Volunteering with children is a rewarding and satisfying experience. Helping underprivileged children can really make you feel warm inside as you see the smiles on their faces. Ankoma Outreach work very closely with the schools in Ankoma, of which there is two secondary schools and three primary schools, with around 500 pupils combined, from 3 years up to 24 years old.
Ankoma Outreach runs an annual Summer School during the summer holidays which is open to all ages and normally attracts around 200 children. Our Summer School relies fully on volunteers, it is an outlet to children who would normally spend their days helping in the house or working in the farm.
During the Summer School we usually offer children opportunities of school trips, school feedings and many fun activities, all of which is organized by our team of volunteers. During term time we also have several teaching placements available, our Education District Officers, along with the teachers in our schools are always open and willing to invite volunteers into their school, not only for the children’s benefit, but also for the teachers. In the past, our volunteers have ran teacher training schemes, extra-curricular classes, one-to-one sessions and set up many new methods and activities which are used in the schools.
The key to supporting our schools in Ankoma is to be self-motivated, outgoing, enthusiastic and creative – be willing to give anything a try! It may feel like you are “going in blind” as people say, but try to come with a brain full of ideas, be as prepared as you can to ensure you get the most of out of the experience.
We work very closely with Ankoma CHPS, our local health clinic, who also cover the surrounding area. We have many opportunities for volunteering placements within the clinic, especially tailored for those who are trained, or in-training, in the health sector.
Our clinic runs it’s own Out Patient Department, along with ante-natal and post-natal care, a Children’s Welfare Outreach Clinic, as well as several community health programmes. The nurses have a difficult job in Ankoma so they are always willing to have a helping hand, whether it is completing paper work, taking temperatures, weighing babies, or running programmes, there is always something to keep you busy.
Building projects are likely to be available during your stay, building in the heat of the African sun is challenging but it is always good fun, especially because you can physically see your progress. Whether you are a skilled mason or just eager to help out, the difference you will make will have a huge impact. Our building programmes really thrive from team work, many hands make light work, in this case anyway!
Farming is the main occupation in Ankoma and it’s surrounding areas. If you are from a farming background, you may have to adjust, farming here in Ankoma is manual, hands on and hard work. Children from 3 years old will go to farm, adults claiming to be as old as 100 years, are also seen going to farm, they are always welcome to volunteers helping them. Ankoma Outreach also has their own farmland, the crops grown are used to support school and community feedings. Our farm relies fully on volunteers to keep it running!