Health and Hygiene Volunteer

District Assembly HIV/AIDS - Swedru, Ghana
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-49 Location: Swedru, Ghana Sector: Health Care Category: Public Health Min Duration: 4 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

District Assembly HIV/AIDS is dedicated to providing services that address the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic. Their staff have all been trained to provide counselling and support, when needed. They all have extensive background experience and are up-to-date regarding the different types of anti retrovirus therapies that are prescribed to individuals infected with HIV.

District Assembly HIV/AIDS needs volunteers because they don't have adequate staff to perform all the tasks that the foundation strives to accomplish each day, without the assistance of volunteers. HIV/AIDS awareness volunteers who work at the foundation's projects in Accra will participate in a wide range of activities, depending on the volunteer's individual skills and interests and the needs of the local community.

A HIV/AIDS awareness volunteer's activities may include: counselling infected patients, preparing materials for educational seminars in local communities about HIV/AIDS, educating locals about the causes, effects and prevention of HIV/AIDS, assisting to provide the medications necessary to fight health concerns such as fevers, coughs and/or diarrhoea, as well as helping to support infected families with basic necessities.

As a HIV/AIDS awareness volunteer you can make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other medical conditions. The West African Aids Foundation is interested in students with a background in Public Health Education but is not mandatory. The clinic services over 200 patients so dedicated volunteers are greatly needed.

The volunteer does not need to have had previous experience related to this illness but they must have good communication skills and a sincere desire to help in the fight against AIDS. Volunteers should have previously researched and educated themselves in respect to the different aspects of the illness including the up-to-date different types of anti retrovirus therapies that are prescribed to individuals infected with HIV; so that they can make a meaningful contribution during their volunteering commitment, at this placement.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Patient Support

HIV/AIDS awareness volunteers must not underestimate the emotional support they may be able to give to the victims of this disease and their families. Many suffer in their communities from the stigma attached to this illness. Proper treatment and emotional support can provide comfort to those who must live with this disease.

Sharing Ideals

HIV/AIDS awareness volunteers would have the opportunity to learn a great deal at this placement through the performance of their numerous tasks and the sharing of ideals and experiences with other staff and volunteers. Remember some of the staff at this foundation will have had vast experience in dealing with HIV/AIDS.

Community Lectures

A HIV/AIDS awareness volunteer would assist in the delivery of educational sessions to the people in the communities in the Accra area. At these seminars volunteers would endeavour not only to educate but also focus on relieving some of the stigma associated with the disease.

School Lectures

A HIV/AIDS awareness volunteer would be expected to conduct school lectures. Volunteers would discuss the causes, effects and ways to help prevent HIV/AIDS. If the volunteer was able to give out HIV/AIDS pamphlets at the same time, it would not only reinforce the volunteer's lesson taught but might help to educate others at home.

Host Organization Details

District Assembly HIV/AIDS

The District Assembly HIV/AIDS is a section of the District Assembly Organization established to deal with HIV/AIDS. They keep track of the number of people infected and the care they receive. They have many programs related to HIV/AIDS in communities, schools and churches and they also give HIV/AIDS awareness presentations.

It is important to note that AIDS and poverty are intricately linked, through ill health and associated costs for victims, their families and society, which resulted in loss of income earners.

There has been a steady decrease in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the district as a result of multifaceted strategies put in place by DHMT, NGOs and the District Assembly. The number of cases dropped from 64 cases in 2010 to 34 cases in 2012. Out of this the majority of 45 were female in 2004 which decreases to 20 in 2005. Prevalence of the disease is highest in the age group of 20 to 45 years of age.

This picture may not be very representative since a large number of patients also patronize the Winneba and Asikuma hospitals outside the district. HIV/AIDS preventive programs have been intensified by Ghana Education Services (GES) and the Ministry Of Health ( MOH), throughout the district.

At least 95% percent of both women and men interviewed identified sexual intercourse as the main mode of AIDS transmission. Although more people understand that they are personally at risk of becoming infected, they are still practising high-risk behaviour. The impact of AIDS on medium-term economic development of the district will become more serious if efforts are not stepped up to control it.

When They Were Founded

District Assembly HIV/AIDS was founded in the year 2000 by the Government of Ghana. A commission of a five member board was established to handle the affairs of the organization. It has been helping the district in many ways to make sure that every citizen of the district is informed regarding the dangers associated with AIDS. The district has been working hard and has set a target of the year 2016 when there will be no new cases in the district,

Who They Work With

Nyarkrom, Nsaba, Kwaman, Kwanyako, Anomabo

How Are They Funded

District Assembly HIV/AIDS is funded by the Government of Ghana through the District Assembly but the funds need to pass through the Ministry of Health and then to the Ghana AIDS Commission and also (HUNDP) then to the District Assembly HIV/AIDS.

Donation Requests

The organization would appreciate HIV/AIDS materials, related books and any equipment or supplies.

