On the west coast of Africa lies a beautiful country with expanses of wilderness and coastline: Ghana, meaning “Warrior King,” is a place known for its warm national character, where visitors are always welcomed as friends. Above all, the Ghanaians are peaceful, caring, and hospitable. Ghana maintains a stable government, as well as one of the strongest economies in West Africa thanks to its abundance of natural resources. Over 100 different ethnic groups call Ghana home. During your Squads Abroad experience in the village of Ho, the Ewe people of the Volta Region will become your family and will make this unique place unforgettable. With English as an adopted “official” language, amazing connections can be made in Ghana.
Located in a safe, residential community, your Home-Base in Ghana offers beautiful views and your very own mango tree! Common areas are furnished with plenty of chairs and couches that are decorated with bright batik fabrics. Enjoy the evening breeze on the patio with fellow volunteers or bring out a book for some quiet time. Living areas are communal with plenty of space to keep your belongings. Each bed also has a mosquito net, so we’ve got you covered, literally.
During your stay, you’ll feast on a blend of healthy Ghanaian cuisine. If you’re not “big on spicy,” the CCS cook will turn it down a notch or two. Typical meals include plenty of starches like pasta, potatoes, and some new favorites like cassava and plantains mashed into fufu and banku — Ghanaian specialties. At meals, you’ll have the option to use silverware, but give the traditional way a try by using your hands to sop up a helping of homemade stew with your fufu.
Cross-Cultural Solutions’ local staff designs and runs each program; the staff will make you feel at home acting like a second family during your stay and helping you better understand the culture. They help facilitate your placement and activities and are always available to handle any questions that may arise.
Ghana Country President, Makafui Amenuvor (photo far right), was born and raised in the Volta. In his words, “Growing up in small town in Ghana with my grandparents, I have seen the vulnerability that comes from being raised in poverty and not having opportunities for education. I was fortunate to have parents who believed in the value of education, and attended a Technical School to further my talents in electronics. However, it was CCS volunteers who motivated me, as a young man, to follow my passions and goals of attending university to establish a career in social justice and change.
In Ghana, over 28% of the population lives in poverty at under $1 per day. With schools that are too often underfunded and overcrowded, the need for individual attention, guidance, and encouragement to children pursuing their dreams is key to a brighter future. I am committed, with CCS volunteers, to improving the possibilities for each child in my community.”
Each weekday afternoon our professional staff guide the group on Cultural & Learning Activities in the local area. Upon arrival the local community puts on an exclusive collaborative presentation just for CCS volunteers to formally welcome you, and you’ll get to join in on a traditional drum and dance circle, a very important cultural practice for the Ghanaian people. Embark on an intense hike up Mount Afadja, the highest mountain in Ghana. Plunge into a natural pool at the base of the Wli Waterfall, the highest waterfall in West Africa. Visit local markets for a chance to buy wood carvings and batik clothes directly from the artisans who crafted them. Boat across Lake Volta, one of the world’s largest man-made lakes, and watch as fishermen tow in the day’s catch. Meet important figures in the Ewe community, including a chieftain who will tell you about their traditions and tribal rules, as well as a traditional witch doctor and a bonesetter—both roles are essential to the Ghanaian health care system. Visit a local seamstress to learn about traditional “adinkra” symbols, as well as the traditional batik fabric dyeing process. Make your own batik handkerchief as a small but meaningful keepsake of all you’ve learned and seen.
On the weekends your group may choose to explore other areas of the country through our guided overnight packages. Spend one or two nights exploring beaches, rainforests, national parks, and more.