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Declan, GVI Ghana Volunteer

So, what’s it been like being over with the GVI Ghana team during the lockdown?


Me (Declan)

Well, I arrived here in Ghana at the beginning of March this year and I only intended to stay until the end of May but due to the lockdown and this whole nasty pandemic, my plans pretty much changed. The borders shut so I wasn’t able to return to the UK but that was definitely NOT a bad thing. At first it was a bit of a shock, in that moment of ‘not being able to get home’ but it’s given me more time to explore Ghana and spend time with the team: I’ve been here for 6-months and counting now!

Among the adventures I’ve had, we stayed at Cape Coast for the weekend which was such a good time. We had a look around Cape Coast and went to see Cape Coast Castle. We then ventured over to the beautiful coastal town of Elmina to have a look around. We went to see Elmina Castle and Fort Jago which was awesome: it was an amazing view from the top of the Fort. And we popped over to Kakum National Park. That was really amazing, especially walking across the canopy to see the forest from that height. Plus, because there were few tourists there, we were able to get a tour just to ourselves which was really peaceful.

base maintenance

Hard graft to help maintain base

Here at the base we’ve been coming up with plenty to keep ourselves busy and support the community. We’ve got a gym here so Matt – the Ghana Program Manager – came up with a work-out schedule and helped the team with exercising to stay fit and healthy. That’s been exhausting, but also great because I really need to get into better shape. I’ve been assisting the team with a project to provide local school teachers with First Aid training to qualify them to be emergency responders. That’s been really fun helping out and getting to know all of them plus they all passed the course so it was a great success. And, of course, we’ve all been mucking in as a team to look after base; including the children, animals gardens and buildings themselves. Busy busy busy.

first aid training

Me & the team completing first aid training

All in all, I’ve had such an incredible time here that I’m hoping to move to Ghana permanently in the near future. I’ll be going back to England in November but will be planning to come back straight away, if I’m lucky.

working out

Working out with help from the kids

This has honestly been the best year of my life (and not many can say that about 2020)!!!

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