I went to an Orphanage in Akumadan, Ghana via P.Y.V.O. in January 2012 for two weeks
I went there on my own and I was the only volunteer at the orphanage at this time. Akumadan is in the Ashanti region, next big city is Kumasi, which is quite in the middle of Ghana. The capitol of Ghana is Accra; it is in the south of Ghana with its shore to the Atlantic Ocean.

Why did I choose P.Y.V.O.?

As I decided to go to Ghana for volunteering I started searching for aid organisations via
Google. The first organisations found were really large ones that act in the whole world, with offices in Nepal f.e. Due to their largeness they had lots of employees to pay and so the volunteers had lots of fees to pay.
P.Y.V.O. is an organisation established and executed by people from Ghana, I really appreciate that and so this was a point that made me choose them.

How did I organise my stay?

I received all information needed from P.Y.V.O. in time and as far as I remember I made a down payment and paid them the rest of their fees when I left Ghana. I booked the flight approximately 3 month before on my own via Turkish Airlines and got myself informed about the Visa and so on by the Ghanaian Embassy (in Germany it is in Berlin, it all worked by their homepage and mail).

My arrival

The flight had a stop in Istanbul, we had almost 3 hours flight from Frankfurt to Istanbul and another 6 hours from Istanbul to Accra. If you arrive in Ghana do not forget to have the address of your travel destination and the name of your Ghanaian guide with you, I didn’t had it and we had to do some phone calls to fix it ) As we arrived lately we only had some beers at a Beach Bar in Accra and went to a Hotel then. To save money, Seth and me decided to share a room. The room was nice, but I wasn’t used to find a bucket of water in the bath tub, but you get used to it easily. Later at my time in Ghana I went to the hairdresser several times to get my long hair washed properly, Seth organised it for me From Accra we went to Kumasi by coach in about 4 hours. In Kumasi we caught a small bus (on other trips to Kumasi and back we used the TroTro’s), the travelling time was about another 2 hours.

The orphanage

At the orphanage all kids went really crazy when we arrived. They were totally exited to meet me and were struggling for who is “allowed” to carry my baggage. We arrived really late, so I was allowed to sleep late at my first morning. Usually you get up around 6 o’clock in the morning to make breakfast, help the kids dress up and bring them to school. Breakfast for the kids is totally addicted to the donations. At my first day the kids had no breakfast, so I started to buy it for them up from day 2.

When the kids are in school I started to help the ladies with things like doing the laundry, preparing lunch and cleaning up.

One time I visited the kids at school (the school is only a few meters away from the orphanage). All the pupils and teachers were really friendly and then we had lunch together, that I brought along. Besides I had really much fun with the kids, we did a lot of drawings together, had a great trip to the Kintampo waterfalls or just sitting together in the evenings and listening to music/dancing...Furthermore Seth and me did a lot of shopping for the kids with the donations that I brought with. We bought f.e. toothbrushes, dishes, school stuff, footballs, shoes and of course lots of food.

My free time

Due to my short time over there I had only one weekend for my free time and I went to the
Mole National park in the North of Ghana. I met some more tourists there, even some people from Germany! Seth accompanied me to this place, I guess I would have never ever found the Park by myself and the journey lasted (what felt like) thousands of hours in several busses JNevertheless it was worth all exertions; I saw elephants, apes (be aware!), crocodiles, antelopes and warthogs while the walking safari in the morning and the Jeep safari in the afternoon. They are supposed to have lions as well, but you hardly see them ever.



I can honestly say that this volunteering experience has been the best experience of my life. I went to Ghana with PYVO and expecting so much that was proved wrong from day one, in ways more good than bad. I made so many great friends that will last me a lifetime, and although it was sad to see so many of them leave during my stay, I'm great full for their impact in my life, each and every one of them taught me so much not only about life, but about myself. I have learnt so much its unbelievable and experienced things that can't possibly be explained. But most of all, I'm taking home memories I will never forget, memories to look back on and smile, laugh and cry. Smile because of the all the joy it has bought into my life, laugh because of all the good times shared with one another, and cry, because of the sadness of leaving it all behind. Thank you to everyone who has been on this unforgettable adventure with me, and making it hands down the trip of a lifetime!


What an inspirational story!

Alexandra Aldridge, a little girl from England who just turned four, came to visit the Park, and instead of asking for birthday presents from her friends, she asked for money to be donated to the Elephant Park's research unit. She and her family are long-standing friends of the Park and have visited us every January for the last three years. This year, she came especially to present her gift to her favorite elephant.  She is a real conservationist in the making and we are already looking forward to her next visit already.


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