The Ghana Volunteer Program (GVP) is a program being run by the GhanaThink Foundation, an NGO based both in Ghana and the USA. GVP acquires volunteers for volunteer opportunities around Ghana. GVP also helps volunteer activity organizers find volunteers. This program seeks to encourage volunteerism in Ghana, and to market and make attractive volunteer activities. Our major activity is the National Volunteer Day, which falls on the 21st of September. This day marks Founder’s Day and we expect as many people in Ghana as possible to volunteer around that time. On December 5, 2013, on the occasion of International Volunteer Day, the previous NVDay team launched the Ghana Volunteer Program.
The National Volunteer Day (NVDay) Initiative was formed to encourage as many volunteer activities on September 21, 2013 - Founder’s Day. Participants were to use the holiday to create, support and join volunteer activities. September 21 was chosen because it is a holiday - Founder’s Day which doesn’t have specific activities. The NVDay initiative was to honour the birth of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Ghana’s founders. Ghana’s founders served Ghana so the call on September 21 is for Ghanaians to serve as well.
Most of the promotion and adoption of the initiative was driven via online and social media channels with some radio and television support. 56 activities were registered on Eventbrite, mostly by individuals and groups that were organizing volunteering activities for the first time.For NVDay 2013, about 40 activities with about 300 volunteers involved happened. Their activities directly impacted the lives of thousands of people. These activities happened in Accra, Tema, Nsawam, Kasoa, Cape Coast, Takoradi, Kumasi, Koforidua, Saltpond, Tamale and Wa. Activities ranged from skills training programs, clean up exercises, tutoring in a particular course, reading clinics for kids, blood donation drives, creating playing grounds for kids in the government schools to painting schools and faded zebra crossings. The impact on the volunteers and beneficiaries was massive and was captured on social media.
For NVDay 2014, about 80 activities with about 500 volunteers involved happened. There were activities recorded everywhere except the Upper West region. Some Ghanaians also volunteered in the UK as part of #NVDay14. Clean up and painting exercises became more popular alongside the various kinds of activities. The volunteer weekend period was enjoyable and the impact was even bigger. It is also captured via Storify.
For NVDay 2015, about 90 activities with about 1000 volunteers involved happened. There were activities recorded everywhere in Ghana. See more via #NVDay15. The volunteer weekend period was enjoyable and the impact was even bigger. It is also captured via Storify.
GVP has supported the volunteer work of many organizations in Ghana. It provided the recent Agribusiness bootcamp in Accra with volunteers. It also provided 23 volunteers for the Chale Wote Street Art Festival. It supported the Read Aloud Ghana campaign in March 2014 with media publicity as well. It supported Unilever with over 150 volunteers to promote better cleanliness through the Global HandWashing Day campaign. It has a calendar of volunteer activities in Ghana as well.