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HOW LONG DO THE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENTS LAST? The placements vary in length depending on the inclination of the volunteer and the nature of the project.

WHAT QUALIFICATIONS ARE NECESSARY TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER? Volunteers should be at least 18 years of age, in good health, willing to work hard and live within the rural community. Other than these modest requirements, there are no other qualifications necessary to become a RUSO volunteer.

WHAT IS THE COST? WHAT DOES THIS FEE INCLUDE? There is an intial registraion fee of $300 which covers administrative costs, return transfers to the airport, one months accomodation and utility expenses (electricity and water). Additional charges for extended periods of stay:
1-3 months - $25 a week
3-6 months - $15 a week
Please note for an extended period of stay longer than 6 months prices may be renegotiated with the RUSO organisation.
Food and transport around the Keta district is not included. However, prices are very cheap and if you are willing to eat the local food a budget of $5 a week is perfectly adequate. It is recommended that volunteers spend one night in Accra before being transfered to the village. The cost of a nights accomodation in Accra is $35.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO GHANA? Suggested items to bring are as follows: 1.) Work Clothes 2.) Shoes and/or work boots 3.) Working gloves 4.) Flashlight 5.) Raincoat 6.) Mosquito net 7.) Insect repellent 8.) One dress shirt for formal occasions 9.) Bed Linen 10.) 4 passport-size photos (for a visa, RUSO ID card, etc.) Other optional items: swimsuit, musical instruments, camera, pictures from home, soccer ball, frisbee (small gifts for villagers).

HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR A RUSO VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT? Please fill the Request Form, and send it to RUSO by clicking on the submit button. Please also email your C.V./Resume and a covering letter to the address provided on the website. After sending the form and C.V./Resume and covering letter RUSO will respond within a week to confirm interest. The next step is therefore to arrange a flight to Accra, Ghana. Air companies servicing Ghana include British Airways, KLM, Ethiopian Airlines (high quality), Ghana Airways, Alitalia and Air Afrique, and others. After this is arranged, please contact RUSO with your flight information, as we will have someone meet you at the airport upon your arrival.

PERSONAL SAFETY IN GHANA? Despite numerous political problems in other West African countries, Ghana is a very safe country. Crime is much lower than in other African states, and indeed much lower than in many western countries. Ghanaians are also very friendly toward foreigners, and treat them as welcome guests in their country. Many people will greet you throughout Ghana with the phrase "WOEZOR" - meaning welcome in Ewe, the most commonly spoken local language in the Keta district. Thus, safety is very rarely an issue for RUSO Volunteers.

WHAT IMMUNIZATIONS DO I NEED BEFORE GOING TO GHANA? There is one required immunization to come to Ghana. This is against yellow fever, and you will be checked at Kotoko airport to make sure you have had this before entering Ghana. Other than this, it is recommended to get several other immunizations/vaccines, including Hepatitis A + B, typhoid/typhus, meningitis, rabies, and tetanus-diphtheria. There is no vaccine against malaria, which is quite common in Ghana. Therefore certain medicines are recommended against this disease. For further information on these and other health travel guidelines, link to the following website: U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/travel/wafrica.htm

ANY FURTHER INFO ABOUT GHANA? There are several books about Ghana in different languages. Some good guides in English include: Guide to Ghana by Philip Briggs (BRADT Publications), Lonely Planet West Africa, Ghana by Patricia Levy, and African Spirituality: On Becoming Ancestors by Anthony Ephirim-Donkor. You might also want to think about reading a Ghanaian novel. A highly popular and recommended one is Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo. Websites are also good to consult. Some in-depth guides are: Africa Online Ghana, (http://www.africaonline.com/cgi-bin/odp/index.cgi?/Regional/Africa/Ghana/) Expert Travel & Tours, (http://www.expertravel.com.gh/) Lonely Planet World Guide, (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/africa/ghana/)


BENEFITS OF MY RUSO EXPERIENCE? The answer to this question, of course, depends on how much you put in. If you enter fully into the work and make an effort to understand and make friends with the volunteers from many other cultures, you will have an interesting and enjoyable experience. Hopefully you will make friends from countries all over the world, you will learn to do work you have never done before, you will be introduced to a completely different part of the world, and learn about different cultures. More than all of this, you will have the satisfaction of having worked with others on a project to help a community in need.

2002 Rural Upgrade Support Organisation, An NGO registered in Ghana, All Rights Reserved.