Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I pay to volunteer?
The Volunteer Program fees you pay to work with Point Hope Ghana include accommodation, meals, airport pickup and drop-off, orientation and support from Point Hope staff. Point Hope is a non-profit organization that will use the fees to cover the actual expenses of your stay and will help support the program you decide to volunteer your time with while in Ghana.
Point Hope asks that all fees be sent to Point Hope, Inc.'s office at least ONE month prior to your arrival in Ghana to volunteer.
when will i need to send in my volunteer fees?
Will I be working with other volunteers?
Point Hope accepts volunteers throughout the year. At times there may be many volunteers and at times there may be only one or two in-country. Each volunteer will choose their own project(s) and whether you are placed with others will depend on which project you and other volunteers have chosen to work on at any given time.
Which countries do volunteers come from?
Volunteers come from all over the world; the majority from North America and Europe. You will have the opportunity to not only get to know the culture of Ghana, but also learn from your fellow volunteers.
What skills or qualifications do I need?
This is dependent on the program you choose; specific requirements are detailed in each program description. Volunteers may be more successful in certain field if they have prior knowledge of the subject, i.e., Nutrition. A good grasp of English is required for all programs. Your project and stay may be more enjoyable if you take the time to learn a few phrases in the local dialect, but this is not a requirement. Volunteers need to be adaptable and willing to "go with the flow" as plans can and often do change. A true desire to help others will ensure the experience is positive for both you and the population you serve.
What can I do when I’m not volunteering?
Ghana is a beautiful and friendly country waiting to be explored. Volunteers generally have plenty of time to relax with their fellow volunteers or housemates in the evenings and on the weekends. Excursions to nearby beaches, historical attractions, waterfalls, markets, the capital city and more are always options on the weekends.
Can I volunteer with a friend or partner?
Point Hope welcomes friends and couples who wish to volunteer together. We can ensure that you are placed on the same project as a friend or partner as long as notification is provided. When applying, please make a note on the application form with your friend's name stating you wish to be placed together, or let the Point Hope Director know when you talk to the office.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old prior to their project start date. A person under the age of 18 may apply to volunteer along with their parent, guardian or family member (18 years or over). Please make note on the application form the name of the person you are volunteering with and your relationship so we can ensure you are placed together.
How old must I be to volunteer?
Will I have access to a phone and Internet?
A large variety of cellular phones are available for purchase in Ghana. Many volunteers opt to bring along their cellular phones from home and replace the SIM card with one from a local Ghanaian network (in our area, Vodafone seems to have the best coverage). The networks in Ghana work on a prepaid (scratch card) system and are fairly simple and relatively inexpensive. Internet cafes can be found in most developed towns across Ghana. The cost per hour range from approximately 50 cents - 1 USD. For volunteers bringing along their own laptop or tablet, portable modems are available for purchase (the majority of the expense is paying to load credit onto the network). A staff member can assist you in setting up access to both phone and internet service.
Do I need insurance?
Yes. All volunteers are required to have proof of Travel/Medical Insurance prior to arrival in Ghana. (The travel insurance carrier is just a suggestion, you are free to select the insurance plan of your own choosing.)
What about flights, visas and vaccinations?
Flights to and from Ghana, the necessary visa documents and all required vaccinations (Yellow Fever) and recommended vaccinations (consult with your own physician) will be your sole responsibility. (Point Hope staff in the US will be available to assist with procedural and form questions via telephone or internet chat.)
What is the climate like in Ghana?
The climate of Ghana is tropical, but temperatures vary with season and elevation. There are two rainy seasons, usually from April to July and from September to November. In most areas, the highest temperatures occur during the "dry season", February to March, with the lowest temperature in August. The average annual temperature is about 79F (26C). The coolest time of year is during the "rainy season" between June and September when the main rainfall occurs. Variations in temperature both annually and daily are quite small.
What languages are spoken?
English is the official business language of Ghana and dominates government and business affairs. It is also the standard language used in educational institutions. The most widely spoken local (tribal) languages are Ga, Dagomba, Akan, and Ewe. In Point Hope project areas, common languages spoken are Twi and Fante, in addition to English.
What clothing is appropriate?
You should wear whatever is comfortable for you, keeping in mind that it is not customary in Ghanaian culture to expose too much flesh, unless you are a small child. (This means short dresses or shorts may not be appropriate for daily wear. Sundresses and surfer shorts are entirely appropriate.) Sturdy sandals, closed-toed shoes, tennis shoes, sunhats, visors, ball-caps, etc., are all valuable accessories, in addition to backpacks, for daily trekking to and from your work site. You should pack your swimsuit, Ghana has some very lovely beaches.
Contacts and Resources
United States Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 8623
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Ghana Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 501-WU
Kasoa, Central Region, Ghana
United States Phone:
+001 (360) 479-HOPE (4673)
*Local Ghana Information
*Bradt’s Ghana Guidebook
*Ghana Immigration Service