Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Is a visa necessary?
YES, a visa is necessary: contact the nearest Ghana embassy in your country of residence.
Request a tourist visa.  The cost will vary depending on country of residence and length of stay.  A two-month visa from Europe is about 50 euros.

In order to process the visa the embassy may ask you for the following:

1.    A valid passport

2.    Passport sized photos

3.    Yellow fever vaccinations

4.    Plane ticket reservation

5.    Filled out visa application form

6.    2 Ghanaian references:

Bernard Arthur
P.O. Box AD634
Cape Coast, Ghana

Claudius Thompson
Hoops Care International
P.O. Box AD1165
Cape Coast, Ghana

Please be sure to apply for your visa well ahead of time as it may take up to two weeks for the embassy to process your visa.

It is recommended that you make photocopies of all your important documents (i.e. passport, plane ticket, vaccination card, insurance card, etc.) and bring them to Ghana with you.

Do I need vaccinations?
Yes.  Contact your nearest vaccination center and meet with a doctor in your country.  They will tell you about the vaccinations that are required and recommended for travelling to Ghana.

Yellow fever vaccine is obligatory as well as the malaria treatment (pills), even though no malaria prophylaxis is 100 % efficient.  If you do get malaria, it is no trouble because we treat malaria very fast, but melofloquine is the most efficient anti-malaria drug and not available in Ghana.

Take with you any medicine you may need for illnesses that you are susceptible to. We recommend a tetanus booster and a typhoid jab, meningitis and maybe hepatitis A if you don’t come from a Mediterranean country.

Are there ATM machines/cash machines, Western Union and can I use American Express traveller cheques? How do I change my money into cedis?
Western Union is available almost everywhere in the country and traveller cheques can be cashed at banks but usually are not accepted at stores.  Only Visa cards can be used at cash machines in Accra and Cape Coast and your money will be dispensed in Ghana Cedis.  You can change foreign currency at the airport upon arrival and there are also”bureaus de change” throughout the Cape Coast.  With a MasterCard you can get money at the bank.

Can I sight see, or combine my volunteering with a holiday?
Weekends are your free time; the best guidebook is Brandt’s Ghana. These are some suggested sights: Cape Coast Castle, Elmina Castle, Kakum National Park, Lake Bosomtwe, Kumasi, Kintampo Waterfall, Monkey Village, Mole National Park, The North Volta Lake Adventure, Volta Lake, Wli Waterfalls, and Accra.

What should I bring as gifts for the kids?
Gifts for the kids can include, and are not limited to, books in English, dictionaries, shoes, sports equipment, coloured pencils, calculators, pencil sharpeners, watercolour paints, kindergarten material, colouring books, rulers, watches, paints, second hand clothes, simple musical instruments, penknives, and toys. Please be aware that our policy is to share the gifts among the children so as not to encourage any rivalry.  Other useful items to donate to the children are baby formula, powdered milk, spinach seeds, multivitamins, vitamin a/c, calcium, iron, oral mouth gel, thermometers, baby bottles (glass or plastic), glucose sticks, and antibiotics.

What should I bring for myself?
Bring Malaria pills, mosquito repellent, towels, a mosquito net is provided by us, torch/flashlight, penknife and sheet (double beds), clothes for tropical weather, and a bathing suit. Please bring any personal medications, contact lens solution and preferred toiletries, as they may be unavailable in Ghana. Bring multivitamin tablets, a painkiller and a strong iron supplement (in case you get malaria).  You might want to bring an acidophilus supplement in case you need to take antibiotics. It is always useful to know your blood type. Bring any specific brand name medicine that you know and treatment for cystitis or Candida if you are prone to them, and oral contraceptives if applicable.  Water purifiers are not necessary, as bottled water is available, as is soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc.  For women only: TAMPAX are basically unavailable.

What will the schedule be like?
Volunteers have a minimum of 4 hours work a day. The schedules will vary depending on the assignment.  In the afternoon the volunteers design group or individual tutorials in their area of specialty (drawing, computer, dancing, English, music, sports, etc). On arrival at your placement at one of our orphanages/schools, whatever activity you wish to lead and who your students will be can be discussed with the director.  The volunteer co-coordinator and project supervisor is Alfred Davies.

Will I have access to Internet and telephone?
Yes.  There are Internet cafes and communication centers all over Cape Coast and even in the smaller towns.  The cost is about 0.80 – 1.20Ghana Ghana Cedis an hour, which just under 1 dollar or 1 euro. You can also have Internet access at our office. Mobile modem is usable. You can buy phone cards or go to a communication center to make long distance calls.  Prices vary depending on the country and calls tend to be expensive (about 0.20Ghana cedis a minute).

Can I use my mobile phone in Ghana?
That depends.  European mobiles may have coverage in some of the areas. If you want to save money on calls however, you can buy a local chip for your mobile phone for about 1.00 Ghana Cedis and add money in as and when you need it.

Can my friends and family send me mail during my stay in Ghana?
Yes. You can receive letters at the Hoops Care International office in Cape Coast. We do however recommend communicating by email with friends and family while in Ghana.  It is the easiest and most practical way to receive information.  Mail is often times very slow.  It may take anywhere from a few weeks to a month or more for a letter or package to arrive.  The mail simply may not arrive (which is not frequent, but it does happen).

Hoops Care International- YOUR NAME
P.O. Box AD1165
Cape Coast, Ghana

I can’t go but would like to be a virtual volunteer and help?
We welcome virtual volunteers who can do lots of very valuable fundraising work on the Internet. Please contact us.

Have a question we haven’t answered?
Send us an email at info@hoopscare.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible with your answer.