Ghana

Global Health

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West-Africa-Colour

Ghana

Global Health

West-Africa-Global-Health
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  • Get the big picture on rural and urban health issues and examine the underlying conditions that cause them by contributing to local health initiatives.
  • Hike to the border of Togo and then up to the highest waterfall in West Africa while staying in the breathtaking mountain village of Wli.
  • Walk the dusty red paths in the Upper East of Ghana and learn about how environmental sustainability impacts health in remote areas of the region.
  • Confer with the National Control Program for HIV/AIDS and meet our inspiring partners at the Orthopaedic Training Center in Nsawam.

Program Dates

2017
May 22 – June 30
July 9 – August 17

Program Fee + Community Contribution  

$2,900 + $750
$2,725 + $615
Currency:

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Sample Itinerary

*This itinerary is based on our previous experience with the region. Programs change every year based on the needs of our partners. This should give you a sense of what our program may look like.

Orientation – From Ghana to Togo

We arrive in Accra via Kotoka International Airport, where our group will come together after long journeys! Stretching across the Atlantic coast, the capital city will serve as our first meeting point.

In the morning we’ll depart for Wli, a small town in the Volta Region of Ghana set against the beautiful backdrop of lush mountains and rushing waterfalls. It’s the perfect setting for our team to ease into Ghanaian culture and the pace of life…all while getting to know each other! A local friend will prepare a taste of real Ghanaian cuisine for a very warm welcome.

Orientation wouldn’t be complete without a hike, so we will take a day to the border of Togo, a neighbouring country in the east. Then we’ll head back to Wli to visit the famous Agumatsa Falls, the largest waterfall in West Africa. Let the adventure begin!

Global Health Education – Accra

Our team will trek the mountains of the Volta region back to the bustling city of Accra. Home to some of the largest open markets, streets, and stations, Accra makes for the perfect place to really get a feel for the hustle and bustle of Ghanaian urban life! We’ll be staying at our home-away-from-home in the centre of the city and meeting with a variety of local activists and community leaders to learn about the diversity of social and environmental factors that contribute to access to health in Ghana and beyond. Learning about everything from art, music, and education to traditional plant medicine, HIV/AIDS control programs, and orthopaedic support, we’ll get insider perspectives on health access and treatment, as well as the daily struggles within Ghana.

Health Along the Gold Coast
Our team will take a beautiful and scenic ride south to Cape Coast – a place full of culture, heritage, and opportunity! In Cape Coast, the NGO capital of Ghana, we’ll work with Nkwa Foundation, a community outreach organization that provides healthcare and community support through education, income-generating initiatives, and food security solutions through community farming. Our previous teams have chosen to explore and volunteer on a number of projects, including assisting in rural health outreach programs, data collection, and public health presentations with local health professionals for the community. This year, there will also be several opportunities to branch out into many particular niches, and work with similar organizations in the health field.

Outside of our work with these two community development organizations, we will have a chance to explore ancient slave castles, learn about the complex history of the slave trade, relax on the beach, and learn to cook Ghanaian cuisine from our local friends!

The Ashanti Markets – Kumasi

The journey north is an epic one, so we’ll stop over in Kumasi to stretch our legs and explore the country’s second-largest city. Our team will have the opportunity to visit and take stock of OG’s current and past projects. The city serves as a great spot to debrief as a team, discuss what we’ve seen so far, and prepare for the final leg of our program!

Working towards Sustainability, Kazagu and the Upper East

From the southernmost beaches of Cape Coast, to the northernmost border of Ghana, we will have travelled long and far to live and work alongside ORGIIS in the Upper East of Ghana. During the day, we will be learning from and working with ORGIIS on their mission to create environmental and social security in this often under-resourced part of the country. By focusing on reforestation, skills training, and maternal healthcare, ORGIIS works on the preventative side of health, supporting communities in the Upper East to meet the standards of living needed to live healthy lives. Last year, participants helped in the planting of a moringa farm, a super food for export that will bring economic and health benefits to the community.

While working the fields during the day, evenings will be spent engaging in lively discussions with our team, before retiring to our homestays with host families in Kazagu. Bonding over maiz and warm stews, we’ll get an opportunity to integrate into the distinct local culture, far from the hustle and bustle of Accra.

The North holds a special place in the hearts of our teams as the place where we get a more comprehensive understanding of Ghana, ease into the relaxed vibe, take part in group dinners, have discussions under the stars, and so much more!

Independent Travel Time

A staple of all Operation Groundswell programs is Independent Travel Time (ITT). You can travel independently if you desire but we encourage everyone to travel in pairs or small groups. ITT is the ideal time for you to learn more about your specific interests. Are you eager to hit up all of Ghana’s ten regions? Or maybe you want to cruise through the safaris of Mole National Park? Or are you hoping to revisit your homestays and volunteer placements? This is the time to do just that!

**Please note that you are not under the auspices of the organized program during ITT. Team members will be given the emergency contact number of program leaders during ITT for any advice.

Disorientation – Princes Town

‘Disorientation’ is our chance to regroup, relax, debrief, and prepare for our return in our respective homes. We will meet at a community-run guesthouse in a former colonial slave castle in Princes Town. Set against pristine beaches, we will speak to our goals and accomplishments, ways to collaborate on future projects, and how to stay in touch after the program. Everyone will enjoy a last taste of the delicious local cuisine from our wonderful friend and guide, Joseph!

Set in a place most will never forget, this is a time for reflection, many laughs, chats, and late night hang out sessions – a perfect way to end the program before heading off to the airport for some tearful goodbyes!

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What’s Included?

Program-Plan

A comprehensive program itinerary and educational curriculum focused on the issues facing your specific region

Experienced-Leaders

Experienced and caring program leaders with you 24 hours a day

loding-and-accomodations-2

All lodging and accommodations throughout the program

Meals-and-Snacks

Three local meals a day

Daily-Activities

All group tours, entrance fees, and excursions

MediumTransportIcon

All group transportation on the ground

Self-Disvocery

Regular discussions and workshops to help you internalize and reflect on your experience

Fundraising-Support

Support from OGHQ whenever you need it

ITT

Independent Travel Time is your opportunity to go out there and explore on your own terms!

  • Explore the tropical jungles and enormous waterfalls of the Volta region.
  • Visit French-speaking Togo or Benin for a relaxing beach experience.
  • Learn about the monkeys, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, and other creatures inhabiting Ghana’s national parks.
  • Ride the waves and test out your surfing skills along the coastline.

Accommodations

With OG, you live like the locals.
Our time will be split into several styles of accommodation, from sharing local guest houses to dorm-style hostels. Immersing ourselves in various local communities, we’ll certainly feel the warmth from welcoming Ghanaian families. Pounding fufu, telling Anansi stories, and waking up with the sun can be expected. Although accommodation varies from place to place, everywhere we stay will be a safe and enjoyable place to lay your head!

Meet Our Programs Director

Claire grew up travelling. From riding horses in the Egyptian desert at age 9 to sailing between Indonesian islands at 12, being on the road was the only way to roll! She’s lived in a mountain village in Costa Rica, camped her way across Europe, went scuba diving in Thailand, and has spent a lifetime of moments getting lost in the chaos of India. She believes in the power of travel to expand us, to humble us, to change us forever – and wants to spread that passion with a world wide community of ethical backpackers!

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