Primary School Teaching Volunteer

Grace and Mercy Daycare - Accra, Ghana
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-296 Location: Accra, Ghana Sector: Education Category: Classroom Teaching Min Duration: 1 week Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: None
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Volunteer Job Description

Grace and Mercy Daycare and Primary School needs volunteers to assist in their teaching programs which has an enrollment of approximately 60 students who are from the Kaneshie market area.

A volunteer primary school teacher would be involved in the various methods of teaching to pre-kindergarten up to and including the elementary school level. One of the subjects that volunteers would teach to Ghanaian school children at all grade levels would be English as a second language. Another endeavors of teaching would be in the math and physical education department. Perhaps if time allowed, help to teach them the joy of music (singing), dance, art and crafts.

The broad aim of the syllabus is to help the pupils develop their basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and also help pre-kindergarten school children to listen to and differentiate between sounds in the environment. A volunteer primary teacher from a different country has an excellent opportunity to teach the children about the different cultures in the world especially about their own native country.

The educational background of a volunteer primary school teacher at this placement, does not require a teacher's degree but the volunteer must have a passion to help children in their educational development process. Especially these children who frequently come from stressful situations and have a lot of challenges they need time and help to work through. Of-course the more teacher orientated the volunteer's background the higher level of teaching experience they may be asked to participate in.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Teach English

A volunteer primary school teacher may choose to teach English to any one (or more) of eight different classes (or ages). The broad aim of the syllabus is to help the pupils to develop their basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing English.


A volunteer primary school teacher may be asked to guide children to act or dramatize whole or parts of songs, rhymes or poems to show understanding and appreciation of different topics. Note: songs /poems/rhymes should include those on HIV/AIDS, gender issues or drug related activities, if possible.


A volunteer primary school teacher may be asked to teach basic mathematics and the necessary math needed to negotiate simple cash transactions. They may also be asked to teach the basic understanding of quantity and space.

Preparation of Lessons

A volunteer primary school teacher would be expected to prepare his/her lessons ahead of time, keeping in mind that the classes should be geared to the age and grade level taught and should contain enjoyable approaches to learning.

The volunteer would be expected to follow the directions of the school's Proprietress/Administrator. All classes should be conducted respecting the rights of others and promoting friendly group participation, when possible.

Host Organization Details

Grace and Mercy Daycare

Grace and Mercy Daycare and Primary School was started by Madame Mercy in 2000. Madame Mercy opened the daycare and primary school in the area of Kaneshie in hopes of providing early education for children of the workers in the nearby Kaneshie Market, (the second largest market in Accra). With increasing enrollment every year, the daycare and primary school now welcomes approximately 60 students from the Kaneshie area each day!

Madame Mercy realized that many children in the Kaneshie area, especially those close to the market were spending their early years working in the market with their parent(s) instead of in a formalized school environment! Madame Mercy discovered that many of the workers in the Kaneshie neighborhood were single mothers and sometimes had no choice but to take their children to work with them.

Madame Mercy started the daycare and school on her own initiative and without any governmental support. Their goal is to offer education to children who normally would not have the opportunity. Many times students attend the daycare or school without paying any fees. Grace and Mercy Daycare and School survives completely from the support of the staff and donations.

Madame Mercy decided to open the daycare and primary school in the Kaneshie neighborhood to meet the demands of the community. As mentioned earlier, the second biggest market in Accra is located in the Kaneshie district. Many of the families living in the Kaneshie district are single mothers who work in the market. Because most daycare centers and primary schools in Ghana are privately owned, parents who cannot afford to send their children often have no other option but to bring their children to work with them. Thus placing children into a life of early child labor. Kaneshie is both a residential and industrial area having families with a wide variety of incomes. In the most recent national census conducted in Ghana they found that 46% of the Ghanaian population was illiterate and 21% of that population was in the Greater Accra Region. Children who are brought to the markets instead of being sent to school are denied the opportunity to get an education. It is essential that young Ghanaian's are brought into the educational system early so they can experience the joys of learning and the opportunities that are developed by obtaining an education.

Grace and Mercy Daycare and School offers classes in: math, reading, writing, art and science. They also have a strong focus on health, exercise and extra curricular activities including a variety of after school clubs. Madame Mercy has made it mandatory that each student becomes involved in at least one extra curricular activity such as: physical education, music or the drama club.

Does this organization have any religious affiliations?

Ghana is a very religious country and religion is incorporated into the daily lives and workplaces of the Ghanaian people, everywhere. The Grace and Mercy Daycare and School does have weekly worship. However, there is absolutely no pressure to be of any practicing religious faith.

When They Were Founded

Grace and Mercy Daycare and School was founded on 6th May 2000 in a private residence at Kaneshie - Mataheko. Madame Mercy established the daycare and school to provide care and an education to the children in the Kaneshie Market area who's parent(s) could not afford to pay the fees for private care or an education for their children. The daycare and school was named after Madame Mercy and a lady named Grace, (a late mother who dedicated her time and effort towards the care of these children).

Who They Work With

This organization serves the community of Kaneshie First Light in Accra. Kaneshie First Light is a vibrant community located about 15 minutes walk from Kaneshie Market - Accra's second largest market! The streets of this area are filled with small shops and people selling fruits, vegetables, and other goods. The community is alive with the sounds of pumping Ghanaian music, gospel preaching, and children running through the streets.

The neighborhood is a lower-middle class neighborhood that is home to many of the market sellers and street vendors. Many of the market sellers are single mothers that sell oranges, tomatoes, onion, water, and other produce in order to provide for their children. If they have the extra responsibility of looking after their children during the day, it can be detrimental to the health and sustainability of their family. As well, if the children are raised in the markets, they have a greater chance of not attending school and ending up on the streets or living a life of poverty. This organization provides a safe place for children that stimulates their learning and ensures that they stay out of the markets. It also enables their families to make a living while being assured their children are cared for.

How Are They Funded

The children are supposed to pay fees but commonly can not afford to do so. The organization survives off the generosity of the staff, directors and individual donations.

They have no other source of funding.

Donation Requests

Donations such as pencils, erasers, pens, notebooks, chalk, skipping ropes, soccer balls, games, story books, crayons, markers, first aid supplies and other teaching materials would be greatly appreciated.

Placement Location Information

Accra, Ghana

The Grace and Mercy Preschool and Primary School is a small, two-level building that is located in a enclosed compound, on the landfill community. The daycare and kindergarden classes are held inside in the smaller rooms and the older classes are held outside in the garden.

The school doesn't have a library so when it's time for the kids to read stories the books are been given to them in class. The school also doesn't have a dinner hall for the kids so they eat in the same classroom that the learn in.

The school also operates a boarding house, where the children can stay, but it does not have good resources or facilities.

Transfer From BaseCamp

Volunteers will travel from the BaseCamp Center (Pink Hostel) straight to the nearby main road – ring road central. From there, volunteers can take a taxi or tro tro (public transit) to the Accra city centre called Circle. You will take a second tro tro to Odorkor Street and from there volunteers can walk straight to Grace and Mercy.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 5 kilometers
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:45

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

Peace Clinic
Kpakpo Mankrolo Street
TEL 1: 0246839328

Placement Address

Grace and Mercy Daycare
Afajato Street

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


The following is a list of all months during which this placement is not available.

  • August
  • December

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