Volunteers contribute a great deal and are most welcome. Please keep in mind that OCLF is a small organization and is only able to accommodate two or three per year. We make every effort to provide a meaningful placement, help with the visa application process, secure accommodation, and arrange for airport transportation.
We have found that experience with children is a tremendous asset. Volunteers require initiative. They work alongside librarians to create and develop ideas to challenge and engage young readers. Knowledge of literacy-based activities, educational games, and craft ideas is useful..
We expect our volunteers to work full days. Our libraries can be very busy places and require considerable stamina and patience.
Volunteers must cover the cost of their transport, vaccinations, malaria tablets, health and evacuation insurance, and all their in-country living expenses. In addition, prior to their placement, we ask volunteers to raise or donate CDN$2,000. This is not an administration fee but goes to supporting OCLF projects.
Volunteers need a passport and a Ghanaian visa.
Most placements are in Accra and there is an opportunity to volunteer in the fishing village of Goi. The location depends on the volunteer’s preference and a suitable host family. The placement period is not fixed. Since it takes several weeks to adjust to the climate and the pace of life, we suggest a minimum one-month stay.
There are significant risks to traveling and working in a tropical developing country. Volunteers must attend a travel clinic for well in advance of their departure.
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for young people in Ghana, and so it is important to travel during daylight hours. Crime is a fact of life and Accra, like other major cities, has its share. By taking precautions, it is possible to minimize your risk.
Volunteers are required to sign a waiver and provide emergency contact numbers (OCLF Waiver & Release and Emergency Medical Information forms_2020) which absolves OCLF of all responsibility relating to illnesses, accidents and crime. Volunteers must abide by its Code of Conduct (Code of Conduct_Sept 13_2020) which apples to all library workers.
Volunteers are expected to be ambassadors of their own country and OCLF. This means being punctual, cordial and well groomed. Women should dress conservatively and wear skirts/blouses or dresses and men should wear pants (no jeans) and collared or button-down shirts during their working hours. Volunteers should be respectful of library workers who are paid modestly and work hard.
We do not allow dating, driving or drinking. Drugs are illegal and harsh penalties are strictly enforced.
Since Ghana is a country where homosexuality is not permitted by law, volunteers must respect this.
We have found that it is too disruptive to have family or friends visit during your volunteer placement. We suggest that they visit afterwards.
No vacation breaks are allowed during the placement period except for national holidays. Recreational travelling should be done at the end of the placement or on weekends to avoid any disruption to the volunteer experience.
If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the application (Application for a volunteer placement in Ghana with OCLF_2020) and email it to us, together with a copy of your resume and two references.
UPON RETURNING HOME
We hope that volunteers will remain ambassadors for OCLF providing their experience is positive. Many past volunteers have continued their financial support and/or have shared stories with their families and friends, who in turn become donors.
It is expected that each volunteer send a letter of appreciation to his/her host and include copies of pictures taken. We also ask volunteers to write a short report of their stay for OCLF’s website’s Volunteer Reflection page. This should be submitted within a month of returning home, together with a head and shoulders photo and others, if desired.
Thank you for your interest,