“Three months in Ghana? Wow, that’s a long time,” is the phrase I’ve been hearing a lot recently. Sure, three months in West Africa isn’t the typical summer vacation but I know from experience that the time will zip by in a flurry of volunteers, projects, blog posts and Azonto moves.
I’m Dave and this summer I’m acting as the Volunteer Coordinator for KickStart Ghana, a charity that I co-founded and now help run. I’ve done this role before but my longest stint previously has been four weeks. In recent years I have watched on enviously as the other KickStart Ghana co-founder Dave Thorp spent two and then four months living in Ho in 2010 and 2011 and last summer Kanika. This summer, with 18 UK and Ireland based volunteers recruited to head to Ghana, it seemed like the perfect time to take my turn.
So what am I hoping to achieve this summer? Well, the clue is in the title of my role. I’ll be managing 18 UK and Ireland based volunteers in Ghana, with the help of an Assistant Volunteer Coordinator, Chris Minch, on a variety of projects. KickStart Ghana recruits people to work as football coaches, summer club workers and the occasional teaching assistant if requested by a local school. We’ve also recruited three volunteers from an organisation called Joint Sight to help make some short films about the work that we do. As you can imagine ensuring that all these people are met from the airport, housed, fed, managed on placement and kept in good spirits is a pretty busy job! Although, one that I’m incredibly looking forward too.
I’ll also be continuing my work as a KickStart Ghana trustee whilst in Ghana. This means writing reports, researching, working with our partners, fundraising, evaluating our impact, budgeting and receipting. All of this will be done in conjunction with my other trustees in the UK and KickStart Ghana’s Director of Operations, Daniel.
Finally, I’ll be working as a coach with a local football team, Dynamo FC. With the knowledge acquired from having had a Spurs season ticket for over a decade and an FA Level 1 coaching certificate in my back pocket I’m sure to have plenty of wisdom to pass on.
Over the next few months I’ll try to keep you updated on how the work is going and any other insights I can offer on what it’s like to live and work in Ghana.
Don’t worry about ‘burn out’ on my part though. Below is the view I have as I currently write this blog.