A GV Team and Habitat family celebrates the completion of a new house.
Ghana country profile
Greetings world travelers! Do you have plans for the first week in December 2012? If not, consider spending 10 exciting days building a home for a family in the Ashanti Region of Ghana! The Ashanti Region, in south-central Ghana is known for its crafts ― textiles, bead work, pottery, wood carving and jewelry. I’m looking for a team of adventurous, flexible and hardworking folks. No construction or building skills are necessary. This will be one of the most meaningful vacations of your life.
Ghana is located on the Gulf of Guinea only a few degrees north of the equator in western Africa, situated between Cote d’Ivoire and Togo. The climate is tropical: warm and dry along the southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest and hot and dry in the north.
Ghana’s population is nearly 23 million. The country’s ethnic groups include Akan (45.3 percent), Mole-Dagbon (15.2 percent), Ewe (11.7 percent), Ga-Dangme (7.3 percent), Guan (4 percent), Gurma (3.6 percent), Grusi (2.6 percent), Mande-Busanga (1 percent) and other smaller tribes making up the rest.
Christianity is the dominant religion in Ghana, accounting for 68 percent of the population. Muslim (15.9 percent) and other traditional tribal religions (8.5 percent) account for most of the other faith traditions in the country.
English is the official language, but Ghanaians speak many different languages and dialects, including Asante (14.8 percent), Ewe (12.7 percent), Fante (9.9 percent), Boron, or Brong (4.6 percent), Dagomba (4.3 percent), Dangme (4.3 percent), Dagarte (Dagaba; 3.7 percent), Akyem (3.4 percent), Ga (3.4 percent) and Akuapem (2.9 percent).
Accra, the capital of Ghana, is a thriving city. Accra is the political, commercial and cultural center of Ghana. It was founded in the 15th century by Ga settlers and became a magnet for the economically active, including local and foreign industry owners, manufacturers and workers. Its status and location as a good natural port and fishing center and as the hub for local trading industries make it just as important today.
About Habitat for Humanity Ghana
Habitat for Humanity Ghana began in 1987 and now operates in 65 affiliates, having built more than 5,000 houses in 145 communities countrywide. HFH Ghana uses the community-managed affiliate concept through which committees made up of local volunteers manage each affiliate. The partnership between HFH Ghana and the local communities and other stakeholders facilitates the goal of providing shelter for more families.
HFH Ghana homeowners are mostly farmers who own small plots of land they cultivate by hand. Even with a good harvest, these farmers do not earn more than US$50 per month, and they struggle to care for their families. The farmers are able to afford a mortgage with HFH Ghana, which is never more than 20 percent of their monthly income.
For more information about HFHG visit www.habitatghana.org.
Types of construction for volunteers
A typical HFH Ghana house is composed of two bedrooms and a hall, with an external latrine and washroom. Houses typically have a concrete foundation, walls made of sun-dried earthen blocks plastered with cement and aluminum roofs. Volunteers can expect to participate in all stages of construction.
Day 1, typically Friday: Depart for Ghana.
Day 2, Saturday: Arrive in Accra; greeted at airport by HFH Ghana staff; travel to hotel; dinner and overnight in Accra.
Day 3, Sunday: Breakfast at hotel; travel to host project site with HFH Ghana staff; welcome and orientation with local staff member; welcome dinner.
Days 4–7, Monday–Thursday (typical work day): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Day 8, Friday: Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.–12 p.m. with lunch on-site; closing celebration and house dedication;
Day 9, Saturday: Breakfast at hotel; travel to Accra; free time; dinner and overnight at hotel
Day 10, Sunday: Breakfast at hotel; depart for home.
The team will be staying in a modest hotel with double occupancy rooms, electricity, and running water. Breakfast and dinner is provided where team members are lodged, and lunch is provided on site.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!
Deborah is a social worker currently living in Philadelphia. She has traveled throughout Western Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Southern Africa. Deborah has been on HFH Global Village trips to several countries, including El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. This will be her first trip as team leader. For more information about this trip, contact Deborah at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write Ghana in the subject space.