Special Needs Assistant Volunteer

Society for the Socially Disadvantaged - Accra, Ghana
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-724 Location: Accra, Ghana Sector: Social Services Category: Personal Support Work Min Duration: 2 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

The Ghana Society for the Socially Disadvantaged in Accra serves approximately ten communities in the Kaneshie region. The organization has established a free "Vocational Training Center" where physically disabled young male and females ages 15 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 endeavors be it: fundraising, teaching English or French, teaching and/or assisting in the production of products to sell, (aiming 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


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.

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 Assistant

A special needs assistant volunteer would be expected to help teachers in different divisions of learning whenever 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 .

Working 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.

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.

Host Organization Details

Society for the Socially Disadvantaged

The Ghana Society for the Socially Disadvantaged serves approximately ten communities in the Kaneshie region. Its MISSION is to help and encourage people with disabilities and special needs (mobility issues) to become independent and useful members of their communities.

The main OBJECTIVE is: to provide facilities for the early diagnosis, prompt and efficient treatment of those who have physical disabilities, to serve as an advocate for the promotion of legislation for the protection of the right of disadvantaged people in society and to organize programs for the treatment, education, training, empowerment and the general welfare for disabled / disadvantaged individuals.

The organization has established a free "Vocational Training Center" where disabled young male and females ages 15 to 40 years of age are trained in courses of tailoring ( fashion design), ICT computing and/or batik / tie and dye. At the same time, they also receive a basic education in the learning of the English language so that at the end of their program they should be able to read, write and speak English.

The course offered at the Center is of two and half years duration and provides the students with free residential accommodation, vocational training and/or computer skills to enable them to become independent and self-sufficient.

After graduation every student is given the basic tools necessary for them to be employed in their chosen field. Example: a sewing machine and materials to produce items for sale.

When They Were Founded

The Ghana Society for the Socially Disadvantaged in the Kaneshie region is a voluntary non- profit organization. It was establish in Ghana in 1958 in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare to enhance the quality of life for the physically challenged (crippled) and socially disadvantaged youth. The organization is managed by seven Board of Directors and a Center Manager appointed by the Department of Social Welfare.

Who They Work With

People with disadvantage

How Are They Funded

The organization's principal source of funding is the Ghana National Trust Fund plus technical assistance from the Department of Social Welfare. However, this is inadequate to meet all the needs at the Center and they therefore, depend on charitable donations and benevolent organizations.

Donation Requests

Food, computers, crutches, wheelchairs, vehicles, sewing machines, leather working machines, teaching supplies and materials, computers for the ICT Center and for their offices and printers.

Placement Location Information

Accra, Ghana

The Kaneshie Ghana Society For The Socially Disadvantaged is located on the main street of Nii Asere Ayittey Road, which is in a densely populated part of the City of Accra.

Though the society is not well funded it often receives donations of money and supplies from various local and international organizations. Things like mattresses, beds and medical supplies are often donated and help the society to properly care for its patients.

Volunteers at this placement are always needed and appreciated. Workers at the society, encourage the patients to put disability behind them and achieve their individual goals in life.

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 Kaneshi. Depending on traffic, driving to Kaneshi could take around ten minutes. From there volunteers would need to walk for around ten minutes until they reach the placement.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 15 kilometers
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

Peace Clinic
Kpakpo Mankrolo Street
TEL 1: 0246839328

Placement Address

Society for the Socially Disadvantaged
Nii Asere Ayittey Rd

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.

  • 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.

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 Nov 03, 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