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Zaare Challenge FAQs

The Zaare Challenge FAQs

Last updated 11 July 2018

 

Contents

Health & Safety
Is Ghana safe to visit?
How do the northern regions of Ghana compare to the southern regions? What can I expect?
What happens if my child or I fall ill during the trip, or there is an emergency?
What about any pre-existing medical conditions that my child and/or I have? Can these be managed during the trip?
Can you cater to special dietary requirements and/or allergies?
Will there be a lot of mosquitos and is malaria a big risk for my child and I?
What will the tempo/pace of the trip be like? Is it manageable for young children?
Will accommodation and transport used be safe and secure?
Should I organise my own travel insurance?

Accommodation
What will the accommodation be like?
What will the bathroom facilities be like?

Transport & Travel
How do I get to Ghana?
How will we get to northern Ghana?
What will the modes of land transportation be?

Food & Drink
What food and drink is provided?
What is the cuisine like?

Costs & Fundraising
How much spending money will I need?
What is the fundraising target?
How much does it cost for my family to take part?
What are the payment options?

Climate
What is the climate of Ghana like?

Miscellaneous
What animals are there in the region?
What type of clothing and footwear should I wear?
What is the local culture like?
What else do I need to pack?
Can we bring gifts for children supported by AfriKids?

 

 

Health & Safety

 

Is Ghana safe to visit?

Ghana is known as an excellent introduction to Africa due to its accessible location within West Africa, good international and national transport links and secure political status. It also has a strong reputation as one of the friendliest countries in the world (Forbes, 2011). Visitors to Ghana are advised to exercise normal safety precautions when travelling to and around the country.

 

How do the northern regions of Ghana compare to the southern regions? What can I expect?

The Zaare Challenge takes place primarily in northern Ghana, in and around Bolgatanga (the capital of the Upper East) where AfriKids Ghana is based. The trip will also involve some time in Accra, Ghana’s capital in the south.

 Overall, Ghana has become one of the beacons of growth and democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa –being the first country in West Africa to gain independence. Despite this growth, the division between the north and the south of the country is clear and has been a contentious issue for many years, thrust further into the limelight ever since Ghana’s discovery of oil. Accra, Ghana’s capital, is the hub of most of economic activity driving the country’s Gross Domestic Product (closely followed by the second largest city, Kumasi). The poorer north thus lags far behind southern parts of the country. The way of life is simple, with many residing in more rural parts of the region living in traditional compound homes made of mud and brick, getting daily water from a local bore hole and living off the land.

 The Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana are safe and welcoming areas. There is a safe at AfriKids Ghana’s head office and you will have the opportunity to check in your passports and any valuables that you won’t need for your stay. When passing through the capital, Accra you should be more watchful of your belongings – just be sensible and keep any valuables with you at all times.

 

What happens if my child or I fall ill during the trip, or there is an emergency?

A dedicated medical doctor will be on hand throughout your time in Ghana. He/she will accompany the group during all trip activities, carrying a fully equipped and up to date medical kit. They will also be on call 24/7.

 In addition, AfriKids also owns and runs a primary hospital, the AfriKids Medical Centre which provides both in and outpatient services, including speciality paediatrics and blood testing. There are six other hospitals in the region, including Bolgatanga’s Regional Hospital, approximately a ten-minute drive from the AfriKids Medical Centre.

 AfriKids has response procedures in place to deal with any incidents, accidents or emergencies which may occur during a trip. All staff carry a functional mobile phone with them at all times and are also contactable 24/7 during a trip.

 All guests will receive a full briefing on these procedures and healthcare. Guests must also take out their own comprehensive travel insurance which includes travel to Ghana as well as expatriation/evacuation.

 

What about any pre-existing medical conditions that my child and/or I have? Can these be managed during the trip?

You will be asked to declare any current or previous medical conditions when registering to visit Ghana on the Zaare Challenge. If necessary, you may be asked for further clarification in order that AfriKids’ staff can better understand your medical history and consider whether any associated special requirements can be catered for during the trip. The information you provide will be shared  with the trip medic and relevant members of the AfriKids team in Ghana in the event of either you or your child requiring medical attention during the trip. To review AfriKids’ Privacy Policy please visit our website here: https://www.afrikids.org/privacy-policy/.

 We strongly recommend that you make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss the trip in more detail and make sure there is nothing in your medical history that would suggest you should not take part in the trip, or should take extra precautions. You may be asked to provide a doctor’s note to confirm any of the medical information you provide, and/or that you are fit and healthy to travel.

