Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Volunteer In Sega, Ghana

About the School
Anmchara International School (New Era School) is located in a beautiful rural village named Sega around 60km East of Ghana’s capital city Accra. Headteacher Godwin Agudey founded the school in 2002 after visiting Sega and noticing children sitting around with nothing to do. After consultation with village chiefs the school was established with 16 pupils, which has rapidly expanded to 300 today. Volunteers can expect to have a challenging and stimulating time teaching the children and absorbing themselves in the community.

English is nearly universally spoken in Sega along with the local dialect Dangme, which the locals will be thrilled to see you using. During your time in Sega you will probably be given a Dangme name, a sign of your acceptance in the local community.

School term is divided into three.
First term: 1st Monday in September to 22nd December.
Second term: 1st Monday in January to April.
Third term: 1st Monday in May to 1st week in August.

About Ghana
Ghana itself is located on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, just north of the Equator. Half of the country lies less than 152m above sea level, with the highest point being 883m. The beautiful 537km coastline, mostly low and sandy, is backed by large plains and scrubland.

Because of the equatorial climate the country is generally humid, with the only seasonal changes coming between the wet and dry season (the latter being between December and February). Typical daily temperatures fluctuate around 30c. Due to these high temperatures it is advisable for volunteers to wear loose fitting cotton clothing, which will also help to protect against mosquitoes.

Arriving in a developing country you should expect to experience a different aspect of the world, which may be new to you and possibly even shocking. Hopefully you will be understanding and respectful of all situations and customs and keep an open mind.

Most volunteers require a visa to enter Ghana, the paperwork for which should be started with enough time before leaving for Sega. On your application form there are details which will need to be provided by us and given to you.

Ghana has several national holidays which fall on:
1st January: New Years Day
6th March: Independence Day
1st May: Labour Day
25th May: Africa Union Day
1st July: Republic Day
25th December: Christmas Day
26th December: Boxing Day

Before arriving in Ghana it is necessary to consult with your doctor about vaccinations and anti-malarial drugs. This should be done several weeks before departure as some vaccinations need to be spread out over a period of time. It should be noted a yellow fever vaccination certificate is a condition of entry to Ghana.

A Typical Day
A typical school day begins at 8a.m, teaching through to 10 a.m. Following a 30 minute break teaching starts again until midday. Lunch is then served for staff and students from the school kitchen. Teaching continues after lunch until 2 p.m.

After the end of the scheduled school day teachers may plan lessons, help children or walk home to relax before an evening meal around 6 p.m.

Breakfast and evening meal are prepared by your host family, and will consist of local food such as rice, kenke, fufu, banku and more.

During your time in Sega you will be housed with a host family. Your private room, with electricity and lighting, will have a bed (with mosquito net) and desk.

Free Time
Volunteers can expect to use their free time from teaching to absorb Ghanaian culture and interact with the local community. This might entail anything from walking around the village greeting people, to playing sports with the children or learning the local dialect.

In a country as culturally diverse as Ghana there are many opportunities to explore your surroundings and engage with the history of the country. With options from tropical rainforest, lush beaches and bustling cities all within easy reach there is much to choose from.

Key Information
It is very important to supply the school with key information about your stay in Ghana to make it as comfortable as possible. In particular details on the following are required:
Your arrival and departure details including flight dates, times, airline, flight numbers or overland details if applicable.
An emergency contact person at home, phone number and e-mail address for them.
Your insurance carrier while traveling (to be given to medical personnel in the event you are unable to)
Allergies (to medication particularly)
Medication you plan to take while traveling.
Any special dietary requirements you have.

To contact Anmchara International School, please email Godwin Agudey at: