April 8, 2010

Free accommodation in Ghana or volunteer free: What do you think?

This idea hit me about the same time the storm hit last night and while I was feeling a little malaria-ish. Ish. Not too bad. Better now. Not sure what it was, just the usual symptoms, but mild. Anyway. This is jus an idea.

Free accommodation you say? Free hotels?

Well, I'm throwing this idea out to you, feisty folks.

Visitors to Ghana: What do you think about a kind of host/exchange stay network in which you would get to stay for a nominal, small fee in the homes of Ghanaians while traveling around Ghana? The basic idea is to stay with a family or individuals (hmmm, potential issues) and show them how to do something. Stay/exchange, basically.

Ghanaians: What do you think about the idea of hosting visitors for a nominal fee to cover the basics, but they are obliged to teach you something that you want to know about in exchange for the very low cost?

Hosts might want to know how to start a blog, how to type, how to format a PC, how to write an email, how to fix a car or build a new summer hut. These are skills that visiting travelers may have and be willing to offer families in exchange for staying with them.You'd tick boxes to say what skills you'd want and someone looking for rooms could work out their plans by checking out where they could help out.

I'd do it.

I think it would be a win/win but there could be some issues. Do you think this would work?

Sort of in the couchsurfing vein, but giving back. Couchsurfing, incidentally, is where you get to stay for free on others' couches while traveling the world. 

By the way, I just looked up Ghana on couchsurfing--668 couches apparently. OK, so the idea is possible. Check out all the couches in Ghana. You can stay for free in Ghana.

The room/volunteer a hand exchange thing in Ghana could work something like that. 

Well, that was my crazy malarial/storm idea, let's just hope it doesn't start raining geckoes or we're all buggared.

This photo of Larabanga Mosque in Tamale in the Northern Region is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons by Erik Kristensen.


  1. It would SO work. I would love to be part of organising this. Let me know if you would like someone doing marketing from London. Sounds great!! Well done for such a great idea! I wonder if it's already done somewhere else in the world?? And there's a model of best practice that can be copied?

  2. Hi Amina,
    I totally think it would too. I'd do it! It must have been done elsewhere; I can't imagine it not having been. It may even be in Ghana but I haven't heard of it. I don't have the IT building skills for it but if anyone wanted to offer that we could give it a go!
    Thanks for commenting:)

  3. Hi Gayle,

    This sounds an excellent idea. If you don't have the IT building skills is it not possible to commission a competent web developer, preferably in Ghana, to execute this project?. I will be interested and I don't mind coming up with part of the cost. Seth

  4. Hi Seth,
    Thanks! That's a really smart idea and I know there are a bunch of competent folks, particularly in Accra...who may be reading--you know who you are! It would be great. Let's talk. Anyone else?


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