DWC Volunteer Teams COVID Policy

Where we send volunteer teams: As DWC seeks to resume its international volunteer program, key metrics that it will monitor to determine if a country is eligible to receive DWC volunteer teams include:

  1. Travel advisories: Canadian travel advisories no longer say “Avoid non-essential travel.”
  2. Rate of vaccination: 70% or more of the population have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
  3. Rate of community spread: The country has fewer that 100 reported cases of COVID per 100,000 people in the last seven days. This will mean the country is not in the “high zone,” or top tier of community spread, according to the CDC’s ranking.
  4. Localized information: DWC’s host partner reports that the situation in the specific community our team will be traveling to is stable.
  5. Quarantine: There are no quarantine requirements for our teams upon arrival in their host country.

Prospective Volunteers: All volunteers wishing to participate on a DWC volunteer project will be required to provide proof of:

  1. Full vaccination status, in accordance with current Canadian guidelines and recommendations regarding doses and boosters.
  2. A negative COVID-19 test (PCR or another appropriate test approved by DWC), which test must be taken, and results received, within 72 hours prior to departure.
  3. Travel insurance, including coverage for Covid-19 related illness, medical coverage, treatment and/or quarantine requirements.

Flexible Booking & Refund Policies: In order to create a more flexible approach to planning and booking volunteer trips, DWC is adjusting its registration processes. Volunteers will be asked to initially complete an online expression of interest (EOI). The $600 program donation will no longer be required upfront. After enough volunteers have completed EOIs, and providing nothing has changed relating to travel requirements or the COVID situation in the host country, volunteers will be asked to begin the regular registration and trip donation process.

As a registered Canadian charity, DWC is able to provide a charitable tax receipt for costs associated with a DWC volunteer’s trip. However, in order to comply with Canadian charitable law, donations to DWC are not eligible for a refund under any circumstances.  This includes trip cancellation due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions in Canada, the host country or any country through which the volunteers may transit.  It also includes any other medical or host country events or disasters which prevent travel.

If DWC cancels the volunteer trip, volunteers may transfer their donations towards a future project/trip for up to two years from the date of the canceled trip. After the two-year window, if the volunteer has not registered for a trip, funds will be redirected towards other charitable purposes.

If a volunteer cancels their volunteer trip within 30 days of a trip’s departure date, the policy then defaults to DWC’s regular cancellation policy, which gives the volunteer one year to redirect their donations to a future trip.

Prior to Travel: Prior to travel, volunteers will be encouraged to contact their local embassies for the country they will be visiting to receive updated travel information. With updates changing frequently, DWC will encourage participants to receive the most up to date information from embassies directly.

In-Country: All volunteers will be monitored for COVID-19 signs and symptoms throughout their volunteer trip. DWC reserves the right to implement additional measures to limit the spread or exposure of COVID-19. These measures can include, but are not limited to, quarantining or isolating volunteers who are suspected of having COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine will be at the volunteer’s own expense in the event they cannot do so safely in the team’s accommodation, which will be determined at DWC’s sole discretion. Volunteers who are required to stay in-country longer than the planned trip-dates due to any COVID-19 related issues, will be required pay their own costs, such as accommodation, food and transport.

DWC will support volunteers who are required to quarantine by providing them with suitable accommodation recommendations and regular check-ins throughout their quarantine period. Volunteers will receive no reimbursement, credit or refund of program fees in the event they are not able to participate in normal activities due to quarantine, isolation or other events related to COVID-19.

DWC has put in place preventative measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 but cannot guarantee volunteers will not become infected. By participating on a DWC trip, volunteers understand and accept the risk of becoming exposed to and/or infected by it which may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of volunteers and others, including, but not limited to, DWC staff, other DWC volunteers and/or local community partners.

Returning Home: In preparation for volunteers’ return journey from the host country, DWC will enable volunteers to reach a COVID-19 testing centre 72 hours prior to departure to their home country. This includes handling logistics such as transport and accommodation (if needed). Volunteers will be required to pay for the costs of their COVID-19 tests.