Gain experience in international development by supporting grassroots community empowerment initiatives in Ghana.
Program Code: GHTM0863N
Volunteer in Accra
Journey to equatorial Ghana, known for its coastal landscape of unspoiled, palm-lined beaches, magnificent rivers surrounded by fecund tropical forests teeming with butterfly life, and rich cultural heritage stretching far into the early medieval ages, to support communities in their efforts to improve the quality of basic education offered at schools, increase awareness around how to prevent common illnesses and provide women with the support they need to become more financially independent and socially empowered.
Start your career in international development by completing this internship in West Africa. Learn how community-led international development projects are set up, run, and their success measured. Live and work with other interns in the Ghanaian coastal town of Kokrobite.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Virtual Internship Programs
Choose from two types of virtual internships, designed specifically for students at different stages in their for-good career journey.
Travel to the West Coast of Africa to learn how international development programs are designed, established and managed. GVI operate all our own sustainable development programs worldwide and these programs are aligned to one or more United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, UN SDGs. In Ghana we partner with local grassroots organisations to meet their objectives and contribute to UN SDGs, #4, Quality Education and #5, Gender Equality. International development interns in Ghana have the opportunity to learn from our experts in sustainable development.
For the first three months on this program, interns will undergo training to allow them to support our education and women’s empowerment initiatives. They will then go on to contribute to these programs. This will include supporting early years school students in core subjects and extra-curricular activities, supporting local teachers, and improving educational policies and approaches. In addition, interns will conduct adult vocational training workshops and classes for local women, help GVI design, plan and deliver new community initiatives, and participate in international development theory workshops and activities that raise awareness and improve project delivery.
Share and build your expertise and confidence in international development planning and its delivery.
Gain work experience in project management, workshop design and delivery, and lesson planning, while completing an individual project related to early years education, women’s health, or gender equality.
Earn your Foundations in Sustainable Development program certificate, endorsed by the University of Richmond.
Contribute directly to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #4, Quality Education and #5, Gender Equality.
Live and work with other interns, volunteers, and GVI staff from around the world in a lively fishing community on Ghana’s coast.
In your spare time explore tropical forests and national parks, experience the hustle and bustle of busy local food markets, or relax by palm-lined tropical beaches.
In addition GVI international development interns in Ghana will be tasked with completing your own individual project, relating to a challenge faced by the community which ties to one or more of the UN SDGs. This could include delivering a series of workshops, writing a research paper, or even a more creative project. During the course of the project interns will receive support for carrying out their research, including conducting interviews with the local community, setting up and running workshops, and measuring the success of the project through further interviews. The goal is not only to assist the local community with their goals but to help create awareness of in the local of how their personal goals tie into longer term global objectives and assist them with contributing to the debate concerning these topics.
The first portion of this program also includes the Foundations in Sustainable Development program, designed to develop your leadership skills and put you a step above other candidates. After a successful three-month period, interns will go on to work at a local partner organisation in Ghana such as an NGO that works to support women’s empowerment and sanitation or a primary school.
After a successful internship, qualifying candidates may be given the opportunity to work for GVI or selected partner organisations in Thailand, or in other countries around the world where GVI operate. Over 50% of GVI staff are recruited from our alumni database. Qualification for positions is at the sole discretion of Global Vision International.
Life On Base
GVI’s base in Ghana is located in the lively town of Kokrobite. The natural beauty of Kokrobite's golden sandy beach makes it a popular destination for any visitor to Ghana. Here participants are able to experience full West African cultural immersion by visiting the rural. suburban areas, and the traditional fishing communities surrounding the capital city of Accra. Known for its coastal landscapes, palm strewn beaches and beautiful rivers, participants will experience breathtaking scenery in an all-encompassing communal environment, sharing a once-in-a-lifetime experience with fellow participants from all over the world, as well as with the decidated GVI team on the ground.
