** Important **

For more information on passports, visas, travel insurance, and other general travel logistics, don’t forget to consult your handy dandy Welcome Package!

A NOTE FROM OUR REGIONAL DIRECTOR

AKWAABA!

Ghana is where Operation Groundswell all started and we keep going back each year. It won’t take you very long to see why. Ghana’s culture, hospitality, and landscapes are like no other. As backpacktivists, you’ll have the opportunity to experience all Ghana has to offer –bustling outdoor markets, music that demands movement, warm greetings from friendly faces, inspiring community organizers, striking sceneries, and so much more that words cannot describe.

We are thrilled to have you along for the wonderful bumpy road that is travel. We may start off as strangers but after sharing delicious meals, being pushed out of our comfort zones, and exploring another country, we will connect with each other on a whole other level!

Our role is to guide you to an understanding and appreciation of your new environment, and to introduce you to narratives you may have never even considered. Your job is not an easy one. But, if you bring an adventurous spirit and the expectation of exciting things to learn ahead, you will be amply rewarded. During your time spent in Ghana, you may not be able to “change the world”, but you’ll most certainly be changed by it.

We have put together this program package to get you as stoked and as prepared as possible. Read it, love it, absorb it, and get ready to have your world rocked. If you have any questions, concerns, or positive energy and feedback, feel free to reach out. We are here to help you along in this process and get you as ready as possible for an unparalleled adventure.

We hope you are all as excited as we are!

Bon voyage,
Yaw Asare
Programs Director

Highlights

What’s in this Section?

* Click to jump to each section *

Your Itinerary
Find Your Way
A Critical Look

Your Itinerary

The trip of your life is about to begin and these are just a few of the amazing things you can expect!

*Click on each day to get the full details on the day’s excursions*

From Ghana to Togo

We arrive in Accra via Kotoka International Airport, where our group will come together after long journeys! Stretching across the Atlantic coast, the capital city will serve as our first meeting point.

In the morning we’ll depart for Wli, a small town in the Volta Region of Ghana set against the beautiful backdrop of lush mountains and rushing waterfalls. It’s the perfect setting for our team to ease into Ghanaian culture and the pace of life… all while getting to know each other! A local friend will prepare a taste of real Ghanaian cuisine for a very warm welcome.

Orientation wouldn’t be complete without a hike, so we’ll take the day to venture over to the border of Togo, a neighbouring country in the east. Then we’ll head back to Wli to stand in awe of the famous Agumatsa Falls, the largest waterfall in West Africa. Let the adventure begin!

Global Health Education – Accra

Our team will trek the mountains of the Volta region back to the bustling city of Accra. Home to some of the largest open markets, streets, and stations, Accra makes for the perfect place to really get a feel for the hustle and bustle of Ghanaian urban life! We’ll be staying at our home-away-from-home in the centre of the city and meeting with a variety of local activists and community leaders to learn about the social and environmental factors that contribute to access to health in Ghana and beyond. Learning about everything from art, music, and education to traditional plant medicine, HIV/AIDS control programs, and orthopaedic support, we’ll get insider perspectives on health access and treatment, as well as the daily struggles within Ghana.

Health Along the Gold Coast

Our team will take a beautiful and scenic ride south to Cape Coast – a place full of culture, history, and opportunity! In Cape Coast, the NGO capital of Ghana, we’ll work with Nkwa Foundation, a community outreach organization that provides healthcare and community support through education, income-generating initiatives, and food security solutions through community farming.

Our previous teams have chosen to explore and volunteer on a number of projects, including assisting in rural health outreach programs, data collection, and public health presentations with local health professionals for the community. This year, there will also be several opportunities to branch out into many particular niches, and work with similar organizations in the health field.

Outside of our work with community development organizations, we will also have a chance to explore ancient slave castles and dig deeper into the complex history of the Atlantic slave trade. The Cape Coast Castle, in particular, is a significant landmark as it is where many slaves were held before their journey on the Middle Passage.

We’ll have the opportunity to reflect on this dark history and its reverberations in the current day along the gorgeous Gold Coast of Ghana.

The Ashanti Markets – Kumasi

As we make our journey north to visit more partners and take in more of what Ghana has to offer, we’ll be taking some necessary stops. This journey of ours is an epic one, so we’ll stop over in Kumasi to stretch our legs and explore the country’s second-largest city. Our team will have the opportunity to visit and take stock of OG’s current and past projects. The city serves as a great spot to debrief as a team, discuss what we’ve seen so far, and prepare for the final leg of our program!

