We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and following the latest advice from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Department of Health, as well as the World Health Organisation. Our teams have been working tirelessly around the clock to find the best possible solution for our volunteers, and the vulnerable overseas communities that we support, while recognising the importance of doing our part to stop the spread of the virus.
The scale and speed with which the outbreak has been evolving is absolutely unprecedented and beyond everyone’s expectations.The safety of our volunteers, staff and communities is our top priority and given the exceptional circumstances, as of March 21st, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all of our programs due to commence in June and July.
All volunteers whose program is affected by this decision will have the opportunity to rebook for any program either later this year or anytime in 2021. If you are unable to rebook your program at this time, we will issue you with a Program Credit to the value of the funds you have paid, which can be used towards any of our programs within 24 months from the date of your original travel.
All volunteers who were registered for a program in June/July have been contacted by our Support Team and their Student Engagement Manager. If you have any questions about this, please contact our support team so that we can help.
We remain optimistic that with various steps being taken by governments across the world to control the outbreak, our volunteer programs starting from October onwards will be able to go ahead as scheduled. We are now accepting registrations for these programs and we would love you to experience the power of volunteering with us. After all, what better thing is there to get you through social isolation than planning a volunteering adventure for later this year!
If we have learnt anything from this Pandemic, it's that now more than ever we need resolute and optimistic leadership to work together and help support the most vulnerable communities in the world. We are continuing to plan for the future, so if you are considering volunteering with us at the end of the year or in 2021, please get in touch with us.
If you were originally planning a volunteer adventure for this year any thought of travel may have gone out of the window! We want you to be assured that if you’re looking to join one of our programs scheduled to head out from October 2020 and into 2021 and fear that you travel plans may be impacted due to COVID-19, we are offering increased flexibility during this time and allowing any participants impacted by this to:
Postpone their travel onto a program scheduled in 2021
Receive a travel credit for any funds you have paid towards a program, which can be used for you to re-book for the same or a different volunteer challenge 24 months from when you were scheduled to participate on your original program
There will be NO fees for you to make these changes and we will do everything we can to find a program and dates that will suit you.
If you are in a position to sign up to a future program with us, we encourage you to do so. If you are not, don’t worry, look after yourselves, your family and friends and stay tuned for other ways you may be able to help!
We are all going through a time in our lives where we are feeling many things; uncertainty, sadness, confusion and stress, in addition to fear of losing jobs, income and life as we’ve known it. We are however, lucky to live in a country that is here to support individuals who may lose their job or income during this time, in addition to receiving world class medical care. There is no doubt that we’re concerned about our community in Australia and making sure our volunteers, staff and broader community are safe and well.
However, it is during and after such crises that the most vulnerable individuals suffer the most. We work with some of the most vulnerable communities across the world and are in no doubt that their work, family, livelihoods and health will be impacted throughout this time. We are dedicated to ensuring that this negative impact is minimised as much as possible and as such, as soon as it’s possible and safe for you to travel again, we ask you to consider spending some of your time on a Challenges Abroad program to supporting our communities overseas.
For those who are keen to help in the meantime or in other ways, stay tuned for some epic fundraising campaigns that will keep the work of our Foundation going, while we’re missing the physical presence of our volunteers.
If you have any questions or would like to know more, you can contact the Challenges Abroad team.