Placement Location Information

Swedru, Ghana

The District Assembly HIV/AIDS is located about a 15 minute walk from the main part of town in Swedru. They share the same building and compound with the other departments of the District Assembly. The site of the assembly is often referred to as an estate because of its quiet environment and the fact that its two buildings are bungalows. There are fifteen offices in the buildings and these interior offices are painted a blue colour. There is a bungalow for the office staff and other employees who work on the big farm which grows plantation and other vegetables in it .

There is a visitors car parking lot for costumers who have appointments with members of the assembly or have come seeking information. Each department has its own parking section for its staff and the chief executive has been provided with a garage.

All assembly bungalow exteriors are painted brown in colour and the grounds around the bungalows have green grass growing. Mango trees have been planted to provide shade, as well as contribute to an attractive atmosphere within the compound.

Transfer From BaseCamp

Volunteers will travel from the BaseCamp Center (Pink Hostel) by taxi or tro tro (public transportation) to the Kaneshie Lorry Station in Accra. From there volunteers will take a mini bus to the city of Swedrui, usually taking around an hour and a half, depending on traffic. Once there a BaseCamp Regional Coordinator will be there to meet you and take you to your homestay which is about a 45min drive.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 72 Kilometers
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 1:12

Weather in the Area

The dry season in Ghana is from September through to March and temperatures generally range from 30-45 degrees Celsius. The rainy season occurs in April until August and is a bit cooler at temperatures of 20-35 degrees Celsius. As the name of the season suggests, rainfall increases dramatically throughout these months. It is generally not constant rain, but when it does rain, it usually pours. The wettest months are May-June and September-October while the drier periods occur in December-February and a brief period in August.

City/Village Description

Swedru is a small attractive town situated 20 km away from the coastline of Ghana. It is the capital of the Agona District with a population of approximately 60,000 people. While strolling down the winding pathways of Swedru, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of this city. The palm trees, lush vegetation and elaborate markets entice many visitors to stay more than just one night.

Swedru is a unique town having both the components of a rural and urban community. Visitors to Swedru, frequently comment on the various traditional activities that occur throughout the town. For example, it is quite common to see people wearing traditional attire, playing traditional games or using bicycles as the major form of transportation.

Since Swedru is the district capital of Agona, there are many facilities throughout the city that generally are only found within the big cities of Ghana. For example, there are at least six hotels, five internet cafe's, restaurants that serve a wide-range of Ghanaian and western dishes and a fairly big hospital. It is considered a major commercial centre for the district and is well known for its cocoa growing plantations.

Nearest Medical Clinic

Swedru Government Hospital
Asafo Road
TEL 1: (+233-3320) / 20214

Placement Address

District Assembly HIV/AIDS
Bungalow Road

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Ghana at our BaseCamp Center in Accra. Given that this placement is less than a 1 hour and 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers working here will have the option of living with us at BaseCamp or living with a host family.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Ghana. Once you have completed our application, you can let our staff know if you would prefer to live with a host family. Otherwise, your application will default to having you live with us at BaseCamp.

If you have any questions about the difference between life at BaseCamp or life with a host family in Ghana you can always give us a call or send us an email. Our contact details are listed in the footer of every page of the site.

BaseCamp Ghana

BaseCamp Ghana
BaseCamp Ghana Address

C/O Pink Hostel
5th Crescent
Accra, Ghana

BaseCamp Ghana Contact Details

Tel: 233-243-745-771 (Hostel Number)
Mobile: 233-245-916-108

The BaseCamp Center in Accra is a hostel situated in the residential neighbourhood of Asylum Down. This is a relaxing and peaceful area, away from the continuous activity and hubbub of the tourist district, but central enough that we are within walking distance of many attractions in Accra including the National Museum, Kwame Nkrumah Circle and Adabraka Market.

The centre itself is a three-story building with several dormitory rooms. There are also several quiet areas where volunteers can study and relax including a covered area outside. There is an internet cafe, allowing volunteers to stay in touch with friends and family abroad. In addition to this, free WIFI can be accessed throughout the building.

All volunteers spend their orientation in this centre when they first arrive in Ghana. The workshops and language training take place in this building as well although each day we incorporate outings to learn about the area and how to get around independently.

Living With a Host Family in Ghana

Living with a host family in Ghana is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Ghana.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Ghana

  Registration Fee
  1 Week
  2 Weeks
  3 Weeks
  4 Weeks
  5 Weeks
  6 Weeks
  7 Weeks
  8 Weeks
  Additional Weeks
All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried

Program Dates

Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Aug 07, 2020 Sep 04, 2020 Oct 02, 2020
Nov 06, 2020 Dec 04, 2020 Jan 01, 2021
Feb 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021 Apr 02, 2021
May 07, 2021 Jun 04, 2021 Jul 02, 2021
Aug 06, 2021 Sep 03, 2021 Oct 01, 2021
Nov 05, 2021 Dec 03, 2021 Jan 07, 2022
Feb 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022 Apr 01, 2022
May 06, 2022 Jun 03, 2022 Jul 01, 2022


These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message