Posted: September 20, 2018
So you’ve made the incredible decision to volunteer at one of the two programs at GVI’s new location in Ghana.
While teaching primary and secondary school children, or helping to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Cape Coast, Ghana, there are multitudes of things to see and explore in your free time.
Whether you are interested in the rich history of Cape Coast, or are intrigued by the local culture, there is something for everybody to do while volunteering in Ghana.
Here are a few ideas to further enrich your experience and make the most of your time in this West African nation.
Cape Coast, on the southern coast of Ghana, has a rich and diverse history. The region was once the largest slave-trading center in West Africa.
Visit sites such as the Cape Coast Castle, a fort built by European traders, and later used to hold enslaved people before they were transported to the Americas.
The castle is one of many sites that commune with the region’s complex past, and will help you to better understand its implications on modern-day Ghana.
The 16th-century trading lodge also now contains the Museum of West Africa. The aim of the museum is “to educate its visitors about the advent of Europeans to Africa and their interactions with the local communities and the Central Region”.
Take a look at maps of slave-trade routes, 19th-century firearms, and traditional Ghanaian cloth.
Kakum National Park is the most-visited attraction in Ghana, and rightly so. The most diverse and well-preserved national park in West Africa is just a stone’s throw away from the center of Cape Coast, and is home to 139 square miles of rainforest.
With the threat of deforestation looming throughout the world, Kakum National Park is a real natural treasure. It is home to the rare forest elephant, dwarf crocodile, and serrated tortoise.
When in the park, travel the Kakum Canopy Walkway, and see the rainforest from a unique vantage point. You can even spend the night in a tree house, 20 meters above the ground, in one of the most diverse and spectacular locations on Earth.
In the heart of Cape Coast lays the Global Mamas Cultural Workshops. If you’re looking to be further immersed in Ghanaian culture, alongside your volunteering, this is the place to do so.
There are opportunities to try cooking local cuisine, learning how to dance and play traditional instruments, or practice the skill of head wrapping. Taking part in local activities not only gives you the chance to fully experience the culture of Cape Coast, but also supports small local businesses.
After having learned new skills at the workshop, take a look at the store connected to it. Here you will find clothing and accessories created through the local knowledge and talent of skilled craftswomen.
The organization is underpinned by Fair Trade principles, and is focused on improving the economic outlook of Ghanaian women. If you are taking part in the women’s empowerment program, this is the perfect the perfect place for you.
Whether you are looking to get to grips with local history or discover the 260+ species of birds in the Ghanaian rainforest, this West African gem has something new and exciting to offer for each volunteer.
Ready to begin your journey with GVI? Speak to a member of our team today.
By Zaytoen Domingo