunteer handbook?
You will receive a welcome email from us as soon as you have paid the registration fee and your placement has been confirmed. The welcome email will include the volunteer handbook that provides a wealth of information that will help you better understand all aspects of your upcoming trip as well as details about our insurance policy.
Please note, all material is sent via email and hard copies cannot be sent.
On Your Trip
Can I arrange a private room?
The majority of our accommodation only offers shared rooms that are usually same-sex. However, if you would prefer a private room please let us know and we will at least try for you.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
We will try our best to cater for any dietary requirements. When you submit your application please include any required details within the dietary section and we will liaise with our local coordinators.
Are there any public holidays that would affect the project?
Although we try to be as clear as possible of all holidays that affect project availability, due to the nature of some countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change.
If such a holiday falls when you are on your placement, this is generally a good time to experience unique festivities where you can join in with the locals.
What is the dress code at the projects?
We ask that all volunteers take the approach of a smart and responsible image during your time in the communities and on projects. It is best to also take some older clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Generally, it is best to avoid tight and very short clothing and anything that may have offensive slogans on it. It’s recommended that you take some nicer clothes for weekends or any free time you may have.
We do not wish to impose strict regulations, however we do ask that you respect the local culture and do your best to adhere to the clothing guidelines within the volunteer handbook.
How much spending money will I need?
For general expenses and some travelling, you should find that $50 – $100 per week is sufficient. However, this can vary greatly depending on the amount of activities or trips you do and if you are eating out during the week.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?
There should be plenty of time to travel while on your placement and we actively encourage that you do! The local coordinators will be able to give you lots of travel tips and provide any help needed for your independent adventure.
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