Do something meaningful with your summer. Join us in Ghana and gain first-hand experience of working with communities in the developing world.
Here's what to expect:
RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT WORK
You will take part in a project that is focused on education, micro finance, women and youth empowerment or health.
Placements will be centred on your individual skills, talents, and interests. Everyone has something to give – whether you’re a leader in a youth movement, an artist, or a football coach, you will be use skills that you didn’t even know you had and apply them in northern Ghana to make a lasting difference in a small community.
Act on core Jewish values and actively pursue tikun olam.
Experience Ghana in a safe and familiar environment, being able to keep Shabbat, keep kosher and explore your Jewish identity.
Experience living a communal Jewish life in a unique setting.
Gain CV boosting skills in teamwork, project management, leadership and communication, as well as working across cultural and language barriers.
See how change happens in local communities in the developing world
Get to know Northern Ghana, its vibrant culture, cuisine and wonderful people
A learning and doing experience: familiarise yourself with the community you will be working with, so that you can respond effectively to local needs in a responsible and sustainable way.
We believe that your impact must extend past the trip, and we will help you to achieve that when you return to the UK.
The Tzedek house in Ghana will be open throughout June, July and August 2016. You can chose from any of the start dates below, and can chose how many weeks you would like to volunteer for (minimum 4 weeks).
June 1st 2016
July 4th 2016
August 1st 2016
You will need to be available to attend both an orientation seminar in April and our post trip action day in September (unless you are still in Ghana in September!)
Orientation Seminar: Sunday 17th – Monday 18th April 2016
Action Day: Sunday 4th September 2016
Costs & Discounts
The cost of the programme is £105 per week. This includes:
Clean, basic accommodation in Tamale (with 24 hour security, and facilities for keeping kosher)
UK pre-programme orientation seminar
UK post-programme follow-up seminar
A full-time programme coordinator in Ghana
Friday night dinner every week
A meaningful placement during your time in Ghana
Educational evening sessions
Other costs which you are responsible for will include:
Vaccinations and anti-malarial medication
Flights (to and from Ghana, and within Ghana)
Food & drink (excluding Friday night dinner)
Personal spending money
Transport to and from the airport of departure in the UK
Transport within Ghana
Any other activities not included in the itinerary
All transport within Ghana
There are some UK organisations which offer grants to volunteers. Be in touch and we can give you more information.
Participants are also expected to fundraise at least £400 before they fly out to Ghana. This money will go directly to Tzedek funded projects in Africa and Asia. Your fundraising will allow you to have a real impact on the local communities Tzedek helps lift out of extreme poverty.
Don't worry - we will help you as much as we can to fundraise this amount in the lead up to your trip. If you are accepted onto the programme, you will receive a comprehensive fundraising guide which will contain lots of useful information about the programme and about Tzedek partners in Ghana, and you will be hearing from our Fundraising Manager.
There are 2 ways to gain a discount on your programme costs this year:
Be one of the first 5 applicants (and get accepted to the programme) and receive a 10% discount on programme costs!
Bring a friend! If you send us the name and email of a friend and he/she is also accepted onto the programme, receive a 10% discount on programme costs! Note: this discount is only valid once - you cannot accumulate the discounts!
What will I be doing?
Participants are placed with Tzedek’s partner organisations based on your skills, experience and interests.
You’ll be placed in a school, a clinic, or another Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), working with that organisation’s staff and the communities they are involved with - learning about and contributing to on-going development projects.
Download our Information Pack for more information and examples of what our volunteers have done in the past.
How will I keep kosher and observe Shabbat?
The Ghana Project is a Jewish programme. We enable our participants to keep fully kosher and observe Shabbat, if they so wish.
Although it is not possible to obtain food under Rabbinic supervision, food that is vegetarian and/or prepared under your own supervision will always be available. Volunteers may, of course, bring non-perishable food with them, and you can buy cheap utensils very easily. It will be possible for all volunteers to observe Shabbat according to the level of halachic practice that they ordinarily keep. The same is true of any festivals and fast days (such as Tisha b’Av) that might fall during the volunteer period.
Our Programme Coordinator will be available to support any participants with issues regarding their observance.
How to apply
To apply, download the Application Form below and send back to us.
After you apply we will call you to arrange a time to meet with a Tzedek staff member for an interview. We are committed to ensuring that everyone, from participants to local NGO staff, has a positive experience. This means the programme might not be suitable for everyone, so we want to get to know you through the application form and interview process.
By applying each participant is agreeing to our Terms and Conditions. Please download and read carefully.
Fequently asked questions
Why should I volunteer?
Tzedek's vision is of a Jewish community actively involved in the reduction of extreme poverty.
We believe that by spending meaningful time with the organisations and individuals who are working hard to eradicate extreme poverty in our lifetime, and through seeing first hand how communities are living through the realities of poverty – you will be in an incredible position to help inspire our Jewish community to play their part.
Many of Tzedek’s partner schools and organisations rely on voluntary support, both from within Ghana and from around the world. With your unique skills, interests and experience, we will connect you with one of our partners to ensure you can add value to and support the work they are doing in Tamale.
Rabbi Tarfon taught: "It is not your responsibility to finish the work, but you are not free to desist from it either" (Pirkei Avot 2:16)
Why can’t I do less than 4 weeks in Ghana?
