FAQs

Get answers to your questions about our volunteer trips, development projects or our charitable organization

FAQs

Check our FAQs below. If you still have questions, please scroll to the bottom and email us directly. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Commonly Asked Questions

Where and when can I go? What will I do?

We offer volunteer trips to nine countries: Guatemala, Peru, Cambodia, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. This can change as projects get completed and some partners no longer need volunteer help or as new partners come on board.

Projects you can work on vary, including building homes, water-retention structures, schools, latrines and libraries; eye testing for reading glasses or installing eco-stoves.

You will work and interact with local people on the project and the work you do will definitely be needed and deeply appreciated.

You can choose a country or a type of project or travel by the date of the trips that are scheduled. All of our open trips (Youth and University, Adult and Family and some Custom trips) have scheduled dates listed on our trip schedule page. Closed trips (High School, Corporate and most Custom trips) are not on the schedule and can be arranged for groups or classes. Contact us to find out more or to set up your own trip. Call us toll-free during weekdays at 1-866-458-8209 (Pacific Standard time) or email us at info@developingworldconnections.org.

What if I raise more money than is required to cover my trip?

Any excess funds donated through our office will be directed to the project on which you’re volunteering. Only donations directed through our office are eligible for a charitable receipt.

Can I fundraise for my volunteer trip?

Yes you can. Charitable receipts will be issued to Canadian donors who give $20 or more to your trip. We have a comprehensive fundraising guide that you can get from your trip co-ordinator once you have registered for a trip. We can also send you brochures, a letter of participation, photos and other promotional items to help you reach your fundraising goal.

How much of my costs are tax deductible?

For Canadian residents, the entire cost of your volunteer trip can be claimed as a charitable donation. The cost of the flight is also deductible when booked through our assigned travel agent. If you book using flight reward points or outside of DWC’s agents, charitable receipts cannot be issued for airfare.

For U.S. citizens, the entire cost of your volunteer trip can be claimed as a charitable donation when you donate through our American charitable partner. The cost of the flight is also deductible when booked through our assigned travel agent. For more information on how to do this, please contact your trip co-ordinator.

Where does my money go?

Developing World Connections depends entirely on donations to operate and meet our mission. We offer lower fees than many other volunteer-sending organizations. We maintain the lowest fees possible given our expenses. Here’s how your fees break down:

  • Program cost
  • We dedicate time, staff, training and resources to ensure your trip is a great and meaningful experience. We do everything from issuing charitable receipts and sending out pre-departure information to providing print materials and maintaining a website to make sure all aspects of your trip goes smoothly and that you have all the details you need.

  • In-country costs
  • You will need food, lodging, transportation and guidance. The in-country cost covers this by paying for your hotels, meals, transport and team leaders. As much as possible, we use local operators and buy local materials and supplies, along with eating and staying at locally owned businesses.

  • Project cost
  • Each volunteer contributes $500 to the project, with $400 going to our in-country partner to buy project materials, hire local labour and support other programs they offer. We are required by the Canada Revenue Agency to conduct annual assessments of each project. The remaining $100 goes toward project development, assessing trips and monitoring projects.

  • Flights
  • Flight costs vary greatly depending on location and time of year and are a major factor in the final price of your trip. Our DWC affiliated travel agents work hard to find the best flights for the best price.

What is the cost?

A typical two-week trip costs about $2,100 to $2,500 per person, depending on the location and amenities (some countries or accommodations are more expensive than others, for example). This includes group transportation to and from the project, airport transfer, accommodation, meals and bottled water. It also includes a substantial contribution to the project for materials, local expertise and labour, a team leader and charitable tax receipts. The DWC program cost does not include airfare, taxes, insurance or other personal expenses. The entire amount paid through DWC is 100% tax deductible, including flights, as we are a Canadian charity.

Are the projects actually sustainable?

Yes. We try to ensure our projects help the greatest number of people possible by committing to projects that are chosen and needed by the in-country partner or the community.

We focus on projects that enhance education, provide access to medical services, boost agricultural production or ease poverty in some other way. We build homes when it is part of a larger community plan that supports the poorest families or in response to natural disasters.

What is an in-country partner?

Our in-country partners are non-profit organizations that help oversee the community projects in every country where we operate. They work with the local community to decide what project is most needed. We choose all of our in-country partners based on their commitment, development philosophy and community-oriented projects.

You can read more about these partners under Destinations - Our Partners Abroad on this website.

Why does each trip have a team leader?

Team leaders ensure the safety, security and enjoyment of our volunteers. As experienced travellers and past volunteers themselves, our team leaders understand volunteers’ needs and how service trips work. The team leader serves as a recruiter, facilitator, liaison and advocate of Developing World Connections.

How do I get there?

After signing up for your volunteer trip, you will be put in touch with your team leader, a trip co-ordinator and a travel agent who will help make your arrangements. Our agents work closely with the team leader to schedule flights. If you want to spend extra time touring and exploring in country before or after your volunteer trip, the travel agent can help you make plans.

Is every trip listed on your website guaranteed to happen?

Every trip needs a minimum number of volunteers to go ahead. We usually require at least six volunteers for each trip. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the departure of any trip until 90 days before departure. Many trips reach the green-light point with at least six volunteers well before the 90-day time frame, but there are occasions when trips have had to be cancelled. If that happens, we refund your money or transfer it to another trip of your choice.

What is the deadline to sign up for a trip?

The cut off for our trips is 60 days before departure. All our trips have limited space and many become full before the 60-day period, so it’s best to apply as early as possible.

How difficult is the work?

You will never be asked to work beyond your capacity or to do work that makes you uncomfortable. As a general rule, we will try to accomplish as much as possible. However, many of our projects involve building large facilities that must be completed over time. In these cases, the next group will pick up where yours leaves off.

Where are we staying? What will I eat?

Accommodations on our trips are not luxurious, but they are clean and comfortable. You will enjoy a variety of local cuisine and Western-style food. We ensure restaurants are recommended and the food is hygienically prepared. Special dietary needs can usually be accommodated.

What risks are involved? Will I be safe?

Yes, you will be safe. The safety of our volunteers is the utmost concern. All of our team leaders are trained in first aid, aware of country-specific emergency protocols and take all precautions to ensure the safety and security of our volunteers. We do not send teams to areas considered dangerous and we will withdraw from countries if we feel the risk is too great.

I want in. Now what?

Find the trip you want to join, submit an application form and sign the volunteer agreement. We require your non-refundable $500 program contribution when you register to hold your place on the trip. If you want to fundraise for this contribution, please notify our office. You'll get an email confirming your registration within one to three business days.

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