What do you mean by “extreme situations”?
We target the poorest of the poor, people in extreme physical, emotional or spiritual poverty. This may also include those who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, orphans, widows, the homeless, the uneducated or under educated and misplaced persons.
How do you change their lives?
Many of the situations we enter are so extreme that we need to begin with the basics: nutrition, shelter, health and hygiene. As the situation permits, we also help with education and education reinforcement for children and adults, as well as counseling, vocational and life skills training.
What are “community-based organizations”, and what do you mean by “partnership”?
A community-based organization may be a local foundation, community group, church or school. These organizations are made up of people from the community, usually have a ready set of volunteers, and have a formal accountability system in place. Since they are in the community, the community helps keep them accountable too.
When we say partnership we mean that each partner contributes to the effectiveness of the other. Extreme Response, at the request of the community-based partner, helps seek funding to help the partner meet their goals. We also allow our partners to receive donations through us in the countries where we are incorporated. We hold the partner accountable for how donated funds are spent. We provide ongoing encouragement and development for the organization’s top leaders. We also send volunteers and volunteer teams to help our partners as requested.
The community-based partner helps ER be more effective by keeping our staff informed regarding the changing situation and needs of the poor around the world. They give our volunteer workers the opportunity to serve the poor through hands-on involvement. They educate our volunteer workers regarding the true needs of the poor and the most effective ways “outsiders” can reach out to them. Partners increase the effectiveness of ER as they enable us to meet our goal of “changing the lives of people living in extreme situations”.
In what other ways do you help people?
We respond to disasters and other relief situations at the request of our partners. We also help with special project requests, presented to us by our partners and others as we can.
How much does it cost to work with Extreme Response as a short-term worker?
Our short-term worker program is set up to be a help to the partner organizations we work with in various countries. We ask the short-term worker to cover all of their expenses so that the partner organization receives the benefit of the worker without any financial burden to itself. Costs vary from $35 per day to $55 per day, depending on the country, and covers lodging, food, daily transportation (but not flights to and from the country), medical insurance, and a 10% administration fee. Some countries may have other costs that are covered by this amount. We ask that the short-term worker provide their own airfare to and from the country, including any airfare to get to the work site within the country of service. This cost is reimbursable if there is sufficient funds in their Extreme Response account after their time of service.
How do we raise money and pay for our time with Extreme Response?
Most people raise their financial support through family, friends, organizations such as churches, or by having special fund-raising projects. The donations are sent to the Extreme Response office in Snellville, Georgia and a tax receipt is given to the donor. Some people self-fund their time with Extreme Response. This money is also sent to the Extreme Response office and a tax receipt is given. Sometimes people have promises of support that will be sent in on a monthly basis or at a later date. You can just notify Extreme Response of these promises that will be coming in the future. We ask that all funds be in the Extreme Response account for all people spending two months or less. For those spending more than two months, we ask for at least two months of funds in their account before leaving for the field, with a plan for how the rest of the support will be coming in.
How do we get paid if all the money goes to Extreme Response?
This depends on where you are serving. In some cases the partner organization receives all the money, minus the administration cost, and is responsible for paying for housing, food, and other expenses. In some cases money is put into your personal bank account to be drawn out using an ATM card to cover the expenses that you will be required to pay, such as taxis etc. You will know in advance how this will work at the location where you will be serving.
What about immunizations?
We recommend that you go to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) web site (www.cdc.gov) for information on recommended immunizations for the specific area where you will be serving. We are also glad to help answer any of these questions.
What about medical insurance while we are out of our home country?
Extreme Response purchases medical insurance for you while you are serving with us. This is part of the daily estimated cost. This policy will cover a wide variety of medical expenses such as testing, hospitalization, emergency care, emergency medical evacuation, injury resulting from an Act of Terrorism (don’t worry, that has never happened where we send people), trip interruption, lost luggage, and more. These claims are subject to deductibles as stated in the policy.
Do we need a passport?
Yes, you will need a passport that is valid for at least six months after entering the country where you will be serving. You also need several blank pages in your passport for visa stamps and other documentation.
What about visas?
Most countries give a tourist visa for 21 to 90 days when you enter the country. This does not require applying for a visa. If you are staying for more than the allotted time for a tourist visa in the country you are visiting, you will need to get a different type of visa before you travel. We suggest t you use any search engine and type “Visa for (name of the country you will be visiting)”. We are glad to help you with this information as well.
Do I need an adaptor for my electrical items?
Many countries do use a different voltage or plug-type. We can help you with that information for your specific country or you can check online at World Standards
Do I need to worry about the water?
This depends on the country you will be serving in. In Latin America, we recommend that you only drink bottled water or water that has been properly filtered. This would include the brushing of teeth. Water quality varies from country to country. Bottled water is available in most countries. Please check with us before departing for more information.
What will the housing situation be?
Each partner organization will be responsible for your housing. Most give the opportunity to choose the kind of housing you desire. You may wish to stay with an English-speaking family. You may also be given the choice of living with a national family, with a group of other short-term workers, or on your own in a hotel or apartment. This all depends on your desires and what is available in the area where you will be working.
Should I bring extra spending money?
Yes. You will want extra spending money for personal items, souvenirs, special trips not planned by the partner organization, etc. In many countries you will need to pay an exit tax when you leave the country. That information will be given to you by the partner organization that you will be working with.
Anything else I need to know?
If there is, we will be glad to answer any of your questions along the process. We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your time of service with Extreme Response.
What do Extreme Response Volunteer Teams do?
Most of our teams are involved in construction projects and/or projects that directly meet the needs of the poor such as housing, medical, nutritional, and educational needs. Teams are also encouraged to develop relationships with the people they are serving.
Who can join a team?
We accept teams that are sponsored by a variety of different organizations. These organizations have their own criteria for their team members; however, we also ask that each team member agree to follow a code of conduct approved by Extreme Response. We primarily are looking for adult, youth or family teams.
Who handles the details?
Your trip will be planned and led by experienced Team Coordinators. We ask that the sponsoring organization name a team leader to assist the Extreme Response team coordinator. We also ask that the sponsoring organization arrange the team’s air travel. However, due to the often-challenging travel arrangements necessary to many countries, ER staff is available to help as needed with travel arrangements.
What about the finances?
Each team member and/or organization is required to raise the necessary finances to cover their travel, project and daily expenses. These finances must be paid into an account established for your team by Extreme Response.
How do I get more information?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do we get paid for our services?
Extreme Response International does not pay a salary. Each worker/volunteer is responsible for raising their own financial support through friends, organizations such as churches, civic groups etc. Tax-deductible receipts are given to financial donors and U.S. workers receive a W2 form for tax purposes.
What about medical insurance and other benefits?
All workers under Extreme Response International are covered by our medical insurance policy. We also require that the worker contribute to their own retirement plan as well as a personal savings account. These funds are part of the amount the Extreme Response requires each worker to raise for their support.
How much support do we need to raise?
This will depend on the organization that you are working with as well as the cost-of-living in the country that you serve in. The number and ages of family member also are considered in determining the support schedule. Our desire is that the family is able to live comfortably while setting a realistic goal for support funds to raise.
How long of a commitment do I have to make?
The Career Worker Program is for people who want to serve one year or more. This could be a lifetime commitment or a set period of time. It will also depend on the time frame that the partner organization is looking for.