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AT A GLANCE
HEAR FROM VOLUNTEERS
This programme is ideal for…
On the Criminology and Law programme, your daily placement will be based at one of the leading crime prevention advocates and NGO foundations in Ghana. The organisation is dedicated to crime prevention, penal reform and ex-convict reintegration. The foundation is staffed by specialist practitioners and they work on a number of initiatives to change the conditions and lives of prisoners and ex-convicts, as well as seeking to reform the legal and penal system for better human rights in Ghana.
Volunteers will work on a number of projects that will include field visits, advocacy, administration, casework, media duties, community outreach, research and education programmes. There are three core projects you will focus on and support on your placement.
Volunteers will learn about challenges of the law in Ghana’s Justice Delivery and Penal Systems including unjust custodial sentencing, abuse of the rights of prisoners and poor prison conditions.
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About the Programme
The Criminology and Law volunteer placement is designed to give practical on-the-ground work experience. Volunteers will work with a leading crime prevention organisation whilst learning from professionals operating in different fields of criminology and law. As well as skills-based learning, volunteers will give back to the community by helping with casework to support people and families impacted by flaws in the criminal justice system. You will also work on important community outreach projects to raise awareness about crime prevention, the criminal justice system and well-being.
You will be volunteering from Monday to Friday and will report to the head office each morning. Although times and duties may vary from day to day, you should expect to be at your placement between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Below is an example itinerary for your placement in Ghana – please note this is just a guide.
Monday: Weekly Briefing/ Casework/ Administration
Tuesday: Casework/ Administration / Media Work / Legal Work
Wednesday: Community Outreach
Thursday: Prison Visit
Friday: Court Visit
Weekends and free time: The weekends are free time off from volunteering. This is a great opportunity to explore Ghana and plan weekend trips and activities. You can read our Volunteer Travel Guide to Ghana for great tips on places to visit and things to do. If you just want to relax, enjoy the nearby beaches and hang out at the local spots you are welcome to stay at the volunteer accommodation over the weekend, but most volunteers will plan to go on trips together. Our local team can help you organise weekend activities.
The daily placement is based at the head offices in Accra. You will work under the supervision of the programme coordinator to learn about crime prevention, the criminal justice system and the different social projects you will support. There are 3 departments within the organisation, depending on how long you join the programme you will get an opportunity to work with and learn from each department.
The administration department heads up the casework and support projects for petty offenders and ex-convict reintegration. Here you will have the opportunity to learn about challenges in the criminal justice system and how to support people trapped in the system. The media department focuses on advocacy, education and community outreach. Volunteers will support awareness initiatives and learn about journalism and reporting on injustices and human rights abuses. The legal department looks at penal and criminal justice reform and leads research projects in these areas. You will learn about the legal challenges with regard to non-custodial sentencing and areas of criminal law that need reforming.
You will go on weekly field visits to learn about the different aspects of the criminal justice system in Ghana. Visits will include prisons, courts, the criminal investigation department, the Legal Aid Commission, the Social Welfare Department and other leading legal, policing and social institutions.
Ghana faces many challenges with its criminal justice system, prisons, human rights record and crime prevention. Criminology and law volunteers can make an impact by supporting one of the leading crime prevention foundations in Ghana, learning from industry professionals, and supporting their daily work to support people and families caught in the criminal justice system. Volunteers will assist with casework, media duties and legal research, and will also contribute to vital education and awareness projects in the community. By developing an understanding of some of the social, economic, political and legal challenges to crime prevention, volunteers can make a meaningful difference.
You should expect to be learning and working with local professionals to impact change but be aware that there are cultural differences in the way things are approached. Volunteer duties will vary during your time on the programme depending on the daily needs of the organisation, your levels of experience, the department you are working in and how long your programme is. Initially, your tasks will be observational and administrative. The longer you are on the programme and begin to understand the workload, duties and routine the more hands-on and practical your role will be.
First and foremost, as a charity organisation, we operate on a not-for-profit basis. This means your fees don’t go into someone’s pocket, but directly back into the projects you’re supporting. This is something that not many other placements can offer.
Our collaborations with various organisations and institutions ensure that you gain hands-on experience, offering a chance to work alongside seasoned professionals. Learning alongside legal professionals, local police officers, and community counsellors sharing their knowledge and experiences with you complements your academic journey.
Furthermore, our placements encompass more than just the day-to-day tasks. Engaging in community projects provides a broader view of societal development, and it’s a chance to apply your skills in varied, often challenging, environments. The exposure to different cultures and practices will not only widen your perspective but equip you for a diverse work environment in the future.
We’re able to tailor each of our volunteer experiences to fit your goals and experience so get in touch to start your adventure
To join the Criminology & Law placement in Ghana, volunteers should be studying either one or both of these subjects or studying similar related fields (Sociology, Human Rights etc.). Graduates or professionals with field experience are also eligible to take part. We also welcome applicants looking to expand their knowledge and understand more about criminology & law.
Volunteers need to be 18 years or older to participate in this placement. Ideally, volunteers will have a foundational knowledge of criminology and/or law theory and a passion for working in these fields. Importantly, all applicants should show a strong commitment to learning, a desire to develop and grow, the ability to work in a team and a positive approach to helping people.
Volunteers from all over the world are welcome to join this programme.
