2013 Africa 1200

Volunteer FAQs

Volunteer FAQs:

Where does Mercy Tech Mission operate?
For the most part MTM has been working in Mozambique, southern Africa. However, a new opportunity has now opened up for our teams in the northern Baja region of Mexico.

How long does a mission trip last?
The African trips usually last 4 – 6 weeks, due to the distance and the time involved in travel. It may seem like a long time, but a full week can be taken up with just travel alone.

Trips to the northern Baja in Mexico are generally for one week, which is great for volunteers who are unable to be away for an extended period of time. Please consult the current list of upcoming trips on our Volunteer page to see which trip might suit your schedule.

What are the costs involved?
Trip costs can vary depending on the time of year (high or low season air travel), the size of the team, and the area to which you are going. For example, a one-week trip to the Baja will be considerably less than travelling to Africa for a month or more. 

For detailed costs, please send us an email indicating where and when you’d like to volunteer. You can contact us at info@mercytechmission.com.

How are these costs covered?
Mercy Tech Mission relies on donations to fund its work in developing countries, therefore we ask that those who volunteer be willing to assist in raising the funds needed for each trip. Volunteers themselves may also donate funds towards the proposed trip, and all cash donations made to Mercy Tech Mission from Canadian sources to carry out its objectives are eligible for a tax receipt.

Please note: Although volunteers are asked to take part in the fundraising campaigns for their particular trip, in keeping with CRA guidelines, all funds raised are considered donations to Mercy Tech Mission, not to an individual. Therefore, if a team member is suddenly unable to take part on a mission trip due to illness or some other unforeseen event, the funds they have helped to raise are not refundable. Instead, the funds will become part of general MTM operating funds and used for the goals and objectives of Mercy Tech Mission overall.

What skill level do I need to be considered as a volunteer?
MTM primarily seeks volunteers who have their trade certification or other educational degree relating to their chosen career, accompanied by a significant amount of practical experience. But while trade certification is important in helping us evaluate your skill level, what matters most is that you know your trade, and know it well enough to teach it to someone else. The students we are training rely on us to provide them with solid skills that will enable them to do the job properly.

Do I have to belong to a church?
In short, no. MTM will consider all applicants for volunteer work, regardless of nationality, race, creed, or religious belief. While Mercy Tech Mission is a Christian faith-based organization, and its employees and leadership team must agree with and adhere to its statement of faith, the Mission does not require the volunteers who take part in MTM projects to necessarily belong to that faith.

We do ask that all who operate under the banner of Mercy Tech Mission (both staff and volunteers alike) to adhere to the Code of Conduct rules laid out in our Volunteer Application for the duration of the time for which they are personally involved with the mission, especially for the time during which they are in the host country working on a project.

Is it dangerous to travel to Africa? Many countries in Africa are fairly stable, yet political unrest can break out at any time anywhere in the world. Volunteers with MTM must realize that travel to any foreign country (including Mexico) has its own inherent risk and some parts of the world more so than others. That being said, MTM will not knowingly send a volunteer team into an area that is unstable.

It’s also important to acknowledge the possibility of coming in contact with communicable diseases, such as AIDS, malaria, etc. Healthcare around the world is improving, but it can be limited at times. Therefore, it’s important to have adequate medical insurance in case emergency air transport to South Africa or Canada becomes necessary. Further advice on medications and vaccinations, as well as travel guidelines, will be given to those who are planning to become part of a Mercy Tech team.

What are the living conditions like?
Our living accommodations are generally provided onsite by the hosting organization that we are partnering with, and therefore can vary somewhat. In Mozambique, for example, we have been hosted in a campsite on the ASAM mission base near Chimoio. The camp features large tents with single beds, a camp kitchen, a washroom and shower facility with running hot and cold water, and electrical service for most of the day. Our food is purchased in Chimoio at a shopping center, and meals are similar to what you’ll find in North America.

In Mexico, our teams have been staying in a local 3-star hotel near San Quintin which has very clean rooms at a reasonable rate. The hotel is only a few minutes’ walk from the mission base where we conduct our training programs, and most meals are provided at the base as well.

What type of trades are you looking for?
Good question! We are very flexible, and although most of our current teaching opportunities center around mechanics or construction, we also try to include training sessions in basic life skills, such as handling finances, entrepreneurship, health and safety, family life and more. Send us an email with information about what you feel you can offer, and we’ll take it from there.

(Have a question about Mercy Tech Mission and its work that’s not answered here? Please email it to us at info@mercytechmission.com. We appreciate your interest!)