Moon&Star guesthouse offers affordable and sustainable volunteer work in Ghana. Have you always wanted to travel to a country in Africa? Do you want to get away from it all for a while? Enjoy, but also do something useful? Then working as a volunteer through us might be something for you!
In this blog I will answer all the questions you may have about volunteering in Ghana
Table of Contents with clickable links:
- Why volunteer in Ghana and not in another (African) country?
- Who are we?
- Where do I stay?
- Can I come alone?
- Where am I going to volunteer?
- What does volunteering entail?
- Who do I work with?
- How much does it cost to volunteer?
- Volunteering is in a women’s center, can I come as a man?
- What is the minimum and maximum length of stay as a volunteer?
- Why is this project sustainable?
- What exactly does the preparation entail?
- What does an average working day look like?
- I love children, can’t I work with them instead of in the women center?
- Is it possible to read about the experiences of a former volunteer?
- What can I do in my free time in Ghana?
- What age are most volunteers?
- Do I need a visa for Ghana?
- Can I travel to Ghana now during the pandemic?
- What are the Covid measures in Ghana?
Why volunteer in Ghana and not in another (African) country?
There are many reasons why Ghana is the best choice for volunteering abroad. An example is the hospitality of the Ghanaian people, they are always willing to help you. Furthermore, English is the official language and you can travel safely and independently in Ghana. I previously wrote a blog with 10 reasons why Ghana is worth a visit. In other words, in addition to 3 of the above reasons, there are at least 7 other reasons why you should ‘should’ come! Click here to read the article. Or watch the video below to get an impression of Ghana.
Who are we?
My name is Pat and over 11 years ago I started Moon &Star guesthouse. A welcoming small-scale guesthouse located between the beautiful mountains in the Ashanti region in Ghana. Moon&Star guesthouse has always had a social mission. This means that we have been able to support all kinds of projects and people. If you want to read in detail what we have done so far, click here.
Where do I stay while volunteering in Ghana?
As a volunteer, you get a room in Moon &Star guesthouse. In principle you get your own room, only in exceptional cases, it may be that you (temporarily) have to share a room. Our rooms have a private bathroom with running water, a fan and there are mosquito nets.
You get 3 simple but tasty meals a day and we provide you with drinking water. If you follow a special diet or have a certain food allergy, then that is not a problem for us.
Can I come alone?
Yes, definitely! I, Pat, live with my 2 children on the same property as the guesthouse. And team Moon&Star is also there. So when you want company, there’s always someone around. The people of Banko, the village where Moon&Star is located are super friendly and making friends in the village is, therefore, no problem!
Where am I going to volunteer?
At Banko Women Center. The women’s centre is a joint initiative of the Dutch NGO ‘Crossing borders for Ghana’ and Moon&Star guesthouse. Banko Women Center focuses on improving the situation and strengthening women in Banko, Ghana. We want to achieve this by providing women with a reliable and safe place where they can follow various training courses, participate in discussion groups and where they can exercise.
What does volunteering entail?
As a volunteer at Banko Women Center, you will mainly raise funds. Ultimately, the intention is that this project will become a self-sufficient project. For example, by selling the products that are made. But if we want to make products, we need money to buy equipment and materials.
Suppose we want to teach women to make bags and clothes, then we need sewing machines and materials to make that happen.
You can raise funds by setting up fundraisers and by applying for grants. As a volunteer, you will also have a supporting role in creating (social media) content.
Who do I work with?
As a volunteer in this project in Ghana, you mainly work together with Lydia and me, Pat. On Wednesday and Thursday mornings we are always at work in the women’s center.
I am mainly busy behind the scenes, for instance with the website, the newsletter and contact with the Netherlands. And Lydia is engaged in executive tasks and organizes the discussion groups and the like.
As a volunteer, you work independently, but we are there to answer any questions and to brainstorm with you. If you would like to work together with a friend , you can! Feel free to find a travel buddy.
How much does it cost to volunteer?
You don’t pay anything for doing the volunteer work! However, you do pay for your room and board and the preparation program. For 3 meals a day and a room in the guesthouse you pay € 85.00 per week and the preparation program costs € 45.00.
We assume that you can work and travel independently in Ghana. If you are in doubt about this, we also offer a personal guidance program including airport service, transfer to Moon &Star guesthouse, a lot of explanation about travelling in Ghana etc, then the costs are € 799.00 for the first month and then € 85.00 per extra week.
You can always make an appointment with me to consult, but you can also read this blog about the amount of guidance you need as a volunteer in Africa.
Volunteering is in a women’s center, can I come as a man?
Yes, as a man you are also welcome at the Banko Women Center. Of course, we want to offer the women from Banko a safe haven, but it is also a fun and cheerful place. For private conversations and discussion groups, there is another room available.
“By traveling and living with the locals you are more open to other habits and customs in another world, there but also at home.
Working at Banko Women center has helped me a lot to develop this. In addition, Ghana is a great country and I would recommend everyone to visit Ghana!”Stijn
What is the minimum and maximum length of stay as a volunteer?
The minimum stay is 4 weeks. If you want to make an impact and achieve something as a volunteer, you need at least 4 weeks. In addition, we encourage you to also see something of beautiful Ghana and that will not work if you are in the country for less than 4 weeks.
Of course, you can stay longer, experience shows that a period of 2 to 3 months is the ideal length to do volunteer work in Ghana. Then you have plenty of time to get used to the state of affairs here and also the time to see a lot of Ghana. The maximum length for volunteering through us is half a year.
