The decision has been made! Moon&Star guesthouse stops offering volunteer work in Ghana. For many years we have welcomed volunteers with great pleasure, but times change and we have made another attempt with volunteering 2.0. Our final conclusion is that volunteering in Ghana no longer suits us.
In this article I explain why we stop volunteering as it was. And more importantly, I will tell you what we do offer!
I am grateful for all the great volunteers we were able to host in Ghana
As you may know, I, Patricia, ended up in Ghana thanks to volunteering almost 20 years ago. So volunteering has brought me a lot personally. The reason why Moon&Star guesthouse could exist in the very beginning was because of volunteers and local guests. Banko and surroundings were not on the travel card 10 years ago. Also during and just after the Ebola period it was volunteers and local guests who kept us going.
Over the years we have hosted a lot of great volunteers, who did their bit and with many of them became our friends. In other words, Moon&Star guesthouse and I have are very grateful that we had our volunteer program. This made it so difficult to make a choice.
The biggest obstacle of volunteering does not match with the sustainable mission of Moon&Star guesthouse
The biggest problem I encountered 20 years ago while volunteering in Ghana was a kind of boredom and unsatisfied feeling. Volunteering in Africa evokes a feeling/need in many people of wanting to come and do something good.
That is a need/feeling that I recognise and understand well. Only this is no longer applicable. Contrary to what the general idea sometimes seems to be in the Western world. In African countries there is also development and there are many skilled local people. We Westerners don’t have to come here to do good. There are wonderful local initiatives and projects which could use financial support, but which often have very capable people already working there.
Construction workers and painters are also sufficient here, and even more so the local craftsmen know how to build here in Ghana, without all the equipment and technical tools.
Do yourself the honor of seeing more of the world
Although there is nothing wrong with wishing to do good, it is important to identify the motives for it. In the end, as a Western volunteer in your home country, you can probably do a lot more good.
But there is nothing wrong with doing good for yourself. Giving yourself the opportunity to see more of the world. To get to know other people and a different culture, where you can learn a lot and expand your view.
The sustainable alternative to volunteering; Spend a few months in Ghana for personal development!
And that is what we still offer at Moon&Star guesthouse, the responsible alternative for volunteering in Ghana.
There is still the possibility to come to Ghana for a longer period of time with Moon&Star guesthouse. We offer a personal development journey where you come to experience, learn and enjoy yourself in Banko. You will become part of the community and you can work on your personal development. For example during your gap year, your sabbatical or just because you wanted to get away from home for a while.
Volunteering in Ghana evolves into a personal development journey
You can still visit the projects Moon&Star guesthouse supports on a regular basis, but you realise that the project can/will continue without you. You are an addition to the local team where they think they can use extra hands, but you let go of the fact that you are going to do great for the people here.
When you let go that you are in Ghana to help, when you say that you are on a journey to Ghana and that you want to discover what life is like here. A beautiful world opens up for you!
Charles’ story is a wonderful example! Read more
Where can I find more information about the personal development journey, the alternative to volunteering in Ghana?
For more information about a personal development program with coaching during an gap year or sabbatical I would like to refer you to the Ghana coach website. The volunteering page on this website is scheduled to be updated. If you want more information about what your Ghana time could look like, feel free to send me an email!