 

Can you cater to special dietary requirements and/or allergies?

You will be asked to declare any special dietary requirements and allergies when booking onto the trip. AfriKids will endeavour to cater to these as reasonably as possible and will notify you if it envisages any challenges in doing so.

 

Will there be a lot of mosquitos and is malaria a big risk for my child and me?

There is a high risk of malaria in Ghana, a tropical disease transmitted via the bite of an infected mosquito, however if the proper precautions are followed it is possible to reduce the risk. All guests are advised to speak with their GP prior to booking onto a trip to obtain advice and guidance on malaria prevention for Ghana. Risk management includes:
 

  • Awareness of risk - Risk depends on the specific location, season of travel, length of stay, activities and type of accommodation. Those at higher risk of malaria, or of severe complications from malaria, include pregnant women, infants and young children, the elderly, and those visiting friends and relatives.
  • Bite prevention - Travellers should take measures to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquitoes feed predominantly during the hours from dusk to dawn.
  • Chemoprophylaxis - No malaria prevention tablets are 100% effective. Taking malaria prevention tablets in combination with mosquito bite avoidance measures will give substantial protection against malaria. Chloroquine resistance is widespread. The recommended chemoprophylaxis is mefloquine, doxycycline or atovaquone/proguanil.
  • Diagnosis – Travellers who develop a fever of 38°C [100°F] or higher more than one week after being in a malaria risk area, or who develop any symptoms suggestive of malaria within a year of return should seek immediate medical care.

 (https://www.nathnac.org/ds/c_pages/country_page_gh.htm)

 The Zaare Challenge takes place either end of the rainy season, at the beginning (January to May) or end (October to December) of the calendar year, when the humidity has dropped and with it, the number of mosquitos. However, the threat of malaria should be taken seriously at all times of the year, with the necessary precautions taken at all times.

 

What will the tempo/pace of the trip be like? Is it manageable for young children?

Each day of the trip has scheduled activities however AfriKids takes into consideration the age of children visiting, ensuring that there are plenty of opportunities for breaks, avoiding hectic schedules and rushing about as much as possible.

 

Will accommodation and transport used be safe and secure?

Ghana is a developing country and so standards are understandably lower than in other more developed parts of the world, including the UK. AfriKids has worked with several different accommodation and transport providers over the years and has established minimum standards for any such services procured as part of its trips. See the ‘Accommodation’ section below for further information.

 

Is it safe to drink tap water?

Drinking water from the tap in Ghana is not considered to be safe. Instead, you will be provided with plenty of bottled water and should drink from these at all times. Bottled water should also be used to brush your teeth. Please see the Food & Drink section below for further information on meals and drinks.

 

Should I organise my own travel insurance?

All guests are asked to organise their own travel and health insurance, which should include cover for evacuation in the event that this is required. AfriKids requests a copy of all guest insurance cover to hold on file in advance of travel. We recommend obtaining the advice of your insurance company regarding adequate insurance cover for you and your children.

 

 

Accommodation

 

What will the accommodation be like?

You will spend one night in Accra in a comfortable midrange hotel or hostel near the airport. Once you are in northern Ghana, you will stay at a local guest house in central Bolgatanga. Parents and children will share a room at all times. Rooms in Bolgatanga will include a double bed for parents and comfortable mattresses on the floor for children to ensure everyone can be accommodated in one room.

 

What will the bathroom facilities be like?

Where hotels and guest houses are used, rooms will either have an en-suite bathroom or a shared toilet and shower room. During the days, it may be necessary for guests to use public toilet facilities or, whilst in rural northern Ghana, the bush. Guidance on using toilet facilities will be included in trip briefings.

 

 

Transport & Travel

 

How do I get to Ghana?

Accra, the capital of Ghana located on the south coast of the country, is home to Kotoka International Airport. British Airways, KLM, Turkish Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and TAP Portugal, amongst other airlines, operate regular, daily flights in and out of Accra.

 Once you have registered on the Zaare Challenge, we will provide you with details of a booking agency AfriKids uses which may be able to access cheaper charity rates on flights for you. Alternatively, we would recommend using cost comparison sites such as www.opodo.co.uk and www.skyscanner.net when looking for flights.

 Please note we will require a copy of your flight booking in advance of travel.

 

How will we get to northern Ghana?

