Jukwa and Winneba, Ghana

Ghana FlagLocation | Rural Ghana, West Africa
Support | Community Initiatives in Ghana
Service Opportunities | Constructing a library, public health/nursing, sustainable agriculture, teaching in schools
Cultural and Recreational Highlights | Cape Coast and Elmina Castles, meeting with local chiefs, Jungle canopy walk, local beaches, cooking nights, traditional dancing/drumming, visiting cocoa/palm oil farms

Program Overview

Ghana1The people of Ghana, like many people, endure many hardships, including recurrent droughts that severely affect agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching of wildlife populations; water pollution; and inadequate supplies of potable water. Despite all of this, Ghana is filled with incredibly friendly people with a fascinating history and culture. From rainforests to beaches and lagoons to dry savannah and open woodland, Ghana has as much beauty and diversity in its natural habitat, as it does in its people. Volunteering in Ghana, you will make friends from countries all over the world. You will learn to do work that you have never done before, and you will be introduced to a culture unlike anything that you have ever experienced. Above all, you will have the satisfaction of having worked with others on a project to help a community in need.

Amizade volunteers live in the overgrown village of Jukwa, about 20 miles north of Cape Coast. A little over a decade ago, Jukwa had no electricity, it had no public water, and cell phones were nowhere to be found. Change has been fast for the town, which now boasts all of the aforementioned amenities, as well as a series of paved roads, a nice guest house, and a growing small business base.

Amizade volunteers are nearing the completion of an 8-room, massive, public library (including internet cafe) next to the secondary school. This library, when fully opened will stock 20,000 books, and be open to the entire community. Beyond meaningful service work, while staying in Jukwa, volunteers also get the opportunity to visit with local leaders, a local rain forest canopy walk, Cape Coast Castle, local cultural and religious events, and much, much more.

Alternatively, volunteers may visit and stay in the town of Winneba, Ghana. Winneba is a historic fishing port in south Ghana, lying on the south coast, about 90 miles east of Cape Coast. While in Winneba, volunteers work with Amizade’s community partner Challenging Heights.

Lodging A local lodge, a guest house, or homestays | Food Lots of local fruit and starches, beans, some fish, some chicken

Flights 3 nonstop routes now from the US (10 hours)| Visa Yes, obtained through mail to the embassy

Communication Cell networks, sporadic internet |Closest Airport Accra, Ghana

Our Community Partnerships

Peace Humanity International

Peace Humanity International is a community development organization based in Accra, Ghana. They work on various development initiatives, ranging from computer literacy projects to rural sustainable agriculture projects. The founder, Pastor Chris Nyame, and his associate, Kwame Appiah, grew up in Jukwa, and are considered local leaders. Together, they are committed to creating global learning and development opportunities for the region.

Amizade, along with Peace Humanity International, organizes a variety of projects, including the construction ofprimary or secondary schools, roads, and hospitals, as well as reforestation, cocoa plantation, literacy projects, community development, oil palm production, and AIDS awareness campaigns.

By working with Peace Humanity International, Amizade volunteers learn about community organization and gain important organizational and management skills. Past volunteers have worked on construction projects, environmental projects, educational projects and projects involving community development. The impact of this volunteer experience is immediate and long lasting.

Challenging Heights

Ghana2The mission of CH is to ensure a secured, protected and dignified future and life for children and youth by promoting their rights, education and health.

Based in Winneba, Ghana, Challenging Heights (CH) aims to protect and improve the lives of young people and their communities affected by child trafficking and the worst forms of child labor. The organisation believes education and the economic empowerment of women are the most important things for eliminating child slavery. Their work suggests that if children are educated, then they will know their rights, and the chances of them being forced into labor will decrease.

