From the moment you step on your flight to the time you arrive home, you should feel safe when you volunteer in Ghana. There should be no doubt that there will be people around to care for and guide you. Volunteer abroad agencies know that you’re in a foreign country with a very different culture from your own.

Safety is one of the top concerns our prospective volunteers have! Traveling to Ghana can seem intimidating, especially with some of the stigmas around the continent. However, Africa is, overall, a beautiful continent full of fascinating wildlife, welcoming people, and amazing cultures.

It’s time to talk about how volunteers can stay safe when working in Ghana:

Comparing Cities

Working in Ghana can be safer than traveling to other famous destinations around the world: Ghana has a low crime rate, lower than many major European cities, such as Dublin, Paris, or Rome.

The cities our projects are based in have been chosen for their safety, community, and comfortable pace of life. People get up and go to work…everyone knows each other well, and they work as one community––not much different from what we do in the west, actually.

In Ghana, the community looks after each individual. When you work there for a month or so and get a chance to meet the locals, they will know you are there with a volunteer organization and that you are there to help the community. This gives you a very special and protected status.

Safety Measures

While Ghana is a safe place for volunteers and foreign tourists, your volunteer coordinators should understand that it is their responsibility to ensure all of the volunteers are comfortable and feel safe. To do so at uVolunteer, we have designed our program with the following services:

  1. The dormitory is an oasis of volunteers and staff only. Unlike a typical hotel, we don’t just let anyone in.
  2. Safety briefing in orientation will teach you cultural norms––what you should and shouldn’t do. We’ll take the extra time to show you what to be wary of in the streets (like gutter coverings you shouldn’t step on). We’ll teach you the ins and outs of your neighborhood to make sure you can navigate your environment in the safest possible way.
  3. We’ll show you how to work transportation like a local, manage traffic and crowds, and how to get around the country when you want to travel on the weekends. Your local volunteer coordinators will either be with you or just a phone call away, and they can help you in-person with any questions or concerns.

Safety is Everyone’s Business

While we will always do everything we can for your safety and educate you about safe practices, there are still many steps that you should take to be proactive about your safety before you arrive:

  1. Meet with your doctor or travel nurse
    Depending on when and where you volunteer, there could be some unique health precautions you’ll need to take. If you’re from the United States, you probably have your measles, tuberculosis, and meningitis vaccinations, but, you might need additional medication for yellow fever, hepatitis A, typhoid, and malaria. Visit your physician before you travel to explore the best options for you, and make sure you understand your travel medical insurance fully.
  2. Enroll in STEP with the U.S. State Department
    .…also known as the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This free service takes minutes to register for, but has many benefits. With the STEP program, you will be the first to be notified of any travel alerts and warnings, like civil unrest, natural disaster, or even family emergency, and it's not limited to just US citizens!
    Avoid illness while you’re in the country.
  3. While you did some research in #1 on preventative care
    You’ll also want to stay healthy while you’re volunteering. Pay attention to the information in your orientation about common risk factors, such as water contamination. Ask the experts you volunteer with and trust that they know whether or not the water is safe. Be careful of the produce you eat, because it’s possible you could get some stomach issues from them––as you could in any country. Listen to the training and follow suggestions from your local support network instead of taking chances on any assumptions you may have. Your health will thank you for it.


It’s important to understand that even with the guidance of your volunteer organization, you are always ultimately responsible for yourself. In any city, whether it be Ghana, New York, or London, you have to understand that you may not always be perfectly safe. Be careful if you decide to put yourself in risky situations, like wandering into unfamiliar areas at night. Always use good judgement, and heed the smart advice of your local friends and officials.

Safety is our number one priority for all our volunteers, and we will always go out of our way for your security. Choosing to volunteer in Ghana is certainly safe, especially with the help and guidance we provide you. We want to provide the best safety amenities for you to build our relationship with you and all other people who hope to volunteer through us.

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