View a range of our genuine feedback provided by our previous volunteers.
A great time
Teaching in Ghana
My second time volunteering with Atlas Volunteers
In April 2018 I volunteered for 2 months with Atlas Volunteers and I knew I would go back one day. So a few months after leaving the project, I already decided to go back for 6 months.
Arriving back in Ghana in November 2019 I was so surprised arriving back in the house in Pepease because the organisation had grown so much in a very positive way. They now have two houses next to each other, still in the beautiful town Pepease. There is also a volunteer coordinator living in one of the houses who can help you with all the questions you have during your stay and makes you feel at home immediately. There are volunteers from all over the world living in those houses so never a dull moment. Because the house is in a green small town there are a lot of opportunities to go for beautiful hikes or see the best sunset ever. In the weekends there is enough time to travel to the coast, a lake, an ecolodge, the national park or just swim in the nearby pool.
During the week I helped out in a kindergarten class in an rural village. As a volunteer you can make the difference by showing new methods of teaching to the children and teachers, because in Ghana they mostly learn by repeating what the teacher says without really understanding what they are learning. As a volunteer you can bring in fun songs to learn the alphabet, do a lot of creative art lessons, music lessons or some fun games for mathematics. You can also make the difference by giving some kinds one on one attention because in big classes this is not possible for the local teacher. For example in my first school there was a child with the down syndrome. As a volunteer I could spent extra time together with him and see him getting smarter every day.
So now a few months after leaving Ghana for the second time, I can definitely say it was a unique life changing experience. I still speak regularly with the teacher from my kindergarten Class and get updated about ‘my KG kids’. And I am still in touch with a lot of the other volunteers planning to visit each other all over the world. So once again, thank you Sam, Libby, Afia and the whole atlas team! One day I’ll be back for the third time.
Right from the first step you make in Ghana you feel someone is caring for you. The organization is always there for anything you need, and they make sure you know they are there. It was always nice when Erick or Sam dropped in the volunteer’s house and checked how everyone was doing. We loved the barbecues with Sam and Richmond. The experience was amazing. At first, we felt a bit overwhelmed (maybe because it was our first time in Africa too), the place is obviously quite different from our organized and “clean” cities. However, soon you begin to like the absolute chaos and now, back to Barcelona, we miss the streets and the people from Ghana. One of the best parts of our trip to Ghana is that there was something new and strange to us going on every day. The very first day we arrived to Pepease we found a crowded place with people dressed in black and red clothes. Everyone was outside, some of them laughing and some others crying. There was really loud music coming from these big speakers in the street and many stands with food. Soon after, we found out there was a funeral going on and we learnt it is more like a celebration of life rather than a celebration of death. We had plenty of free time and the organization was really flexible about the duties in the Health Center. We made a trip to the north to the National Mole Park where we saw elephants, monkeys, antelopes, all kind of birds… We also spent a weekend in Accra in an art festival which was so nice. We visited the Volta lake, did the kanopy walk and the zip line and we even saw a waterfall. We loved walking in the afternoon to Babu School and going for a walk through the streets of Pepease talking to Rahet, Immanuel, or others. I won’t lie, we never got used to the food. Basically, everything was so spicy we couldn’t even try it. Even though the texture is so strange, you can’t leave Ghana without tasting fufu, their favourite food, or jollof rice, which was really good if you could get one non-spicy. We were participating in the Health Program and though it was a wonderful experience we think we were not as useful as we had wished. We had enough time to learn how the Health System in Ghana works and it was interesting to compare thoughts and opinions about important matters with nurses, physicians and assistant physicians. We weighted and vaccined babies, we helped curing wounds, we went home-visiting and we were able to visit many clinics in the region. Looking back in time, going to Ghana changed us in many ways we still don’t know, I hope talking to people and explaining how things work in Spain gave ghanadians a different perspective in the same way than it did to us talking to them. The organization is amazing to volunteers, they are so welcoming, and we are convinced volunteering might be the best way to get to know the culture and the people of this country. As a conclusion, if you are eager to explore a completely different culture and live something amazing, we recommend this experience 100%. A huge hug to the family in Pepease.
During summer I visited the Kwahu district for 4 weeks. I did the teaching program at 2 schools. I got the freedom to do what I wanted at the schools which I really enjoyed. The house is really nice and has everthing you need and I haven’t felt unsafe in Pepease. I loved going into the village and just talk to the inhabitants. There is also room for free time activities and the organization is also really helpful in arranging things. Maybe I will visit Ghana again in the future.
