Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Selecting a Placement
Will my placement be flexible enough to allow time for traveling or sightseeing?All of our placements will allow you free time to travel. Usually, free time will be on weekends. However, if you will need more days off, you would be required to notify your host organization and AfriVol at least 48 hours before you due to travel. You will have to cover all the costs of leisure travel, and be sure to return to your placement at the time agreed.
- Will my placement be flexible enough to allow time for traveling?
- Can I contact past volunteers?
- Will I be able to make an impact?
- Can I talk to someone about my placement?
- Which dates are available?
- What can I expect from my placement?
- What can I do during an AfriVol placement?
If you need any advice on the area you plan to visit, we will be glad to be of help. Our staff and your housemates are a valuable resource. Chances are, we have already been to the area you plan to visit and can let you know all of the areas dos and donts.
Can I contact past volunteers?Absolutely. Please send us an email to request a past volunteer’s email address.Will I be able to make an impact?The level of the impact you will make will be dependent upon your mindset and attitude, as well as the duration of your placement. The more research you do about living and working in a developing country, the more equipped you will be to make a lasting impact through the work you will do. All of our volunteers leave Ghana satisfied that they have made an impact, often significant, on the organization they have worked with and on many people’s lives.Can I talk to someone about my placement?Yes you can. Please contact AfriVol on +233 547 203 339 with any questions you may have. However, to help keep costs down, you may chat online with an AfriVol employee here . You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . You will receive a response within 48 hours.Which dates are available?You are free to choose any dates. All of our placements are available all year round.What can I expect from my placement?You can expect a once-in-a-lifetime experience which will provide you with a whole new outlook on life. These experiences will affect you socially, professionally and culturally. Our placements offer carefully designed tasks which will be mutually beneficial. You can also expect people who are willing to tap your store of knowledge and experience, while giving you a different perspective, the ‘Ghanaian’ approach to work and business. Also expect to work with happy, welcoming people!What can I do during an AfriVol Placement?We have a myriad of options, so anything you are interested in, we can find for you. Take a look at all of our available programs and if nothing interests you, please let us know. We will do some research to find a placement which will satisfy all of your requirements. Simply email email@example.com if you would like to customize your placement.What are the necessary requirements to be a AfriVol volunteer or intern?
Can I choose my own dates?Yes, you are free to choose your own dates. All of our placements are available all year round.
- You must be at least 18 years of age by the start date of your placement.
- You must have a reasonable background and interest in the chosen placement.
- You must provide a detailed report at the end of your placement, outlining your entire experience to aid future interns and volunteers.
- You must be open minded, ready to face any challenges you encounter.
- You must be hardworking and driven, especially when your placement gets hectic.
- 2. The Application
How do I apply?Please click here to complete an application form. Upon receipt of your application, a decision will be reached within 48 hours.What goes into processing an application?A decision on your application will be made within 48 hours of receiving your application. This decision is made between AfriVol and your placement organization. If your application is approved, AfriVol will contact you, explaining the next step in the application process.
- How do I apply?
- What goes into processing an application?
- 3. The Visa Application Process
How do I apply for a visa?Before traveling to Ghana, all volunteers/interns will have to obtain a visa from the nearest Ghanaian embassy, Consulate or High Commission. For a complete list of all Ghanaian consulates worldwide, please click here. Please see below for a few Ghanaian Consulates:
- How do I apply for a visa?
- What are the requirements to satisfy when applying for a Ghanaian visa?
- What if I need to extend my visa?
- The visa application requires that I list two references. Who are these?
- What should I select under the Purpose of Journey section?
- Should I choose a single entry or multiple entry visa?
