Special Needs Assistant Volunteer

Autism Awareness Care and Training - Accra, Ghana
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-250 Location: Accra, Ghana Sector: Social Services Category: Personal Support Work Min Duration: 8 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic Placement Fee: 100 USD
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Volunteer Job Description

The Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre is an organization that teachers children with autism and provides them with a safe place to learn. Their aim is to help these individuals reach their highest potential by utilizing a number of different therapies to reach that goal.

The Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre is looking for volunteers to help teachers and caregivers with the daily care of the children at the centre. Most of these children require assistance with their personal grooming and need guidance with their concentration and expression of thoughts, (sometimes encouraged through music and dance).

Volunteers may also have the opportunity to participate in field trips and extracurricular activities with the children. At times, volunteers may be asked to provide respite care for families.

During a volunteer's time at the organization you would be expected to assist in many of the daily activities like: supervise organized play activities with the children, work one-on-one with the children and their caregivers, assist in musical activities, (songs and nursery rhymes), and help to teach grooming and personal hygiene, (comb hair and brush teeth), etc. These activities can help autistic children gain self-care and social and communication skills that are necessary for everyday functioning.

When special needs assistant volunteers are not occupied with the care of the children they may be asked to help develop public awareness campaigns through newspaper articles, national TV and radio to discuss autism to help reduce the social stigma that is related to autism.

Special needs assistant volunteers do not require to have had training in this field. However, volunteers considering this type of placement should first educate themselves about autism so they can make an informed decision about their ability to make a positive contribution at this placement.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Interact With Children

A special needs assistant volunteer would have the opportunity to interact with the children, staff and caregivers, assisting them with daily tasks.

You may occasionally be asked to participate in awareness sessions.

Fundraising

A special needs assistant volunteer may be asked to help in fundraising activities when not busy with the care of the children. Fundraising for AACT is a vital component to their livelihood. During your time there you may be asked to assist working in fundraising campaigns for the organization at a local, national or international level depending on your motivation and previous fundraising experience.

Support And Assistance

A special needs assistant volunteer would offer help to the caregivers and teachers with their general care of the children. Without support and assistance many children will not be able to receive all the care and attention necessary to feel the same sense of belonging.

Motivated Volunteers

Special needs assistant volunteers are needed by AACT to help encourage autism children; show them affection and the necessary attention for them to learn the skills needed to attend to their own personal care. Staff look forward to working with passionate and motivated volunteers who can sometimes introduce new ways and means to communicate with these children.

Develop Work Projects

Special needs assistant volunteers are encouraged to develop their own projects for the school. Volunteers with a background in art and/or music may be able to start a group and/or individual sessions. The organization is also looking for volunteers interested in movement and colour therapy. Creative ideas that inspire self-expression are very welcome.

Host Organization Details

Autism Awareness Care and Training

Autism Awareness Care & Training (AACT) was formed specifically to help children with autism and their families in Ghana; to better understand the disorder and to feel that there is a safe place to go for support and help. Today the organization not only supports the parents and families but it also has become a center for these children to receive quality education.

The Center has developed educational workshops and support groups for individuals who have autism and their families. They have also developed workshops for community members to learn about autism and hopefully help to reduce the stigma and discrimination that people living with autism in Ghana endure.

In 2009, the Center was awarded," The Heart Spring Award for Innovation and Creativity in Special Education", for being "...true pioneers who bring innovation and creativity to achieve even greater results for children in need."

This was a huge achievement for the organization to have their program recognized for the major contributions it makes to help autistic children and their families learn to communicate while at the same time trying to reduce the stigma and discrimination that many of these children face.

The Autism Awareness & Care Training Center is committed to supporting individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. They believe that each person can use their God-given talent to reach their maximum potential, regardless of their disability. They are dedicated to fostering meaningful education and independence for every autistic individual.

Does this organization have any religious affiliations?

Ghana is a very religious country and religion is incorporated into the daily lives and workplaces everywhere. However, there is absolutely no pressure to be of any practicing religious faith. The center has a informal worship service every Friday for those who wish to attend where the staff and students dance and sing.

When They Were Founded

In a failed search to find services that would help her child, Mrs. Serwah Quaynor, a mother of a child with autism, decided to fulfill her commitment to her son and to people living with autism, by founding the Autism Awareness Care & Training Organization in 1998. From that point on Mrs. Quaynor has made it a personal commitment to help children with autism.

How Are They Funded

This organization is self-funded. They create artwork such as paintings and jewellery at the organization's center that is sold to help sustain their programs. They also receive private donations from different organizations and individual donors.

Donation Requests

The Autism Awareness Care and Training Center would be grateful for any donations that one would like to give.

Specific donations that they have requested include: Hook & Loop Velcro with sticky backs, laminating sheets, small interactive toys such as slinkys, rubix cubes, rubber lizzards, toy cars, blowing bubbles, markers, crayons, puzzles, board games, children's books, play-doh, and building blocks would be greatly enjoyed at the center.

Children or adult clothing, shoes, blankets, socks, soccer ball, backpacks or light rain jackets would be greatly appreciated.

In addition, educational toys such as object identification games or flash cards with basic concepts would also be appreciated.

Placement Location Information

Accra, Ghana

This organization is location in Accra in an area known as New Town, roughly 30 minutes from our BaseCamp Center. It is in a fairly densely populated part of the city of Accra.

The Autism Awareness, Care and Training Center is a one level, gated building with nice green grass and a play ground for the students. There is a canopied area outside where they do bead work to help raise money for the center. The inside is small, with two classrooms, an office and a kitchen. Unfortunately, due to the size limitations of the center they cannot accept any new students.

Transfer From BaseCamp

Volunteers will take tro tro (public transit) to the placement site each day. From our BaseCamp Center, volunteers will take a tro tro to a nearby main road - Ring Road Central, then take a second tro tro to New Town, a area within Accra. From New Town it is only a ten minute walk to the Autism Awareness Center.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 10 Km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:30

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
Accra
TEL 1: 030 2777595
TEL 2: 030 2767691

Placement Address

Autism Awareness Care and Training
42 Rolyat Castle Road , Kokomlele.
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
250
 
  1 Week
395
 
  2 Weeks
535
 
  3 Weeks
675
 
  4 Weeks
815
 
  5 Weeks
940
 
  6 Weeks
1,065
 
  7 Weeks
1,190
 
  8 Weeks
1,315
 
 
 
  Additional Weeks
120
 
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


Placement Fee Alert

This placement has a placement fee!

In some cases, a placement will have to take on certain expenses in order to host a volunteer. For example, some medical internship placements take time away from paid medical staff to help with educational assistance. This has a cost that is compensated by a placement fee. In other cases, the organization may have to pay for additional equipment, energy consumption or other expense in order to put a volunteer to work.

In such cases, the organizaiton charges a fee. This fee is paid directly to the organization in cash on the ground.

One of the reasons that we keep this fee separate is so that volunteers who do not pay us for accommodation, meals etc (Program Fees), will see that they will still have to make this payment directly to the organizaiton upon their arrival.

The placement fee for this organization is: 100 USD

Program Dates

MONTHS NOT AVAILABLE

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.

Apr 05, 2019 May 03, 2019 Jun 07, 2019
Jul 05, 2019 Aug 02, 2019 Sep 06, 2019
Oct 04, 2019 Nov 01, 2019 Dec 06, 2019
Jan 03, 2020 Feb 07, 2020 Mar 06, 2020
Apr 03, 2020 May 01, 2020 Jun 05, 2020
Jul 03, 2020 Aug 07, 2020 Sep 04, 2020
Oct 02, 2020 Nov 06, 2020 Dec 04, 2020
Jan 01, 2021 Feb 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021

PLEASE NOTE:

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