What is A Pencil for Ghana?
A Pencil for Ghana is a not for profit organisation that aims to raise sustainable funds for Ryvanz-Mia Childcare (Orphanage), located in Kpando, Volta Region, Ghana. It also strives to gather ongoing volunteers to participate in affordable programs at the orphanage itself and in the Kpando community. Its mission is help the orphanage achieve their goals and improve their quality of life by providing greater opportunities.
How did A Pencil for Ghana begin?
A Pencil for Ghana is a charity project that initially began in Barcelona, Spain, by 20 year old Laia Malvonado in 2017. Laia was inspired during her two week volunteer experience at Ryvanz-Mia Childcare (Orphanage), located in Kpando, Volta Region, Ghana, in July 2017. The name, A Pencil for Ghana was influenced by Laia’s discovery of the orphanage’s kids sharing just one pencil to do their homework between fifteen of them. When she returned home to Barcelona, she developed the project by raising awareness, money, attending charity functions, meeting people to form a team and, contacting NGOs, thus developing A Pencil for Ghana. This project aims to financially sustain Ryvanz-Mia, as well as provide more opportunities for volunteers and, most importantly, the kids and adults of the orphanage.
After Laia’s successful development of A Pencil for Ghana, she returned to Ryvanz-Mia Childcare (Orphanage) with the new project’s volunteer co-ordinator, Ingrid Ribera, also 20 and from Barcelona. Together, they delivered their exciting plans, ideas, goals, and achievements of the project to the orphanage in person. This visit included the staff members signing a contract to willingly work with A Pencil for Ghana and Esport Solidari Internacional, a Spanish NGO that helps poor African communities, as well as unexpectedly meeting another volunteer (myself), Emma Feagan, also 20, from Adelaide, South Australia. During my 23 days of volunteer work at Ryvanz-Mia Childcare (Orphanage), I, too was planning the various ways I could return home and develop a project to help the orphanage. When Laia and Ingrid arrived and illustrated their project’s ideas to me, I was flabbergasted. I was so excited to have met young, motivated, compassionate, like-minded women with a project equal to my ideas.
Excited about A Pencil for Ghana’s potential, I was eager to collaborate and become a part of the project’s team! Thus, I have begun a branch for A Pencil for Ghana in Australia and currently working as Australia’s volunteer co-ordinator, as well as toward developing a team.
UNITED WE STAND,DIVIDED WE FALL-GEORGE
What are A Pencil for Ghana’s goals?
A Pencil for Ghana strives to continue collaborating with NGOs in order to increase its probability in achieving the orphanage’s goals: ongoing volunteers,maintaining regular volunteer programs within the Kpando community,receiving sustainable donations and, most importantly, funds for the kids’ education, food, a borehole for the orphanage, and a tutor and carer for the kids. This project merely aims to support the orphanage in achieving their goals and by encouraging their aspirations.Follow us on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter.
If you want more information or collaborate with us to support this project,send us an email to
Which programs does A Pencil for Ghana offer?
In this program we want to give volunteers the opportunity to help and collaborate in one of the Kpando hospitals, a center where all help is limited. Specifically, it is the hospital known as MARGARET MARQUART CATHOLIC HOSPITAL.
The HOSPITAL program offers the opportunity to know how the health sector works in Africa and, above all, it calls for the help of professionals and students who can share their knowledge and offer them new methods and ways of working effective and viable, adapting to their working conditions and infrastructure.
Therefore, it is recommended to be studying or have medical studies, and it will be necessary to present documentation that proves it. For all those interested in this program, it will be essential to fill out a form and write an initial report on their training and studies (specialty and level or course in the case of not being completed), experience in health sector centers or for health and personal interests. Once sent, hospital professionals will be responsible for awarding the tasks to be performed, which can vary depending on the demand at any time.
The special school with which we have agreed on a cooperation program is Kpando Community Special Inclusive School.
It is a school that accommodates children and adults with various disabilities, from Down syndrome to epilepsy. Together with the minimum conditions with which the government provides the education system of the region, it is difficult to provide them with the personalized attention and treatment they require and adequate infrastructure for their development and daily life in school.
The children and adults of the special school do not speak English, only Ewe. Thus, the task of the volunteer will be to spend free time with them, play, sing and dance and try, whenever possible, to teach one or another class - didactics. All this, creating a bond with them that makes the WORDS become UNNECESSARY.
Team members, who have been sharing long mornings with all of them at school, can assure you that the language is not an inconvenience. On the contrary, seeing their faces of happiness and their smiles when spending time with you, will make the farewells harder than you imagine.
Some everyday activities at the orphanage
How the orphanage is making money at the time and what the kids need and feel like doing determines the activities. Activities might include: tie dying, food preparation, preparing food to sell, cleaning, helping kids with homework, playing games with kids, and anything relevant you think of! Be brave; be creative!
The Kids’ local junior and senior school
Volunteers can work at the schools with the kids. Often you will head to the school with the children early in the morning and come home with them at the end of the day. It is up to the volunteer and volunteer coordinator at the orphanage to negotiate which school(s) to work at, and how long you stay. The kids will often ask you to come to school with them.
Social intervention program workshop for adult women.
This is a workshop at the orphanage. The workshop is meant to operate all year round and aims to help adult women empower themselves on a financial and spiritual level. At the social intervention program, adult women sew, creating various types of clothing and materials to sell. It enables these women to learn and participate in a social environment. When the workshop is operating, volunteers are welcome to observe, learn, and participate. It is a great way to learn about Ghanaian culture, as well as make friends. Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in this program by visiting communities, further educating those in the foundation, as well as discussing and developing ways of assisting the foundation outside of outreach projects: fundraising, material donations, etc.
What are the costs involved?
Volunteers will pay a program fee determined by their length of stay. This fee covers your food: three meals a day, and accommodation: electricity, water, gas. Any money left over from a volunteer’s program fee will be used to help the orphanage pay for other expenses: school fees, textbooks, food for kids, uniforms, clothes, shoes, etc. There are no administration costs extracted from your program fee.
Flights, travel insurance, visa, and vaccinations are not included in the program fee. Volunteers will need to organise this themselves and or with the help of A Pencil for Ghana’s team. Yellow fever vaccination is required to get into the country and when applying for your visa. We advice you organise a travel agent when choosing your flights.
Ghana has tourist attractions volunteers can visit during their stay. Please note that our local volunteer coordinator (V/C) from the orphanage is merely a volunteer and has no income. Understand that he will be your guide and you will have to pay for him to join you.Areas worth visiting includes:
Wli Falls, Hohoe
Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
Volta Lake Boat tour
Kakum Canopy Walk-Central Region
Cape Coast /Elmina Castle
Art Centre (highly recommended)
- Up to volunteer
How can I get involved?
We have a website, Facebook page, and Instagram. Please visit each to get more information and contact us through email for enquiries regarding volunteer opportunities.
Facebook Page: A Pencil for Ghana or @apencilforghana