Summer Serve and Learn
GHEI Summer Serve and Learn (SSL) Volunteer Programs offer participants the chance to be immersed in a rural Ghanaian community and work alongside local staff members in support of a small community development organization’s year-round health and education programs. All volunteers will have the opportunity to develop and strengthen their skills in cross-cultural communication, project design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and community outreach, all while working in a low-resource environment alongside local and international counterparts to achieve a common goal.
We ensure that that our programs are enriching and enjoyable for our volunteers, local staff, contributing to the long-term success of our programs, and creating long-lasting positive impacts for our beneficiaries.
This is a unique opportunity to truly experience rural Ghana and also tour our country’s cities. Beyond immediate program activities, we offer workshops in Twi language, traditional Ghanaian cooking, cocoa farming, visits to local education and health institutions, and otherwise free opportunity to interact with our community members. To add context to this cultural knowledge, we will also lead volunteers on tours through important cultural sites at Accra, Kumasi, and Cape Coast.
All sessions will provide food and accommodation for volunteers, cultural exchanges and group discussions on pertinent topics. Volunteers will also travel to some of the most stirring sites in Ghana: the bright, bustling and historic city of Kumasi, the chilling legacy of Cape Coast, Ghana's modern capital of Accra, and of course, the rural life at GHEI’s base of operations in Humjibre. Read below for more details on what's provided, fundraising, and personal expenses. Please see our FAQ for answers to many more questions.
Community Health Evaluation
Session 1: June 7 - June 23, 2019
Session 2: June 27 - July 17, 2019
GHEI runs a variety of programs in health and education focused on improving children's lives. Each year, we collect data through surveys, largely based on UNICEF MICS questionnaires, to monitor and evaluate our programs. The results obtained from the surveys demonstrate programmatic strengths and weaknesses, which allow us to modify our programs so that they are more effective. This also allows for transparency within our organization and to our community and donors.
In 2019, GHEI will hold two Community Health Evaluation sessions. During each session, volunteers will work on teams alongside GHEI staff and trained data collectors to collect data from households in three communities: Humjibre, Kojina and Soroano. Students work in partnership with the data collectors in a team approach.
Topic areas covered in the questionnaires will include malaria prevention, maternal health and nutrition, and health and nutrition for children under age 5.
The second longer session will delve deeper into community health, augmenting a longer period of data collection with readings and discussion to offer an in-depth context to maternal and child health and malaria prevention.
The process will provide volunteers with an excellent introduction to global health, as well as experience in:
Data collection, cleaning, and management;
Conducting basic analysis and interpretation of data; and
Coordinating the logistics and field implementation of a community health survey.
Summer Serve & Learn: Volunteer Details
Girls' Empowerment Camp
July 20 – August 9, 2019
Empowering one girl can have a powerful effect; if she is given the opportunity to pursue her education, she is more likely to earn a better income and have fewer, healthier children once she is ready. Educating girls ensures the health and education of future generations and is considered to be one of the most successful paths out of poverty.
Volunteers will work with local staff to run an intensive two-week empowerment camp held annually for local junior high school girls. While learning about the role of girls and women in rural Ghana, volunteers will develop workshops that will impart knowledge and confidence to the girls and give them the opportunity to reflect on their futures in a new and broader context. Past workshop topics include leadership and self-esteem, family planning, safe sex, money management, and others.
This session will provide volunteers with experience in:
Understanding barriers to education for rural girls, and the roles of girls and women in developing nations;
Designing and implementing a non-traditional, yet culturally relevant curriculum aimed at building knowledge and confidence of teenage girls;
Role modelling and working closely with small groups of Ghanaian teenage girls.
What We Provide
Lunch, dinner and lodging during your stay in Ghana
Cultural immersion through village tours, a visit to a local cocoa farm, Ghanaian drumming and dancing lessons and more!
Visits to popular sites in Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast
All in-country travel costs covered for the duration of your stay, from arriving at the Kotoka International Airport to boarding your flight home
Volunteers selected to participate in the first Community Health Evaluation session will be asked to fundraise 2,100 USD.
Volunteers selected to participate in the second Community Health Evaluation session and the Girls Empowerment Camp will be asked to fundraise 2,550 USD beforehand. For all sessions a part of the fundraising requirement, 750 USD, is required at the time of acceptance as a deposit to secure the position. The remaining funds will be due by May 15, 2019.
All donations are tax-deductible. Many past volunteers have hosted fundraising events, received grants or scholarships, or have been sponsored by close friends and family to satisfy this requirement. GHEI staff and alumni will assist you in planning your fundraising.
Volunteers are responsible for obtaining vaccinations, malaria prophylaxis, evacuation insurance, and their visa and plane ticket. Volunteer Coordinators will provide guidance on pre-departure arrangements.
Upon arrival in Accra, Ghana, volunteers can expect to have minimal personal expenses. GHEI covers the cost of project-specific materials, lodging, major transportation, cultural experiences, and lunch and dinner daily. You should plan to bring additional money to cover small expenses, such as:
Breakfast: several options are readily available in town (eggs, bread, porridge) and cost less than 1 USD each.
Fabric: local fabrics are readily available in the nearby town of Sefwi Bekwai and can range from 5-20 USD for two yards of fabric. Additionally, please allocate 5-10 USD per piece for a local seamstress to have anything made.
Souvenirs: many souvenir options are available at Kumasi's Cultural Center as well as at the Cape Coast Castle. Prices can range from 5 USD for a wallet, 15 USD for a bag, and 25+ USD for paintings.