A one-hour flight from Accra will take you to Tamale, the capital town of the Northern Region. From Tamale Airport it is a two-hour drive to Bolgatanga, where you can take in your first glimpses of the north. A bus or coach will be at the airport, together with your AfriKids Group Leader who will accompany you to Bolgatanga.

There are around four flights per day from Accra to Tamale and two airlines operate this route.

 

What will the modes of land transportation be?

Depending on the size of the group, a bus or coach will be used to transport you around Ghana for the majority of the trip, as per the itinerary. On other occasions, it may be appropriate to travel in

smaller groups in separate vehicles. Parents and children will travel together at all times and seatbelts must be worn at all times as per local law.

 

 

Food & Drink

 

What food and drink is provided?

All your food and drink will be provided, excluding any food and drinks in Accra and any additional refreshments or snacks you may require throughout the trip. Whilst in northern Ghana, the food will be prepared by staff at the guest house you reside in or by local cooks used by AfriKids.

 There will be plenty of bottled water available to you throughout the trip; it is important you drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

 

What is the cuisine like?

The main ingredients your meals will be prepared with are rice, chicken, eggs, tomatoes, fresh water fish, plantain, fresh fruit and ground nuts. AfriKids will strive to cater to those with special dietary requirements and allergies, but this should be declared at the time of booking so special requirements can be properly considered.

A child-friendly menu will be prepared for the Zaare Challenge and will be made available in advance of travel.

Soft drinks (known as “minerals”) are also widely available in glass bottles; the local lager is STAR and Nigerian Guinness is also popular.

We recommend that you also bring plenty of snacks with you – cereal bars, crackers, nuts and dried fruits – to ensure you have something to eat between meals and whilst out and about during the day time.

  

Costs & Fundraising

 

How much spending money will I need?

We would recommend £30 per person for your time in Accra, to cover drinks and food not included in the Zaare Challenge fee. In addition, you might like to bring some additional spending money with you for gifts. Bolgatanga is the craft capital of the north and locally made baskets, jewellery and other handicrafts are available at the local craft market – a visit to this is included in the itinerary.

Please note that the local currency (the Ghana cedi - GHs) can only be accessed in country. You can withdraw currency on arrival into the airport in Accra. It is approximately 5.5 GHs to one GBP. Please ensure you notify your bank you will be travelling.

 Some approximate costs are as follows:

 

                                                  GHs        GPB       

STAR beer                            6               £1.20
Bottled water                     4              £0.80
Medium sized basket    40            £8.00   
Necklace                               20            £4.00
Meal in Accra                     100         £20.00                  

 

What is the fundraising target?

By registering to take part in the Zaare Challenge, each family commits to fundraise a minimum of £1,500 for AfriKids. Once you have officially registered we will provide you with a Fundraising Pack full of tips and guidance on how to reach your target, and the AfriKids team will be there to support you throughout. The six families who took part in the 2015 Zaare Challenge collectively raised over £25,000 through their online fundraising pages (e.g. JustGiving), events organised by the children at home and at schools (e.g. bake sales) and larger events organised by parents (e.g. fundraising dinner).

 

How much does it cost for my family to take part?

> £600 in-country costs (payable to AfriKids and including accommodation*, travel and transport, meals and drinking water, activities as per the itinerary)
> Personal expenses (approximate costs - international flight £550, visa £65, vaccinations £150, antimalarial medication £30, travel insurance £30 etc)

*The rate quoted includes basic, clean, comfortable guesthouse accommodation with a full family sharing one room, with mattress on the floors for children. Alternative 4* accommodation is available upon request for an additional cost. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Please note that a £300 deposit per family is payable at the time of booking, which is then deducted from the total in-country costs payable to AfriKids i.e. a family of 3 will pay a total of £1,800 in-country costs as follows: £300 deposit at the time of booking, plus the remaining balance due of £1,500, payable to AfriKids no more than 28 days prior to departure.

 

What are the payment options?

 

1. Self-Funder

 Each family pays a £300 deposit at the time of booking to secure a place on the trip. The deposit also acts as a part-payment towards the total in-country trip cost due per family, the balance of which is payable no later than 28 days prior to the departure date.

 In addition, families make a personal donation of a minimum of £1,500 to AfriKids (choosing not to fundraise).

 

 2. Fundraiser

Each family pays a £300 deposit at the time of booking to secure a place on the trip. The deposit also acts as a part-payment towards the total in-country trip cost due per family, the balance of which is payable no later than 28 days prior to the departure date.

 Families then commit to fundraise a minimum of £1,500 for AfriKids in the lead up to the trip.