At our Ghana base participants will live in a guest house that was purpose built to accommodate volunteers. It is a two minute walk from the beach, with a garden full of colourful flowers and tropical plants, and sits within an attractive walled compound located in a quiet part of Kokrobite. Here participants will typically live in shared dormitory-style rooms, with en-suite or shared bathroom facilities. There is also a fully functioning kitchen, office and outdoor dining/meeting area.
Food on our Ghanaian base is mostly cooked in a traditional local style by the GVI staff. The guest house provides a set menu for breakfast and dinner that is mostly vegetarian, and which combines local Ghanian dishes with continental dishes. Local food is simple, often spicy and consists mainly of fresh fruit, bread, eggs, and root vegetables or starchy sour-doughs served with rice, stews, or soup. During project days, participants can eat a packed lunch while working at the project site or they can return back to base to prepare thier own lunch.
Typically dinner will be cooked by the GVI staff. They will prepare dinner each day but you are free to buy and prepare your own meals if you prefer. On Sundays volunteers will have the opportunity to take turns to prepare the team dinners. There are also restaurants in the local area, serving a selection of local and internation dishes, which participants are more than welcome to frequent, at their own expense.
While in Ghana, you may find yourself fully immersed in the adventure, not able to make too much time for long-distance communications with friends and family. Communication can be a little intermittent, so be sure to let your friends and family at home know that you’ll be in touch when possible. The base has limited internet, but this is only used by GVI staff for work-related tasks. We recommend that you buy a local SIM card to use with your network unlocked cell phone or a portable internet dongle.
The GVI team provides transfers from Kotoka International airport in Accra, to our base. Participants are often able to walk the short distance or will be transported between the project and partner sites and the base daily. Participants are also welcome to use local public transport during free time to site-see, visit markets, and enjoy trips and excursions.
GVI staff are first-aid trained and are always on hand to assist with any medical concerns. There are community health clinics in Kokobite, and the nearest emergency medical facilities are approximately 15 minutes drive from the GVI base.
Ghana enjoys a year round tropical climate, being hot and humid most of the time. Even during the so called “rainy season”, which is from April to August, Ghana enjoys an average of more than five hours a day of sunshine and warm weather. Average temperatures along the coast are usually in the 26 – 32 degree celsius range, but can feel warmer due to the humidity.
What's It like?
If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.
We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.
Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.
Follow GVI Volunteer-In-Accra's Facebook page for live updates straight from the field. Get an idea of the types of projects you might be involved in, meet our staff and participants, experience life on this GVI base, hear about free time activities, and learn about the local culture and environment.
When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.
As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.
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Meet the team - Senior Field Management
This is Matt, the Program Manager for GVI’s base in Accra, Ghana. Matt has a vast array of experience in Ghana, having lived there for over 11 years. He considers his beachside village to be his new home, as he is originally from the UK.
Matt completed his Masters Degree in International Development, back in 2008. He has since put it to good work, working with a variety of NGO’s before finding GVI. He loves Ghana, its music, dance, beaches as well as the cats and dogs at the base!
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.
Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.
Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
GVI’s base in Ghana was set up as a result of an invitation to support education, gender equality, and community development programs in the region.
Participants will assist local partners by teaching English to primary and secondary school children or working with gender equality organisations that promote women’s social and economic advancement through educational workshops. Public health also plays a huge role in educating the local community about how simple lifestyle changes can benefit their well-being in the long run.
Our Partners In Accra
GVI Ghana’s Long-term Objectives:
1. To enrich and improve the extracurricular education and learning environment of early years students at community schools in Ghana.
2. To empower local women to achieve economic independence, flexibility of career paths, and an improved standard of living.
3. To empower women and girls from the local community to achieve an improved standard of health & well being and to become more confident in gender equality issues.
A GVI program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, GVI Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.
For All GVI Participants
Introduction to GVI as a whole and the work in your specific location. Learn about the short, mid, and long-term objectives of the sustainable development projects at your base, which United Nations Development Goals they impact most directly, and which local partners we work with.
