Swimming Teaching Volunteer Project in Ghana, Accra
Ages17 - 80
Arrival LocationAccra - Kotoka International Airport (airport code ACC)
People on trip10 to 15
Teach children and young people how to swim in Ghana and give back a gift that will most certainly save lives. A truly rewarding experience as you guide someone through the steps, from being fearful of water all the way to being confident and able to swim in it.
Swimming in Ghana
Most Ghanaians do not know how to swim and access to swimming opportunities for young people and children in Ghana is extremely limited, despite the entire width of the country being coastal and there being many public swimming pools available throughout the country! Many people are fearful of the sea even though many communities rely on fishing as their livelihood. This fear comes from a general lack of being comfortable in the water let alone being able to swim in it.
Parents are also very strict and will not allow their children near the water. On top of this, it is generally very expensive and outside the average families ability to afford the high cost associated to using available swimming pools. Your involvement will provide a huge impact on many Ghanaian lives as you teach them how to swim!
Your Swimming Volunteer Placement
You will work with children generally ranging from 5 to 15 who, on the whole, will have never had a structured swimming lesson in their life before. These children come from a number of the townships in Accra as well as our own sporting school of excellence.
With your enthusiasm and guidance you will spend time giving these children a vital life gift, getting them confident in the water and taking them through weekly sessions to progress their swimming technique. You will also get plenty of support from our in-country team allowing you to give as much or as little as you feel able to contribute.
We tend to run sessions for approximately 4 hours per day, giving you ample opportunity to get involved with other projects and activities, or you might just want to chill out on some of Ghana’s great beaches or visit the local markets to buy some gifts for family and friends back home
Your Swimming Teaching Role
Throughout this project, you will either assist or run your own full swimming lessons for groups of approximately 10 children per session. Work with other volunteer swimming coaches to deliver fun lessons for the kids, helping them to get confident in the water and steadily nurture them into competent swimmers.
You will have to assess the ability of the children when you meet them and work on a plan to cover the different stages they are each at with being able to swim or not. We will provide you with all appropriate and necessary equipment such as arm-bands and floats, allowing you to bring in fresh and fun ideas to keep the children positive and focused in the water.
There may also be opportunities to work on delivering theory lessons to the children on important topics such as first aid, health and safety and breathing techniques.
We believe it is important that you try and come for as long as possible (up to 12 weeks) in order to build strong relationships with the kids but to also be fully involved with their swimming development. You will gain a great deal of reward from this project and see the positive change you can make in a child’s life as you give them this life changing gift!
CRB/DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) Check
It is advised that participants complete a CRB/DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) check in order to take part in this project. We can provide this service for you at an additional cost because some people may already have one that is valid (please get in touch for more details).
This swimming teaching project is the ideal gap year or career break in Ghana. You will share something truly rewarding with the children you teach how to swim whilst giving you the opportunity to visit an amazing African country, share great memories and enjoy adventurous gap year travel. This project is also ideal for summer holiday breaks, so whatever stage of life you are at get involved with this swimming teaching project in Ghana and see what difference you can make.
You can arrive any weekend of the year to start the project on a Monday. We’ll pick you up from the airport and take you back to the accommodation to settle you in and meet the rest of the team.
Please note that some national holidays may cause disruption to normal sessions but our in-country team will do their best to support activities around this.
British Nationals (and most visitors to Ghana) will require a visa to enter Ghana and we suggest you apply for a tourist visa. You can check your visa requirements by visiting the Ghana High Commission website. Please search online for details.
Everyone will also require a yellow fever vaccination to enter Ghana and a certificate to prove you have had this. You should contact your travel nurse/doctor to discuss this further.
Optional Teaching in Ghana
In addition to your coaching role, you will have the opportunity to teach classes, or assist in teaching classes, in one of the sports academies or schools based in Accra. This will give you another impacting experience while allowing you to make a difference outside the world of sport. With a western education, you will be able to contribute massively to the standard of tuition that the students receive. Subject areas include English (language and literature), math, science, journalism, business, IT, RE and a whole variety of extra-curricular activities.