 

  3. Flexi

Families pay the £300 total deposit at the time of booking to secure a place on the trip. The deposit also acts as a part-payment towards the total in-country trip cost due per family, the balance of which is payable no later than 28 days prior to the departure date.

 Once a family has fundraised a minimum £1,500 for AfriKids, any additional funds raised over this amount and up to £500 can be used to contribute to the total in-country (Ghana) trip cost due per family.

 The balance due on the in-country trip cost is payable no later than 28 days prior to the departure date, and you commit to personally cover/subsidise this if your additional fundraising over and above the minimum £1,500 target does not.

 

 

Climate

 

What is the climate of Ghana like?

Ghana has a tropical equatorial climate, which means that it is hot year-round with seasonal rains. The climate in the northern regions are characterised by one rainy season from May/June to September/October. There is a long spell of dry season from November to mid-April.

 Average day-time and night-time temperatures throughout the year are as follows:

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

What animals are there in the region?

Rural northern Ghana is home to several different yet mostly familiar animals –  dogs, chickens, guinea fowl, goats, pigs, cows and donkeys are common. Animals are a source of vital food and protein for many rural households in the Northern and Upper Eastern Regions and families will commonly rear these as a source of income and food.

 For safety and hygiene reasons, all guests (children and adults) are asked not to touch any animals.

 

What type of clothing and footwear should I wear?

Upon booking onto the trip, you will be provided with a comprehensive Trip Pack which includes a detailed kit list, outlining the clothing and footwear requirements. There will be some walking involved in the itinerary so light-weight trainers are recommended, together with a pair of walking sandals or sturdy flip flops. Light-weight, cool clothing is also recommended and after dusk, you should cover up as much as possible to avoid mosquito bites.

What is the local culture like?

You will receive a full briefing on the local cultures and what to expect in advance of the trip and the AfriKids team will provide you with advice and guidance on travelling as responsibly as possible, keeping local cultures and communities in mind. The team will also will support you and your children to become immersed in the local cultures you’ll encounter as much as possible during your trip. The following webpage provides a good introduction: https://theculturetrip.com/africa/ghana/articles/12-traditions-and-customs-only-ghanaians-can-understand/.

 

What else do I need to pack?

The Kit List contained in the Trip Pack is very thorough. Just some of the essentials include wet wipes, antibacterial hand gel, snacks, packets of tissues, Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) to help keep you hydrated and one or two of your family’s favourite games/books.

 

Can we bring gifts for children supported by AfriKids?

Once a Zaare Challenge group has been confirmed then we can explore what items it may be appropriate to bring with you to support the activities you’ll be taking part in, especially where these involve getting to know and interacting with local children – sports kits and art materials, for example.

 Beyond this, =we are unable to accept donations of goods for AfriKids and the children and families we support, unless there is a specific need identified by AfriKids Ghana, in which case this will be communicated to you. This is for the following reasons: 

  • Special treatment via gift giving can single children out – providing the children we support with special gifts or even clothes that aren’t available locally can single them out to their peers, as well as identifying them as recipients of charitable support which can result in further marginalisation;
  • Supplying goods for free is bad for local business – most clothes and toys bought and sold in northern Ghana are at markets and small independent shops. These are small businesses providing livelihoods for local people and when goods are donated for free, it can take their custom away;
  • Items children need are mostly available locally – clothes, toys and goods that children need to be happy, healthy, safe and in school are widely available in northern Ghana. The Bolgatanga market is a thriving hub of local businesses and traders who supply everything, from toothbrushes to trainers and food to footballs. AfriKids’ programme budgets are meticulously planned and any essential items for beneficiaries considered. When clothes and toys are needed, we source them locally to support local sellers and keep costs down.

 The best way to support local communities is via AfriKids projects and programmes, which are designed and delivered by a local team in response to the need on the ground. AfriKids’ fundraising promise ensures all funds will be spent in the best interests of the children, young people and families we work with. By taking part in the Zaare Challenge and fundraising for AfriKids, you are helping us to transform lives in northern Ghana. Thank you! To discuss continuing your support in other ways beyond the trip, please get in touch.

    

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AfriKids UK Head Office:
21 Southampton Row
London
WC1B 5HA
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 207 269 0740

AfriKids Ghana Head Office:
PO Box 166
Bolgatanga
Upper East Region
Ghana

+233 (0) 3820 97134

Registered charity in England and Wales: 1141028
Registered NGO in Ghana: DSW/3024
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