Outreach360 was incorporated in 1994 as Orphanage Outreach. We changed our name in September of 2011 to better reflect our change of focus from orphanages to entire neighborhoods of disadvantaged children. We match real needs in the countries where we work with the unique resources our volunteers have to share. Since 1994, over 15,000 volunteers have joined us in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, including over 2000 last year alone.
Our mission is to enable children to live a life of choice - to be qualified when completing high school to be able to choose to pursue a college degree or meaningful employment. Our focus is on those children growing up in the impoverished neighborhoods where we work.
Our Volunteer Teams:
High school teams, college teams, families, and individuals join us each week of the year, from any Saturday to any Saturday. Teams from over 50 high schools have joined us. A list of those teams can be found at the bottom of this page.
If you haven't led a team to a developing country before (and even if you have), you will appreciate the "turn key" approach we take. We will purchase the insurance, meet you at the airport, arrange the meals, housing, ground transportation, and projects. You'll still be busy, but it will be time well spent supporting your team and the direct service to the community; not managing basic logistics.
We are implementing Neighborhood Learning Centers in the areas where we work, teaching children during the half day they are not in their local school. We are starting with the younger children first, primarily teaching English and Spanish literacy. As the children get older, we will expand our focus to include college preparatory classes and vocational skills. Your team will most likely be working with children from pre-school through 4th grade. Our mission is to enable these children to live a life of choice - to be qualified to choose to pursue a college degree or meaningful employment.
The safety and health of our volunteers is our number one priority. Since 1994, over 15,000 volunteers have joined us without anyone's personal safety being threatened. We use common sense guidelines, as well as implement specific safety and health measures to ensure your team stays safe and healthy.
We have our own facilities where your team will be eating and sleeping. We don't use home-stays as we feel it adds increased risks, and having your team staying and eating together adds to the overall experience. Men and women are in separate rooms, usually bunkhouse style sleeping on bunk beds and with good mattresses. We have modern toilets and showers. Your team will be living in simple but comfortable facilities. We have our own cooks, and most volunteers rave about the excellent food. We use purified bottled water for all cooking and drinking.
Professional In-Country Leadership:
Your team will be led by American and Canadian full time staff. We work hard to focus on the many in-country logistics necessary to make your trip a success, so that you are able to focus on your students.
Dominican Republic vs Nicaragua:
Our service program is very similar in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic; you'll be working with young children primarily teaching English and Spanish literacy. And your housing and facilities in both countries is very similar. After that, the programs are very different. In the Dominican Republic, you will be volunteering in a fishing town on the beautiful northwest coast; in Nicaragua, you will be volunteering high in the mountains in the Nicaragua coffee growing region. And the cultural experiences your teams have are very different as well. The ideal thing might be to join us in the Dominican Republic one year, and Nicaragua the next.
The program donation for teams of 10 or more who sign up by our early sign-up deadline is $600/person for one week - which covers housing, all meals, ground transportation, insurance, and professional team leadership. The cost for a two week trip is $1000/person. This donation is tax deductible for U.S. tax payers. For every 10 paid volunteers, we waive the 11th for a faculty leader. Each volunteer and team will receive a fund-raising page; volunteers are encourage to invite family and friends to donate to sponsor their service. Airfare is additional. Costs page.
This program is great for students who are looking to practice and expand their Spanish; the opportunities are limitless. It is also a great experience for people with no Spanish knowledge; one of our 10 Volunteer Principles
is "Communicate Love" - to stress that language is not a requirement to make a connection with people, and to make a real difference. English only speakers are especially helpful in our English classes.
Comments from High School Teams:
"As a teacher, I would say that this is the most valuable trip I have taken with high school students. They had to engage immediately, get outside of themselves, and work really hard. The results of their hard work teaching kids were quickly evident and it propelled them to work even harder for the next class. Our students are forever changed by this experience. Outreach360 is a model for sustainable development at its best."
Maria McIvor, Faculty, Oregon Episcopal School, March 2012
"Go! This trip exposed me to a different country, warm and friendly people, and an entirely new way of life. People of every age will gain a deeper appreciation for what they have, and they will be inspired to do more and more in their daily lives. I will have very fond memories of this trip, and I plan to continue supporting the work of Outreach360."
Ellen Ruebush, Faculty, St. Margaret's School, Virgina, February 2012
"Don't think another second whether to join or not! The experience is really truly life changing. Life changing is used way too much to describe different experiences but it is the best work I could use to describe my one week experience with Outreach360 in the Dominican Republic. Your start to look at things very differently than you would previously think. You start to appreciate the things you have a lot more."
Jocelyn Ng, Student, Peddie School, New Jersey, March 2012
"I cherish the memories of my very special week in Nicaragua and feel so privileged and proud to have served as an Outreach 360 volunteer with the children of the primary school at Selva Negra. They were a pleasure to teach, and I feel our group truly communicated love, friendship and affirmation to these bright children. An experience like ours is the wonderful opportunity which awaits any person who chooses to volunteer with O360."
Catherine Goodnow-Gomez-Goodnow, Faculty, Episcopal High School, Virginia, March 2012
"You should definitely pursue joining Outreach360. My experience this past week with Outreach360 in the Dominican Republic has shown me that Outreach360 is truly an organization who cares about the cause it is working for and is eager to help in any way they can. They allow the volunteers to help in hands on ways not offered by many other organizations. As a donator or a volunteer you know exactly where your money is going and that it is going to benefit and change the lives of children and ready them to become the leaders of the country. Poco a poco Outreach360 with its volunteers will go on to change millions of lives. Outreach360 is a fantastic organization."
Heather Gordon, Student, The Taft School, Connecticut, March 2012