When you volunteer at YCC Ghana (Youth Creating Change) its of course about the children but in addition its about the family, the family of volunteers that you live with and get to know very well. You are all working towards common goals and the bonds that you will form during your time here are strong.
YCC Ghana is located next to the small town of Sogakope about an hours drive from Accra and only about 35 minutes from where the Volta River empties into the ocean. They are located about 90 minutes from Lome, the capital city of neighboring Togo.
Director John Homadzi Glidden started the organization in 2004 and during this relatively brief time has already built up YCC Ghana’s services so that around 250 children are directly benefiting in a variety of ways. Their focus is on three main entities, education, clean and safe water supplies (sand filters) and preventing child slavery (which is a real problem here).
Their help is far reaching – YCC identifies critical needs in specific communities in and around the Sogokape region all the way to the Togo border where a partnership orphanage is located.
I visited one of the schools they are serving – cries of “Yevu, Yevu” (foreigner) could be heard across the playground when they saw me. The kids were so excited to have their photo taken and clambered up on the tables just so they could get my attention. The needs are basic but the most valuable items are: teachers salary, 4 walls and a roof, and school supplies.
Volunteer stints can be as short as two weeks for specific projects or if teaching up to 3 or more months. Housing is provided – the rooms are clean and comfortable with private bathrooms. Oh and you can sleep in! YCC Ghana usually doesn’t start rolling until 830am or after when breakfast is served. All meals are included.
If you are interested in helping out an extremely worthwhile cause consider monetary donations – instead of some larger charity organizations you can choose to give your money to something concrete that will have immediate benefits (For example – sand filters, school supplies, USB drives – internet access is very limited but computers are in greater supply and USB drives are much coveted). You can also help out with your time – the actual volunteer experience on site is an invaluable one.
L-R: Students practising music in anticipation of a trip to London — Author and John Glidden (director and founder of YCC Ghana)