The ADRA Connections Experience
An ADRA Connections experience is a life-changing opportunity to travel to ADRA’s projects around the globe and experience first-hand the vitally important development work that ADRA does.
On an ADRA Connections trip, you’ll be involved in a variety of ADRA’s projects, from training, monitoring photographic and story writing, to renovations, repairs, playground refurbishment, building, to farming, nutrition, hygiene education. You could also work with communities in disaster zones, teaching them how to be prepared in a disaster or helping to rebuild after a disaster – there are a huge range of ways you can be involved in the work of ADRA!
ADRA is a trusted world-wide charitable organisation and we work with local communities to create long-lasting sustainable change. All Connections activities are about working in partnership with communities to make a difference that truly benefits the people we serve.
By being part of a Connections trip, you’ll have an opportunity to experience the everyday realities of local communities and help create positive change through your chosen activities.
Don’t just take our word for it, check out what previous adventurers had to say about their experience: the ADRA Connections Experience.
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Frequently Asked Questions
ADRA will look after all in-country logistics for you. We will:
1. Liaise and co-ordinate with the in-country ADRA office to fully plan your trip, including all bookings for accommodation, food and transport in-country.
2. Organise your project and sightseeing activities after the trip.
3. Provide you with an orientation prior to travelling and an induction once you arrive in country, as well as daily briefings for the project and managing cultural differences of culture shock.
4. Provide a Country Guide to prepare you before departure.
5. Provide resources to support you in your fundraising.
6. Provide you with quality travel insurance.
7. Provide you with International SOS 24/7 assistance to ensure your safety.
8. Provide an ADRA Host to travel with you throughout the whole trip to prepare you for your project, manage logistics, bookings and any difficulties or emergencies that may arise, translate for you, and guide you as you participate in your Connections trip.
ADRA will look after most things for you throughout your ADRA Connections trip. However, your responsibilities are to:
1. Complete your registration process, with all required documents in a reasonable and timely manner.
2. Fundraise the ADRA Donation cost of the trip by the specified deadlines.
3. Book your own flights to arrive in-country for the start date of the trip.
4. Arrange your own visa for entry into the country.
5. Complete your medical check and have all required vaccinations before departure.
6. Purchase any medication required for while you are overseas.
7. Complete all cultural and safety orientation programs before departure.
8. Engage in your project while away, respecting the ADRA staff and community.
9. Throughout your trip, comply with all agreements signed as part of your registration process.
An ADRA Connections trip is an enriching experience in ADRA’s development work, where you have the opportunity to be involved in ADRA’s work first-hand, in a safe and culturally appropriate manner. Costs for your ADRA Connections trip have been set up with this in mind. The cost of the trip has been split into two different parts 1. ADRA Donation 2. Personal Cost. Please note, the outlined cost does not include travel expenses which in this case refer to; flights to get to project country, extra baggage, airport tax, passport & or visas fees, first aid kit, and any additional sightseeing not included in the itinerary. These costs are the participant’s responsibility, including all bookings and arrangements.
1. ADRA Donation Costs
ADRA Donation Costs include: the cost for all materials and equipment for project work; project management and monitoring; and accomodation, food and transport while on project. The ADRA Donation costs are fully tax-deductible (for New Zealand donors) and fully fundraisable. This component must be paid in full to ADRA New Zealand two months before departure.
2. Personal Costs.
Personal Costs include: a $250 non-refundable commitment deposit payment; comprehensive insurance cover through RMS (Risk Management Services); International SOS medical and emergency cover; sightseeing costs as included in the itinerary; all accommodation and travel while sightseeing, and most food (you may need to buy your own meals on transit days). Unfortunately, this is not tax-deductible. This component is to be paid in full to ADRA New Zealand one month before departure.
It is each teams own responsibility to organise your flights to arrive into the country in time for the commencement of your ADRA Connections Trip. We recommend using reliable travel agencies, that can easily assist you to make individual or group bookings. Flights need to be booked as soon as possible after registration, with a copy of your flight itinerary provided to ADRA New Zealand. The earlier you book, the better! Booking with your team ensures that you travel together and arrive at the same time – please talk to your team leader about this.
It is each participant’s responsibility to organise your own visa for entry into the country where your Connections trip will be conducted. More information will be provided in your Project Info Sheet and Country Guide that will be sent to you.
*Please note some countries may not require a visa.
Please contact your nearest Travel Doctor and tell them about your travel plans. They will recommend which vaccinations to get and give you a medical travel card with your vaccinations details. Explore the website and find your nearest clinic at: www.traveldoctor.co.nz
An ADRA Host will be with you throughout the trip to help you communicate with the locals. Additional translators will also be made available to help you if the project requires this. We also provide a Country Guide with some key phrases in the local language that we encourage you to practise and learn before you depart. During orientation you will have another chance to try out your language skills, and, if all else fails, body language, facial expressions and smiles can communicate a thousand words… just keep this in mind when trying local food for the first time… be gracious if you don’t like it and the people will respect you for trying it.
ADRA aims to minimise risks you will be exposed to during your trip. We have arranged for an ADRA host to accompany you throughout the trip, so they will be able to provide assistance if any incidents occur. For each trip we have a comprehensive Risk Management Assessment and Exit Strategy. Furthermore, you will be covered by a comprehensive insurance while you are away to ensure you are in safe hands throughout your whole travel experience.
It is our top priority to provide a trip that will be as safe as possible and we endeavor to do everything we can to look after you while participating in an ADRA Connections Program. ADRA ensures safety standards are implemented as much as we are able to, for food, accommodation, transport, and travel. All trips undergo an extensive risk analysis, as 90% of risk is reduced by being properly prepared – we ask all volunteers to be vigilant in reading material provided and completing orientation programs before departure. Your ADRA Host will be with you throughout the trip and is available to talk to if you have any concerns for your safety or for the safety of anyone else on the trip. ADRA aims to minimise risks you will be exposed to during your trip.
You must be over 18 to join an individuals trip unless you are travelling with a family member (over 18). If travelling with a family member (over 18), there is no age limit. If you are travelling with a school group and under the age of 18 you must complete our Consent and Release form along with your application form.
This can be possible but please speak to our coordinator before making any set plans.
ADRA Connections works closely with local ADRA staff on the ground in country to find accommodation that is safe, respectable and clean. But keep in mind that while travelling and working in a foreign country, things can be quite different from home. ADRA works in some really remote areas for some of our projects, so be prepared while on project to ‘rough it’ a little more than you may be used to, with the potential of basic bathroom facilities, squat toilets, no running taps, internet or electricity.
During your project, you will get to enjoy a variety of local dishes. Food is often fairly basic, simple food that may be different to what you are used to, but please give it a try, as it’s only for a short time. If you don’t like it, always remember to be respectful and polite, as food is often a symbol of acceptance and trying food, even just a small amount, can warm the hearts of those who have prepared the food, consolidating their acceptance of you and opening opportunities for new friendships to be made. For health reasons, food provided on the trip will be vegetarian, but optional meat selections may be available at your own risk. If you have special dietary needs, it will be identified as part of your registration processes and where possible special food will be prepared. If you are concerned, we recommend bringing some food from home to meet your needs.
ADRA also advises that while in a developing country it is best to drink only bottled water from a sealed container, and only clean your teeth with this same bottled water, as local water can quickly cause contamination often resulting in stomach pain and diarrhea, that can lead to serious health problems.