Combine the best of both tourism and humanitarian work. Join us on one of our Expeditions.
Your Life Transformation
We believe that immersing yourself in the culture and people will help you and your family gain a better understanding for our African brothers and sisters. As a member of an expedition team you will experience first-hand food, dancing, teaching, learning and loving. Your life will be transformed.
Before you leave on your expedition, you will have the opportunity to train with a LifeStory Transformation coach.
While on the expedition, each evening you will have the opportunity to work with a LifeStory coach to discuss and meditate on the day's experiences.
Their Life Transformation
Participate either hands-on or as an observer during literacy classes, games, and activities. You may also be able to help with clean-up, preparation, even light construction work on facilities - don't worry no particular skills are required, just your willing hands.
As you interact, you show that you care and are willing to reach out and help. This gives our beneficiaries hope, courage and self-esteem. And the work we put in to building and setting-up the Literacy Centers and Family Restoration Centers provides a benefit to the community for years to come.
We can truly change lives with just a few simple things, a few extra dollars, and a few extra minutes of our time. The skills the beneficiaries learn in the Literacy Centers and Family Restoration Centers alters the course of their lives forever - not just for one person, but for a multi-generational impact.
Please contact us to learn more about these exciting once-in-a-lifetime adventures.
We may alter the itinerary to match the skills and talents of the mentoring team members and schedules of flights.
Day 1 - Arrive, sleep, adjust to new time zone
Day 2 - Attend Dabaan Literacy Center, read to children, play educational games
Day 3 - repeat Day 2
Day 4 - Drive to the Kumasi Family Restoration Center to help with a project, spend the night in the on-site "team house"
Day 5 - Drive to Asaam Literacy Center, read to children, play educational games, eat a traditional Ghanaian meal, stay the night in a traditional “village house” (it is secure, has electricity and fans, but no Internet)
Day 6 - Drive to the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, spend 3 hours there, eat a traditional Ghanaian meal, drive back to Kumasi
Day 7 - Meditation, church/rest, washing clothes, visiting with Ghana families, cultural exchanges
Day 8 - Family Restoration Center, projects
Day 9 - Family Restoration Center, visit a local school, cultural exchange, traditional African dancing, question/answer with a literacy class
Day 10 - Family Restoration Center, a few adventurous souls can visit the “central market” with a local guide, Covid testing in Kumasi at a clinic for return flight
Day 11 - Commuter flight (1 hour) to Accra, visit Kasoa Literacy Center, stay at Brigat Hotel (has A/C!)
Day 12 - Souvenir shopping in Accra, arrive at the airport four hours prior to your flight
Expeditions - Mentoring Teams
In Kenya, we will be working with ladies in "Mom School", as well as starting new literacy centers and helping with agricultural projects in Nairobi and on the Maasai Mara. Of course, our highlight is our game drive where we introduce you to the "Big 5" as you put your "Spidey eyes" to the test.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Ghana does not have a safari option. Though we do visit the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in northern Ghana. For a true safari, we do have a Kenya trip once a year. That expedition to Kenya does have a safari option. However, it is more expensive because of the longer flight, hotel, and safari costs.
Be flexible. Or prepare yourself to be flexible. Be prepared to let go of your preconceived ideas of how things should be. Africa has its own rhythm and time frame. Listen and let go. That's probably not the answer you were expecting to this question. But we want to be clear that this experience is unlike anything you will ever have. This is not an American tourism experience of Africa, this is a truly authentic African experience.
What you were probably expecting as an answer to this question is:
Application, $500 non-refundable deposit, payment of expedition fee to FMF, all other pre-travel checklists given to you by our Expedition Director, and attending an online LifeStory Transformation workshop.
Families have come with children as young as 6 years old. Any children (17 or under) must be accompanied by a parent. We have had adults up to 70 come on an expedition. Though the car travel combined with the poor road conditions can be difficult for aging more experienced bodies.
- Reading and playing educational games at 1-2 of our Literacy Centers
- Doing a small project at the Family Restoration Center
- Teaching about basic first aid, hygiene, water, menstrual health, goal setting, music, art, basic finances/budgeting,
- Visiting a local clinic/hospital or school
- Visit a nearby sanctuary or forest
Team members will have the opportunity to eat two traditional Ghana meals on our visit to Asaam and Boabeng-Fiema. If you are unable to eat Ghanaian food (or have concerns), please bring your own freeze-dried meals for those 2 days. The other days while in Ghana you will be eating American-type foods you are used to:
Breakfast: cornflakes, eggs, toast, fresh fruit, hash browns
Lunch: sandwiches, fresh fruit
Dinner: rice, veggies, spaghetti, pizza, casseroles, chicken
Filtered water will be provided for drinking, and brushing your teeth. Do NOT drink the tap water. The locals can drink it, but American digestive tracts cannot handle it.
There are many shots suggested by the CDC. To enter the country absolutely required vaccine is the Yellow Fever vaccine. The best place to get the Yellow Fever shot is at your local health department ($150-200). The shot must be taken 6 weeks before your arrival. Plan accordingly! The good news is that once you have the yellow fever shot you will not need to get it again.
Mosquitoes also carry malaria. They are more prevalent in the rainy season (April-November). You can bring malaria medicine and citronella essential oils. Some members of our teams have not done well with malaria medicine and have opted for alternative treatments. Use fans at night, diffusers with citronella oil, and mosquito nets are what we also use. You can also use DEET (3 oz bottles or less).