Working towards Sustainability – Kazagu and the Upper East

From the southernmost beaches of Cape Coast to the northernmost border of Ghana, we will have travelled long and far to live and work alongside ORGIIS in the Upper East of Ghana. During the day, we will be learning from and working with ORGIIS on their mission to create environmental and social security in this often under-resourced part of the country. By focusing on reforestation, skills training, and maternal healthcare, ORGIIS works on the preventative side of health, supporting communities in the Upper East to meet the standards of living needed to live healthy lives. Last year, participants helped in the planting of a moringa farm, a super food for export that will bring economic and health benefits to the community.

While working the fields during the day, evenings will be spent engaging in lively discussions with our team, before retiring to our homestays with host families in Kazagu. Bonding over maiz and warm stews, we’ll get an opportunity to integrate into the distinct local culture.

The North holds a special place in the hearts of our teams as the place where we get a more comprehensive understanding of Ghana, ease into the relaxed vibe, take part in group dinners, have discussions under the stars, and so much more!

Independent Travel Time

A staple of all Operation Groundswell programs is Independent Travel Time (ITT). You can travel independently if you desire but we encourage everyone to travel in pairs or small groups. ITT is the ideal time for you to learn more about your specific interests. Are you eager to hit up all of Ghana’s ten regions? Or maybe you want to cruise through the safaris of Mole National Park? Or are you hoping to revisit your homestays and volunteer placements? This is the time to do just that!

**Please note that you are not under the auspices of the organized program during ITT. Team members will be given the emergency contact number of program leaders during ITT for any advice.

Disorientation – Princes Town

‘Disorientation’ is our chance to regroup, relax, debrief, and prepare for our return in our respective homes. Set against pristine beaches, we will speak to our goals and accomplishments, ways to collaborate on future projects, and how to stay in touch after the program. Everyone will enjoy a last taste of the delicious local cuisine from our wonderful friend and guide, Joseph!

Set in a place most will never forget, this is a time for reflection, many laughs, chats, and late night hang out sessions – a perfect way to end the program before heading off to the airport for some tearful goodbyes!

Find Your Way

In the age of Google, we decided that an interactive map is the only way to roll. Feel free to play around with it, make it your browser’s homepage, and share it with your friends and family. Soon enough we’ll be on the ground doing that route for real.

A Critical Look

Our program looks at the various factors that contribute to health and wellbeing, as well as how health concerns are addressed in communities across Ghana. We see health as a vital and expansive topic that is intricately intertwined with many other arenas of daily life. You’ll discover the seemingly-hidden connections between economic policy and access to treatment, or environmental changes and nutrition, or even artistic expression and community health.

We’ll take a deep dive into big topics like economic opportunity and the distribution of resources, political systems and representation, environmental degradation and protection, social influences such as education and gender dynamics, colonialism and modern international structures, and cultural beliefs and practices – all of which affect health in Ghana today as well as across the globe.

We see this program as a chance to think beyond dichotomies or pre-conceived notions, and open ourselves to the possibility of what a holistic perspective on health, travel, and service actually means. The lens of social justice allows us to see our experiences in a new light, enables us to transcend borders and boundaries, engages us deeply in communities we interact with and belong to, and challenges us to find how we can create and contribute to healthy lives for all.

A Crash Course on Ghana

What’s in this Section?

* Click to jump to each section *

Quick Facts
Country Profile
Staying Healthy on the Ground

Quick Facts

Population:  26 million
Capital City: Accra
Major Languages: English (official), Asante Twi, Ewe, Fante, Kasem, and many others (70+ languages and dialects)
Major Religions: Christianity, Islam, and other traditional African religions
Monetary Unit: Ghanaian Cedi (GHS)
Time Zone: UTC – 0:00

Country Profile

During the 13th century, large trading civilizations and various empires (stretching from present day Senegal and Mali) arose from Ghana’s vast gold deposits. A great shift in trading routes from the interior of West Africa to coastal regions brought great wealth to the “The Gold Coast” as profitable exports such as ivory, timber, and slaves became attainable by way of ship. Eventually the kingdoms of this area were forced to submit to British ‘protection’.

On March 6, 1957, Ghana gained independence from Britain, making it the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to achieve its independence. Although the boundaries of the new Ghana at its birth did not correspond with any well-marked ethnic or geographical divisions, Ghanaian identity has grown strong. The country has seen some of the largest scale loans and projects of the 1980s funded by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank such as the Structural Adjustment Programs. Today, Ghana is one of the most politically stable countries in Africa having established an uninterrupted democratic civilian rule since 1992.

Ghana recalculated its GDP in 2010, classifying it as a low-middle income country instead of a low-income country. Since the beginning of the 2000s, Ghana has made a considerable effort to invite international collaboration. This, along with the discovery of oil in 2010, has resulted in an increase of foreign investment, particularly from China. Ghana is changing swiftly and development is peaking gradually. We step into a country in flux and revel in a profound trend toward a more globally connected West African region and interconnected African continent.

Staying Healthy in Ghana

As we move throughout Ghana, there are a few key potential concerns to keep in mind. The most common experience for travelers is, you guessed it, traveler’s diarrhea! You can think of it as a sort of rite of passage that can accompany some of the delectable eats of a new country. We do our best to choose foods that are hot, tasty and cleanly prepared, but we do recommend talking to your travel doctor about taking along treatment just in case gastroenteritis (aka the stomach flu) decides to strike. Malaria is also endemic to the region, so consulting with your travel doctor about preventative measures and medicines is highly recommended. Lastly, Ghana’s tropical weather is fabulous but often much hotter than folks are used to. Staying hydrated will be crucial to ensuring your overall health during program.

As a well-established and experienced international travel operator, Operation Groundswell takes active precautions to help keep you safe and secure while overseas on your program. We take travel safety very seriously. To learn more about our Risk Management System, click here.

** Important **

You should also be sure to refer to our Welcome Package for essential information on vaccinations, travel medical insurance, and our medical history form. Click here to read through it!

Getting In & Out of Ghana

What’s in this Section?

* Click to jump to each section *

Flight Information
Visa Details
Where Will We Be Sleeping?
Independent Travel Time

When it comes to sleeping, eating, and getting around, we take our cues from locals to see what life is really like in Ghana! For more information on passports, visas, travel insurance, and other general travel logistics, don’t forget to consult your handy dandy Welcome Package!

** Important **

For more information on passports, visas, travel insurance, and other general travel logistics, don’t forget to consult your handy dandy Welcome Package!

Flight Information

Once we confirm program enrolment numbers, we’ll e-mail you with the go ahead to book those flights (if we haven’t already!) We’ve provided a bit of information on booking flights below so that you can start checking things out, but don’t book anything until you get the go ahead.

Arrivals & Departures
When it’s time to book those flights, be sure to choose one that arrives into Accra, Ghana, Kotoka International Airport on 6th July 2018 anytime. You will depart from Accra, Ghana, Kotoka International Airport on 14th August 2018.

We suggest checking Kayak, Orbitz, Cheapoair, Google Flights, and other flight sites to get the cheapest rate.

** Important **

If you want to arrive in the country early or leave for home later, this is your call and you can book flights that meet your needs. However, if you arrive before the program begins, you will not be under the auspices of Operation Groundswell. We cannot guarantee that anyone will meet you at the airport or arrange your accommodations. You will be entirely responsible for yourself until the first day of the program.

You will receive an email (if you haven’t already) with a link to fill out your flight information. You can fill this out once you’ve booked your flight closer to the program date. This information is crucial for us to arrange your airport pick-ups and drop-offs so be sure to fill it out once it’s time!

Visa Details

You need at least a single entry visa for the trip. We’ll be sending your two references, your letter of invitation, and driver’s license of a local to apply for a Ghanaian visa closer to your departure date. You need to pay with a money order so call your consulate first to find out what the price of your visa is. You will also be required to show proof of Yellow Fever vaccination.

NOTE: If you apply for multiple entry, it’s not guaranteed that you will receive a multiple entry visa, but rather just a single entry. Please keep this in mind when you’re applying because there is no reimbursement!

Remember, you are personally responsible for obtaining a visa and confirming your visa requirements. Resources such as www.visahq.com may be helpful, but it is always best to consult your destination’s embassy directly.

While your program fee does not cover visa costs, we are here to answer any questions you might have if a pre-trip application is necessary. If there are any special documents required to receive a visa for your destination, let us know! While we can’t guarantee your approval, we will help out in any way we can. The sooner you let us know what you need from us, the sooner we can get back to you.

Where Will We Be Sleeping?

As the bible of backpacking goes, we’ll be sleeping in every kind of place imaginable! In Accra and Wli, we will be staying in hostels that are fairly basic but will be comfortable and feel like home after no time. In Cape Coast we’ll be staying in a house that is comfortable, quiet and serene. In Kazugo we will be sleeping in earth houses in pairs mostly on rooftops with a view of a million stars.

Independent Travel Time

After spending your first couple of weeks on program learning the lay of the land, getting comfortable, and acquiring all the tools to become an ethical traveller, you’ll be off to start your Independent Travel Time, or ITT!

This is your opportunity to put your new skills to use, get out there on your own (or with a couple of friends) and show your program leaders that you can do it without them by your side! (But don’t worry, they’re only ever a phone call away!)

While some participants choose to make plans ahead of time, it can sometimes be hard to know exactly what you’ll want to do over ITT until you’ve spent a bit of time in country, and have made connections with your fellow participants.

Our advice? Fly by the seat of your backpacker pants! Rest assured that once you arrive, your program leaders will be ready to talk through the many amazing options the region has to offer, which ones are farther away than you’d think, and help you make a plan. After spending a few weeks in the region, not only will you have a better idea of what you really want to do with this time, but you’ll be able to score the sweet in-person deals that you can’t get when booking online. Double win!

If, however, you would feel more comfortable making plans in advance, we suggest finding a refundable choice so that you can maintain your flexibility!

Packing List

What’s in this Section?

* Click to jump to each section *

Backpack & Daypack
Important Documents
Essentials
General Clothing
Personal Hygiene & Toiletries
Optional Items

Remember, the rule of thumb is always to pack as lightly as possible! So pack your bag and then remove half of it. You won’t need most of it…we promise!

Backpack & Daypack

Because we’re not wheelie-baggers, we’re backpackers! We recommend going to an outdoor adventure store and getting a pack fitted to you.

  • Most people should only need a 45-65L pack. Try a bunch on and compare prices to find one that is right. You could also borrow from a friend!
  • It’s also essential that you bring a smaller daypack for short trips and daily use.

Important Documents

  • Passport (valid beyond 6 months from the start date of the program)
  • Extra passport photos (if you have them)
  • Copies of passport/tickets/credit cards (you want extras in case you lose a document)
  • Customer service numbers for credit cards/insurance
  • Proof of vaccinations
  • Student card/ISIC card (even if they’re expired, but only if you have ‘em)

Essentials

  • A simple cloth or sheet to use as a blanket (we wouldn’t recommend a sleeping bag since the weather is too warm for it)
  • 1 bath towel (quick-dry adventure towels are the lightest)
  • Flashlight (headlamps are popular and recommended)
  • Min. 1L reusable water bottle
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Medication/EpiPen if you need it

 

Shoes

  • 1 pair of sturdy hiking boots/trail shoes (for work and trekking around)
  • 1 pair of shoes you don’t mind getting wet – sandals, or flip flops
  • 1 pair of comfortable casual/dress shoe

General Clothing

  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 8 pairs of socks
  • 3 pairs of shorts (please try to keep them knee length, short shorts don’t go over too well in some areas and we want to be culturally sensitive)
  • 8 t-shirts/tank-tops (revealing clothing isn’t your best bet, but we also know that it gets damn hot during the day. Just try to keep a balance.)
  • 2 pairs of comfortable pants or shorts for hiking, treks, or other physical activity
  • 3 pairs of jeans or khakis and a nice shirt/polo for when we meet community leaders/important folk
  • 3 longer sleeve shirts as it can get cold at night and it’s good to layer
  • 1 sweaters – A good quality fleece is great because it is warm but light.
  • One waterproof jacket (a shell that you can layer a sweater underneath is probably the best!)
  • A hat to protect you from the sun
  • A bathing suit (modesty is your friend)

** Important **

Remember we will be visiting health facilities, walking around in rural communities, hiking up the tallest waterfalls in West Africa, and depending on your ITT plans, you could be in the midst of a hustling and bustling city or on the beaches! Ghanaians dress impeccably so make sure to bring a couple nicer items for when we meet community leaders or go out for a night on the town (note: modesty is still your friend here too!). We’ll be in Ghana during the rainy season, so please be prepared for unexpected rain showers.