Health and Safety Training
Learn about the Emergency Action Plans in place at your base, the full Risk Assessment, and best practices for personal safety.
Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Training
Learn about the importance of child and vulnerable adult protection best practices and how to apply them while on project.
Learn about best practices for setting up a community development project including conducting preliminary interviews, planning the project, managing it, and measuring its success using follow up interviews.
Foundations in Sustainable Development certificate
After successfully completing the flagship online Foundations in Sustainable Development course and your specialisation in either the Introduction to Scientific Conservation Research or the Introduction to Community Development course, you will receive a certificate from the University of Richmond recognising your successful completion of the Foundations in Sustainable Development course. The Foundations in Sustainable Development course, both core and specialisation courses, are included in the program fee of all GVI internships.
Joining a program not only allows participants to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer.
Long term field staff are a great source of advice, and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. Many decide to travel before or after their experience (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program. Please note that the below suggestions are not included in the program fee, and are for the individual to organise at their own expense.
Kakum National Park
For the nature lovers there’s always Kakum National Park, which is home to an abundance of biodiversity and offers a breathtaking canopy walk.
On weekends off, volunteers could visit historic Elmina and discover all the beautifully dishevelled colonial buildings, clapboard houses and corrugated iron shacks.
Cape Coast Festival
Cape Coast festival (Fetu Afahye) is an experience not to be missed. It is celebrated on the first Saturday of September every year. It is celebrated by the people and chiefs of Cape Coast, with people traveling from all over Ghana, and abroad, to attend.
National Museum and Centre for Cultural Research
Take a trip to the National Museum for insight into the local culture or head to the ANO Centre for Cultural Research, and check out the Ghanian art.
Alternatively, for a relaxing day out, be sure to check out Bojo Beach just west of the city of Accra.
Head over to the Makola market for a true African market experience. Be sure to try out some of the local cuisine that is sold here by the local vendors.
Fort san Antonio
A guided tour of this historical monument could be just what’s needed to make the experience go from good to great. Participants can expect to experience the amazing views of the coastline from the top of the fort.
Mole National Park
For the nature lovers there’s Mole National Park, home to about 90 species of mammals, including beautiful African elephants.
Volunteers could take a tour of Cape Coast’s whitewashed castle, a former slave-holding site that is rich in history and deeply rooted in the national identity of Ghana.
Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.
Kokrobite is in the central region of south Ghana, situated in the Gulf of Guinea of West Africa. The village has a population of roughly 5 000 people. Golden sand beaches and palm trees set the scene of this lively village, which is often frequented by tourists and locals wanting to visit the beach. It is a great place to relax under a beach hut and listen to the sound of lapping waves.
Ghana is home to 32 festivals each year, contributing to its status as a culturally rich and diverse nation.
If you’re a foodie, you’re going to love trying some of the local delicacies, including Jollof rice, Fante Kenkey (boiled maize dough), Fufu, Coco-Yam or even Banku (which is cooked, fermented corn & cassava dough). Come into your program with an open mind and prepare to be exposed to some of the most interesting dishes you can wrap your head around.
Participants are able to fully immerse themselves in Ghanaian culture through learning more about local languages (more than 80 languages are spoken in the reason, but don’t worry, English is primarily used in business and day-to-day exchanges).
Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.
We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.
Our 10 Ethical Commitments
Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects
We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.
Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes
We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.
We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.
Working Against Dependency
We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.
Responsible Exit Strategies
For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.
Clear Roles & Specialized Training
We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.
Respect for all
In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.
We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.
Transitioning from the Orphanage Model
We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.
Child and Vulnerable adult policies
We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.
As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.
However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.
‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Heritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.
We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.
Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’
Parent Info Pack
Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:
Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office. Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios. Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page. Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.
Support & Safety
We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.
Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.
Upon arrival at the airport, participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.
It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.
As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.
The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.
Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.
24-hour emergency desk
24-hour in-country support
Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
All necessary project equipment and materials
All necessary project training by experienced staff
Long term experienced staff
Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)