An amazing experience
For the towns in which Bryan Achaempong was born, the volunteers stay in, and those where the volunteers focus their work, the locals are aware of the foundation. However, as far as the impact that the foundation has in the wider community is considered, remains quite low. There is more help for the children and schools, than the communities, which would have a sub sequential positive impact on the young people in the area. Truthfully speaking, I felt safer in and around Ghana than I do in parts of the UK. There are very few people who would refuse you help, but hundreds that would offer. If you need a chat, some reassurance or just a friendly face, the volunteer coordinators will always be there to fill the role and help to make you feel as confident as possible whilst in Ghana. If I could give this a 6, I would. Sam and Eric were my guardian angels during my 6 weeks with ATLAS. I cannot thank and praise them enough, from being a support on the other end of the phone, to simply suggesting pharmacists when eczema played up. Whatever we needed, either as a house or personally, it was never too much trouble, and made us feel safe and secure and, for me, made me feel confident enough to go out on my own. I have another rating for support, with regards to my project. Applying for the Rebuilding and Painting programme, I was expecting to be doing this from the very start; I spent my first 2 weeks teaching in the school before being able to start the renovation. I discussed with the headmaster of the school, what he felt the school needed, along with my own ideas of what would be important. The headmaster chose the local carpenter to do the work, but it was only afterwards, after agreements had been made, that ATLAS coordinators got involved. In future, I would urge the renovation volunteers to have a meeting before seeing the potential projects. I would suggest that ATLAS devise a list of projects, with specific tasks that need to be done, and allow the volunteer to decide upon which project fulfils their own hopes, rather than them independently trying to begin and coordinate the project with the teachers and headmasters. This is all down to the individual. The free time that we have is enough to do and go anywhere. I travelled up to the north, to Mole National Park on my own, made friends with the locals, walked to the next town of Abetifi, and made the most of the time that I had. But even if you’re not the adventurous type, there are things in the house to do; a newly installed bookshelf (I read 9 books during my time), TV with some channels showing the latest films (watched Moana 3 times!) and a bar area with rustic furniture to escape to, just outside the house. The coordinators are only ever a text away for advice, and support to help you; I was always on the phone asking for the nearest places and best courses of action when on the 17 hour journey to Mole. Having searched for a volunteering opportunity, I was concerned as a student I wouldn’t be able to afford the chance to travel with a company. Finding ATLAS was the moment for a sigh of relief; offering transfers, daily transport, accommodation and general support for free, it was almost too good to be true. Yet it was actually a reality. Completing this volunteer placement is easy to do on a budget. Being with other students, we all compared how we were able fund our travel (booking only 6 months in advance proved to be the cheapest time to book flights), it was evident that it was almost only viable because ATLAS did not pose a fee to join their programme. I could not gush enough about the amazing experience that I had whilst in Ghana. Meeting so many wonderful people in Pepease, Abetifi and Ahinase was all I could have hoped for and more. I will always look back on my first experience in West Africa, in Ghana, with fond nostalgia.
I would do it again and again!
I was fortunate enough to spend around 6 weeks with Atlas Volunteers and my experience with them was incredible! I couldn’t recommend them enough! The company coordinators were always a text or phone call away, and although I never felt as if I needed their help or intervention during my stay in Ghana, I was confident that they would be there instantly if I had asked for help or assistance. I volunteered as part of the health programme. My days were typically sometimes very slow and I found myself having to ask to be given tasks at the health centre I was placed in, when I spoke to the organisation they allowed me the opportunity to spend a few days helping to paint the school and even working at the thrift shop which they opened during my time there. Although I felt my time spent at the health centre was sometimes rewarding as I was able to treat many patients with malaria, it was also frustrating in a sense as the system has many flaws that we are unable to change. I am only a trainee paramedic, but I think if someone was to go out there with more experience and higher qualifications, you’d have a much more rewarding experience working with the locals. I felt very fortunate to be part of a small but expanding company and group of volunteers as I met other volunteers from a different company during my stay there, and they complained about over crowding and extortionate fees they had to pay during their stay in Ghana. With atlas volunteers there were no hidden costs and with the money they ask you to fundraise as part of your placement, you get to decide completely what to spend it on, and even get given the receipts so you can see exactly where your money went. I ended up paying for around 220 children to be given health insurance which was a truly rewarding feeling. The volunteer house was also truly remarkable, as especially after speaking to volunteers from other organisations, we had it very lucky as while others were sharing houses with 40 plus people in a similar size house to us, the max amount of people I lived with was 7. All the amenities you need were a short walk from the house such as places to buy food and mobile phone credit. If we needed to do a more substantial shop, a short taxi ride was simple and easy to get there and it was also very cheap. There was also a local hotel about a 20 min walk from the house which is where we want for drinks in the evening and also to eat more westernised food. If I was to do my trip to Ghana all over again, I wouldn’t change the company I went with at all. In fact, if I was to go back, they would be the only company I would consider going with.