Other Options in Ghana
It is likely that there will be a whole variety of other activities you can get involved with while you are away. Because we have focused in-country teams, they will be able to inform you of other opportunities both inside and outside the capital. This gives you a unique chance to combine projects and experience the country in a whole variety of ways.
Equipment Donation for Ghana
We are dedicated to sustainable development. This is why part of the fee you pay goes towards buying decent equipment for beneficiary organisations in Ghana. You will often use this equipment during your project and it is always left with the community when you leave. In some cases, an equipment donation may not be appropriate so a financial contribution is made instead.
Social Life in Ghana
Our social life is unrivalled and we believe it is important to give volunteers the chance to unwind and have fun while they are away. Our in-country team therefore organises a variety of activities to bring volunteers together, to share their experiences and, above all, have a good time. Some of these activities include visits to the best night spots, group meals, trips away and sports teams where you can to take on local competition.
If you fancy a game of footy while you are away, or simply enjoy the social side of football, you should join our volunteer team, Akpateshi FC. This gives you the chance to play alongside the other volunteers and challenge some serious African opposition. However, although the team has a competitive edge, the emphasis is on the social side of football and is aptly named after the locally brewed bush whiskey! If you play in the team, or simply become a supporter, you will soon see why Akpateshi FC is so renowned for its unpredictable matches and fiery social life.
Travel and Adventure in Ghana
You will be encouraged to explore Ghana during your free time so you can sample some of its breathtaking sights and meet some of Africa’s friendliest people. The capital, Accra, is full of great places to visit and you will meet both locals and other travellers at a variety of bars and restaurants that provide authentic African live music and dancing. There are also a large number of western-style pubs and clubs, including an Irish Bar, an American Sports Bar and a series of dance-venues very close to where you are living. And, if you fancy a football experience to remember, then prepare yourself for watching Hearts of Oak at the National Stadium where the locals wave flags, blow horns and dance on the roofs of the terraces!
Beyond Accra, there are countless places to visit. You could take a Sunday pleasure-cruise on Lake Volta (the biggest man-made lake in Africa) or you might want to visit the history-laden slave castles of Cape Coast and Elmina. You may want to take a walk on the wild side with the elephants at Mole National Park or spot tropical birds in the rainforest canopy at Kakum National Park. Then there is the 60-metre-high Wli waterfalls, the Buabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary (where monkeys are preserved as ‘sacred’ creatures!) and the endless palm-tree beaches lining the Atlantic coastline! The captivating places, intriguing people and diverse landscapes will make Ghana one of the most enlightening experiences a traveller could wish for. Our in-country team will also help you build a travelling itinerary and give you plenty of advice on how to make your way through the country.
The accommodation is basic but comfortable and you will stay in a dormitory style room. The accommodation has a very sociable atmosphere and you will find it a great place to relax and unwind in the evenings. The accommodation is also centrally located to the placements. Shops and other useful amenities are either a short walk or taxi ride away.
Communal House; Basic but comfortable; Dormitory style rooms (4-10 people per room); Shared toilets and showers.
3 meals a day; Basic but nutritious local foods
Included on arrival date. Ask us for details if you are arriving early.
Full project induction and local orientation given on arrival.
Flights; Travel Insurance; Visas; Vaccinations; Spending money; In country travel; Payment for transport to / from placement; Laundry service; Extra activities not on itinerary.
Volunteers should try to come for as long as possible preferably for 8 or 12 weeks. This ensures better management of the project and also helps you get the most from the social activities and group travel opportunities on offer.
Monday-Friday; 4-6 hours a day; Occasional work at weekends but usually free for personal time and travel. Please be aware that some public holidays may cause disruption to times / days during your volunteer project.