All our projects are founded, managed and developed by locals. We provide essential funding to support community programs, development projects, running costs, local salaries and sustainability. We work with partner organisations that are specialists in the areas they operate. Our partner organisations are selected because of the important work they are doing and they are run by impressive humanitarians and professionals in their fields.
On the Criminology and Law programme, your daily placement will be based at our partner NGO foundation that is dedicated to crime prevention, penal reform and ex-convict reintegration. The foundation is staffed by specialist practitioners and they work on a number of initiatives to change the conditions and lives of prisoners and ex-convicts, as well as seeking to reform the legal and penal system for better human rights in Ghana.
The team is committed to a cultural exchange of ideas and approaches, sharing professional insight and experience with volunteers, training you in legal and penal processes in Ghana, engaging volunteers in policy change research and working on community outreach projects to help with deterring and preventing crime.
Vocational Impact operates under UK registered charity, Arms Around the Child. Our core mission is to offer ethical volunteer abroad programmes that provide international skills exchange, career development, work experience, and practical support to international NGOs, and to donate directly towards projects that volunteers work with.
Ghana is perfect for a first visit to Africa, it’s considered one of the safest and most stable African nations. Our Criminology & Law programme is based in the capital city of Accra. Volunteers in Accra can take advantage of the vibrant city life, fun beaches, historic landmarks and museums, trendy hang-out spots and the local food and culture.
Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana deserves its place in the sun. The country is benefiting from its stable democracy in the form of fast-paced development, but the country still faces challenges with poverty, education, health, stigma, human rights and access to services.
Volunteers can make an impact with this Urban city placement. By helping local initiatives and organizations in Accra you can make a big difference reaching poorer areas of the city and more rural communities in need of support. Urban life gives you the chance to explore the sites and landmarks Accra has to offer and learn about the history and diverse cultures of Ghana.
In Ghana, volunteers can expect friendly and welcoming faces, laidback local culture, historical landmarks and natural beauty. Among the highlights is visiting the capital Accra, with its markets, museums, bars and bustling city life. The Atlantic coast forts along the Gold Coast are significant for understanding the painful history of the slave trade. Kakum National Park is home to wildlife, plants and forests, best experienced from the canopy walk through the trees 30 meters above the ground. The many tropical and paradise-like beaches are the perfect place to unwind.
This is a truly special country to volunteer in for an authentic African experience!
During the course of your placement, you will stay at a guest house in West Accra. The accommodation is of very good quality by local standards and has running water, hot showers, and electricity. You will have your own sized clean and comfortable bedroom with air conditioning, Wi-Fi, a TV & kitchenette. The guesthouse is staffed 24/7 and there is a caretaker/ security guard who attends to the gate of the accommodation, the protection of the property and the safety of the guests.
You will have staff that will cook and there is daily housekeeping. There are basic amenities for you to use, there is a small kitchen in your room, supplied with fridge, kettle and hob. Pillows, sheets and towels are provided. You can only drink bottled water, which will be provided for you. Other amenities include self-service laundry, an on-site restaurant & bar, a rooftop terrace and room service.
We also recommend you buy a local SIM card with data (your phone needs to be unlocked) to stay connected day-to-day. The VI team in-country will help you purchase a local SIM Card.
Accra is a vibrant and colourful city with lots to do and explore. During your free time, you can visit the local beaches, hang out at the local bars, eat amazing food, check out the markets and visit the museums. There are several small shops near the accommodation as well as a larger supermarket and shopping mall nearby where you can purchase some snacks and other essentials.
You will be provided with three meals per day cooked on-site at the accommodation. This is your chance to experience local, authentic and traditional Ghanaian food. Carbs, meats and vegetables are all staple parts of the diet in Ghana. Here is an example of meals served:
Breakfast: Toasted Bread, Eggs, Milo, Milk, Coffee, Pancakes, Omelette, Salad, Fruit, Cereal, Butter, Chocolate Spread.
Lunch / Dinner:
Rice with tomato sauce / Yam chips with shito and chicken / Rice with cabbage stew and egg / Noodles / Jollof with salad and chicken / Beans with fried Plantain / Fried rice with salad and chicken / Red red beans with Jollof / Yam chips with Shito and chicken or fish / Rice with Tomato sauce and chicken / Boiled yam with vegetable stew and chicken
Meals can be made Vegetarian and Vegan dishes can be provided upon request. Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements.
We aim to begin programmes on the first Monday of each month. Once you register for the programme we work closely with all volunteers to map your dates together. Volunteers will need to arrive one or two days before orientation.
After you have registered for the programme you will need to book flights to arrive at Kotoka International Airport (ACC) in Accra. Upon arrival in Ghana, you will be met at the airport by one of our volunteer coordinators. We will provide you with a Vocational Impact T-shirt which makes identification easy.
Orientation is hosted by our local team where you will receive an introduction to your programme. This will cover information about Ghana, the culture and customs, expectations, safety, staff members, organisational partners, and an overview of the placement itinerary.
Depending on when you arrive you will get a guided tour of Accra with our volunteer coordinator a day before the programme begins. This gives you the chance to familiarize yourself with the landmarks, beaches, town centre, some hang out spots and bars etc.
1 week – £450
2 weeks – £890
3 weeks – £1320
4 weeks – £1740
5 weeks – £2150
6 weeks – £2550
8 weeks – £3250
10 weeks – £3950
12 weeks – £4550
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