Fiona Brown Ghana
Names of staff involved in your programme
Fred, Rebeca, Apiyah, Sam
What members of staff do you remember the most and why?
Sam was excellent as the volunteer co-ordinator in Asaka house and as there was so many of us he stayed actually in the house which was really useful as we could talk to him about our concerns but he was also really fun to be around and was really knowledgeable about the Ghana itself and where we should go on weekends.
Fred was very useful to have in charge of the project out there as it seemed he controlled even the police! When some Ghanaens tried to stop us passing down a road one phonecall from Fred was all it took and we were away!
Why did you want to volunteer?
I had a long summer and I wanted to do something productive with it and as I have worked with children before I thought I could use my skills to help disadvantaged children and discover a different culture and see (some of )the world
When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
I really enjoyed going to do the outreach project where we took a water filter, food, clothes, stationary and other resources to a remote village. It was like something you see on children in need and it was amazing knowing that families were fed for the next few nights and that these people were thankful for the gifts you were giving.
What did you do for fun?
On the weekends we travelled with people from our house which I really enjoyed. All the people in our house got on really well, so that helped! Kokorobite and Lake Bosomtwe were my favourites, athough the canopy walk at cape coast was something not to miss too. During the week going out to Kaabs was a social event or going to Fred’s bar and meeting with the other houses which was fun.
Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
All of our house got on really well while I was there and as we were all there for a similar amount of time we didn’t have any new people for 2 weeks so we all had time to bond. I have made some proper friends who I am going to meet now we’re back and there’s lots of people I’d like to keep in contact with.
What were the names of the best places to hang out and socialise, why was this?
Kokorobite was a fantastic weekend as the food and drinks were amazing (and cheap) and it was full of white people! It was a nice change from being the only obrune about! The music and bonfires were good and sunbathing on the beach and looking round the stalls were great.
Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers? Please explain why.
Yes. I’d love to travel somewhere different but go with a purpose (eg, helping street kids/teaching) Original volunteers placements are more affordable than some others and if you have any problems there is a good network of people who are there to help.
What would you say/recommend to a friend who was interested in volunteering?
I would recommend that they go and experience it
What items would you suggest future volunteers pack?
Torch – powercuts are frequent
British food – eg, tins of tuna, cereal, peanut butter, nutella, chocolate, crisps (you will really miss what you caan’t have) DVDs- if we had been told that there was a dvd player I would have brought some…instead there were only 3 in the house which we had to watch over and over again!
Could you offer any tips to future volunteers?
It is great to go in the summer as there are plenty of other volunteers to socialise with and it isn’t too. Keep an open mind, take every opportunity as it comes and enjoy yourself. It is a once in a lifetime experience!