The Netherlands: http://www.ghanaembassy.nl/
What are the requirements to satisfy when applying for a Ghanaian visa?You must obtain a volunteer visa for travel to Ghana. Upon securing your placement, we will send you a letter supporting your application for a visa. Please plan to receive your visa at least 2 weeks before you are scheduled to travel. For all other requirements for your visa application, please visit the website of your home country’s Ghanaian consulate.What if I need to extend my visa?If you have to extend your visa while in Ghana, an AfriVol volunteer assistant will take you over to the Immigration Office to apply for a visa extension. When you arrive at the Ghana Airport, you will receive a stamp for 60 days in your passport. If you will be staying longer than 60 days, you will have to extend your visa. AfriVol will assist you with this.The visa application requires that I list two references. Who are these?Upon securing your placement, AfriVol will provide you with two references for your visa application.What should I select under the Purpose of Journey section?You should select volunteering as the Purpose of Journey. If you do not have the option of selecting volunteering, please select Holiday/Tourism as the Purpose of Journey.Should I choose single entry or multiple entry visa?If you will not travel outside Ghana during your time here, you can choose a single entry visa. However, if you will travel outside Ghana during your time here, you must have a multiple entry visa to enter Ghana again. You may obtain a re-entry visa while in Ghana if you only have a single entry visa but wish to travel outside Ghana during the period of your stay here.
- 4. Pre-Travel Preparation
What is the best way to get to Ghana?You will fly into Accra’s Kotoka International Airport (ACC). There are many airlines flying into Ghana. These include: British Airways
- What is the best way to get to Ghana?
- Are there any medical requirements for traveling to Ghana?
- Will my current medical insurance be enough?
- Where can I get travel insurance?
If you would like some assistance in booking your flight, we recommend you start by visiting www.imanilive.com . After booking your flight, please be sure to send your flight details to AfriVol so your airport pickup can be arranged.
Are there any medical requirements for traveling to Ghana?Please visit a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect and to start taking medicine to prevent malaria, if you need it. Even if you have less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines, anti-malaria drugs and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
The recommended vaccinations to have are:
Yellow Fever Vaccine (Required for the Ghanaian Visa)
Anti-Malaria Pills (Required)
Tetanus, TB and Polio (Recommended)
Immunoglobulin or Hepatitis A Vaccine (Recommended)
Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recommended)
Will my current insurance be enough?We recommend that you look at also getting travel insurance, to make sure you are covered in case of lost luggage, flight cancellations etc.I know I need travel insurance but where can I get it?Please be sure to organize travel and medical insurance before traveling. We recommend Travelex Insurance for our volunteers/interns.
- 5. Payment
Why does AfriVol charge volunteers and what will it cost?Some volunteers are surprised to learn that they are charged a fee to volunteer. On the face of it, this may seem ridiculous. Why should I pay money to work for free? Am I not already forgoing income I could be making? Here are a few things to keep in mind while trying to understand why the vast majority of programs charge international volunteers a fee:
- Why does AfriVol charge volunteers and what will it cost?
- What are my payment options?
- Is my placement fee tax deductible?
- If I am being sponsored for this placement, can my sponsor or company pay you directly?
- Do you accept payment in installments?
- Can I pay after arriving in Ghana?
• The local organizations and projects with which you volunteer overseas have limited resources and are seldom able to subsidize your trip or cover the costs of hosting you. If they did have the financial resources to pay an international volunteer, it would almost certainly be more beneficial and cost-effective to hire a local person instead, someone who already knows the language and culture and is likely to stick around.
• Identifying appropriate host organizations overseas and working with them is time-consuming, takes resources, and requires an experienced and professional staff.
• The process of preparing housing, feeding and supervising volunteers are not cheap.
• The costs of recruiting volunteers, producing literature, sending mailings, developing a website, and interviewing potential volunteers are significant. The cost of each placement will vary, dependent upon the length of placement and host organization. Your invoice will provide details on the cost of your placement or internship.
What are my payment options?You may pay online using our preferred online payment service, PayPal. You can also pay directly into our US Bank account. Additionally, you may pay directly into our Ghana Bank account.
Is my placement fee tax deductible?Please discuss this with your local tax office. AfriVol is a registered NGO in Ghana.If I am being sponsored for this placement, can my sponsor or company pay you directly?Yes, your sponsor or sponsoring company can pay directly. However, please ensure that they include a reference indicating that this is a payment on your behalf.Do you accept payment in installments?No, we do not. We require that all volunteers follow the payment schedule outlined in the invoice.Can I pay after arriving in Ghana?No. Final payment must be made at least 30 days before the date of arrival.
- 6. Your Health & Safety
What kind of support network will I have while in Ghana?While in Ghana, you will have a Volunteer Coordinator who will be primarily responsible for you during your stay in Ghana. At your accommodation, you will have an Accommodation Manager who is responsible for making your stay comfortable. At your workplace, you will have a supervisor who will work with you to make sure your placement will be beneficial to you.
- What kind of support network will I have while in Ghana?
- What should I do if something goes wrong during my placement?
- I have a medical condition - how will this affect me?
- How can I prevent mosquito bites?
- Which vaccinations do I need before coming to Ghana?
- Is Ghana safe?
- What is the food like and is the drinking water safe?
All other AfriVol staff will be available to make sure you have a great experience. We will be here to support you through the entire duration of your placement.What should I do if something goes wrong during my placement?It is a rare occurrence for something to go wrong during your placement. We trust that the support network we have in place will prevent the majority of mishaps. However, should something go wrong, your first point of call should be your Volunteer Coordinator. The Volunteer Coordinator will know how to handle most situations. If something goes wrong at the accommodation, please contact the Accommodation Manager.
We also require that you have full comprehensive health and travel insuranceI have a medical condition - how will this affect me?We strongly recommend that you discuss any medical conditions with your doctor before travelling to Ghana. Please be sure to discuss the effect(s) your medical condition may have on you during your placement and how to deal with those.How can I prevent mosquito bites?• Spray your room before you go to sleep with insect repellent. Your Accommodation Manager will spray your room every other day. • Switch off all lights while you are sleeping since mosquitoes are attracted to light.
• Wear long pants and long-sleeved clothing especially around dawn and dusk when the anopheles mosquitoes are most active.
• Take your anti malarial drug exactly on schedule without missing doses.
• Apply insect repellent to prevent mosquito and other insect bites. Your insect repellent should contain DEET as its active ingredient. To prevent malaria, apply insect repellent if out of doors between dusk and dawn when the mosquito that transmits malaria is biting.
• Visit your doctor 4-6 weeks before travel for an anti malarial drug.
Which vaccinations do I need before coming to Ghana?Please consult you doctor 4-6 weeks before your date of departure for advice on which vaccinations and boosters you will need.
The boosters often advised are:
• Hepatitis A
• Yellow Fever
The vaccines recommended are:
• Hepatitis B
• Meningococcal Meningitis
Is Ghana safe?Ghana is generally a very peaceful and stable country. You will very likely find that provided sensible precautions are taken, your visit will be trouble-free. Avoid carrying large sums of money or other valuables with you. Be vigilant, especially when going out after dark or alone.
In the Global Peace Index, which ranks countries by how safe they are, Ghana is ranked higher than the United States and South Africa.What is the food like and is the drinking water safe?Ghanaian food is diverse, spicy and tasty! However, we recommend that you take sensible precautions when deciding where to buy food. Please buy food when you can tell that it was cooked under hygienic conditions. Better still, use other volunteers or your workmates as your trusted source of information.
We strongly recommend that you do not drink water from a tap. You may purchase sachet water(commonly referred to as ‘pure water’) or bottled water.
- 7. What to Pack
What should I pack?Suitable clothing will vary depending on your placement. We will inform you what is suitable for your placement once you apply.
- What should I pack?
- Can I use my cellphone in Ghana?
- Will I be able to buy my medication in Ghana?
- Can I bring my laptop, camera, phone and other electronic equipment?
- What kind of adapter do I need?
- Do I need to bring my own bedding?
- I would like to bring some supplies for my host organisation. What should I bring?
We recommend you bring the following:
• One or two ‘dressy’ outfits
• Shorts and t-shirts.
• Trousers, long-sleeved tops and socks; especially for protection in the evening against mosquitoes.
• Beach Wear.
• First Aid kit etc.
