Volunteer Review: Camille D., Microfinance in Ghana
My name is Camille and I am studying Marketing and International Business at IDRAC Ecole de Commerce in France and this is my story.
I chose to visit Ghana so that I could discover a different culture and, among other things, improve my English. Ghanaians are the most friendly and hospitable people I have ever met.
My Micro-finance Project
My role at the project was to go into the poor villages and help people structure their business ideas. The main objective was to create a community business, so that the unemployed could do something productive during the day.
I worked with a Dutch guy and our project was to create a soap factory in a village called “Obuotumpan”, which means “rock and drum”. This project included about 50 people or about 7 families. We established financial, marketing and the analysis of the business.
As soon as we saw potential in their ideas, we began to spend money and use the Projects Abroad loan provided to us. We bought the materials to build the factory. A professional soap maker trained the people and we recorded the book-keeping, accounting, audit modules and loan contracts afterwards.
I was really happy I could help the people of Obuotumpan make soap (rock soap) and I hope all future volunteers will bring their skill to help manage the project to achieve their goals. The beautiful thing is you get to be part of the community; as they learn from you, you also learn from them and together you manage the project.
In order to help the people in Ghana to begin a community business, we found and bargained with potential suppliers. To create the soap factory we needed tools and also a plan (I’m not an engineer, but I did plan for the building).
My Host Family
My host family was perfect; they took care of me like their own children. Their children were same age as me so it made my stay more fun. I’m French so at the beginning I had stomach problems due to the spicy food, but after two week my body adjusted and I’ve learnt to appreciate spices!
This family gave me so much; they demonstrated their warm culture and gave me time to adapt to a new way of life! We keep in contact and often send messages to each other.
Krokobite is one of the beaches in Accra and the volunteers from Koforidua like to spend time there to relax. Kumasi is the center of the Ashanti region and it’s also where one can see the King of the Asante and visit the busiest market ever!
After work I was able to spend time with all the volunteers in the town or in the office and we were able to share our experiences.
I had a really good time in Ghana and I met so many exceptional people. I improved my English and was able use what I learnt in business school. I also have become more opened minded and I’m so happy I decided to join this placement.
This is a personal account of one volunteer’s experience on the project and is a snapshot in time. Your experience may be different, as our projects are constantly adapting to local needs and building on accomplishments. Seasonal weather changes can also have a big impact. Find out more about what you can expect from this project, or speak to one of our friendly Program Advisors.