Personal Hygiene & Toiletries

  • Regular hygiene items like soap, shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, etc. (Note: These are all readily available in smaller quantities and at a cheaper price if you would rather buy them down there. Another good option is bringing small quantities to begin with and refilling once in-country.)
  • Vitamins, painkillers, cold medicines, etc.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • 1 extra pair of prescription glasses or contacts/contact solution (if required)
  • Tampons and pads (it is always a good idea to bring more than enough tampons as they can be hard to find in more rural areas)
  • Bug spray and after bite
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Immodium/Pepto Bismol (you will want this!)
  • One round of prescription medicine (i.e. diarrhea meds – ask your doctor)
  • If you have asthma and you need a puffer, bring it even if you rarely use it. Same goes for allergies and EpiPens
  • Any prescriptions that you need (refrigeration may not always be possible, so check in with your program leaders)

** Important **

All program leaders are equipped with first aid kits, so though it is useful to have basics like Advil or Tylenol, you don’t need to pack a pharmacy. There will be a medical form sent out closer to the program start date so you can outline any specific mental or physical health issues we should be aware of before the program. This completed medical history form signed by a physician is mandatory for participation in all OG programs. Click here to learn more. 

Optional Items

    • iPod/MP3 player if you have one
    • Journal & Pen
    • Camera
    • Ear plugs/eye mask if you’re a light sleeper

No need for a computer, iPhone, iPad, or anything similar as we will have access to a computer when we have access to the internet!

Money Matters

It’s easy to get around relatively inexpensively on an OG program. What you spend is really up to you!

The program fee covers the costs of accommodations, three meals a day, transport, and excursions. It does NOT cover any personal expenses such as souvenirs, laundry, or whatever you choose to do for your Independent Travel Time. For these cases, you will want to bring some spending money.

We recommend that you bring $500 USD, which you can conveniently change into regional currency at an in-country currency exchange. While one of the easiest options tends to be withdrawing local currently from an ATM using your debit card, it’s always good to have some exchangeable cash on hand in case of emergencies.

Money Tips

  • Leave any traveler’s checks and Canadian money at home. They are problematic to cash or exchange.
  • Visa is the most widely accepted credit card. Do your best to have a chip card that is pin enabled to have it work in ATMs. Make sure that the PLUS sign is on the back of your card so that it works in international ATM locations.
  • Debit is also an effective option. ATM/ABMs are widespread and can dispense up to $200 USD equivalent. There is a transaction charge of approx. $2.50-$5.00 USD, but they are the most convenient and safest option. It is advisable to communicate with your bank before departure to determine their level of accessibility.
  • Call your bank and inform them of your travel plans so they don’t place a hold on your account when they see money being withdrawn in a foreign country (you do NOT want this to happen!)
  • Money in large amounts, Interac/credit cards, etc. should NOT be carried in any one location and we recommend using money belts/discreet wallets.

Partners

What’s in this Section?

* Click to jump to each section *

Our Approach
NKWA
Dzi Wopoano Nyi
Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability

Our Approach

At Operation Groundswell, we forge partnerships with local NGOs and charities to work with them on community-requested projects. This means that the communities we work with decide what kind of partnership they are looking for, how we as volunteers can be best put to use, and how our community contribution can most effectively help them achieve their goals. It also means we don’t always know in advance what will be needed in our partner communities or how we can best serve. Seasonal weather patterns, a changing political climate, and organizational needs may change so get ready to adapt like a true backpacktivist!

Though we spend solid days on the ground getting our hands dirty and volunteering, a larger chunk of our time is spent learning from our partners to better understand the underlying issues and challenges that they face. We’re not going to “save Ghana” in our few weeks abroad, but we will be making deep connections with and learning immensely from the real change makers on the ground!

NKWA

NKWA (meaning life in Twi) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving and making healthcare accessible in rural Cape Coast. They also help marginalised communities to self start business ventures providing them with tools, capital and trainings. This year we will be supporting them with Tilapia farms. Learn more.

Dzi Wopoano Nyi

Meaning Keep Your Beach Clean, this organisation tries to instill in young kids in Cape Coast clean attitudes towards their environment. They occasionally run beach clean up activities and games which we support and also have fun and engaging after school activities designed to support children with some practical skills like soap making. Learn more.

Organisation for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability

This organization seeks to use indigenous knowledge and environmentally
sustainable initiatives to engage in community development for the people in the villages surrounding the Paga area. Learn more.

Twi for Dummies

We might struggle and look silly searching for words in a new language, but the very attempt connects them to locals on a different level. Trust us on this one.