This list is not all inclusive. Please bring along anything else that will make you comfortable.Can I use my cellphone in Ghana?We strongly recommend that you bring along your cell phone. This is because access to landlines in Ghana is limited. Most cellphones can be used in Ghana. If your phone cannot be used in Ghana, you may either purchase one or rent one. Please ask your Volunteer Coordinator for details on renting one.
During orientation, you can purchase a SIM card which you can use while in Ghana.Will I be able to buy my medication in Ghana?We strongly recommend that you bring along any medication you may need as we cannot guarantee that you can purchase it in Ghana.Can I bring my laptop, camera, phone and other electronic equipment?We especially recommend that you bring your laptop along, as you will very likely need it. You may also bring along other items such as your phone, camera etc. We suggest that you consider adding these items to your insurance package.What kind of adapter do I need?Ghana generally uses UK sockets, and these are the sockets you will find at the accommodation. Please ensure that you have an adapter which will allow you to use UK sockets.Do I need to bring my own bedding?No, bedding is provided.I would like to bring some supplies for my host organisation. What should I bring?Here are a couple of suggestions on what to bring:
• School supplies such as pencils, note books, text books, reading books, art supplies, etc.
• Teaching supplies such as pens, note books, chalk, toys, games and other recreational supplies for kids etc.
• Orphanage supplies such as T-shirts, sandals, toilet soaps, mini towels, stationery, candy always goes down well.
- 8. Arrival & Airport Pick-up
Will someone meet me at the airport? What if my flight is delayed?An AfriVol Volunteer assistant will meet you at the airport. He will be holding a sign with your name on it in the arrival hall. Even if your flight is delayed, do not worry, we will be there to meet you at the airportWhat will my first day be like?On your first day, you will be taken through a brief orientation. You will also take a tour of Accra and go by your placement to take a quick look.I arrive early morning or late at night - will someone meet me at the airport?We will be there to pick you up, regardless of when your flight arrives.
- Will someone meet me at the airport? What if my flight is delayed?
- What will my first day be like?
- I arrive early morning or late at night - will someone meet me at the airport?
- 9. Living Conditions
What is the food like?Ghanaian food is tasty, spicy and diverse. Staples include fufu, banku, kenkey and red-red(gari and beans with fried plantain). Fresh fruits such as pineapple, orange, banana and pawpaw are also common. For more information on Ghanaian food, please click here.
- What is the food like?
- What is the accommodation like?
- Is food included in the placement fee?
- How much do things cost?
- Will I have access to the internet in Ghana?
- Will I be sharing a room?
- What's the weather like?
A variety of continental foods are also available at many restaurants. Chinese and Indian food are common, with a few fast food joints dotted over Accra. Recently, KFC has moved into Ghana.
What is the accommodation like?The AfriVol accommodation is a 3-storey dormitory style accommodation with a total of 16 rooms, each with an adjoining bathroom. Rooms on the first two floors are occupied by volunteers while the top floor is occupied by the Accommodation Manager and family. A maximum of 2 volunteers share a room and the accommodation is cleaned each day.
Each room contains:
• A full size bed
• A study desk and chair
• Adjoining bathroom, with shower, sink and closet
• Dressing mirror
For more information on the accommodation, please click here.Is food included in the placement fee?No.How much do things cost?Western products are generally more expensive because they are imported. Seek advice from the accommodation manager about where to buy items at a lower cost. You can reasonably budget $10.00 per day on a tight budget. However, if you would like to do a good bit of sightseeing and eating out, we recommend budgeting at least $25.00 per day.Will I have access to the internet in Ghana?Internet access is readily available in Ghana. It is also available at the accommodation. There are numerous internet café’s dotted over Accra.Will I be sharing a room?A maximum of 2 volunteers/interns share a room. If the number of volunteers in-country is low, you may have a room to yourself. If you would require a room to yourself, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that a fee is applicable.
Our rooms are spacious and therefore easy to share. You should have enough space to yourself.What's the weather like?Ghana has a tropical climate. Temperatures are high during the day, often going above 30 degrees Celsius. There are 2 seasons. The rainy season between April and September, peaking in June. During the rainy season, temperatures are slightly lower. The dry season runs between October and March.
Expect warm summer temperatures, with added humidity.