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What a start to 2023 it has been welcoming groups to our partner schools in Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar for our Easter Volunteer Programme and seeing so much progress made! With 2023 being our biggest volunteer programme in four years, the countdown is on for our Summer Volunteer Programme, starting in just over four weeks.

With this in mind, here are our top tips to help make sure you have everything you need and are prepared for your volunteering experience, whether you’re travelling in the next couple of months on our summer programme, 2024 or beyond.

Group-volunteer-trips

How will you travel responsibly?

We are all responsible for protecting the planet, and as a volunteer, you can take some simple steps to ensure you are an eco-friendly traveller.

Did you know it takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to decompose? For this reason, we ask our volunteers to take as much rubbish home as possible, such as shampoo, water, or sunscreen bottles, as these can then be recycled rather than ending up in landfill sites in countries that are unable to dispose of them safely. Bring a tote bag that you can fill with your empty bottles and take home in your suitcase. Please note that Kenya and Tanzania have laws banning plastic bags, including importing, selling and using them, so please don’t bring any with you.

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Preparing for your volunteer role

In our experience, volunteers who spend a little bit of time preparing for their role get the most out of their time in Africa. From what to expect from your building and renovation role to lesson plans for your teaching role, we have you covered. Head to the ‘whilst you’re away’ section on My African Adventure and check out our volunteer resources.

volunteering-in-ghana

How will you remember your trip?

When we return home from our travels, we want to talk about our experiences and share our memories with family and friends. Thinking of ways to share your memories creatively so your pictures and experiences don’t just get lost in your camera roll can be difficult. Here are some different ways you can remember your African adventure:

1. Make a memory jar

Grab yourself a jar and write down each memory on a piece of paper, then fold each piece over and add it to the jar. This is a great way to reminisce about your adventure and have a surprise at which memory you will get to relive next.

2. Make a video

With so many new experiences encountered on our trips, there are many moments to capture.

Why not combine your photos and clips into one video, documenting moments from each day?

3. Keep a travel journal

There’s no better way to take yourself back to your host destination than reading your travel journal.

Each evening our volunteers have free time to relax, giving you the perfect opportunity to write your journal for the day. You could then upload this as a blog and share your experience with others.

Don’t forget to share your trip memories with us! Tag us on social media or email them to us at volunteering@stg-africanadventures-staging.kinsta.cloud.

Get to know your host destination

Zanzibar

Language

Before heading to a new destination, learning a few words of the language is a great idea. This will be helpful for your volunteering and will go down very well with the children at our partner schools! 

In Ghana, there are 250 languages spoken, and the official language is English. In the Volta region, where our partner schools are located, Ewe is most widely spoken.

In Kenya and Zanzibar, Swahili and English are the official languages, although a total of 62 languages are used in Kenya and a variety of languages are spoken by different ethnic groups in Zanzibar. Swahili is pronounced phonetically, so bear this in mind when practising! 

Take a look at our language guides for Ewe and Swahili to get started.

Culture

Come open-minded and be ready to immerse yourself in an exciting new culture!

From dancing to the sound of the beating drum in Ghana to Kenya’s vibrant and colourful country and exploring the beautiful architecture in Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town, you will come away with your horizons broadened.

Learn about the culture of your destination under the ‘whilst you’re away’ tab of My African Adventure.

Food

Whilst in Africa, you will experience a variety of local cuisine, which is nutritious and full of flavour. Each of our three destinations has its own staple dishes, which you can try whilst in-country.

In Kenya, you will get to try ugail, which is a staple in their diet and is usually accompanied by a vegetable or bean stew.

Ghana is known for its sumptuous diet that’s nutritious and full of flavour! Traditionally, dishes have a tomato-based sauce and are quite spicy but you’ll generally be served a milder version of the same meal.

As an island, Zanzibar has plenty of delicious, fresh seafood. Zanzibar’s cuisine is heavily influenced by its varied history, with a rich mixture of flavours typically used in cooking.

Read about your destination’s food under the ‘whilst you’re away’ section of My African Adventure, and don’t forget to let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

Top Tips from Fred, our Senior Trip Host

We asked Fred, our Senior Trip Host for Kenya, his top tips for how volunteers can best prepare for the in-country experience. He said:

  • Nominate at least one person from your group to be in charge of taking photos and videos. Your group will come away with fantastic memories to look back on.
  • Be ready to engage with others as you take part in sociable work and activities.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! This will help you to get the most out of your volunteering experience.

We hope you are ready for a trip of a lifetime! If you have any questions, please get in touch with our team at info@stg-africanadventures-staging.kinsta.cloud. Otherwise, we’ll see you at your pre-departure meeting!

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