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A time that shaped my life – voluntary work in Ghana

Carla is a 19 years old girl from Germany. She was a volunteer in Ghana for a half year(from november 2018- May 2019). She worked in Benefical School. There she learned a lot about the school system in another country and also a lot about herself.

After her graduation she did‘nt want to go to univesity directly. Firstly she wanted to make new experiences in social travels. Moreover she wanted to get to know another culture and schoolsystem.

But why Africa? Why Ghana?

It was always a dream for me to get to Africa,choosing Ghana was more an hazard“ explained she with a smile on her face.

With the organisation „Praktikawelten“ it was very easy to organize the adventure to Ghana. There she had the selection to go to Namiba, Southafrica or to Ghana. She was directly catched by Ghana,she wanted to get to know the culture and the people,so she began with the organisation.One friend of her also travelled with Praktikawelten and she made good experiences with that organisation.

The prepartion ran smoothly. The questions were answered quickly. „The application for the Visa,vaccinations and booking a flight was much to do but it had increased the anticipation.“

After anticipation comes the adventure

On the third day after she arrived in Ghana she began with her voluntering work at the Benefical school. The walk to school was not as easy as in Germany. She had to walk about 30 minutes in the blazing sun. Her classes had 25-30 children. „Firstly it was very chaotic,especially the small children had barely respect,but I think that is normal in Germany it is almost the same. I have also to add that I am a Obroni and that was also very exiting for the kids. The reactions of the children were very warmly I felt directly welcome.“

In the first three months she worked with the small kids. They were up to three years old. There she played or singed a lot with the children.                                                                                                                                            After her time with the small kids she had also the opportunity to organize lessons by herself.

She has focused on creative and artistic work. They worked for example with dough,fingerprints or they also needled together. „That was a highlight for the kids, they had much fun with the artistic work it was a perfect compensation to the normal school life.”

Differences between Germany and Ghana

In the half year she learned a lot about the schools in Ghana and also about the differences to the schools in Germany.                                                                                                                                                                  „First, of course, the other buildings occured to me. They are more damaged than in Germany. The doors were not fixed and also the school yard you can not compare to one in Germany. But it is important to know that the Benefical school just exists with donations” she adds.                                                                                                               

The lessons are also different, in Ghana are more frontal lessons than in Germany. The respect to the teacher is according to her experiences also higher than in Germany.

Carla also started a call for donations by her family and friends. She explained them for what the money is needed for. Within two weeks 3500 Cedi (600 Euro) came together. From the donations Carla and the principal bought new doors,new gates and also new roofs for the toilets.

After the half year she learned a lot about her own person. For example that she doesn‘t want to study lectureship. However she wants to stay in social care. But she has to find out what will be the right for her. All in all she became a part to a new culture, learned a lot from the ghanaen people and the time here;especially the experiences will accompany her in future.


Story by Andrea Thieme/