- To what community-identified needs do the GiveGetGo projects address?
- What is your process for learning about community needs?
- How effective are these short-term international volunteer placements given their limited duration?
- How is the work of the international volunteer sustained after his or her departure?
- Do trip participants take away jobs from local people?
- Who leads GiveGetGo trips?
- How do GiveGetGo participants prepare for the trip?
- How is success measured in these projects?
- Is the charity we are dealing with registered?
- Are tax receipts issued for the trip?
- How much of the cost of the trip goes towards the charity?
- What type of meals and facilities are provided on the build site?
- What documents do I need to travel?
- Are GiveGetGo adventures safe?
- What happens in a medical emergency?
- How safe is the build site?
- Am I fit enough to participate in the build?
- Is there safe drinking water?
- Are vaccinations required before departure?
- Do I need travel/medical insurance?
- Can I bring gifts to the children of the community?
- Can I fundraise for this trip?
- Do I need to be a Canadian citizen?
- Is there a minimum age for volunteer participants?
- Does GiveGetGo have any religious affiliations?
- Can I use my Air Miles ® or other travel rewards programs for the flight portion?
- Can I extend my trip before or after my GiveGetGo adventure?
- What is UNESCO?
1. To what community-identified needs do the GiveGetGo projects address? Our intentions within the developing world communities we work in are to build, renovate, and refurbish schools and orphanages for registered Canadian charities. These projects are already community-identified needs established by the local ICA (Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs) office. GiveGetGo undertakes extensive pre-project analysis by visiting the location several times to ensure that we provide volunteer services that are fully cognoscente of community and project needs. We meet with in-country ICA staff, learn about the entire community, to gain a complete understanding of the parameters of our project involvement. In addition, all our partnership charities are well established with a long-term commitment to these communities.
2. What is your process for learning about community needs? Local community ICA staff, directors, founders, staff of the charities and community leaders are all available throughout our entire process to ensure proper guidance, education and adherence to community needs.
3. How effective are these short-term international volunteer placements given their limited duration? One of the mandates for GiveGetGo partnerships with developing world Canadian charities is requiring that their build needs be long-term projects. Teams change as we take new groups to these projects, and these builds often last for several years. In addition, our team size for each trip are between 8 to 14 individuals and given that developing world build projects are much simpler in scope, each team accomplishes an incredible amount towards the project. There is never any doubt as to the substantial impact these groups have on the entire project. Often volunteers return for a repeat experience as GiveGetGo is committed to extensive post-trip updates, Facebook project pages and team email blasts that keep these connections for years to come.
4. How is the work of the international volunteer sustained after his or her departure? All our build projects are located in areas suffering from extreme poverty. The schools and orphanages that we are constructing will be used for generations to come. We build and we will return many times, with many teams, often for several years. Our partnered charities have either been working with their communities for years or are committed and have the resources for a long-term, generational involvement.
5. Do trip participants take away jobs from local people? You will be working on projects that the people of the community have been unable to undertake because of lack of funding. There are some projects in better positions where our project employs 18 local builders on site. Our volunteers provide a boost only, at periodic intervals. On another project our donations allow for additional classrooms to be built on a small school, by actually paying for the materials. There are no funds available for labour costs at this site. The classrooms would not get built if the partnering charity and GiveGetGo were not there to help.
6. Who leads GiveGetGo trips? GiveGetGo has carefully selected our trip leaders based on their passion for adventure and commitment to unbelievable travel experiences. They are well-travelled, organized, and reliable leaders who have experience working on build sites and firmly believe in providing you with the best travel experience they can. Safety is paramount and that’s why our team leaders are First Aid certified and closely involved in all aspects of the programs to ensure that each volunteer has a fun and safe vacation!
7. How do GiveGetGo participants prepare for the trip? From the moment a volunteer commits to participating on a GiveGetGo adventure, we provide extensive pre-trip cultural and community awareness education. From one-on-one meetings, conference calls and orientation manuals, pre-trip standard procedures ensure all participants have a full and complete understanding of the community they will be working in. Before our volunteers leave their home countries they are educated in regards to the hosts country’s dress, religion, customs, culture, traditions and geography.
8. How is success measured in these projects? Our goals and successes can not only be measured in the physical buildings we construct, but also in the relationships we build with the local community. It is of utmost importance that there is an exchange of cultures and information. We have nightly team discussions to evaluate the day’s progress.
9. Is the charity we are dealing with registered? Yes. We only deal with Canadian and U.S. registered charities. We have personally visited each site and investigated all our partners. We partner with charities that are involved with sustainable developments for the future.
10. Are tax receipts issued for the trip? Yes. You will be eligible for a tax receipt for the volunteer portion of the trip. Also, you may receive a tax receipt for airfare (economy seating) in most situations. See our Tax Receipting & Fundraising page for further information.
