What is HWW Volunteer Corps?
HVC is a faith-based volunteer program focusing on leadership training and community service throughout the world. It brings people from all different backgrounds together to work with HOPE worldwide programs across the globe, serving the world’s poor.
Who is eligible?
Participants are selected based on their application, recommendations and heart to serve. All North American trips (US/Canada/Mexico) are open to participants aged 15 and older. Trips outside of North America are open to non-US participants aged 15 and over (with a few exceptions). US participants must turn 18 within three months of the trip, or, if between the ages of 15 and 18, be accompanied by a chaperone who is over the age of 21. Parents can take children on the trips. The age of the children allowed will depend on the particular program (usually preteen and over; some trips can take slightly younger children).
For the first time this year, some of the international trips outside of North America (Germany, Kenya, Zambia, Philippines, Nepal, Romania) will be open to US participants aged 17 and over (turning 17 within three months of the trip) without a chaperone.
The programs are open to both disciples and non-disciples. That being said, each participant must hold to the standards and integrity of the program.
How do I apply?
Apply online using the application link in the navigation bar at hopeww.org. Applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis.
In addition to completing your online application, you will also need to pay a $300 non-refundable deposit, and make sure the people you nominate as your references send your recommendations in. Only then can we process your application, and accept you to the program.
I applied. Now what?
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. We review your application once you have filled in the on-line form, paid your $300 deposit, and we have received your recommendations. If you are accepted to the program, we will let you know as soon as we are able. Typically, applications are reviewed weekly. You will also receive an acceptance e-mail with information about the program and what you need to do from that point.
Who can write my recommendations?
Student applicants require two recommendations and non-students require 3 recommendations. The link to the recommendation form will be sent automatically to the people you choose on your application. People submitting recommendations for you should be people who can speak to your character. For ICOC applicants, at least one recommendation should come from ministry staff (including church leaders, church staff, ministry leaders). In case of a congregation with no full-time staff, a lay leader of good standing, or a HOPE worldwide Chapter leader can do so. Under no circumstances should a family member fill in the recommendation.
References will receive a confirmation email after their recommendation has been properly submitted. Applicants will also receive an email informing them that a recommendation has been submitted on their behalf.
We require a 3rd recommendation for any applicant who is NOT a student (if you are not enrolled in high school or university) and is planning to serve in a program with children. More details are available on the application.
What about payment?
When you fill in your application form you will be directed to the payment page. You need to pay a $300 deposit in order for us to process your application. Once accepted to the program, that deposit is non-refundable. If you are not accepted, the deposit will be returned to you. Bear in mind that as applications come in, applicants who pay their deposit and send in their recommendations in a timely manner, will be accepted faster, and have a better chance of being on their first choice program.
The rest of your fee needs to be paid by the participant, in one lump sum. As our numbers have grown, we do not have the administrative resources to handle partial payments. We expect each participant to collect their fee and pay it in in one payment when they are ready to do so (before the payment deadline). No participant will be allowed to go on program if their fee is not paid in full.
What does the participation fee cover?
Our typical two-week program has the following breakdown: 1/4 of the fee covers the cost of accommodation, 1/4 covers meals and transportation, 1/4 covers the cost of service and recreational activities, and 1/4 goes to operational costs (processing fees, background checks, risk management, application process, travel insurance coverage, fund transfer charges, site leaders' cost, etc). For a two-week program where everything is covered from the time you land until the time you leave, we believe it is an incredible bargain.
Do I need to get travel insurance and/or travel medical insurance in case of lost luggage, medical emergencies, medical evacuation, etc.?
For sites located outside of the United States and Canada, we provide travel insurance and travel medical insurance as a part of the participation fee. Insurance coverage details (including coverage limits) will be provided to the participant. Participants are welcome to purchase additional coverage if desired.
Do you have any recommendations regarding booking flights?
We encourage you to book your flights early as prices often drastically increase as your departure date nears. Many participants find decent fares through farecompare.com andstudentuniverse.com. For our non-U.S. sites, we recommend avoiding flights with multiple layovers and specifically flights with layovers in Istanbul, Turkey (due to political unrest) or France (frequent airline strikes). Many participants have also had significant issues with flights booked on discounted Chinese airlines. Often the less expensive option of a flight is not worth the risk of dealing with cancelled flights, poor customer service and missed flight connections. Please consider booking your flights on reputable and major airlines. These are only our recommendations as booking your flights is the responsibility of the participant.
We strongly discourage you from purchasing flights that cannot be refunded or changed in any way. As is the case with much of the world, many of our sites take place in cities/countries where weather, political climate and economic hardships can lead to unexpected instability which in turn may cause us to need to cancel a trip. If we need to cancel or postpone a trip, we will not be able to refund the cost of your airfare. Additionally, if you need to personally cancel your participation, we will not be able to reimburse the cost of your flight. Please consider purchasing a flight that can be partially or fully refunded or look into purchasing trip insurance that has policies allowing you to “Cancel for Any Reason”. Please read these policies closely to see what they will/will not cover in the case of a cancellation.
What do I do if I need a Visa for my site?
It is NOT the responsibility of the HOPE worldwide staff to arrange visas for any participant. If you do need help with obtaining a visa, HOPE worldwide suggests using a travel agency or visa processing service. Please understand that the cost of the travel agent/visa processing agency falls on the responsibility of the participant and not on HOPE worldwide.
Are there any risks associated with participating in these programs?
Participation in the HOPE Youth Corps, HWW Volunteer Corps and HWW Singles Corps may involve programs located in impoverished neighborhoods in the United States, or traveling to countries where you may encounter poor living standards, unclean or dangerous environments, and unstable political climates. HOPE worldwide takes reasonable precautions to participants to prevent any of these adverse consequences against its participants, such as warning against the dangers, suggesting that participants consult with medical authorities regarding appropriate vaccinations, and educating its participants on how to handle potential problems. Nevertheless, participants should understand that these matters are largely, and at times, entirely beyond the control or influence of HOPE worldwide and therefore, represent risks that must be seriously considered.
I have some dietary restrictions, can I request special meals on my trip?
Please note that our sites are not equipped to prepare special meals based on specific dietary preferences. The meals on the trip should have enough variety that you can pick from what is provided to meet your needs. If you have a serious medical food allergy or cannot tolerate this arrangement, please consider that this may not be the program for you.
What immunizations do I need?
It is not in HOPE worldwide’s policy to require or recommend any shots or medications for a site, however, HOPE worldwide does strongly encourage each participant to be up-to-date on basic immunizations, including tetanus, and contact their local travel agent or doctor for further recommendations.