We want you to have a meaningful and memorable time in Ghana, but we also want to ensure that you really can add value to the organisation or school you are placed with. The more time you spend with our partners, the more involved and informed about their work you will become – and the better placed you will be to support their work.
If you volunteer for less than 4 weeks, by the time you’ve settled in it to both Tamale and your host organisation, it would be time to say goodbye again!
Why do we interview participants?
We interview everyone before accepting them onto our programme. This is ensure a few things:
That your skills and experience mean you’ll be able to add value in your volunteering placement
That you are open minded, patient, and have the right attitude for volunteering in Ghana
That you’ll be able to return to the UK and inspire others to action
Where will I be living?
Tzedek will be renting a house in Tamale for all of our volunteers. This accommodation will have access to running water and electricity (most of the time!), a communal kitchen and living spaces. The house will be basic, and you will likely be sharing a bedroom with another volunteer. Each volunteer will have their own bed, with bed posts to hang up your mosquito net. The Tzedek accommodation will be in a secure compound with watchmen on site 24 hours a day.
What is there to do in Tamale?
When you’re not volunteering, you’ll get a chance to explore the sights and sounds of Tamale, a vibrant and bustling city. In the evenings you can try out Tamale’s many bars and restaurants, meeting other members of the international community and meeting new people from Tamale and beyond.
Optional trips to visit Tzedek’s partner projects outside of Tamale will be organised by your Programme Coordinator. On your weekends you can also leave Tamale and visit some of Ghana’s spots of natural beauty – including the Kintampo Waterfalls and Mole National Park.
Each week, members of your group will work with your Programme Coordinator on educational sessions. These sessions focus on specific international development issues and how they relate to our Jewish values. Your topic will be based on your placement and the issues raised throughout your volunteering experience, and will be supported throughout by the Programme Coordinator.
What does the Programme Coordinator do?
The Programme Coordinator’s role is to support the safety and well-being of participants, and to set up and coordinate your placements in Ghana. He/she will facilitate educational sessions and conversations, and support your personal development.
If any problems arise within your volunteering placement, the Programme Coordinator will work with you and your placement supervisor to solve any difficulties.
And the Coordinator will ensure that you are orientated when you first arrive into Tamale, and will be on hand 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have whilst in Ghana.
How will I be prepared for my volunteering experience?
You’ll be given a thorough pre-departure orientation in London by former volunteers and experts in international development. The Orientation is important for a deeper understanding of the programme, an introduction to the Programme Coordinator and to the work that you’ll be doing in Tamale, Ghana.
Together we’ll discuss our expectations of the programme and how to be responsible volunteers. We’ll learn about some of the cultural differences between the UK and Ghana, and look at how to be culturally aware whilst overseas.
On arrival in Ghana, you are met by our Programme Coordinator who will give a local induction and introduce you to your placement. They will give you continued support throughout your time there.
The cost of the orientation is included in the price of The Ghana Project.
And what happens when I get back?
In September we will be hosting our Action Day - which will take place in London, to de-brief about your experiences, discuss the next-steps with Tzedek and further volunteering opportunities – as well as your first reunion and a chance to catch-up with each other.
We hope that alumni of the programme will continue to be involved in Tzedek’s work, sharing their experiences with the UK Jewish community and helping us fundraise for all our projects in Africa and Asia. We will work with you to help run educational sessions or run awareness raising events about your experiences with your community/university/movement/workplace.
Through our alumni network, you’ll be connected to other individuals who are passionate about international development, and be invited to all of Tzedek’s alumni network events – including speaker nights and film screenings.
Are there bursaries available?
There are no bursaries available from Tzedek. As a small not-for-profit organisation, we just are not in a position to be able to offer those funds. In fact, the programme costs won’t even cover our own expenses – and we have to raise thousands of pounds each year to keep this great programme going. That’s how committed we are to the programme!
But at a weekly programme cost of £105, and all that covers (see above), we have tried very hard to ensure we have charged you the lowest amount we can, whilst still ensuring you have a supported and excellent experience in Ghana.
And we’ll be helping you to make sure your trip is as affordable as possible:
You can pay in instalments if needed
We’ll help you fundraise for your own programme costs if needed
We’ll keep you updated with the cheapest air fares – and give you plenty of time to book in advance
What people say
What alumni have said about volunteering overseas with Tzedek
“It’s a fantastic experience to be pushed out of your comfort zone and into a whole new amazing culture. Most importantly though, it’s the real life application of tikkun olam and pursuing justice."
Lucy Cohen, Ghana 2014
"I contributed what I could as I was teaching street children, but what I received from my trip to Ghana was priceless. I discovered a fascinating country, made wonderful new friends - but most importantly, this trip changed my perspective on the cozy life we live in Europe."
Michael B, Ghana 2004
“My experience [in Ghana] has given me a new interest and insight into global development, showing me issues I had never taken an interest in before, but am now keen to know more about.”
Adam Prais, Ghana 2014
“It was an amazing experience. I was quite anxious at first, as it was such a different country to anywhere I had been before. The programme gave me an a experience of the country and I got an appreciation for a new culture and the life of those less fortunate.”