No prior experience or qualifications are required, but confidence in the water is necessary and an ability to work closely with young people.
Sports gap years, career breaks, gap breaks, gap years and volunteer travel, student holidays and those wishing to teach swimming abroad.
What is the minimum age restriction?We generally recommend that our participants are at least 18 years old when they volunteer on our projects in Ghana. However, we are happy to accept those who are 16 or 17 years old, provided we receive written consent from a parent or guardian. If you are on an internship we may require you to be at least 20, so check the details against the trip. Please contact one of our friendly Travel Advisors for more information.
Are meals included in this trip?We provide you with 3 meals a day (a mix of Ghanaian and some western food). Breakfast: usually Milo, tea or coffee with bread/toast and spreads, and fruit. Lunch: sandwiches, wraps, pasta, salads. Dinner: rice dishes, meat, beans, chicken, beef and fish, plantain. You will also be offered some traditional local dishes such as Fufu (fermented cassava), Banku and Kenke which are often accompanied by a sauce or relish mixed with more recognisable beef or chicken and rice. Also dishes such as Red Red, kelewele, plantain and groundnut soup are a favourite among our participants. Water is treated and supplied at the accommodation but when out you will need to buy water sachets or bottles, which are very cheap.
What accommodation is provided?Although basic, the accommodation is comfortable and you will find it very easy to relax after your day's activities. You will live alongside the other travellers and our in-country team. This makes for a very safe, fun and extremely social environment. You will be staying in a dorm room of 2-8 people and will eat most of your meals together. Private rooms are available on request and for an extra charge. Amenities: Communal area for socialising and relaxing Discounted use of a swimming pool at a nearby hotel at a reduced rate Wireless internet access at the accommodation. There maybe a cap on this depending on over use so we recommend getting a sim card with a data bundle Various shopping options for basic everyday items such as snacks and drinks, toiletries, SIM cards, phone credit and international phone cards.
Are there laundry facilities available at the accommodation?Clothes washing can be done using the traditional hand wash. You can either do this yourself with the materials provided, or for a charge our in-country staff will be happy to wash and fold your clothes for you!
Can I make international calls at the accommodation?There is a phone in the office at the accommodation that can be used for emergency calls. However, we recommend purchasing a Ghanaian SIM card on arrival to make phone-calls home, as these will be charged at a cheaper rate and you can track your expenses on a pay-as-you-go tariff. WhatsApp is also a good app to have on your phone.
Can I book a private room?If you are travelling as a couple there may be an option to book a private room at an extra fee. However, this depends on availability at the time of your trip. Individuals will be expected to share in a male/female dormitory. We may be able to arrange a private room at a local guest house, so please ask one of our friendly Travel Advisors for more info.
Where can I store valuables at the accommodation?The accommodation is very safe and valuables can be locked in the safety deposit boxes in the office at the accommodation. During the day there are staff around to manage the facilities.
How many hours a day will I be working on my placement?You can expect to work for approx. 2 – 4 hours per day in total on your volunteer project or 4 – 6 hours for internship placements, weather and schedule permitting. Volunteering times will vary throughout the week, depending on local needs. Additionally, you can do more if you want and we have a range of other activities that may interest you so talk with the in-country team if you would like to fill out your time more. Alternatively, a lot of participants like to visit various areas of the city, chill out on the beach or relax in the posh hotels!
What activities take place throughout the day?As a volunteer or intern on our projects in Accra you will work during the day Monday to Friday, with some evening and weekend commitments depending on your chosen project. Most evenings and weekends will be free for social activities and additional travel. If you require a few days off around the weekends for additional travel our team can be flexible and assist you with your travel plans.
Will I run the class or assist in the teaching/coaching sessions?In most situations you will be supporting local teachers and sports coaches. However, when you feel ready you will have the opportunity to run your own sessions. If you feel more comfortable, you can also run sessions alongside another volunteer.
