Volunteer Guidelines

VPWA Volunteer Guidelines

We are very grateful for your interest in volunteering with Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa (VPWA). While we are incredibly appreciative of you volunteering your time, VPWA has certain guidelines and policies that govern our volunteer program.  Please familiarize yourself with our procedures before you come to volunteer.  Not only do we want you to make the most of your time and have a meaningful experience, it's important that we ensure that your volunteer experience is a safe one as well. (Please note that, VPWA reserves the right to review it policies and inform incoming volunteers of any changes prior to their arrival.) 

General Volunteer Policies


We ask that all volunteers (whether individuals, families, or groups) schedule their volunteer placement with the VPWA coordinator.  We obviously need to be prepared for your arrival and placement. You are required to confirm the time of your placement and pay your deposit at least 60 days prior to your arrival.If you intend to arrive in the summer, we recommend very early application as VPWA is only able to handle maximum of 22 volunteers at our Pokuase residence, 8 at our Achimota residence and 9 at our Damang Residence.



We are happy to give you the opportunity to travel and visit some of Ghana's tourist attractions.  Tours should typically be taken over the weekends. Please ensure you tell your Volunteer Coordinator that you want to visit some sites. 

Signing In 

All volunteers are required to sign in and out, whether you are volunteering in our office, school, clinic or affiliate organisation. We are responsible for your safety in Ghana and it is important we know where you are. 


Age Limitations

All volunteers must be at least eighteen (18) years of age.  However, minors accompanied by a parent or legal guardian are very welcome. 



Please dress comfortably for your volunteer activity.  Jeans and sweatshirts are fine and we'd also suggest wear thin layers in the summer months (T-shirts & Collar shirts, trousers and long pants(men), and knee-length skirts and dresses(ladies) are fine).  We also recommend that you wear sturdy shoes and pack some clothes that you don't mind getting a bit dirty.  Volunteers working in our community development projects must wear the required clothing (jeans, aprons, sanitary gloves, hair restraints etc). Volunteers under teaching placement, clinics or any other official-like placements are required to wear formal dress(No shorts or mini skirt) suitable for warm conditions.


Drug Free Workplace

VPWA has a "zero-tolerance policy" which strictly forbids the manufacture, possession, sale, or use of any controlled substances by volunteers whilst participating in our programmes or whilst representing the VPWA in any capacity.  Any volunteer found to be under the influence of a controlled substance will be asked to leave and will be banned from any further activities.  Volunteers found to be in possession of, or involved in the manufacture or distribution of controlled substances, whilst participating in a VPWA placement will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities immediately.


Smoking, Eating & Drinking

Smoking is not permitted inside any of the VPWA affiliate institutions.  You can smoke outside your house of residence but please do not smoke within the apartment, compound or at your work place. We advise volunteers who smoke to do so without been seen by children. Please also dispose of all smoking materials used outside the house. Please aware that, smoking has since 2012 been illegal at all public places in Ghana.


Volunteers will have 1 x meal a day provided by the host (dinner). Volunteers are expected to provide their own breakfast and lunch. Volunteers are likely to be at their placement for lunch and may be given guidelines on when and where to take lunch. The cost of purchasing food for lunch and breakfast is not inclusive in our packages. There is stove, pans, toaster and other equipment in the kitchen so you can prepare food yourself if you choose. 


Beverages are allowed in all volunteer work areas throughout the VPWA affiliates with the exception of the health related facilities.  There are water and soft drink vendors available outside many of our affiliate institutions.




Volunteer groups are asked to book placements at least 90 days in advance, if possible.  You need to confirm your arrival and departure times, as well as the number of volunteers in the group, with the Volunteer Coordinator at least 60 days prior to the arrival.



General Conduct

As a volunteer, you are asked to conduct yourself with courtesy and respect for others and for our program and facilities where you are assigned. 


Volunteers are asked not to touch, handle or operate any motorized equipment.  Volunteers must have completed the proper training before using any equipment. 


Please do not leave your assigned work areas without notifying the Supervisor or another staff member. 





Some volunteers may have access to sensitive data during the course of their duties with us and our affiliates.  We require that any sensitive information acquired during service be kept confidential. 





All volunteers should have their own liability and health insurance in case of injury or property loss.  All accidents must be reported to the Volunteer Supervisor or another appropriate member of the VPWA staff.  Any injury (no matter how serious) must be reported.  VPWA will assist you to an acute care facility to treat any type of injury or sickness. 


VPWA is not responsible for loss of or damage to any personal property that a volunteer may send to their placement centers.  This includes bicycles, purses, jewelry, money, credit cards, clothing, or other valuable items.  Please leave these items at your appropriate residence and lock smaller items in your bags.


Revised: C 2013 – VPWA