Applications are ongoing and will close on November 26th, 2023
Ghana, situated on the vibrant West African coast, is a nation steeped in history, culture, and economic promise. As the second-largest economy in West Africa, Ghana faces challenges akin to those encountered by many developing nations, including a significant portion of its population residing below the poverty line and educational disparities. In addressing these issues, PIECES is dedicated to fostering positive change through its commitment to education in Ghana.
Ghana places importance on education, with compulsory schooling for children aged 6 to 15. However, obstacles such as accessibility and educational quality persist, particularly in rural areas. The disparity between urban and rural facilities remains a pressing issue, with many schools lacking essential resources and facing structural and hygiene challenges. The geographical distance between schools further complicates the educational journey for numerous children.
Unlike the privilege of free education in Switzerland, Ghana confronts funding constraints, impacting the overall effectiveness of its education system. PIECES recognizes the urgency of addressing these challenges and, through the involvement of dedicated volunteers and donations, aims to make a significant impact on the educational landscape in Ghana.
Education stands as a potent instrument for poverty reduction and economic growth in Ghana. Access to quality education enhances employment prospects and income potential. Nevertheless, a substantial segment of Ghana's population faces hurdles in accessing basic education. The global commitment to "education for all" resonates strongly, and PIECES strives to contribute to this shared goal, making a meaningful difference in Ghana through its initiatives.
By fostering cultural exchange and promoting English language proficiency, PIECES not only facilitates educational development but also strengthens connections between people from different continents. Ghana's rich cultural heritage becomes a bridge for global understanding and cooperation.
In the narrative of PIECES' commitment to education in Ghana, a story of hope and opportunity emerges. Volunteers and donors, through their collective efforts, play a pivotal role in breaking down barriers and creating a more equitable and empowered future for the youth of Ghana. The focus on education becomes a beacon, guiding the way towards positive transformation and sustainable development in this West African nation.
A practical approach to making a difference
By participating you are actually filling a need in the local community. You are not taking away opportunities from local teachers but enriching the local education environment by offering your time and your resources!
Volunteering for students
We adapted our volunteering offering to fit the busy schedule of students at the University of St. Gallen. Volunteering will take place during the semester break and will not extend further than one week into the next term. All projects have a duration of 3-4 weeks.
Additonally, Pieces covers the volunteers lodging and food costs for the duration of their stay.
As opposed to other volunteering platforms we are completely run by students on a voluntary basis. All funds we collect goes directly to our partner schools and to finance our organization. We DON'T give money to third parties but are directly in contact with our partnerschools.
Experience a new culture
Experience new food, new customs and meet new people. This is an incredible opportunity to leave your comfort zone and to truly commit to something you have never experienced before.
You will also be dealing with different important problems you might not have been confronted with before.
Before leaving for your project you will receive pedagogical training during our mandatory two day long bootcamp during which you will receive the tools required to communicate and teach in an effective manner.
Application Period for Volunteers
Please upload your CV and a motivation letter, both in English, in a single PDF document named 'firstname.surname' (for example, 'frida.kahlo.pdf'), to the application form. Introduce yourself in the motivation letter (1 page A4), and mention one or two preferences regarding the project destination, as well as why you are interested in going to these countries.
First application period: November 6th, 2023- November 19th, 2023
Second application period: November 20th, 2023 - November 26th, 2023
The two application periods help us to organize the interviews so we can ensure that you will have the best possible experience with PIECES and receive all necessary information on time.
Interviews of Volunteer Candidates
Your English level will be tested while we get get to know you. We will also assess if you are fit for teaching at one of our projects. The interviews will take place on a weekly basis. If you meet our internal application standards we will send you a selection of possible interview time slots from which you will be able to freely choose. The later you apply the less choices you will have so keep this in mind when applying at the end of our applicaiton period. The interviews will take place in person at the University of St. Gallen.
Selection of the Volunteers
Volunteers will receive a confirmation e-mail with the final Board decision and respective details (including volunteering contract and further travel details).
The Volunteer Bootcamp will take place in person at the University of St. Gallen. During the duration of the bootcamp you will receive the tools required to effectively teach and communicate in a foreign environment. Former volunteers will also give you insights and personal advice for your specific project destination. You will also get the opportunity to meet your new volunteering team members. Attending the Bootcamp is mandatory for all prospective volunteers!
Dates of volunteering: to be determined
Warning: Exact dates will be subject to change but will fall within the lecture-free period after the exams. We highly recommend that applicants keep the dates around the advertised ones open.
Questions and Answers
What Our former Volunteers say
Q: Will I still be considered if I apply in the second application period? Should I apply before the first or second deadline?
This highly depends on the applicants of the first period. If we already were able to recruit our volunteers for our projects, we will not consider applicants in the second period. However, if we still need motivated volunteers, applications in the second period period will be considered. In any case, your chances to become a PIECES volunteer are higher if you apply during the first application period.
Q: Which expenses are covered by PIECES?
The organisation covers all expenses on-site, e.g. accommodation and food. Volunteers are expected to pay for their travel costs, i.e. airplane tickets, visa, etc.
PIECES does not engage in “voluntourism” but real volunteering, which requires volunteers to adapt to extremely precarious living conditions, discomfort, and enter foreign and sometimes hostile social environments dealing with serious issues. This is a risk of volunteering abroad and PIECES cannot issue any explicit safety guarantee or accept any kinds of liability. We are also not liable for organizing your trip and travel documentation – we are, of course, here to help, but you remain responsible.
While applying to one of our projects, you should keep in mind that you will be giving up many conveniences we are used to in Switzerland. While on the project site, you are likely to have limited access to hygiene appliances, medical help, electricity, and transportation. You will also work long teaching hours. Make sure you are able and willing to deal with these kind of problems if you apply for volunteering.