What about COVID immunization? See more detailed info "What about COVID-19 vaccines?"
This changes frequently. Ghana's COVID travel requirements Updated March 28, 2022 : (Reference)
- Fully vaccinated?
- travelers are not required to take a PCR test to be allowed entry into Ghana.
- Not required to undergo an Antigen test upon arrival in Ghana.
- Definition of fully vaccinated:
- Two (2) doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Sputnik V
- One (1) dose is required for Johnson and Johnson
- Non-Fully vaccinated?
- Negative PCR test 48 hours prior to your USA departure to show the airlines before boarding.
- Pre-Pay for a Ghana antigen test you will take upon arrival in Ghana, and you will be offered vaccination upon arrival.
- Authorities in Ghana would work with pregnant women, minors, or people requesting an exemption on the basis of medical, health, religious and/or other reasons so long as they can provide documentary evidence to support reasons for being exempt from taking the vaccine.
All the links and payments for these will be made available to you when you join an expedition and track your to-do list in your account on this website.
Food, on-ground transportation, project costs, expedition team leaders, entrance fees. The expedition fee depends on the trip you decide to take. Click on each expedition to see the cost. There are other costs that are listed under "What other expenses are not included in my expedition fee?"
|Airline ticket||$1500||In the past, this has been the average ticket price. Sometimes you can find a cheap $900 flight, but those are often canceled and will cause you heartburn. Note: We do not book your ticket for you because people prefer to use certain airlines or use points, etc.||The sweet spot of best pricing are flights purchased around 64 days in advance. This changes depending on the season. Read more here for details. Plane tickets are higher May-August & December.|
|Travel insurance||$350||optional. Depends on your threshold for uncertainty.|
|passport & visa photos||$5-20||
Costco will give you 4 photos for $5.
|Passport||$150||If you do not already have one, it takes 14 weeks of standard processing time||Ensure your passport does not expire within 6 months of your travel to Ghana or your Visa application will be denied. (Spoken from experience.)|
|Visa (required)||$100||Single Entry is only available for 1st timers. 10-15 business days for standard processing. More for expedited processing.|
|UPS shipping to/from Consulate for Visa||$40||3-day shipping||The Consulate ONLY allows UPS into their building for pickup/drop-offs. NOT USPS or FedEx. USE ONLY UPS.|
|Yellow Fever shot||$155||Required. Get at your County Health Dept. Needs to be at least 10 days prior to departure.||Vaccines given prior to Yellow Fever vaccine may result in a 30 day wait before Yellow Fever vaccine can be given.|
|PCR Covid testing in USA prior to departure||$150||MUST be a PCR test if you are not fully vaccinated.
If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need the test.
|Some insurance will pay for your PCR test, others will not if it is for travel. Must call your insurance to find out. If it is any other test besides PCR you will not be allowed to fly. (Spoken from experience.)|
|Antigen testing at Ghana airport upon arrival||$150||If you are not fully vaccinated you are to pre-pay for their antigen test upon arrival. Pre-pay before you leave the USA.||https://myfrontierhealthcare.com/Home/Ghana|
|Meals at airports||$50||Meals at airports|
|subtotal||$1700 - 2650||(Depending if you already have passport, YF, Covid Vax, no travel insurance, etc)|
Some companies offer matching donations. We are registered with Benevity.com. Ask if your company is registered with Benevity for corporate matching.
Short answer: Consult your tax advisor.
Long answer: The fee paid to go on an Expedition is deductible as a charitable contribution following this IRS guidance:
Travel. Generally, you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. This applies whether you pay the expenses directly or indirectly. You are paying the expenses indirectly if you make a payment to the charitable organization and the organization pays for your travel expenses.
The deduction for travel expenses won't be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. However, if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you dont have any duties, you can't deduct your travel expenses.
We try to keep you involved in the charitable work nearly every day, so the trip can be deductible, but again, consult your tax advisor for specific questions and situations.
Yes, you can make payments. Secure your spot with your $500 deposit, then make sure your balance is 50% paid 90 days before you fly, 75% paid 60 days before, and 100% paid 30 days before "wheels up."
You can also save $200 by paying your entire trip fee at once.
Videos of Past Expeditions
Kevin and Robin Towle, Mrs International 2019, arrived in Ghana in January 2020 to work on projects with Families Mentoring Families. From children's homes to literacy centers, from TV Africa to the Monkey Village, we were BUSY!
Sisters join a homeschool co-op humanitarian expedition to Ghana with FamiliesMentoringFamilies.org. Good times! Join us!
Many thanks to our summer expedition team, many of whom had extended stays and worked miracles all summer. We so appreciate your love and support, and mostly your SWEAT! We are proud of all you accomplished and hope to see you again!
Thank you so much to our Spring 2019 expedition! We did some STUFF!!
This is the expedition video for the Spring 2018 Ghana team. Good times!
Making new friends, experiencing new cultures, and traveling the world!
Families Mentoring Families Spring 2016 Expedition
Up for some adventure? Join FMF on an expedition to Africa. You never know what you might come across. WE CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!!
What we're missing... is YOU!
Even small donations can go a long way. All donations are fully tax-deductible.