Going to Ghana was one of the best decisions I’ve ever done. I got to work with some amazing volunteers from all around the world whilst also getting to pass my knowledge on to the younger generation of Ghana as I did a teaching placement. I learnt a lot about the culture and really got an idea of what it is like to be a Ghanaian member of the community. There was a lot to do and I even got to travel to Cape Coast and enjoy a weekend there on the beach. The hardest part of the trip was saying goodbye, especially to the kids!
This trip to Ghana was truly amazing. The company was absolutely wonderful and you can truly see they put the well-being of the people they are trying to help first before anything else. As well as providing much needed aid to those in need they also treat the volunteers, such as myself, extremely well. Everyone I met was welcoming and friendly right from the start – including the other volunteers, staff members higher up, the locals, and everyone at school I was placed at. The school I worked with was Ahinase where I more specifically helped out with the KG class. I can’t even explain how amazing the children are, they are bright, friendly, and unbelievably generous with anything they have. The teachers were also very friendly people and it was really fun to work alongside some of them! My favourite parts of this trip were getting to experience the Ghanaian culture and meeting all of the kids at the school. I would wholeheartedly recommend this programme to anyone.
I have been lucky enough to spend almost five weeks with atlas volunteers and I absolutely had an incredible time! I loved every minute of my stay in Ghana and I would recommend going there to everyone! I have been taken under the wing of atlas volunteers from the moment of my arrival until the end of my stay. The combination of teaching during the day and exploring the area in the afternoon or in the weekends with the other volunteers is perfect. The house where the volunteers are staying is located in a truly beautiful environment. Therefore, going for a little walk to get some bananas, eggs or avocados is always a fun activity to do during the afternoons. In other words I loved living in the volunteer house in Pepease! Concerning the teaching program; working at the school was a challenge in the beginning since the children’s level of English was not as good as I expected it to be. However after a week I found myself getting more comfortable teaching and together with one of the other volunteers I started focussing on stimulating the creative side of the kids. So we started giving music lessons, creative arts classes and PE lessons. Doing this was heart-warming and really fun to do. I loved how the children and even the teachers got excited when for example making music with a cup. The freedom that the organisation offers you makes the volunteering special and unique and gave me the idea I actually made an impact. The support given by atlas volunteers proved itself again when I asked them to help me purchase new uniforms for the school with money I fundraised at home. They guided me throughout the whole process making sure everything was taken care of. So once again thank you atlas volunteers! Hopefully I will be able to come back in the future because I am missing life I Ghana already!
I spent two months with atlas volunteers and I enjoyed every day of it! The best way to describer my experience is with the words unique, awesome, hospitable and educational. I signed up for the creche and nursery teacher. The first three weeks I organized a holiday school together with two other volunteers. It is a great feeling to teach the kids new things in a playful way with sports, arts and crafts, puzzles, etc. But most important because of the holiday school the children don’t have to help on the farm during their school break. My last 5 weeks I spend in a small rural village where I helped the teacher of Kindergarten 2. Teaching in this class was a big challenge because the children don’t speak English and are really chaotic but.. The goodmorning hugs, seeing their proud faces when they finally managed to build a paper hat or how fast they improved with just a little individual attention made every day good and worth it again. So a big thank you to the whole Atlas Volunteers team to make me feel at home! For being a new organization you guys are already doing a great job and the organization will only grow bigger and better. I really hope I find the time one day to come back to this amazing organization in the mountains of Kwahu.
Loved every minute of it!
My experience with Atlas Volunteers was amazing from start to finish. Starting with the pick up from the airport where I was greeted by Sarah and Aaron, then on to the mountains, stopping to pick up supplies and change money, I was guided through it all as it was a bit of a culture shock when I first arrived. Arriving at the house I received a friendly reception from the volunteers and settled in immediately. The house has everything you need and stunning views. The placement was well organised and it is such a privilege to be part of the amazing communities in the region. Everyone both at the placement and in the towns and villages is friendly and welcoming. The staff at Atlas Volunteers were dedicated, helpful and always on hand to offer advice or suggestions whether that be a project matter or how to spend free time to the best place to buy groceries. All in all I would highly recommend in every and and I will definitely be volunteering with them again in the future.
Best Experience of my Life
I spent almost half a year working with the renovation and education project with Atlas Volunteers and I had an amazing experience. The volunteer house facilities are quite luxurious in comparison to the average local household (running water, electricity, good furniture, etc.) and we always got support from the organisation. The country and specially the Kwahu Region are totally safe as well and the staff always gave us complete guidance regarding food, transport, traveling and free time activites. The work experience is incredible. There was nothing more satisfying than seeing actual improvements on my students´ school performance or watching them use their newly renovated school facilities. During my time in Ghana I got myself immersed into the local culture and I got to learned everything I could of the Twi language, that wouldn´t be possible without Atlas. Thanks to Atlas Volunteers I also found my passion which is social-impact voluntary work which I plan to be doing again for the rest of my life. Thank you Sam, Bryan, Richmond, Aaron, Eric and Ephya. You guys along with this trip changed my life. Medaase paa! ¡Muchas gracias!
Volunteered in 2018
I spent 5 weeks in the volunteering house, which is located in a small town called Pepease ( within the Eastern Region of Ghana), teaching and assist within the local clinics as a volunteer. The teaching took part in a small town called Bokuruwa where-as the clinic was located in Kotoso, which was two towns away from the school, but this was no problem seeing as the organisation was able to arrange transportation to both sites – during my entire stay in Ghana. Overall, I had an amazing time there, and am very grateful for all of the experience I was able to endure on. The house is situated within a very safe area ( although all of the towns up in the mountain area are pretty much safe – so you have nothing to worry about), and has very lovely neighbours living below – a lady called Gertrude who is very nice, and welcoming. It’s also very clean, and quite spacious, with running water and electricity, all of which is luxurious in Ghana. Although I do advise that you remember that ‘this is Ghana’ so the running of water etc, may not be as reliable to what you’re used to, therefore you should be prepared to compromise ever so slightly, whenever an issue arises ( not that it will). You’re always given support from the organisation ( Atlas ); SAM and Sarah, always made themselves available, no matter the time of day to provide support whenever i needed it. But it didn’t end there, as there were plenty of other people associated with Atlas, all of whom would regularly enquire about my wellbeing and stay in Ghana – making it easy for you to make friends. And of course, there are the locals, who are always very friendly and would always greet you when walking by. Placements usually start from 8 am – 2:30/3pm. Therefore you do get a lot of free time after school to do anything you want, whether that be going to Modak to use the pool, or relaxing on the balcony of the house, drinking a few bottles of beers! It’s up to you. Although the range of activities is quite limited due to the house being in a very rural area of Ghana. However bigger cities like Kumasi, and Accra ( the capital city ) have a lot of activities; even ones similar to those within European countries, so it is possible to arrange to visit these places during the weekend. And the Atlas volunteer staff were very helpful in making the arrangements you required to make these visits possible i.e allowing you to have more days off for travels etc. So really I’d highly recommend this programme – and would urge you to go with these guys ( if you’re ever thinking about volunteering ). As I had such an amazing experience with them; so amazing that I’m already planning my next trip to return later on in the year! Cheers Atlas.
Thanks to this program, I have found a second family in Ghana. Not just in the local community and placements (neighbours, fellow volunteers, teachers, students..) but also inside the Atlas Volunteers Team. From the very moment my plane landed in Kokota International Airport, this trip became the best experience of my life. I spent 4 months with this organisation and I have loved every second: the endless laughs and completely out of tune singing in the car to and from the school, the chaotic lessons with “my kids”, the afternoons walking trough the village, talking to the locals and being stopped every two steps by an “Oburoni, how are you!” or simply by a hug from a passing child, the cozy evenings talking and joking at the light of our torches and candles if the power was out, the weekends of travelling trough the beautiful coast of Ghana as well as its mind-blowing rain forests… I couldn´t be more grateful to Atlas Volunteers, for making me feel safe and cared for at every moment, for always being there the second I needed them and, most importantly, for giving us the opportunity to know and help this community I have learned to love and cherish as my own. If you want to meet amazingly kind people, make loads of friends and feel as if you’re really making a difference in the world, this project is a must.
Teaching at local schools
I spent five weeks in the volunteer house in Pepease (Eastern Region of Ghana) to teach at local schools as a volunteer. Overall, I really enjoyed my time there and am grateful for the experiences I was able to make. The accommodation is safe and clean, albeit naturally, you shouldn’t expect luxury and should be willing to make some compromises (i.e. running water was on some days not working reliably, etc.). The support I received from the organisation was just awesome, there were plenty of (local as well as international) people associated with the organisation who regularly inquired about my well-being and made me feel really cared for. In this way, it was also easy to readily make friends and learn about local customs. Note that in terms of free time activities, the range of activities is certainly more limited if compared for instance to European cities, since the volunteer house is set in a rural area of Ghana and bigger cities (Accra, Kumasi) are too far away for day-visits. However, at weekends journeys to these cities (or other exciting spots of Ghana) were easily doable, and the Atlas volunteer staff was very helpful in making accordant arrangements. So unless you need noisy city-life constantly around you, I can certainly more than recommend the program. Thank you Atlas!
My time in Ghana
My experience in Ghana was amazing and i cant wait to do it again. I was looked after from the minute i arrived to the minute i left, i was greeted at the airport where i was taken to a house for the night before making the journey to the volunteers house where i stayed for 2 weeks. The accommodation was clean & tidy and had anything i needed, which was running water & a gas hob. During my stay i helped out at a local school which was so much fun, the teachers & children were brilliant & made me feel very welcome. The children were aged between 4-7 & although they didn’t speak English we got on great. Arriving at the school was the best time of the day, seeing those children’s faces full of smiles & i was always greeted with a massive hug. As i was only in Ghana a short while i didn’t really get much free time to explore although i did visit Jays Lodge where i did the canopy walk & zipline. I cant thank Atlas Volunteers enough for making my trip one to remember. Special thanks to Sam & Richmond for looking after me..
Lovely stay in Ghana
From the very beginning to returning home this organisation was very welcoming. It constantly provided plenty of information and were always available and quick to respond to any questions I had. Upon arrival in Ghana I was made to feel safe and was kept busy from the great program which planned for me. This provided me with plenty opportunities to work with children of different ages and within a range a schools in different areas.
Loved every minute of it!
This was my first experience of solo travel and I loved every minute. I was hesitant at first but after speaking to a friend about his adventure to Ghana I had to go and see for myself! I didn’t have any teaching experience but I was soon helped to plan and complete a lesson with the other volunteers. The children are always so happy and grateful to learn which makes you feel like you’re really making an input. The project was really flexible and the work to holiday ratio was great for me! In the free time in the weekdays the other volunteers and I would relax in the house, play card games and have a few drinks on the night. There’s also a beautiful waterfall nearby and the local town where you can go to. On the weekends we would go to different parts of Ghana to do the touristy parts, such as the canopy walk, the safari park, the slave castles and to the beach resorts. The friendships I’ve formed through going to Ghana are amazing, because you spend a lot of time with each other and are often all experiencing a totally new environment, it creates such a close family like bond. Sam the coordinator is so helpful and supportive and puts you at ease straight away. Ghana is a beautiful, friendly and mesmerising country, be prepared to fall in love with a lot of amazing people!
Life changing experience
A mind blowing, life changing and humbling experience that everyone should try at least once in their life. Can not wait to go back! I was nervous about the unknown at first but felt at home as soon as I touched down. Made some life long friends and will be planning on returning with my family at some point. The project is in a quiet, rural area in Ghana, which was ideal for me as a break away from city hustle and bustle. The children were just amazing and deserve every bit of help that we can give them (I’m especially missing all of the hugs and smiles) A huge big thank you to Sam for all of the support! And another big thank you to the other volunteers for making the experience so comfortable and for all the funny memories! I’m even going to come back with my daughter in a couple years time!