What experience do I need?You do not require any specific qualifications or experience to take part, unless we have already specified this in the pre-requisites of the trip. However, we do recommend that you have a keen interest in your chosen activity. Enthusiasm for the project is the most important element of it!
What support will I receive in country?During your first couple of days you will receive a local orientation of Accra, and an induction to welcome you onto your project/placement. You will not only receive a great welcome, but you will also have a chance to settle in and get to know the other volunteers in your group. You will then receive 24 hour support from our in-country team.
What can I do in my free time?You will have your evenings free after your placement, as well as your weekends, where you will be free to explore the city and take part in some awesome social activities. If required, our in-country team will arrange some interesting excursions and social activities for your group during your free time, and you are welcome to explore locally and further afield, including: • Cape Coast: slave castles and Kakum canopy walk. • Lake Volta • Wli Waterfalls • Mole National Park • Jamestown: Ghanaian culture and Jamestown lighthouse.
When can I arrive?You can arrive in Accra on any weekend of the year, with a Sunday being preferred. You will be picked up from Accra Kotoka International Airport (ACC) and taken to the accommodation. Note that you should only leave the airport with a member of our in-country staff. They will be holding a sign for you to recognise. Participants will be arriving at various times throughout the weekend. Therefore, the induction will normally start on the Monday, when you will have a full briefing of the trip.
When should I book my departure?You should book your departure flight for the end date of your project, unless you are independently travelling after. This will fall on a Saturday. We will assist you in getting back to the airport.
Is transport included?Airport transfers on arrival are included. However, you will need to budget for your daily transport to and from your project/placement. Every other car in Ghana is a taxi which means fares are cheap and it's likely you will share with others to make it even cheaper.
Will I need a visa?Yes, you will need a visa to visit Ghana. For UK citizens, obtaining your visa from the Ghana High Commission is relatively straightforward, provided you follow the instructions on the Ghana Embassy website. For non UK citizens, check with the Ghana High Commission or Embassy in your country of residence. We'll provide you with all the information you will need for the visa application once you have booked your trip with us, including a letter of invitation if required.
Will I need vaccinations?Yes, you will need to obtain specific vaccinations before travelling to Ghana. The only compulsory, required and regulated vaccination for Ghana is Yellow Fever. However, participants travelling to Ghana are also recommended to take Malaria medication, and other various booster vaccinations. You will need to consult your local Travel Nurse or GP to check your vaccination history and personal requirements with regards to boosters.
What is the climate like in Ghana?Ghana is a tropical country lying just north of the equator. As such, the only seasonal changes are distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry season is primarily December to February, when day temperatures are in the 80s-90s F/27-36 C and nights in the 70s F/18-26 C. May to June and also September to October are the rainiest months in the south. Temperatures range from about 21°C to 32°C and the humidity is relatively high. In most areas the temperatures are highest in March and lowest in August, after the rains. Variations between day and night temperatures are small.
Can I bring donations to my project?Our in-country team appreciates any extra help from participants, so if you wish to bring donations, or purchase equipment whilst in Ghana to support your volunteer or internship project, it will be gratefully received. Our in-country team will provide a small amount of project related equipment as part of the placement too. Please note that we do not want to get involved with shipping equipment to Ghana as this provides major challenges for us, so any additional equipment would have to be within your personal weight allowance with the airline you are flying with. Some participants have been able to get an extra bag with their flight but this needs to be pre-arranged with the airline company. It is also wise that you make sure you put a note against the flight booking so when you are checking in and dropping off you bags at the airport there is no awkwardness!
Swimming Teaching Volunteer Project in Ghana, Accra
Ages17 - 80
Arrival LocationAccra - Kotoka International Airport (airport code ACC)
People on trip10 to 15
- Travel dates are flexible
Suitable for ages 17 to 80
Most participants are between 18 and 25, so please be aware of this. We do welcome older people because of the value and experience they bring to the community. We have even had people in their late 70s join us so don't be put off!