What will I do at my Human Rights placement in Ghana?
You’ll work directly with local staff in the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the Ghana Police Service. You’ll assist with the following tasks:
- Observe interviews and victim statements
- Attend crime scenes, observe evidence gathering, and go to court
- Help prepare for and assist on community outreach talks
At your Human Rights placement in Ghana, your work will focus on the following areas:
Observe interviews and victim statements
You’ll be working as part of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) in the Ghana Police Service. You'll spend the bulk of your time working alongside a supervisor, assisting in their important work. The unit exists primarily to protect the rights of the vulnerable against all forms of abuse, be it physical, sexual, emotional/psychological, socio-economic, or harmful cultural practices.
As a result of this, a large part of the work involves being available for members of the public and treating victims/complainants and their families with respect and courtesy. You’ll get involved by taking statements, joining interviews, and helping provide victims with information on their cases as well as details of the investigations.
Attend crime scenes, observe evidence gathering, and go to court
Another part of the job is traveling out into the community to investigate reported cases of domestic abuse and violence against local women and children. This is where you’ll get to see the whole, end-to-end process that takes place with a case like this. You’ll be out and about, observing evidence gathering and learning how cases are pieced together.
Often victims will be referred for medical services or specialised help from clinical psychologists, social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and counsellors attached to the Unit. The department also collaborates with NGOs and other civil society organizations that may be able to offer assistance to victims in need of necessary support services.
Finally, if a case can be made to prosecute, you may also be able to attend court with members of the unit. This will give you a chance to observe the Ghanaian court system, and see how cases are brought to trial.
Help prepare for and assist on community outreach talks
Many people don’t know their basic human rights and therefore aren’t aware when these rights are abused. We’re working to change this through ongoing awareness campaigns and workshops. Our goal is to share knowledge and empower people to stand up for their rights and the rights of others.
When possible, you’ll do research into human rights topics and use this information to develop these campaigns and workshops. You’ll also help run them.
Where will I be getting human rights work experience in Ghana?
While assisting with human rights work in Ghana, you’ll be based in the beautiful Akuapem Hills region. Around an hour away from the capital city of Accra, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life. You’ll always be greeted by children on their way to school, or be offered a seat if the locals see you have been standing anywhere too long!
You’ll work with members of the Ghana Police Service. This is a professional environment, and you’ll be expected to be punctual and willing to work hard. This is a unique opportunity to help local people from within the police system.
There will be days when you travel to more rural communities for outreach work. You’ll work with people, as well as local schools and other institutions.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Volunteering in Ghana is an ideal way to explore this colourful West African country. There’s a huge variety of different activities to do while you’re there, giving you plenty of exciting ways to spend your free time.
Music is a central part of Ghanaian culture. In the bigger towns, especially Accra, you will hear some great live bands and have some memorable nights out. Evenings spent at buzzing restaurants will also give you a taste of some of the delicious local cuisine.
For a look into Ghana’s history, you can tour the slave forts of Cape Coast and visit museums. Nature lovers will relish trekking through the rainforests of Kakum National Park or Mole National Park.
We run a wide range of projects in Ghana so there’s sure to be other volunteers there during your trip. This means you can explore the country solo or connect with other volunteers and travel as a group.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Ghana
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