Our Volunteer Guide to the
Rules & Guidelines
Below is a sample waiver from the registration form that all volunteers agree to before submitting their registration. If you have any questions about the information below, please feel free to contact us.
Please note that all volunteers must be at least 18 years of age or be accompanied by a parent or a temporary guardian. Temporary guardians must be at least 21 years of age, and this Temporary Guardianship Form must accompany the minor and/or temporary guardian:
Section 1: Considerations when Volunteering with Outreach360
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 a reputation similar to that of a local professional teacher, a U.S. 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.
So, to make sure that you/we maintain the respect of the community, Outreach360 has rules against drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking, etc. 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 short shorts or tank tops for the female volunteers, for example, and males should wear long pants while teaching. As a guest, we will be responsible for fitting into the community culture, rather than expecting them to be tolerant of ours.
SAFETY AND HEALTH
Your safety and health when volunteering with Outreach360 are 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. We also encourage you to take some time to visit our Health and Safety page for more information on how we ensure yours.
Outreach360 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. However, during free time you will have the opportunity to explore the town of Monte Cristi in groups of two or more.
PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH
You need to be mentally and physically healthy/ready for this trip. The heat, new surroundings, new food, new sleeping arrangements, and our full schedule can be physically draining. Being away from home, in an impoverished area, working with active students 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.
You need to be flexible on this trip and not just when you want to be or are willing to be, but truly flexible the whole 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.
On 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.
RELIGIOUS & LIFESTYLE CONCERNS
We are committed that volunteers of all faiths are comfortable while volunteering with us. Religion should not be an issue. Volunteers will have the opportunity to attend an optional church service in town. Christians will be able to hold a bible study during non-service hours. Non-religious volunteers will not be evangelized to, and not be pressured on religion. We will be respectful and accommodating of all volunteers’ religious beliefs and convictions.
If you are under the age of 18 and not traveling with a parent, you will need to be accompanied by a parent or a temporary legal guardian 21 years of age or older. Please complete the Temporary Guardianship Form and give it to the temporary guardian traveling with you. A copy should be sent to us, and a copy kept with the legal guardian to show the airline and/or immigration.
Section 2: Volunteer Rules & Guidelines - Safety, Health, and Community Respect
Outreach360 has two priorities when it comes to volunteers: that each volunteer is healthy and safe and that our 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:
I will not smoke.
I will not drink alcoholic beverages.
I will not spend time at a discoteca (bar).
I will not swear.
I will not use recreational drugs.
I will not be involved in romantic public displays of affection.
I will respect the quiet time of 10:00 P.M.
I will not drive a motorized vehicle.
I will not ride on a motorcycle.
I will not give gifts or pesos directly to the children or people in the community without the involvement of my Outreach360 Team Leader.
I will abide by the Outreach360 dress code.
I will follow the instructions of the Outreach360 Team Leader.
I understand that Outreach360 has a zero-tolerance policy toward volunteers drinking or being at a discoteca (bar). If I violate one of these rules I will be asked to leave the program, pay for my own transportation to the airport and back home, and any additional expenses involved.
I understand that violating any of the other rules listed above could also result in my being asked to leave the program, at the discretion of the Outreach360 Team Leader
Section 3: Fundraising Understanding
The funds that volunteers raise to participate on an Outreach360 trip are primarily used to support the costs of our direct service program (expenses to operate our Learning Center and Learning Camps) and to host volunteers. 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 the community by providing 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 the funds I raise or donate cannot 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!
Section 4: Logistics Understanding
Air travel is the responsibility of each volunteer.
I understand that all Outreach360 trips, unless agreed to otherwise, begin on a Saturday and end on a Saturday. I will plan to arrive and depart on Saturday.
I understand that ground transportation between the airport and the Outreach360 location is covered by trip program donation, if I arrive and depart between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
I agree to allow Outreach360 to arrange my transportation for me. For safety and liability reasons I will not be permitted to arrange my own transportation between the Outreach360 site and the airport
I understand that if I arrive or depart the airport between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., there will be an additional ground transportation charge.
I understand that if I arrive or depart from an airport other than the Santiago airport, there will be an additional ground transportation charge.
Section 5: Photo Release
Outreach360 has my permission to use my photograph, video and audio recordings, likeness, artwork, profile and/or story in future publications, web pages and other promotional materials produced, used by and representing Outreach360. I understand the circulation of the materials could be worldwide and that there will be no compensation to me for this.