Our Volunteer Programme is one of our most important projects every year.
Working and staying in Haiti can pose additional challenges, and the health, safety and security of our volunteers is our top priority during the week. If you are considering applying for the programme, please bear the following in mind:
- The situation in Haiti can be difficult, as communities are still recovering from the effects of the 2010 earthquake and 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, as well as experiencing ongoing political turmoil and other challenges.
- During your time in Haiti, you’ll see poverty first-hand, and you should be prepared for this. Our staff will be on hand at all times if you want to talk through anything you see or experience, and we will provide you with debriefing opportunities and support links on your return.
- While the Volunteer Programme does entail a week of hard work in basic conditions, you should enjoy an extremely rewarding experience, as we work closely together with local people in Haiti to take important steps toward rebuilding their lives.
- You should be 18 years of age or older, and in good health before making your application. However, exceptions may be made at the sole discretion of our team.
- You must have an electronic, machine-readable passport which is valid for at least six months after the date of departure and has at least four consecutive blank pages inside. In order to complete our application forms, a photocopy of your passport is required.
- You must ensure that you have the appropriate and valid visa and travel documents required for entry into the United States (US), as you will pass through here en route to Haiti.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will our accommodation and living conditions be like?
- You will stay in basic, shared accommodation.
- Toilets and daily showers will be available to you.
- We will provide you with substantial, nutritious and locally-prepared food.
- For security reasons, you will not be able to leave or wander from the accommodation or work sites on your own.
Are there specific health requirements?
- Since working conditions can be strenuous, you should be in good health to participate.
- While basic first-aid services will be available, on-site medical care will be limited. In addition, local hospitals can have limited resources or face limitations in their care of critically ill or injured patients. You should consider this before travelling if it is a concern to you.
- You should ensure that your vaccinations for safe travel to Haiti are up to date before departure. 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, you will be required to enter the US. If you are not an American citizen, you may require an ESTA visa at this time. Irish citizens must hold a valid ESTA visa before entering the US. 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.
- You incur the cost of the ESTA visa or Visitors visa.
- You will need to complete a standard visa entry form on arrival into Haiti. We will advise you of the details required for this prior to your departure.
- You are required to fundraise, sponsor or pay €4,500 ($5,000/£3,920). A €400 ($450/£350) non-refundable deposit to secure your place is included in this.
- Fundraising covers your cost of travel, 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 you will be working on during the programme.
- While we completely understand that it can be a challenge to raise this amount of money, we find that engaging family and friends to support your work can be a very helpful and enjoyable way of achieving it.
- We can offer you a selection of fundraising resources – including t-shirts, buckets, stickers, flyer and more – and can give you advice to help you meet your fundraising goal.
- We will send you reminders on key dates to help you reach your fundraising goal.
- If you become unable to participate in the Volunteer Programme, your deposit and other funds 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, unless in exceptional circumstances.
- Visas, personal expenses, and vaccinations are not included in the €4,500 ($5,000/£3,920) cost.