Volunteer FAQs

Our Volunteer Programme is one of our most important projects every year, and the health, safety and security of our volunteers is our top priority during the week.

Working and staying in Haiti can pose additional challenges, so we do ask volunteers to keep the following in mind when considering making an application:

  • The situation in Haiti is still difficult, as communities are still recovering from the effects of the 2010 earthquake and 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, as well as experiencing ongoing political turmoil and other challenges.
  • During the programme, volunteers will see poverty first-hand and should be prepared for this.  Our staff will be on hand at all times if volunteers want to talk through anything they see or experience.
  • While the Volunteer Programme does entail a week of hard work in basic conditions, volunteers should enjoy an extremely rewarding experience, as together we work with communities in Haiti to take important steps toward rebuilding their lives.
  • All volunteers should be 18 years of age or older, and in good health.  However, exceptions to this may be made at the sole discretion of Haven.
  • Each volunteer’s passport must be valid for at least six months after the date of departure and must have at least four consecutive blank pages inside.  In order to complete our application forms, your passport name, number, expiration date and country of issue are required, as is a photocopy of your passport.

 

Some Frequently Asked Questions

 

What will our accommodation and living conditions be like?

  • Volunteers will stay in basic, shared accommodation.
  • Toilets and showers will be available for daily hygiene.
  • Meals will consist of locally prepared food.
  • For security reasons, volunteers will not be able to leave or wander from the accommodation or work sites on their own.

 

Are there specific health requirements?

  • Since working conditions can be strenuous, volunteers should be in extremely good health to participate.
  • While basic first-aid services will be available, on-site medical care will be limited.  In addition, local hospitals are either still heavily damaged or unable to care for critically ill or injured patients. These circumstances should be carefully considered before applying for the programme.
  • Volunteers should ensure that the necessary vaccinations for safe travel to Haiti are up to date.  For vaccination recommendations, please check the Tropical Medical Bureau website.

 

How hot will it be in Haiti?

  • The average temperature in Haiti is 35°C and the average humidity level is 60%.

 

Are there any visa requirements?

  • En route to Haiti, all volunteers will be required to enter the United States: if you are not an American citizen, you will require an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) Visa at this time.  You can apply for your ESTA Visa here.
  • If your country of nationality is outside of the Visa Waiver Programme which grants ESTA Visas, you will have to apply for a Visitor’s Visa to the United States.  More information is available here.
  • The cost of the ESTA Visa or Visitors Visa is incurred by the volunteer.
  • A standard visa entry form will need to be completed by the volunteer on arrival into Haiti.  All volunteers will be advised of details in order to complete this prior to departure.

 

Fundraising

  • Each volunteer is required to fundraise, sponsor or pay €4,500 ($5,000/£3,920) per person.  A €400 ($450/£350) non-refundable deposit to secure your place is included in this.
  • Fundraising covers the cost of travel for volunteers, including food, water, accommodation, transport, security, scheduled flights, overnight accommodation en route if needed, basic insurance and more.  Most importantly, it provides the resources for the critical work of our sustainable community development projects in Haiti, which volunteers will be working on during the programme.
  • While we acknowledge that this amount may be challenging to raise for some volunteers, it is intended as a project in which you can engage your family and friends to support your work on the ground in Haiti.
  • We offer a selection of fundraising resources to volunteers – including t-shirts, buckets, stickers, balloons and pop-up stands – and can give you advice to help you meet this goal.
  • We send out reminders to all volunteers on key dates so that a minimum fundraising balance can be maintained.
  • If a volunteer becomes unable to participate in the Volunteer Programme, the deposit and other funds that they have raised up to that point cannot be refunded; they will go towards our ongoing projects in Haiti.  Equally, the funds cannot be transferred to other existing volunteers or  to any future Volunteer Programme.
  • Visas, personal expenses, and vaccinations are not included in the €4,500 ($5,000/£3,920) cost.