New Hope Volunteers
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FAQs ghana

Why should I choose Ghana?

Rich in both cultural and natural heritage, Ghana is full of natural resources, beautiful landscapes, lush green palm trees, great beaches, wild savannah, dense rainforests, hills, and many streams and rivers. As a mixture of African traditions and British influences, Ghana has its own modern and diverse culture. In Ghana, you can achieve the most exciting abroad experience and explore everlasting memories of culture and beauty of the distinctive African society. You work with various organizations in their effort to help the neediest communities. You will have the great opportunity to explore various popular destinations while serving the needy people.

Is Ghana safe?

New Hope Volunteer places participants in safe environments while volunteering in Ghana. Ghana is quite safe country for travelers. However, be cautious, as there has been an increase in armed robbery. You should be careful if traveling in rural areas and be suspicious of strangers offering tours and “special deals”. In addition, be cautious with your possessions, especially money and cameras. Please consult your own government on latest safety issues before participating in our program.

What is the program duration?

Our volunteer programs start on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month and run for 1 to 12 weeks. Please arrive on Sunday to begin your program form the next day. Because of the increasing volume of applications, participants are requested to apply at least two to three months in advance.

What age do I have to be a volunteer?

You must be at least 18 years old to join our program and you should be in good health; there is no upper age limit.

Do I have to speak a foreign language?

Volunteers on our short-term (2-3 week programs) do not need foreign language skills. Those volunteers interested in participating on one of our long-term programs need to have intermediate language abilities in the spoken language of the program country. Orientation will include an intensive introduction to Ghanaian language.

What is the language spoken in Ghana?

English is the official language of Ghana.

Why should I pay a registration fee?

The registration fee is required to run the organization (office space, computers, Internet, supplies and salaries of staffers). New Hope Volunteer has country office in Ghana to run the coordinated program. Part of the fee goes to maintaining these offices. The remaining money of the program directly goes to support the programs.

Is the program fee tax-deductible?

New Hope Volunteer is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. The program fees and all expenses related to your volunteer program, including airfare, are tax-deductible for US taxpayers. However, any amount given by donors for your specific volunteer program is not tax-deductible for the donors. Please consult a tax professional regarding your individual tax situation.

Are MasterCard, Visa and other credit cards accepted?

There are several banks and money exchange services. You can bring MasterCard, American Express and Visa credit cards, cash—dollars or euros—and travelers checks, all of which are accepted in the main cities. However, facilities may be limited outside major cities. Traveler’s checks may also be difficult to exchange in small towns and villages. You can also withdraw cash from most international banks from ATMs and you can exchange at the airport, but $2-4 surcharges apply for each transaction.

What is the local currency?

The currency of Ghana is Ghanaian cedi (GHC).

How much extra money do I need?

We manage food and accommodation for volunteers from the first to last day of program so there will not be need of more money for basic necessities. Living costs in Ghana are inexpensive as compared to those of the West. US$150 will be sufficient to cover the first 2-3 weeks for petty expenses and travel to/from your project. You may need some extra money if you plan to take part in activities outside the organization or if you want to buy some souvenirs.

Who organizes my flights?

You will have to arrange your flights to and from Ghana since you are not charged for airfare.

Do I need travel insurance?

Our program does not cover liability and insurance for our volunteers. Therefore, volunteers must have appropriate insurance before joining the program. Please obtain necessary health and travel insurance before coming to Ghana. Talk to your travel agent about this or search on the Internet to see what offers are available, and make sure you look into the details of the policy. Find out if it covers airfare in case of a medical emergency.

What should I bring for myself?

This will vary depending on what activities you want to participate in and how much you need to be comfortable during your placement. With the exception of medicine and a first-aid kit, you can buy everything that you would need for your placement in Ghana. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sun cream
  • Water purification tablets and/or good quality water purifier
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight (torch)
  • Penknife
  • Books about your country
  • Photos of your family/friends/home
  • A few examples of your local currency
  • Colored pencils and pens, drawing books, stickers

What should I bring for kids in project?

There is no obligation to bring gift for project but they would appreciate it if you bring any gifts. You could bring toys, books, chocolates, pencils, etc.

Will there be any other volunteers present during orientation time?

We receive 5-10 volunteers a month (depending on season) most long-term volunteers join the language and culture program. We offer language and culture program in fixed dates to make a small group. Usually there are between 3 and 7 volunteers at the orientation.

Will there be other volunteers at my placement?

This depends on the exact placement and your preference in this issue. If you want to stay with other volunteers, pleases inform us in advance.

What is the daily routine of the project?

