Stories from Past Volunteers
“As an architectural intern and volunteer, Ghana was a great experience for me. It not only provided me with an exciting internship, but also enabled me to get to know an amazing culture.
Together with two other volunteers, I lived with a very nice host family in Kumasi. Here, I was introduced to the Ghanaian way of live. Our host mother cooked local as well as international (such as pasta) food for us, so we had the opportunity to try whatever we wanted. Furthermore, our host brothers showed us around the city and taught useful skills, such as the usage of tro-tro’s.
Moreover, the monthly meeting with the children, that the LfC organization supports, was intriguing. It was great to see how the NGO benefits the local community.
Overall, my trip to Kumasi, was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about a, for me unknown, culture and saw the country from a side that is unavailable for regular tourists.”
-Johanna Keilwitz, Germany, August 2011 –
“I taught English and Science to middle school-aged children in Light for Children’s summer school program. I had never been to Africa or to any third world nation for a long period of time before and in Ghana I got exposure to a world different than any other place I had visited.
I joined Light for Children’s summer school program in order to be immersed in an African culture where I could experience a life completely different than my own and I got just that. I stayed with one of the program directors and every day ate homemade Ghanaian food, took bucket showers and looked out over the commotion in our suburban neighborhood from our balcony.
-Rachel Beach, USA, July-September 2011-
On weekdays, I worked at an architectural office where I learned about the Ghanaian laws of architecture and city planning. Moreover, I got to participate in various drawing processes.
On weekends, we had time to travel around the country, so we went to explore Accra, Cape Coast, Kakum and Mole National Park, and Wli Water Falls close to Lake Volta via public transportation.
The staff of Light for Children organization did a great job in organizing my stay; by picking my up and bringing me to the airport in Accra, as well as making sure that my accommodations as well as my internship were a great experience for me.
I got to see a different way of living both in a practical and a philosophical sense. While the children learned about diphthongs and valencies, I learned about an entire society that lives in the moment, bargains, trades and shares, and is guided more by natural cycles than clocks.
I learned that it’s not so hard to live without running water or other luxuries. I learned about the importance of affordable health care in a place where you might make a living selling water sachets for 5 cents a piece and where malaria was as common as a cold. Ghana is colorful, full of noises and commotion, friendly and spiritual and has a lot of good food available at every corner–and often just passing by in a bowl carried on a woman’s head! The experience overall was very rewarding and I’m very glad I did it.
As a volunteer teacher I was given the curriculum for my students’ upcoming school year as well as their textbooks and designed my classes based on that. Another veteran volunteer and the Light for Children staff showed me the ropes on getting around and handling the practical side of living abroad and the rest was largely up to me as far as how I spent my time, ran my classes, etc.
The thing I like about Light for Children is that it is run by Ghanaians, located in Ghana and serving Ghanaian children, so they are well aware of the needs of at-risk children and are committed to that cause. They do a lot of good work. In keeping with the general Ghanaian culture, the agency can seem disorganized and this can be difficult for western volunteers who are used to things being well-planned and put on set timetables, but in
the end I saw a lot of children who were truly in need being helped by Light for Children and it was an honor to be a part of it.”