Frequently Asked Questions are being updated regularly. There are also topics covered in other pages, such as leadership, teams etc. This questions page is not intended to repeat information on all these other pages but to provide a little more detail about a specific question asked of us.
If you can’t see the question you’d like answered you can ask it here.
Pre-Team questions (13)
Team applicants need to be 18 years or older unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. In certain circumstances we may approve of a younger person coming on team if they are travelling with an older person who has been approved by the parents to act as their guardian during the team.
If pre-teenage children are joining a team it’s best if both parents are also on the team.
There is no maximum age limit imposed however team activities require a reasonable level of physical fitness.
Our accommodation is in a hotel registered for foreigners. It’s not normal for hotels in China to provide a guest laundry, therefore any clothes washing you choose to do will be in the bathroom basin. Sometimes the hotel may have a drying rack but again this can’t be guaranteed. So please take this into account when choosing the clothes you bring. One person mentioned they probably would not bring denim in future because it takes a long time to dry and if drips on carpet can leave a stain.
There are a couple of laundry shops nearby however earlier team members who have explored this option found them to be expensive.
Modesty is the word while on any of our teams. Gents replace your short shorts with below the knees shorts. Ladies no tank tops or similar please. While you may see more western style standards creeping into society, especially downtown in the CBD area, “conservative non-revealing” best describes the preferred style for our teams. One team member said “long pants, tops / T shirts, nothing fancy”.
We do our best to make sure team member needs are met when it comes to spicy or non-spicy etc. food requirements.
On team we mostly eat local style foods. We don’t frequent western restaurants. If you must have a McDonalds fix there may be one available however it’s not where we will usually be found and special trips to allow for such foods are not made available.
One China team member said “Food! – Want to have the most amazing food experience then spend two weeks with Heart For Kids China team.” We’ll give you a good cross section of safe local food. It can be spiced up but if you don’t like too much spice we also take that very much into account. You’ll need to be practicing your chopsticks before you come to China.
If you have food allergies etc then be sure to note those on the team application medical form.
Volunteer teams generally run three times per year. Team members have come from many countries. You’ll need to contact us for an application form then submit that and your deposit. Team contributions are payable 4 weeks before the team and include expenses in China once you are picked up at the airport through to the end of your team and returning to the airport.
Our founder loves coffee too! Depending on the quality of coffee you have a passion for you need to remember Asia is not a big coffee drinking culture. It is becoming a little more common but in general the restaurants we frequent won’t serve much coffee. You may therefore choose to bring your own sachets or personal plunger and coffee with you.
You should be able to buy milk where we are but it’s not always convenient. Some people bring 3 in 1 sachets. If you’re hoping to have a morning macchiato Italian style espresso with your bacon and eggs breakfast you better keep dreaming on all counts 🙂
The seasons in our host countries can be dramatically different so when planning your packing consider the weather patterns. You can check weather sites like weatherunderground.com or others for current info.
In China October groups – can be cool with some rain. Winter is December – February and often is snowing and summer can be very hot.
Teams to India are in a hot part of the year because this is when the children’s main school holidays are.
Team contributions are different in different countries.
The contribution to join a China team in 2017 is $AUD1150 per person. This includes your land costs once you are met at the airport to when your team has finished. It doesn’t include personal snacks or souvenirs or personal travel like taxis to go shopping etc. Neither does it cover the travel expenses getting to China such as flights, visa or any vaccinations you may like to have.
Team contributions in India and Indonesia depend on the team length and activities but so far have been lower than China teams.
Teams will usually visit a variety of projects depending on circumstances and the country the team is serving in.
In China activities will include our Doves Wings foster home, orphanages and partner programs. Team members run the activities which may include crafts, games, songs, plays, English teaching.
In India we again run a varied program of games, crafts, sports and may even have a special event like going to a movie.
In Indonesia a team would be different again as we’re serving young adults in that environment.
Each year team dates vary. Generally we anticipate running a team to India in April. Teams to China are normally in July and October. Teams to Indonesia are more flexible.
You can see more information and link to the latest team dates brochure at our teams page.
Teams usually run for 2 weeks.
Currently you should be able to access WiFi at least in the lobby of the hotels we use. Some hotels are changing from cable internet to WiFi but nothing is ever totally dependable. Some hotels occasionally have a computer in the lobby. You should never assume these are secure.