Since we have been working in different projects in Ghana, the schedule of the project varies from one another. Most projects are from Monday to Friday for 5-6 hours a day. Volunteers will have the weekends off and can explore Ghana on their own.

What are the existing conditions of my placement?

You will be provided food and accommodations; your volunteer program fee covers them. During the language and cultural orientation, you will stay at our hostel with other volunteers. We offer food and accommodation from the first day of the program to the last day. Local food thrice a day is provided for you while training and volunteering. You are advised to buy your own bottled water once you arrive in Ghana. For the volunteers who arrive earlier or who want to stay longer, it is not possible to offer accommodations and food, but we will help volunteers to find a quality, inexpensive place to stay. The living conditions of the placement depend on the area. You will be placed within a family setting with your own room.

Will there be someone to pick me up from airport?

One of our representatives will be waiting for you at the airport, holding a sign with your name on it. Please do not forget to send your detailed flight itinerary in advance.

What happens if I want to arrive earlier than the program begins?

You can arrive several days earlier or even up to a week early for your project, however, you will be responsible for these arrangements (including accommodations and food), and must still meet the coordinator at the airport on the designated date.

Will I have time to explore Accra and Kumasi during my stay?

You will have plenty of time to explore Accra and Kumasi during orientation. As a part of the language program, we offer a full-day tour. You will also have weekends off and can explore places on your own.

Will I have communications access?

Internet centers, telephone booths and post offices are easily available in cities and most localities around the project where you will be placed.

Can I work with other volunteers?

We allow people to come with a friend or even in a large group. We can place any volunteer near to another volunteer already working in the field. Please be reminded that two members of opposite sexes are not allowed to stay in same room unless they are a married couple. In this case, it is better to arrange a private apartment so that you will have complete freedom.

Is it possible to change placement if I get dissatisfied?

New Hope Volunteer will seriously consider the request of a volunteer for a change of placement to meet the expectations of volunteers. We cannot change placement without genuine reasons.

What happens if I decide to return home before the placement is over?

Once the volunteer makes a decision and pays for the program fee, upon receipt of invoice, New Hope Volunteer does not refund the program fee under any circumstances. Nevertheless, if the volunteer have unavoidable circumstances (such as illness, death of in the family etc) may request to leave the program, we will consider to return 30% of the host family cost, if volunteers are registered for more than 30 days program. No refund will be made if program is less than 30 days and if volunteers leave program in their own decision.

Who will drop me off at the airport?

New Hope Volunteer does not offer airport drop-off service. You will need to arrange a taxi or bus ride to the airport after your project is finished. This is an easy process and our in-country coordinator in Ghana or your home stay family will assist you.

Vaccinations and Medication

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to West Africa including Ghana. We would also advice you to discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Malaria
  • Meningitis
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid

Required Vaccinations

  • Yellow Fever (MUST)

A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into Ghana.

Are New Hope Volunteer programs only for international volunteers?

We mobilize national volunteers along with international volunteers as their counterparts.

Visa

A tourist visa can be obtained at a Ghanaian embassy or consulate or at the airport upon arrival for 30 days. If you decide to stay longer than this, you can extend your visa after you arrive. Extension is obtained from the immigration department. New Hope Volunteer advises all volunteers to contact the Ghanaian High Commission or Consulate before travel to Ghana. Please remember that it is the volunteer’s responsibility to manage their individual tickets and visa. We suggest volunteers to acquire visa in their home country to avoid any redundant disturbances at the airport. You will have to pay airport tax upon your departure from Ghana.

Where is the arrival and departure point?

Volunteers are requested to make Kotoka International Airport in Accra their final destination. Our representative will meet you at the airport. Your departure will be from the same airport.

Clothes and Climate in Placement Areas

Volunteers should dress modestly when at their projects. We suggest female volunteers not to wear short skirts or shorts in villages. Do not wear revealing clothing and try to cover your shoulders at all times. Lightweight clothing and rainwear is recommended as well as warmer clothing for the evenings (light jacket/sweater). Weather in Ghana varies from place to place. Ghana is very close to the equator, and so the weather is quite warm and tropical. Ghana experiences two rainy seasons, one from April to June, and the other from September to October.

Emergency Contact

You have three parties available to you 24/7 in case of emergency, health-related or otherwise: New Hope Volunteer staff, your host family, and your program supervisor. Bring contact information for all three before you arrive.

What are the characteristics of good volunteer?

If you have attributes like independence, patience, a sense of humor, tolerance willingness, flexibility, self-motivation and open-mindedness, you get the most out of your stay in Ghana.

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