Below you’ll find everything you need to know about participating on a SOS Outreach Trip. SOS’s unique relationships with our partnering organizations enable our volunteers to have an immersive experience in the lives of our host communities. If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
It is important to SOS to promote integration and collaboration between international volunteers and local communities. Outreach Trip Volunteer Groups sleep in available community structures (classrooms, community centers, etc.), and live as close to the conditions of the community as possible. We believe this encourages a greater understanding of the lives and conditions of the community members, which ultimately results in more genuine, mutually-beneficial working relationships.
This means that your logistics are similar to camping – but just indoors! You’ll have to bring a sleeping bag, a pillow, a mat, and live out of your bag for the two week trip. SOS will provide all volunteers with clean drinking water and meals, but hot water will be scarce and there will be no air conditioning.
Many of the communities we work in have limited access to electricity, running water and the basic amenities you may be used to in your daily life. We know that living in the conditions of the community makes the experience and the lessons learned more impactful and valuable. You will be challenged in ways that, while not affecting your safety or security, will create an opportunity for growth and education.That being said, we want you to be informed every step of the way. We communicate expectations from both parties well before arrival so that everyone involved can prepare.
Standard Build Days
Of your 14 day trip, 2 days will be spent travelling in and out of your host country, and 2 days will be spent on Rest Days (more below). The majority of your trip days will be Standard Build Days.
A Standard Build Day looks like this:
7:00am – Wake Up, eat breakfast, get ready for the day
8:00am – On the worksite ready to get to work!
8:00 am to Noon – Build!
Noon to 1:00pm – Lunch
1:00pm to 3:00pm – Build!
3:00pm to 5:00pm – Community Activities (half are planned by SOS volunteers!)
5:00pm to 6:00pm – Unwind, and get ready for dinner!
6:00pm to 7:30pm – Dinner
8:00pm to 9:00pm – Nightly Facilitation and Discussion
9:00am to 10:00pm – Free group time!
You won’t work every day! Our partnering organization will organize two Rest Days for your group to relax and learn more about the culture of your host community and country. These activities are NOT included in your participant fee. Planning to bring between $200.00 CAD should be sufficient, but we will confirm with you in advance! In the past SOS volunteers have gone on boat rides, to beaches, to cultural heritage sites, to markets, to ancient ruins, and more. Sometimes SOS groups will spend a night in a hostel on their way to the airport before flying home.
The Rest Day fee will include: transportation to and from the activity and community, entrance fees, supervision, and, if applicable, guided tours and hostel stays. A suggested budget for meals on rest days will also be given, but how much is spent on food is of the participant’s’ discretion.