What was your favorite memory of this trip? The people of Kpando! Everyone was so warm and welcoming; it made teaching in front of a class easier than expected. I loved greeting people on the way to school and children’s home and I loved being greeted by the children!
Also visiting the island was a great experience. The children were eager to learn and we got to show our donations to them, including showing the class how to use a jump rope and using the teacher as our subject; they loved it!
What was the most difficult thing you experienced? Realizing the health issues of some of the children of the children’s home and other poor situations some of them have been through broke my heart. They were all so happy to see the volunteers and play and its sad knowing there’s not much I can do to improve their situation.
What was the one thing you wished you were better prepared for? I felt very prepared. The orientation guide provided by ABV and reading previous reviews helped me with my packing list. We were lucky that the week we were there wasn’t too bad with the heat too. I feel we came to Ghana with an open mind and were ready for a new experience.
Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations, sightseeing etc) Definitely follow the guide provided by ABV. As far as donations, it may be best to contact Edem or Jesse directly. All of our donations went to good use, but it seemed as though they needed some things more than others. If you get the time be sure to check out Wli waterfalls and the monkey sanctuary!
How would you describe/rate your experience working with the ABV staff in the USA? The ABV staff was very helpful with getting me ready for my first trip outside of the United States. Whenever I had a question it was always answered within a day, if not, sooner.
How was the local ABV Director and the support provided in-country? Edem and his family have huge hearts and a lot of goals. At times it seems Edem has too much on his plate, and he could be a little hard to get a hold of. But in the end he was a great support and he did so much for my family and I and we really appreciated it. He is a selfless man!
Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial): Having only a week for spend in Ghana, we wanted to get the most out of each day. We taught health and hygiene at a local school in the mornings and helped out at the children’s home in the afternoon. The people of Kpando were amazing and very welcoming.
Living with Peter and Mary was great, if we ever needed something there was no hesitation to ask, they made us feel right at home… and Mary’s cooking was delicious. We were lucky to be volunteering at the same time as some other awesome volunteers, it made the experience all the more enjoyable.
I felt as if I was able to test the waters for volunteering in a foreign country. I would definitely like to do this again, but for at least 3 weeks! It’s amazing that only a week can leave such an impact
Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? Of course.
Volunteer Name: Elizabeth Baggett Project Location: Xela, Guatemala Program Dates: May 11 to May 25 2014 Volunteered at: Children's Project and Pre-medical
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country? Excellent! The coordinators answered any questions I ever had and always were checking in on me.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced? Public transportation. Easy and safe but very different from the US
3- What was most difficult to experience? The rain!
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations) If you´re coming during the rainy season, bring rain boots, umbrella, rain coat, etc.
5.1-Other things volunteers should know: a. Always have an open mind b. Be ready for anything c. Learn the language while you´re here! d. Taste all the foods.
6- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial): ABV provided me an excellent experience in Xela. I couldn´t have been happier. I am so glad ABV was able to get connected with such great volunteer locations. I really loved it all.
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared) Great! My host family felt like family. Great food, great people, and safe!
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip? The kids at the volunteer centers.
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling? Excellent. Always responded to questions ASAP. Thank you!
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? Yes!
This program completely changes your life. It is incredible to be surrounded by children and adolescents- essentially allowing us to help them to learn new things to help them in the future. The school helps us to see how difficult it is to be a mother or father and the obligation to give a great education to these children so that they can work towards bettering the country as a whole. Also, to spend time with the girls at the orphanage helps us to really understand what it really means to value the great moments and experiences in life. Really it can be said that love, respect and sincerity are things that every person should have and experience; the least important things, on the contrary, are the physicalities of people as well as the items that they possess. At the entrance of the orphanage, the wall reads "una persona vale más que un mundo" and through this, it doesn't matter how many hardships life presents, what truly matters is how a person continues to remain strong and happy.
Volunteer Name: Ethan Kandeeban Dates: April 27 - May 25, 2014 Location: Volta Region, Ghana Project: Pre-medical/health Ghana ...
Traveling to Ghana and working with locals on various healthcare initiatives was one of the greatest experience of my life. I went to Ghana expecting to teach about basic healthcare regimes and came back to Canada with a wealth of knowledge I had no idea I would receive. An experience like this changes the soul and the core of who you, it even reduces me to tears thinking about it all. I would recommend this to anyone who has a love for healthcare, travel, people and especially those who want to figure out if healthcare is what they want to do with their lives. There is a reason they call Ghana the “Gateway of Africa” and from experience, I can promise this to be true. It is hard to believe, but there wasn’t a single time I was afraid in Ghana. The people there were unbelievably friendly, the traditions and culture was absolutely fascinating and it is a country that is easy to navigate and have as your own as you travel and make footprints in the world.
My favorite memory of this trip was seeing the faces of the girls at the orphanage the day we just got to play volleyball with them. It was difficult because they told all of us they did not want us to go but so rewarding knowing we helped them for at least a few days.
The host family I stayed with was great. They really accepted us as apart of their family. Sometimes it was hard to get used to certain meals but it wasn't necessarily bad but just different. I was surprised at the amount of security on site to protect the children and it was great. Living in a city was a different experience if you are not used to it which can be difficult at first but rewarding once you accept it.
I was surprised by how great and helpful the coordinator was in all situations. I really loved the sites we worked at because it was different. The boys and girls I was able to work with taught me things I may never be able to pay back. It was a completely humbling experience and I would not trade it for anything. The experience makes me want to help more and do more for not just this community but my community at home and other locations. Some days were difficult but this program is something I will never forget.
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