The Creative Arts project is based in schools in the city of Kumasi. It was developed as art offers a platform to escape from reality and the hardships of everyday life for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, while also teaching skills that can positively impact their futures. The Ghana Education Service has recently included arts as part of the curriculum in the hope to improve the children’s creativity, and ultimately, their lives. Art allows students to express themselves, tapping into their inventiveness and creativity, and is a fun outlet that helps positively stimulate and motivate. By teaching youth creative skills and allowing them the freedom to express themselves, volunteers are imparting these youth with the skills to help them towards a happier, more fulfilling life. Since this is a new initiative in the education system, there is a severe lack of creative arts teachers and a desperate need for volunteers to help staff the project. Volunteers will have a curriculum to follow, however are encouraged to teach any creative subject or activity that will benefit the children. Resources are limited so donations from volunteers are greatly appreciated. This is important for those volunteers who are designing activities that might be new and need additional materials.
Research shows that exposure to art can help youth develop many positive skills and abilities (such as developing their memory and ability to focus), and can ultimately improve children’s confidence and academic performance. The benefits to those living in poverty and at-risk youth are even higher. Art exposure can be instrumental in resolving conflicts, deterring problems with attendance and disruptive behavior, and building self-respect, resilience, empathy and collaborative skills. Volunteers on this fantastic program will assist children to develop their cognitive abilities through creative methods using constructive materials, paints, clay and drawing. They will also help to keep the classroom clean, teach basic English and report on daily activities to local teachers. In addition to creative arts lessons, volunteers can spend time assisting the teachers in other subjects.
This is a great program for creative volunteers as they will have the opportunity to design and implement recreational and educational activities for the children. Volunteers are encouraged to use their skills and interests to develop fun things for the children to do such as music and dance, arts, crafts and much more.
Volunteers can expect to;
- Participate in a diverse range of artistic projects
- Teach art classes, giving youth the opportunity to experience creativity and learn art techniques
- Teach English and assist with other subjects as required
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A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:
7:00am Breakfast with host family
8:00am Walk or bus to project site
8:30am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor
9:00am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES
Midday Lunch break
1:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES
4:00pm Debrief with project supervisor
4:30pm Walk or bus back to home stay
6:00pm Dinner with host family
Evenings Free time to relax or explore the sights and sounds of the local area!
Upon your arrival in Ghana you will collected at the airport (Kotoka Int. Airport) by a representative of the local project team and taken to your host family accommodation. Here you will be welcomed and settled into your new surroundings.
On Monday morning, you will be collected and taken to the local team offices where will receive a full arrival orientation. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have. You will then be taken to your projects site where you will be introduced to the onsite project team and settled into your project work. Easy!
- Project Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Project Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana (CODE: ACC)
Volunteers on this program will be accommodated with a local host family, and will gain the opportunity to become immersed in the local culture and custom, improving their knowledge of the people, culture and language. Ghanaian families are renowned for their kindness and hospitality and they love to learn about different cultures. Living with a local family truly is the best way to throw oneself into the local culture and to meet people who will often become lifelong friends!
All families have been fully vetted by our local team and have extensive experience hosting international volunteers. Depending on the time of year it may be necessary to share a room with other volunteers, but private rooms are often available upon request (additional fees may apply). Volunteers will be provided access to a shared bathroom. Host families are often happy to wash clothes for volunteers for a small fee to cover the additional electricity, though mostly volunteers will use a local laundromat. In either case you can expect to pay a small amount for the service. Alternatively, you can do your own washing, but remember that washing machines are not common so you’ll likely have to use the tub or wash basin.
Host families will provide volunteers with breakfast and dinner during the working week. Lunch is not included but can be purchased at a nearby café while at your project site – a wonderful opportunity to try the many cheap and tasty local food options!
It is important to remember that the living conditions in Ghana are different from home. Most families have running water, but hot water is still uncommon in some areas. Although the accommodation is basic, this is part of the challenge and experience of volunteering in a developing country. With a little patience, and a flexible attitude, you will quickly get used to your new surroundings.
Registration Fee: The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the Trip Planner.
Requirements: We welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the artistic development of Ghana’s next generation. While this highly rewarding project does not require participants to have a background in the fields of art or education, as there are many ways you can assist, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with patients and staff, though this is not a pre-requisite. All applicants must of course display a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Project Location: Known as “The Garden City” thanks to its many beautiful species of flowers and plants, Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti region of Ghana. It’s surrounded by rolling green hills and has a vast central market as vibrant as any in Africa.
The cities major attraction is the National Cultural Centre, a 10-minute walk west of the market. The sprawling complex encompasses a fascinating museum of Ashanti history, a popular library, an excellent crafts shop and an exhibition hall. Classes in traditional dance and drumming are available.
In the villages around Kumasi, artisans specialize in crafts such as goldsmithing, wood carving, cloth printing and weaving. Bonwire is the place to go for kente cloth, Pankrono is best for pottery, Ahwiaa for woodcarving and Ntonso for adinkra cloth.
Accra is a sprawling city, with a mixture of modern buildings, shanty towns, occasional castle and lively markets. The central commercial hub is around the Makola Market. Just south of the market is the Atlantic ocean (Gulf of Guinea). Accra’s shanty towns are mostly to the west of the city center. East of the city center and north towards the Kotoka international airport, is where you’ll find most of the hotels, embassies and smarter residential areas.
Among the highlights of Accra are the National Museum, with its display of exhibits that reflect the heritage of Ghana, the National Theater, the Center of National Culture, Independence Square and the fishing port at James Town. The beaches of the Atlantic coast are popular with visitors and Ghanaians alike.
Start Dates & Duration: This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks.