Ghana: Building Healthy Villages™
Apply your interests in health and community development on a life-changing African adventure.
- Gain exposure to public health issues in Ghana
- Improve local health and living conditions through your service project
- Take a boat ride down the Volta River
- Participate in Ghana’s high-energy drum and dance culture
- Live steps away from the beach
- Confront history at a 16th century slave fort
From leading the fight against colonial rule in Africa to triumphing in major sporting events, Ghana is known to be Africa’s vibrant democracy. However, in spite of rapid economic growth, rural regions have seen only marginal decreases in poverty. Deep poverty in Ghana remains critical, and issues like poor sanitary conditions and chronic food insecurity continue to bar progress and even access to education. Your volunteer projects will focus on improving health conditions, central to solving the problem of persistent poverty. A unique primer for studying medicine and public health, this program provides both exposure to health in the developing world and immersion in Ghana’s colorful and celebratory culture.
Your Adventure is Just Around the Corner!
A few key, widespread challenges facing African communities are the lack of adequate sanitation facilities, as well as difficulty growing nutritious food. Our service project combats both of these problems. You’ll partner with village families in need of proper facilities, and each group will construct an eco compost toilet from start to finish! This project dramatically improves health conditions while generating high-quality fertilizer to increase crop yields in the community. You’ll also spend one morning getting to know local youth in primary schools and playing games that promote healthy, active lifestyles.
Learn about public health not only through your service work in the villages, but also through conversations with local chiefs and grassroots leaders. Through a visit to the “medicine man”—a traditional healer—and a local clinic, you’ll see how Western medicine coexists with rural Ghanaian health practices. You’ll have every opportunity to be immersed in local culture, through high-energy drumming workshops, a soccer tournament, traditional dance and Ewe language lessons. Simply walking around the marketplace and taking part in impromptu celebrations common to Ghana’s spirited communities will provide additional chances to absorb the distinct culture.
Your Adventure is Just Around the Corner!
Live steps away from the beach on Ghana’s southern coast, where most mornings you’ll wake up to the sights and sounds of fishermen. You can even join them in pulling in the nets! Explore outdoor markets and discover fruits, vegetables, clothing, fabrics and handmade crafts unique to this region of the world. You’ll also encounter history at the Keta Slave Fort, sing and drum as you cruise down the Volta River to the sea, take a cooking class on Ghanaian dishes and celebrate finishing your service project with a community bonfire on the beach.
The GLA Home Base is a cluster of simple beachfront guest rooms located near a fishing village on the southern coast of Ghana. It is approximately 2.5 hours from Accra, the capital city. Accommodations are basic, but clean and safe. Students will stay with roommates in gender-segregated rooms equipped with a fan. Bathrooms will be shared and have cold-water showers. Cool down after a day’s work in the large saltwater lagoon in front of Home Base!
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Dates & Tuition
Ghana: Building Healthy Villages™ 14-Day Program
- All educational materials
- 3 meals per day
- All in-country transportation
- Airport pick-up/drop-off
- Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
- 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
- Secondary medical and travel insurance
- All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
- Pre-departure materials and support
I have never participated in a program that put me in contact with so many amazing and inspiring people. No matter where you go, the project GLA sets up makes a very real difference in the community you live in and beyond. After working for a few hours in the morning, the groups usually take a day trip, do leadership activities, or listen to a guest speaker to learn more about the village. Words do not do justice to how much I'd like to live through this experience again.