What's it all about?
Volunteer West Africa is a a non-ideological, non-political, not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation (NGO). We finance and implement ethical and sustainable development projects in Ghana, West Africa. Through these projects, we help vulnerable West African children to access education and achieve a higher standard of living.
Central to the VWA approach is our placement of international volunteers within our projects. We offer an exciting range of high-quality volunteering programmes, ranging from two weeks to six months in duration, which allow you to join our team in West Africa to help us achieve serious and meaningful development objectives.
If you apply to volunteer with VWA, you will be offering your time and energy in one of the following, important project areas:
1. The Prevention of Child Exploitation
2. Children's Health, Hygiene, Nutrition & Sanitation
3. Early-years Education, Childcare & Teaching
4. Enriching the Lives of Children
5. Livelihoods & Vocational Training
If your application to volunteer with VWA is accepted, you will join one of the most professional volunteering organisations in operation today.
You will eat, sleep, & work alongside other team members at our high quality guest house and office facility in the village of Kokrobite, Ghana; you will be given important and meaningful duties and responsibilities as part of a team of dedicated and passionate development professionals; and you will benefit from the unique insight in to West African culture that our close working relationship with the local community provides.
What's it NOT all about?
Volunteer West Africa is an ethical volunteering NGO for volunteers who are serious about delivering real and positive change to children and families in West Africa.
We are not a commercial volunteering agent or tourism operator; we do not offer volunteering packages for profit; we do not place volunteers in to poorly planned projects or in to sub-standard accommodation; and we do not allow our responsibilities towards our volunteers to interfere with our responsibilities towards the West African children and families whom we support.
VWA is one of a very small group of organisations which fully complies with the ethical guidelines for volunteering organisations as published, here, on the International Ecotourism Website.
What will you be doing if you volunteer with VWA?
Volunteer West Africa offers a broad and exciting range of opportunities for international volunteers, from all backgrounds and skill levels, young or old, to get involved in. And unlike commercial volunteer organisations, that offer generic volunteer packages, VWA will always work with you to design a unique volunteer placement that aligns your individual interests, experience and skills with the aims and objectives of the work that we are undertaking at that time.
From teaching French language lessons, to one-to-one tutoring in Mathematics, to running structured educational-play groups for nursery children, to distributing donated materials to underprivileged communities, to delivering health & hygiene workshops to single parents, to designing a 6-month Polio vaccination programme for three thousand rural Africans, to sports coaching with orphaned children, to teaching unemployed parents business or career development skills... VWA has the local knowledge and expertise to help you complete a volunteer placement that makes the most of your individual skills and ambitions.
Perhaps most importantly, VWA understands that your experience of volunteering in Africa must be challenging and rewarding. If your experience with Volunteer West Africa is a good one, you will continue to benefit the children and families that we support long after your volunteer placement with us comes to an end; from inspiring other potential volunteers by sharing your stories and experiences; to sustaining important relationships with the members of the community your volunteering placement has introduced you to; to acting as an ambassador or fundraiser for the people of West Africa in future; to gaining experience or motivation that drives you forward to help improve the lives of children in other places... if you find great reward in your volunteer experience with Volunteer West Africa then we will have found a friend for life in you. For that reason, we take our responsibility towards your volunteer experience very seriously.
"During my trip I interviewed so many volunteers and teams who felt the organisations they signed up to were just middle-men concerned with taking their fee rather than actually helping the people of Africa. These homogenised 'off-the-shelf' volunteer and gap year travel experiences seem to be all too common now... the current generation's version of the package holiday. So if you are thinking about volunteering, I would recommend that you take a look at organisation's like VWA ('Volunteer West Africa'). Volunteering should be about real development, real ethics, and real professionalism, not well-meaning tourism"
- Jenny Haasgill, Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, UK.