Emily Oosterhof - Physical Therapy in Ghana
I can’t believe I was finally able to go to Africa! It’s been a lifelong dream and goal of mine ever since I can remember.
Before I came to Koforidua, Ghana to volunteer, I spent 4 weeks in Nakuru, Kenya with Projects Abroad and volunteered on the Occupational Therapy project where I worked at a local hospital. While in Koforidua, I spent 4 weeks volunteering in physical therapy department at a Ghanaian hospital.
Volunteering in Ghana
I was able to spend 4 weeks on the physical therapy project and worked in departments such as the electro therapy unit, the gym, pediatrics and with inpatients. I really enjoyed my time in each department. It was really great to be a part of the inpatient therapy, as I got to see more of the hospital. I was very impressed with the hospital, but I tried not to compare Kenya with Ghana too much.
I was able to read about the patients, get some history on them and their treatment and how they were improving. Patients were friendly and fun to work with.
The staff members in the physical therapy department were excellent to work with! They were so helpful in teaching me and showing how they did things. They were very interested in hearing my stories and how things are done in Canada compared to Ghana. I always looked forward to going to work every day.
While in Ghana volunteering, I worked in the hospital from Monday to Wednesday. Thursday and Friday we would go on outreach programs to local schools where we would visit kids and help with wound dressing; later we also got to talk and play with the kids. I always liked going on the outreach programs. The kids were always fun and happy. It was a great feeling to make them smile.
Living in Ghana
My host family was great. My host mom was always making sure I was fine and having a good time. Upon my first day after I was able to settle into my new home, she sat with me to get to know me a bit and went over some rules and living arrangements that were important during my stay. She made sure I was getting my food and enjoyed what was being made. I stayed with 3 other volunteers at the time and we had a separate home/building than our host family.
The staff members with Projects Abroad in Ghana were amazing. They were very helpful and fun to be around. They were very helpful in making sure I was comfortable at my placement and with my host family. They were very friendly in asking about my home area and teaching me about Ghana. Right from being picked up at the airport to being dropped off at the airport they made my stay in Ghana feel like a home away from home.
Weekends were free for volunteers to see Ghana. It’s nice to be able to go out and see the country. Ghana was very hot during my visit so I spent a lot of my time at the beaches nearby that were always fun to go to.
I had an amazing experience in Ghana and really hope I can go back one day. The life lessons I learned the experience I gained and the people I met. It is something I take with me every day now that I’m home.
Read more about Physical Therapy in Ghana.