Report on Volunteer Work in the Street Children Project in Ghana
"Wonderful Experiences and Memories from Ghana"
My name is Alina, I'm 18 years old, and was with RGV in Ghana for six weeks working on the street kids project. After 14 hours of travelling, I landed in Accra at 11pm local and was picked up by Game who is a member of the RGV team in Ghana. I was taken to the student house and I immediately felt welcome and comfortable. Depending on the project, you spend either the entire stay there, or (like me) only the first few days until the orientation program is completed. You will then be relocated to live with a host family, Mama Mina. The orientation program includes information about Ghana and a city tour, where you can visit and get to know the most important historical / cultural / cool spots in Accra.
The accommodation with the host family
The street children project takes place at Mama Mina’s house, where you also live. If there are lots of volunteers working on the project, the group will be split and some volunteers will stay at a separate apartment which is ten minutes away from Mama Mina. Mama Mina is an incredibly loving and caring woman who treats volunteers like they’re her children and always cares about their wellbeing. The food was also really good and there were always vegetarian options!
The work in the street children project
The children arrive at around 8:30 each morning. The day starts with a morning circle where the children pray, sing and dance. This is followed by classroom based lessons, in which the children are divided into three groups (depending on their age). After the lessons the children have some time to play before lunch. Most of the children go home at around 1pm until the following day. It's unbelievable how much the little ones can grow in your heart in such a short time. They have so much joy and gratitude despite bad living conditions, and it was extremely difficult and sad saying goodbye to them.
Leisure, excursions and activities
Of a weekend you can travel a lot. Out of five weekends I travelled for four of them. With very little money you can do so much, accommodation and food are very cheap. From waterfalls, hikes, national parks to beaches there is so much to choose from. There is a lot to experience in Accra itself; markets, shopping, swimming and there is lots going on of an evening. On Tuesdays, for example, there is a karaoke night in Osu (a district in Accra), where you can meet many locals. There is always something going on.
It was the best time of my life, and I'll definitely be returning to see the children and friends I met in Ghana. It was incredibly hard to say goodbye, and with tears in my eyes I think back to the wonderful memories and experiences. I have gained so much from this experience, met great people and a small piece of Ghana lives in my heart. I feel like I have gained a second home and family which I’m sure I will see again. I would encourage everyone who has the time and money to invest in themselves and take a trip like mine. I would have loved to stay, however, four weeks was enough to gain insight into the land and culture. For, those who cannot part from their European standards, especially in terms of hygiene, comfort, cleanliness, should perhaps think again.
Report from the Street Children's Project in Ghana by Alina E. 16/10/2017