Health and Hygiene Volunteer

West Africa AIDS Foundation - Accra, Ghana
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-255 Location: Accra, Ghana Sector: Health Care Category: Public Health Min Duration: 3 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Advanced
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Volunteer Job Description

The West African Aids Foundation (WAAF) is dedicated to providing services that help 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.

The West Africa AIDS Foundation 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 working at the Foundation's project 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 volunteer you can make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other medical condition. The West African Aids Foundation is interested in students with a background in Public Health Education. The clinic services over 200 patients so dedicated volunteers are greatly needed.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Community Education

A HIV/AIDS awareness volunteer will assist in the delivery of educational sessions to the people in the communities in the Accra area. At these seminars volunteers will endeavor 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.

Communication With Staff

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 the different issues related to this disease.

Support Victims & Families

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.

Other Health Issues

HIV/AIDS awareness volunteers may have the opportunity to work alongside local professionals in their efforts to educate the local population about: basic health, sanitation, disease prevention or family planning, etc. Volunteers working at this placement will probably be able to contribute their time and knowledge to many health issue endeavours. Much will depend on your own initiative and work ethics.

Host Organization Details

West Africa AIDS Foundation

The West African Aids Foundation (WAAF) was founded in 1999 and has been rapidly expanding their programs each year since opening. They are a non-governmental organization that is dedicated to providing services that help address the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic by developing and implementing awareness programs that focus on prevention and the importance of testing.

Their MISSION is to work in unison with other HIV/AIDS organizations to try and reduced the infection rate in Ghana and to increase awareness about the different services that are available to those living with HIV/AIDS.

The West African Aids Foundation in Accra is a resource center that not only provides information about HIV and AIDS but also other communicable diseases such as sexually transmitted infections (STI) and tuberculosis (TB). A part of their mandate is to organize and implement seminars that educate individuals about how to protect themselves from becoming infected and to inform members of their community about what services are available to those who do have one of the above diseases.

In addition, the West African Aids Foundation has created a clinic that specializes in providing exceptional care to individuals who are living with HIV. The role of the clinic is to provide medical attention to any individual who is in need. As well, their staff have all been trained to provide counselling and support, when needed. They all have extensive background experience regarding the different types of antiretroviral therapies that are prescribed to individuals infected with HIV.

Community outreach programs and educational workshops are also a major component of the services conducted and organized by WAAF. On a weekly basis, the WAAF Outreach Program provides public health workshops on topics such as HIV and STI prevention to sex trade workers, rural villages, and inner city schools.

When They Were Founded

The West Africa Aids Foundation (WAAF) was established in Accra, Ghana in 1999. It has 4 other clinics in other regions in Ghana.

WAAF’s objectives have been to prevent the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and to mitigate its effect on communities by implementing intervention programs and establishing care and support centers.

Who They Work With

The West African Aids Foundation is dedicated to helping serve any Ghanaian who would like to get tested for HIV, who is living with HIV or who would like to learn more about what HIV is and how it spreads. According to research conducted by UNAID in 2007, approximately 1.9% of Ghana's population, or 260,000 people, are HIV positive. Although these numbers are significantly lower then other African nations, it is crucial that educational campaigns are designed and implemented throughout the country to ensure that the infection rate does not continue to rise.

In Ghana, individuals living with HIV/AIDS face multiple challenges. Continuous access to medical attention can be difficult for many to obtain and secure. Many people in Ghana are unable to pay for regular doctors visits or the required anti-retrovirals. As a result, their bodies deteriorate faster and they are unable to maintain steady employment. Often individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Ghana claim that access to health care and obtaining adequate doses of the anti-retrovirals are the least of their concerns. Stigma and discrimination that is forced upon those living with HIV in Ghana is not only hurtful but can be life threatening. Many people are afraid to contract the HIV virus and due to a misunderstanding of how HIV is spread, many people fear those who are living with HIV. As a result, most individuals living with HIV feel isolated and alone.

The West African Aids Foundation realizes that HIV is a global epidemic and that it is important that individuals around the world begin to learn and understand how HIV is contracted in order to help reduce the rate at which the virus is spreading and to decrease the discrimination and stigma that is felt by many throughout the world.

How Are They Funded

The West Africa Aids Foundation receives funding from individual donors. It also receives funds from different agencies and organizations throughout Ghana. As well, some funds are provided by international organizations and agencies.

Donation Requests

Medical supplies such as: antispectic creams, gloves, gowns, sterile needles, band-aids or linens, as well as, condoms would be greatly appreciated.

Awareness materials such as information about HIV/AIDS, books about HIV/AIDS, note pads, pens, pencils, construction paper, ink for photocopier, ink for printer and tape would also be appreciated at the center.

Placement Location Information

Accra, Ghana

The West African Aids Foundation is located in Hatso in the Madina region of Accra. The Foundation is in a large building that has another health organization in the same center call the International Health Care Center.

Madina is one of several towns in Accra that the West African Aids Foundation works in. The West Africa Aids Foundation can be found in the same building with the International Healthcare Center and in front of it is a Block Factory which is one stop after the Hatso Main Taxi Rank from Ecomoc Road. It is important to pick a tro tro that passes through Ecomoc Road or else it is very possible to miss the West African Aids Foundation.

One of the things that makes it easier for potential volunteers to be able to identify the West Africa Aids Foundation is the "Almond Tree Shop" which is the combination of WAAF and IHCC initiating a project for some of their patients. It is a little workshop on the premises of the West Africa Aids Foundation where people living with HIV make jewellery, bags and other items with the goal of improving their self sufficiency.

Transfer From BaseCamp

Volunteers will take a tro tro (public transit), from Kaneshie to the Achimota main station - a 45 to 60 minute trip each day, depending on traffic. From there, you will ride another tro tro that passes on Ecomoc Road. You will get off at one stop after the main Hatso Taxi Rank, that is the Block Factory. In front of it is the International Health Care Center and in that same building is the West African Aids Foundation.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 5 kilometers
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:60

Weather in the Area

The dry season in Ghana is from September to March and temperatures generally range from 25-40 degrees Celsius. The rainy season begins in April and lasts until August and the temperature is a bit cooler at 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.

Often the weather can change throughout the day. At one moment it is very hot and the next moment it is pouring rain. Volunteers are advised to bring a good waterproof jacket while in this area.

City/Village Description

Accra is a vibrant city that is steeped in history. There is a historical lighthouse in the district of Jamestown; built in 1871, by the British. Climb to the top and enjoy the fantastic view of the Gold Coast. Note the traditional fishing boats and Fort Ussher. Observe the hustle and bustle of Jamestown.

Accra is home to the National Arts Market which provides an opportunity for volunteers to practice their bartering skills for paintings, carvings, bead work, fabric, and many other unique West African Arts.

There are many places to see in Accra. Why not visit one of the many museums? Accra also has an eclectic music scene, with a good beat to be found on almost every corner.

Activities in and around Accra include biking, swimming, catching a soccer game, drumming, dancing lessons, art lessons, and much more.

Nearest Medical Clinic

37 Military Hospital
Liberation Road
TEL 1: 030 2777595
TEL 2: 030 2767691

Placement Address

West Africa AIDS Foundation
Ecomog Road
Plot 650 Haatso, Accra-Ghana

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