11. How much of the cost of the trip goes towards the charity? The following is the charitable donation portion included in the cost of each trip:
- Tanzania Adult: $500 direct donation
- Guatemala Adult: $300 direct donation
- Tanzania Young Adult: $300 direct donation
- Guatemala Young Adult: $100 direct donation
100% of this charitable donation will go to the charity to buy building supplies.
12. What type of meals and facilities are provided on the build site? We hire personal cooks to provide the team with fresh and authentic local cuisine for lunch and snacks throughout the work day. Both build sites have proper washrooms and a clean lunchroom environment. Internet is only available at the hotel.
13. What documents do I need to travel? All volunteers are required to have a valid Canadian passport for each of our trips. Your passport should be up to date and have an expiry date that is a minimum of six months after the RETURN date of your trip. No visa is required for Guatemala. For the Tanzania trip there is a $50 (In US Currency) entry VISA charge for Canadians, $100 for Americans. It is to be paid upon arrival at the Tanzania airport. There is also a $30 US departure tax.
14. Are GiveGetGo adventures safe? Yes. The areas in which we stay and build in are popular Tanzania and Guatemala tourist destination. GiveGetGo has strong relationships with our charitable partners, ground operations, tour leaders and local contacts which keep us informed and up-to-date on all local situations in which we operate. Our staff have personally visited the locations several times to ensure your safety and enjoyment while travelling with us. From safe drinking water to hotel security and the closest medical facilities, all aspects of possible risks have been thoroughly assessed and mitigated to the best of our ability.
15. What happens in a medical emergency? All our team leaders are first-aid certified. There is a local, full medical clinic in Tanzania and in Guatemala and an American private hospital is located in close proximity to our hotels and work sites. We have a thorough emergency management plan that is the team leaders’ guide to handling, accidents, illnesses and catastrophic events. Copies of all medical profiles provided by the volunteers are kept secure with the team leaders at all times during the trip.
16. How safe is the build site? Safety at the work site is our number one priority. On the first day of the build we hold an orientation meeting to discuss and demonstrate preventative safety measures. Experienced local masons, carpenters and craftsmen will lead the group, teaching you the required skills and supervising your work. We ask all volunteers to take to heart and observe safe work practices throughout the build. Team leaders take considerable measures to keep the site clean and diminish any possible hazards. Zero accidents is the goal!
17. Am I fit enough to participate in the build? Regardless of your fitness level, there is a job to suit everyone. No previous building experience is necessary. All volunteers are urged to work at their own pace and take breaks when needed. Your team leader will be aware of any medical or physical limitations previously provided and will accommodate accordingly.
18. Is there safe drinking water? Yes. Bottled water will be available at all times. Please bring a reusable water bottle with you.
19. Are vaccinations required before departure? Check with your local community health services or physician several mouths before departure for which shots and immunization are needed. It is a good idea to bring along a copy of your immunization records with you. Your family doctor or travel doctor will be best to advise you on what medications are needed.
20. Do I need travel/medical insurance? Yes. All volunteers are required to have medical insurance and are requested to provide their policy number and insurance provider’s contact information before departure. Travel cancelation insurance is not mandatory but his highly recommended.
21. Can I bring gifts to the children of the community? We welcome donations but they must be distributed through the administrators of the charities and not presented directly to the children or other individuals of the community. Regardless of the intentions, the practice of gift giving can lead to ill feelings among both givers and receivers. It also reinforces the stereotype of North Americans as patronizing, wealthy foreigners. Please understand that you are under no obligation to bring or to buy gifts and/or tools.
22. Can I fundraise for this trip? Yes. You can fundraise to cover your airfare and the charitable portion of the trip cost. Please check out our Charitable Tax Receipting & Fundraising page for further information.
23. Do I need to be a Canadian citizen? No. You can be a citizen of any country but only Canadians and U.S. citizens will receive eligible tax receipts for the Tanzania trip and you must be canadian in order to receive a tax receipt for the Guatemala trip.
24. Is there a minimum age for volunteer participants? Volunteers must be 18+ to participate in the Adult and Young Adult trips. However, we allow 16+ on School trips and 10+ on Family trips.
25. Does GiveGetGo have any religious affiliation? No religious affiliation is attached to any of our trips. However, all participants are expected to show respect for the religious beliefs of other participants and local people at all times.
26. Can I use my Air Miles ® or other travel rewards programs for the flight portion? Yes, but you will only receive a tax receipt for the taxes paid, not the full flight amount.
27. Can I extend my trip before or after my GiveGetGo adventure? Yes. However, if you choose to extend your trip to include additional personal vacation time in excess of the total number of GiveGetGo related trip days less one day, your airfare expenses will not be eligible for a tax receipt.
28. What is UNESCO? In 1945, UNESCO the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was established to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal value and to build intercultural understanding through the protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity. www.unesco.org