Challenging Heights was formed in 2003 and registered in 2005 by James Kofi Annan, to give back to children who faced challenges similar to his. At six, James was forced to work along the Volta Lake for seven cumulative years. James later rose to become a university graduate and the manager at Barclays Bank of Ghana.  In 2007 James resigned from his employment with Barclays bank to dedicate attention to the mission of Challenging Heights. At its inception, Challenging Heights mobilized children into rights clubs to take action against forced labor, leading to the rescue of 8 children. Later, Challenging Heights built a school for at-risk children to save them from being trafficked and within 6 months, 181 at risk boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 14 were admitted.

Today, Challenging Heights runs 7 different projects including a 65-capacity survivors’ rehabilitation center, and a child trafficking survivors support network aimed at providing protection for children, and giving them opportunity to go to school.

For more information about Challenging Heights, visit their website www.challengingheights.org.

Photos

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Resources

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Stay Engaged! 

Rhiannon in Ghana: Exploring the Effects of Palm Oil Production

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A jumble of stories, experiences, and memories came tumbling from my lips when I was asked about my five week placement as an Amizade Individual Volunteer in Jukwa, Ghana. It has proven to be impossible to summarize my time there when every single moment was filled with excitement, joy, and a new lesson. Perhaps the most interesting, and unique, aspect of my stay in Ghana was learning about palm oil and its role in the local community.

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Africa: The Danger of a Single Story

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A single story becomes that which we judge all other people from; it is a one-dimensional perspective of something that is actually quite complex. It is a misinterpretation of reality. It is a lens through which we look at everything from, it narrows our perspective, and once we know the single story, it becomes difficult for us to stray away from that. These stories often become the only stories.

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"Why Go Back to Ghana?"

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Writing about something that has had such a profound effect on your life – personally, academically, and professionally, is a daunting task. You want your readers to feel, see, and hear the same sights, emotions, and experiences that you felt. You want them to understand the connection you feel to the library, the clinic, your homestay family, and the community as a whole. You want to accurately answer the question you are asked on a regular basis, “Why go back to Ghana?”

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World Water Day

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Today, March 22, marks the 19th World Water Day and there is a lot to celebrate! In the past, World Water Day has been a time to raise awareness about the millions of people who do not have access to safe drinking water, and while there are 783 million people who still lack access to safe drinking water, we would like to take today to recognize the incredible progress we have made on this issue.

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Returning to Ghana

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Returning to Ghana for a second time with Amizade was one of the best decisions I made in 2011. I returned from the Community Development in Ghana Summer Service-Learning program like a woman on fire. I had found a like-minded group of individuals and an organization that I believed in. This program further solidified in my mind my passion for this region and my desire to work with community-driven development. Before I even stepped off of our returning flight, my mind was running a million miles an hour in an attempt to figure out how soon I could return to Jukwa, Ghana.

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The Anhwiam Water Pipe

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Just outside the town of Jukwa, Ghana- where Amizade has been working for over a decade- is the village of Anhwiam. Anhwiam is a small rural village of just 600 people, who sustain themselves with small farms. The village is also where Nicholas Osei Koduah, a dear friend of Amizade, grew up. As a leader of the Ghana Students Association and community activist, Nicholas continuously worked to better his community.

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Walking in the Canopy of Kakum National Park

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Imagine touring a Ghanaian rain forest, witnessing the incredible plants and wildlife that surround. Primates swing from branch to branch, a vast array of colorful birds soar through the sky, and vibrant flowers materialize amongst the immensity of green. With each new step on your trek through the dense foliage, a unique and exciting sight appears. Now imagine that your winding your way through the forest canopy over a hundred feet above the floor below!

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Sankofa and the Slave Castles of Ghana

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Gazing upon the structures today, breathtaking white-stone castles overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, it may be difficult to grasp the tragic history that lies within their walls. Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle, located on the southern tip of Ghana, are both stops along an Amizade volunteer program in the West African country.

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Healthy and Safety

As you or your loved one prepares to serve with Amizade in Ghana, you can rest comfortably with the knowledge that Amizade has an exceptionally strong safety record and ability to respond to any emerging challenges. We have safely partnered in Ghana since 2003. For the most up-to-date health, safety, and security briefings, please review the following: