Special Needs Assistant Volunteer

Edwenase Rehabilitation Centre - Kumasi, Ghana
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-158 Location: Kumasi, Ghana Sector: Social Services Category: Personal Support Work Min Duration: 4 weeks Lodging: Host Family / Lodge Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

The Edwenase Rehabilitation Centre in Kumasi serves approximately 15 communities in the Ashanti region. The organization has established a free "Vocational Training Centre" where physically disabled young male and females ages 10 to 40 years of age live in the facility for two and a half years and receive the necessary treatment and education to become contributing members in their communities.

Special needs assistant volunteers at this placement are required to help in many avenues of endeavours be it: fundraising, teaching English or French, teaching and/or assisting in the production of products to sell, (aimed at educational knowledge towards future employment for the students), conducing seminars on health and hygiene issues etc. There is no limit to the contributions a volunteer could make. It all depends on you and the effort and commitment you are willing to exert.

A special needs assistant volunteer does not need to have special training in any educational field, however those with a certificate in the health or a skill related field would be most welcome. A volunteer must have good communication skills, the ability to adapted quickly to a new environment and a true desire to help physically disabled people.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Administration Support

A special needs assistant volunteer may be asked to help with administrative duties such as: up-dating records, creating a new filing system, taking inventory of supplies or helping to produce informative data on the facility's current endeavors for sponsors or possible future sponsors.

Work Assistance

A special needs assistant volunteer may be asked to help the students in the production of items to sell. The assistance of a foreign volunteer in this endeavor often provides encouragement for the students and increased enthusiasm towards learning their skill.

Community Lectures

Special needs assistant volunteers would help to develop and implement educational lectures for the community in regards to: the support and care needed for physically disabled people, personal hygiene issues and knowledge on the prevention and/or care of diseases and illnesses prevalent in Ghana.

Teaching Assistance

Special needs assistant volunteers would be expected to help teachers in different divisions of learning wherever the need was required. Especially the learning of the English or French language,(depending on which language was the volunteer's native tongue) and other courses related to vocation training .


A special needs assistant volunteer would be expected to participate in any fundraising events. Money received would contribute towards the cost of maintaining the facility and to buy any necessary supplies for their various teaching programs.

Host Organization Details

Edwenase Rehabilitation Centre

The Edwenase Rehabilitation Center was established to provide vocational training for the sight or hearing impaired, as well as those who suffer with mobility or learning difficulties, in the city of Kumasi and the surrounding Ashanti region in Ghana.

Due to the positive level of government concern, the Rehabilitation Center's initial stages were successful. The Dept. of Social Welfare and National Vocational Institute has officially produced a certificate for those who finish their vocational training programs. All trainees who complete courses are given employment in order to boost their status in society and additional funds are provided to help support them, if necessary. Most are employed by the Ghana Educational Service as teachers in their crafts. At the present time, disabled teachers can be found in most vocational schools in Ghana.

There are approximately seventy female and male students who live at the center during their vocational training in: carpentry, electronics, dressmaking, needlework, tailoring, shoe making, hairdressing or agriculture. The students once they are granted funding to be trained in vocational skills have a much better opportunity for future employment.

Grants provide trainees with the necessary capital for equipment and supplies to start their own businesses if they don't want to work for the government.

The Edwenase Rehabilitation Center has a farm where they grow maize, oranges, plantain, yam and bananas. They use these products for their own consumption as well as to sell to help support the center.

When They Were Founded

Kumasi's first Center was established in the district of Kwadaso in 1958. In 1974 the city council changed the location to Edwenase, even though the building was not created for people with disabilities. The area was in the outskirts of the city and the initial priority was to take disabled people off the streets and place them there, isolated from the rest of society. However, after consultations with the Dept. of Social Welfare, the government agreed to work with the families of these children to provide a solution to meet the children's needs.

Who They Work With

They serve any community member who is disabled or physically challenged and could benefit from vocational training to provide them with revenue generating skills to reintegrate into the workplace.

How Are They Funded

The Edwenease Rehabilitation Center is funded by the Government of Ghana. It also obtains funds from cooperate organizations, individual donors and volunteers. The center organizes trade fairs where people purchase products that they have made or grown at their farm.

Donation Requests

Recreational and teaching materials such as cards, games, and books.

Placement Location Information

Kumasi, Ghana

The Edwenase Rehabilitation Center is located on Prempeh street, in a densely populated part of the City of Kumasi.

It has four departments of classrooms that include the dress making class, batik (dyeing) class, bead making class and the leather and shoe class. The placement has a boarding facility that hosts the students who do not have a place to stay. This facility has four rooms for the students and the head of the school which is the principal who also lives there with his wife and children.

There is also an office where administration takes place as well as a conference room for meetings. The placement is on a big compound where there is also there is a church which offers activities on sundays as well as evening church services.

All the school buildings have been painted brown and there are mango trees where people can sit in the shade. The placement is also trying to establish a career resource center, including a library, stocked with all the necessary reading materials as well as some computers for internet connectivity. The school also wants to construct teachers' and staff quarters on the compound by the year 2017.

Transfer From BaseCamp

After one week of orientation in Accra, a BaseCamp staff member will accompany volunteers in a taxi to the VIP station (one of our local transports in Ghana). From there, volunteers will take the bus to Kumasi which is about a five hour drive. Once in Kumasi, volunteers will be met by our regional coordinator who will take you to your home stay and introduce you to everyone.

Volunteers will have to walk for around ten minutes to the main road of Prempeh Street and from there another 15 minutes to the school.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 252 kilometers
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 5:45

Weather in the Area

The dry season in Ghana is from September through March and temperatures generally range from 29-34 degrees Celsius. The rainy season occurs in April until August and is a bit cooler at temperatures of 19-20 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...

They calculate sunshine hours per day using their past forecast data. For August expect the sun to shine for an average of three hours per day. This represents the average number of hours in the daytime that the sun is visible and not obscured by clouds.

City/Village Description

Kumasi is the second largest city in Ghana and the capital of the Ashanti Region. The city is buzzing 24 hours a day, and is home to the large Kejetia Market. Traditional Ashanti pride is much more prominent in this area, and volunteers are likely to see more cultural dress and practices during their stay.

Kumasi is a hub for travellers planning on going in any direction in Ghana, and has good transportation (bus or tro tro) to all major cities. Drivers in the city are aggressive and down town traffic can often be a challenge.

However, all the suburbs around Kumasi are fairly close and walking, (if you're up for a bit of a hike), is never out of the question. The down town core has a few major tourist spots, (Vic Baboo's restaurant and Chopsticks), where you can always find good Western food.

Nearest Medical Clinic

West End Hospital
West End Hospital Bypass
TEL 1: 233-322022590
TEL 2: +233-245460006

Placement Address

Edwenase Rehabilitation Centre
Prempeh Street

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Ghana at our BaseCamp Center in Accra. Given that this placement is more than a 1 hour 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers here will be living with a host family after your orientation. Living with a host family is an awesome experience for a person looking to really experience Ghana and its culture.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Ghana.

If you think that living with a host family is not for you, then this placement might not be the best fit with what you are looking for. You should try completing our application. It's totally free and will allow our team in Ghana to come up with a list of exactly which placements they would reccommend for you based on your personal preferences, background, skills and interests.

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.

  • April
  • 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.

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
Aug 05, 2022 Sep 02, 2022 Oct 07, 2022
Nov 04, 2022 Dec 02, 2022 Jan 06, 2023
Feb 03, 2023 Mar 03, 2023 Apr 07, 2023
May 05, 2023 Jun 02, 2023 Jul 07, 2023
Aug 04, 2023 Sep 01, 2023 Oct 06, 2023


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