Living Rules and Guidelines Reputation is very important in the areas where we are working. A good reputation takes a long time to acquire, and can be quickly lost. We are committed that our volunteers have the reputation similar to that of a local professional teacher, an American Peace Corps volunteer, or a missionary would have. People's actions and people's dress are very important in the areas we are working, more so than in the United States or Canada. In addition, every international non-profit working in-country needs to have an in-country "sponsor" - it's the culture and custom.
So, to make sure that you/we maintain the respect of the community, Outreach360 has rules against drinking alcoholic beverages, visiting bars/discoteques, smoking, etc. (Dancing is fine if it is part of the Outreach360 program, but not at a local bar.) No hand holding, no public displays of affection, etc. Volunteer relations with each other should not be an issue; our focus is on the children. If possible, we request that piercings and tattoos be minimized, covered, etc. And the dress code is very modest--no shorts or tank tops for the women, for example. Men should wear long pants in the schools and health clinics. As a guest, we will be responsible for fitting into the community culture, rather than expecting them to be tolerant of ours.
Safety and HealthYour safety and health when volunteering with Outreach360 is our number one priority. We therefore have put in place a number of guidelines meant to keep you safe and healthy when working with us.
Program StructureOutreach360 is a very structured volunteer program. A schedule is set each day, volunteers work together, travel together, etc. You will see and do a lot during your time with Outreach360. But for both program and safety reasons, you won't have the ability to wander around town or wander around the country on your own. All travel and activities will be done as part of a group.
Physical and Emotional Health You need to be mentally and physically healthy and ready for this trip. The heat, new surroundings, new food, new sleeping arrangements, and active schedule can be physically draining. Being away from home, in a poverty area, working with poor children can be mentally draining. There is no heavy physical work or lifting required. If you have any questions about your physical or emotional readiness for this trip, please contact us.
Flexibility You need to be "Gumby" on this trip. Not Gumby when you want to be or are willing to be, but Gumby all the time. This is not a staged, choreographed event you are signing up for. It is not a tour. This is a real life, multi-cultural trip to a developing country. We can best describe it as sort of a combination Peace Corps and Outward Bound experience. You need to be prepared for surprises, both negative and positive. The power might go out for two days, meaning the pumps can't pump water, meaning you don't have shower water. (We'll always have bottled drinking water.) The bus might break down, and we might have to sit on the side of the road for four hours while it gets fixed. You might be planning on teaching English, and we have a big rainstorm and we end up working to clean up the water and mud for two days. If any of these things would cause a big upset for you, you should not sign-up for this trip.
HomesicknessOn this trip, you will be meeting a lot of new people, you'll be in a very different environment, you'll be in a new culture, etc. Although we do a lot to make the transition easy and the facilities comfortable, you will still be in a strange place a long way from home. If you have a history of homesickness, or if it's your first time away from home, you need to think twice about doing this trip. At a minimum, you need to be make sure that you are mentally and emotionally prepared and ready for this trip.
Outreach360 has two significant priorities regarding volunteer actions: 1) That each volunteer stays safe and healthy, and 2) That volunteers maintain and enhance the positive reputation Outreach360 has in the communities where we work. We therefore have a very structured program, with a number of guidelines designed to maintain the safety, health, and respect of our volunteers and program.
During my time with Outreach360:
The funds that volunteers raise to participate on an Outreach360 trip are primarily used to support the costs of our direct service program (expenses for the community children). These yearly funds are critical to the success and operation of our educational programs. If these funds were interrupted for any reason, the future of our programs would be in doubt. Therefore, if you or your group are unable to participate on your trip for any reason (sickness, airline strike, hurricane, etc.), we request that you donate your funds outright, or credit them toward a future trip with Outreach360 taken within the next 12 months.
I understand that the primary use of these funds is to benefit community by providing basic necessities and educational opportunities. If I am unable to participate on this trip for reasons within my control or outside my control, the funds will not be refunded They will, at my choice, either be donated outright, or be credited toward a future trip I decide to take with Outreach360 within the next 12 months.
I understand the funds I donate and raise are for this trip only, and extra funds raised will not be credited toward a future trip with Outreach360 unless I cancel from this trip and sign up for a future trip. The future trip needs to be completed within the next 12 months for my funds to transfer.
I understand that funds I raise or donate can not be transferred to another volunteer or team.
I understand that the total program donation is due 30 days prior to the trip.
Donations to Outreach360 are tax deductible and thus are non-refundable. They are not creditable toward airline expenses. If you raise more than the minimum program donation, the additional funds will be used to fund important Outreach360 programs. Thank you for your support.
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