As mentioned, the cost for a 1-month stay while volunteering in Ghana at the women’s center, including the preparation is € 410.00. For every week extra stay, you pay € 85.00.
Why is this volunteer project in Ghana sustainable?
The Banko Women Center strives to become self-sufficient. Your help is certainly needed for fundraising, but the project also runs without Western volunteers. We work together with local authorities and locals. We do not determine what the women of Banko need, we facilitate. And of course, you will come into contact with the locals and with children during the volunteer work. But you don’t work directly with them, so the attachment issues that are problematic in some projects are no an issue for this volunteering opportunity.
In short, by your help as a volunteer, you strengthen the women of Banko without centralizing yourself!
What exactly does the preparation entail?
The preparation consists of 2 parts.
You will receive the E-book ‘What you need to know when travelling to Ghana’ that I have written.
In this book, I pay attention to the practical preparation, what you have to arrange, but also what to pack. In addition, I tell you about how you can travel in Ghana, which routes are fun to do and there are a lot of Ghana facts in it. I’m also talking about social sustainability.
In addition, the preparation includes the online course ”MORE IMPACT AND JOY WHILE VOLUNTEERING IN AFRICA”.
After this course you will be able to
- Work with respect for people and animals
- Have a positive impact as a volunteer in Africa
- Enjoy new encounters to the full
- Not be a white savior by accident
- Help to change stereotypes
- Give a platform to the people who deserve it
- Communicate about the project in the appropriate way
- Enjoy your volunteering in Africa without harming the locals!
Are you going to volunteer on another project in Ghana or in another African country? And do you want to follow the above course? Click here!
What does an average working day look like?
Since you work independently, you can make your own schedule. As mentioned, Lydia and I are present on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the women’s center, where you also have your own workspace/desk. But if you occasionally want to work from the beautiful terrace of Moon &Star guesthouse, then that is certainly not a problem!
Team Moon &Star takes care of your meals, but if you want to help with cooking or washing dishes, we certainly do not say no to that!
You’re going to slow down a lot compared to your life in Europe. Life in a village in Ghana is slower and that takes some getting used to for many people who come to Ghana.
But as soon as you let go of that feeling of always having to do something… Then you notice that the days do not have to be full to have a great time in Ghana.
I love children, can’t I work with them instead of in the women center?
Working in the women center is not optional. This is where you can make a difference! Of course, children are fun and loveable and you will meet lot’s of kid while staying with us. Volunteering in projects with children is something we don’t offer because this is hardly ever sustainable and it can even be damaging for the children involved.
Is it possible to read about the experiences of a former volunteer?
Cecilia has been working abroad for 5 weeks by volunteering at Banko Women center. Before we had to say goodbye I got to interview her about her experience here in Ghana. Click here to read the interview.
What can I do in my free time in Ghana?
During your time at Moon&Star guesthouse, you will be part of the Moon&Star family. There are always chores that need to be done that you may really enjoy doing. For example, you can garden, farm or improve your cooking skills. There is always someone in for a chat and the kids really like to play games.
In addition, our area is beautiful and very suitable for walking. You can exercise with team Moon &Star, swim and climb mountains. Going on an excursion or going shopping in the nearest larger town. Furthermore, you can of course occasionally go out for a few days to explore the rest of Ghana.
What age are most volunteers?
THE MINIMUM AGE TO VOLUNTEER WITH US IN GHANA IS 17 YEARS
The age of the youngest volunteers who came to Ghana through us is 17 years. How nice it was here in the house with Natasha, Rolf and Iris. At the same time, we had the Norwegian writer Espen as a guest. Espen and I, Pat, were pretty much the mom and dad of the bunch. But then youthful and hip parents of course;)
As I write it I remember that I once went snake hunting with Aspen… Why?? Not a clue… But it did produce a movie…
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM AGE FOR VOLUNTEERS?
Moon&Star guesthouse has as already mentioned a huge mix of guests. In our early years, I think it was 2011/2012 we had 3 great volunteers in their 60s. I also remember a super sweet couple who came when my oldest child was just six months old. And 2 very sweet ladies of 70 who have been here countless times.
In other words, there is no maximum age for the volunteer work in Ghana that we offer.
It is the mix of guests that make the stay and the experience so special. The beauty of having volunteers of different ages and different backgrounds is the diversity that is then created. It ensures that our view and perspective on the world remains open and does not become too one-sided.
Do I need a visa for Ghana?
Yes, you need a visa for Ghana. When you come to do volunteer work through us, I make sure that you receive the correct papers for applying for the visa. You can apply for a visa for Ghana at the embassy of the country where you are staying.
Can I travel to Ghana now during the pandemic?
Yes, you can and may. The land borders are still closed, but the air borders have been open to travellers since September 2020. You must be able to submit a negative Covid test from where you board the plane that is not older than 72 hours before departure. And at the airport in Accra, you have to undergo a rapid test.
What are the Covid measures in Ghana?
In everyday life, you don’t really notice that much of Covid. Officially, we must observe the measures such as social distancing and the mouth mask. But in practice, there is little social distancing. We still don’t shake hands, but we ‘box’ or greet with the elbows. In public transport, most people have a facemask on and you can’t go into a store without it. The tourist attractions and restaurants are all open.
I still have questions about the volunteer work in Ghana that you offer
Of course, you can. I am very happy to answer your questions in a personal Zoom conversation! Click here to make an appointment without obligation!
And if you have no more questions but would like to travel to Ghana to work with us, click on the button below. Fill in the form and I will contact you as soon as possible!