Our Ghana team are making the final preparations for our first groups of volunteers arriving shortly and it was a pleasure to spend some time with them in January to help.
At the beginning of each year, I visit each of our host destinations to review all our procedures alongside the In-Country Directors, from safety and operations to service and information, to help ensure the programme for the forthcoming year runs as smoothly as possible. This enables us to deliver safe, memorable experiences for our volunteers, and valuable support to our partner projects.
One of the highlights of these annual visits is meeting with the staff at our partner projects to agree on the work that our volunteers will be helping to carry out.
Our biggest task in Ghana currently is the construction of a new two-storey building at Dedzidi School to accommodate its growing number of primary-aged pupils. We have completed approximately 65% of the extension so far and the classrooms on the ground floor are already in use. Throughout the course of this year, some of our groups will be helping to prepare the development of the first floor and we are expecting to finish the work required within the next 12-18 months.
Away from work, one of the things I look forward to most in Ghana is the food. Those of you who haven’t yet been will enjoy a variety of new and exciting dishes, ranging from the signature national dish (and my personal favourite) red-red – a tomato-based, oily bean stew with spices – to palaver sauce – a green leaf stew usually served with fish. Thanks to its year-round tropical climate, Ghana also grows some the sweetest pineapples, mangos and papaya that you’re likely to find.
The week I spent in Ghana flew by but, as a small treat on my final day, we took some of our staff for a meal and boat trip along the coast for a well-deserved break.
And finally, a friend of mine gave me a set of football kits from his under-16s side. O