Meet Irene Dolan, Volunteer in Ghana

Why did you decide to volunteer through Volunteering Solutions? And where did you come to know about this organization?

I heard about Volunteering Solutions through a friend and also on Facebook. After reading reviews and liking the VS’ website I decided that it was a good option for me. Volunteering Solutions seemed to care about the people and the place where the volunteers would be going to. Their website was clear and easy to access and had all the information I needed. Also, Sahil, was very good for keeping in touch and answering any questions I had.

Why did you choose Ghana as your volunteering destination?

I always wanted to go to Africa. I felt that Ghana was different. I always heard of people going to Uganda, Tanzania etc, but not Ghana. I researched the place and saw that the crime rates were very low, the people were very friendly, there was a school and orphanage and there were nice places to go on days off – best decision ever!

What was your daily schedule in Ghana?

I would get up at about 7 am, have my breakfast and head to school for 7:45. I would teach until 12 / 1:30 depending on how I felt. Some days if we had plans for eg, to go to the village, we would leave school at ten. I would come home, get some lunch, chill out, maybe wash clothes and take a nap. We would sometimes go to town, to the internet cafe or just chill and mix with other Ghanaians. Other days I might go to the orphanage after school. Although that was my schedule it varies from different people. I wanted to spend as much time as I physically could volunteering as that was the reason why I went to Ghana ; where as some people left school at ten and slept for the day. Ghana is quite laid back – you learn to have patience and they do not see time as a big deal.

What was the highlight of your volunteering experience?

The biggest highlight for me was printing photos for my class. They do not have many photos of themselves so I decided to get a group photo of the class and individual photos of them with me. I decided to print each and every photo I had taken and give them to the girls. It cost me just under 100 Ghana Cedis (roughly 35 euro) and it was worth every cent. I also bought them pencils and sharpeners that day. The excitement on each girls face will be stuck in my head for the rest of my life. Something so basic had such an impact on them and I am so glad to have been able to do it for them. Friends that are in Ghana have passed on the message that they still bring the photos to school and are still so happy with them. I did have highlights such as the waterfall and safari, but that had to top it all off!

Would you recommend volunteering solutions to other volunteers? Why?

Definitely! They are so helpful and it is an amazing organization.

Would you like to volunteer again through us and in which program?

I want to go back to Ghana TOMORROW!! I loved it so much that I plan on going again next summer but for even longer, if I can afford it. I would like to try other places in Africa and maybe Thailand, but for now, Ghana has had such an impact on my life I really want to return! Thank you for the opportunity
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