LONG DO THE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENTS LAST? The placements
vary in length depending on the inclination of the volunteer
and the nature of the project.
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.
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.
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).
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
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/)
AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATIONS? RUSO is connected
with Peace Corps Ghana.
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.