Living in the Language

Welcome:
Akwaaba

How are you?:
Ete-sain

I am fine:
Me-ho-yeh

Please:
Mepawchow

Thank you (very much):
Medaase (pa)

 

You’re welcome:
Yenii aseda (Essentially: There is no need for thanks between us.)

Yes/No:
Aane/Daabi

How much does this cost?:
Eye sain?

This tastes delicious:
Eyehde

I am going to eat:
Meh-ko-didi

 

Cultural Do’s and Don’ts

Be a cultural chameleon and do what you can to show as much courtesy and interest in the local culture as possible. Do as the locals do and try to follow these basic rules while in Ghana! Being aware and sensitive to your surroundings is crucial to being a backpacktivist!

Do’s

  • Be respectful! You will be exposed to new cultures and customs. This may be overwhelming at first, but remember that if you keep an open mind, only good things can come of it!
  • Always extend a greeting verbally (good morning/evening) and/or shake hands (right to left). Ghanaians are informal and group-oriented.
  • Use only right hand for eating, greeting, giving or accepting gifts etc. Use of the left hand offends.
  • Ask before taking a photograph. If they agree, most people would love to see the photo after!
  • It is acceptable to bargain over prices except in large departmental stores. One way to begin is with appeal to the heart, “Oh, please, reduce it for me.”
  • When parting company, Ghanaians will be flattered if you shake hands with the “Ghanaian handshake” which is a clasping of the hands ending with mutual snapping of two fingers. We’ll demonstrate this on the first day!
  • Be patient. One of the first things we’ll learn about is the concept of “African time”. Ghanaians are more liberal with their notion of time, so things won’t necessarily happen exactly when you’re told they may. Take a breather and use this as an opportunity to make new friends.

Don’ts

  • Marijuana is illegal in the country, and carries extremely stiff prison sentences. Along with this, it is extremely frowned upon by the majority of Ghanaians (with the exception of the Rastafarians, of course!) You will see some people partaking, but just because you are a foreigner does not mean you cannot be arrested.
  • Please monitor yourself when drinking alcohol. Do not be drunk inappropriately or around children.
  • Some words and expressions are taboo in Ghana:
    • “foolish”, “silly” and “fool” …
    • Just the words “your face…”
    • The gesture of tapping the temple with one finger
  • It is not required or expected that visitors bring gifts when visiting a village. However, if you wish to bring a token of friendship or you have toys that children might enjoy, give them to the elder men or women in the family to disburse. Otherwise, not only will you never have enough to go around, but it is not healthy to perpetuate the idea that “the white person is always good for a handout”.

Resources

What’s in this Section?

* Click to jump to each section *

Books
Films
Music

This section is meant to provide further information on the region that simply can’t be covered in this program package. These are extra resources that’ll help you learn more about the places that you will be travelling to and the relevant issues in these places. This will help paint a cultural picture even before your plane takes off!

Take the opportunity to open your mind and soak up everything you can!

Books

    • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
    • The Healers by Ayi Kwei Armah
    • Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
    • An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action for the Twenty-First Century by James Orbinski
    • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Films

  • Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai (2008)
  • Umoja: The Village where Men Are Forbidden (2008)
  • How to Survive A Plague (2012)

Music

    • Africa is the Future: Blitz The Ambassador ft. Oxmo Puccino, Just A Band, Oum – Listen now!
    • Girlie ‘O’ Remix: Patoranking ft. Tiwa Savage – Listen now!

Get in Touch

So you wanna get in touch with us but don’t know who to reach out to? All of our staff are ready to help you in your journey in any way we can!

Get in Touch with Us

Our main phone line is 1-888-422-0164. Our office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

In case of emergency while you’re on program, please ask your family or next of kin to call OG’s main line at 1-888-422-0164 and follow the prompt. On-call coordinators are available 24 hours a day for emergencies related to current programs or participants.

To reach us via email for all matters, contact [email protected].

If you have any financial inquiries, contact our financial support team at [email protected].

As you prepare for your journey, OG will periodically contact you with important information about logistics, payments, safety, and more. Please check your spam folder regularly! Consider adding [email protected] and [email protected] to your contacts or approved sender list to make sure that our emails are delivered.

For more information on passports, visas, travel insurance, and other general travel logistics, don’t forget to consult your handy dandy Welcome Package!

Final Checklist

You’ve just begun the most epic adventure of your life (so far!) and we’ll be here for you every step of the way. Just use this handy dandy checklist to see if you’ve got everything you need before you hop on that plane.