TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The following Terms and Conditions explain the service with which you are provided by NGO Taxi and what we in turn expect from you as a selected NGO Taxi volunteer or excursion participant (“volunteer”). All references to ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ refer to NGO Taxi and its affiliated partners. All references to ‘you’ are to the volunteer or excursion participant. “Placement” also refers to the volunteer or excursion participant. Project participants are required to read through the requirements/skills needed for each project carefully. Contact us if you have any queries before signing the Terms and Conditions. Signing or accepting these Terms and Conditions is your declaration that you have read, understand, and agree with all of the Terms and Conditions.
These Terms and Conditions begin on the date hereof and expire when replaced by new Terms and Conditions or Amendments to their individual sections. NGO Taxi reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions when necessary.
FUNCTIONS AND SERVICES
The function of NGO Taxi and its allied partners is to act in the capacity of a placement agency through a managed selection process by matching the volunteer to a suitable and vetted partner project overseas to run a development aid project or project excursion. The services we provide to the volunteer are as follows:
- Project application and placement process through NGO Taxi and/or its partners.
- The provision of information relating to these placements.
- Joint collaboration with volunteer in project planning (lesson/workshop plans etc.).
- Airport collection (where applicable and stated).
- Organized and pre-vetted accommodation in a local home stay, B&B, hotel, lodge, hostel or NGO Taxi Headquarters (HQ) (availability depending on choice of project and location).
- Procurance of travel, accident and health insurances as an intermediary agent (optional and not included in project/excursion cost).
- Assistance with cost calculation and project planning (incl. project stays, travel and transport, and language course bookings).
- Pre-departure information, visa advice.
- Advice from staff who have personal knowledge of the countries, cultures and accommodation.
Project application and placement process: NGO Taxi and its affiliated partners reserve the right to select potential volunteers at their own discretion choosing what are in NGO Taxi’s or it’s partners’ opinion the best candidates. We are not obliged to offer a place to any candidate. By signing these Terms and Conditions, we make no guarantee that we will find you a placement.
Joint collaboration with volunteer in project planning (lesson/workshop plans etc): NGO Taxi and its affiliated partners will work with the volunteer in the project planning process with ideas and lesson/workshop plans.
Airport, bus/train station or meeting point reception: A member of the NGO Taxi crew, your host family or project representative will pick you up from the airport, bus/train station or meeting point where applicable and if you inform us of your flight schedule in advance (at least 4 weeks). If unforeseen circumstances such as traffic problems, car breakdowns, or other problems prevent him/her from reaching the airport, bus/train station or meeting point to pick you up, we will provide you with the address and directions to your accommodation or a new meeting point in case of emergency. NGO Taxi and partners will do their best to provide the necessary transport information to get to the meeting/collection point, accommodation or project. Airport pickup is available only during the office hours of 9am – 5pm. Airport pickup before or after office hours will be charged at 30€ extra plus costs of transportation (taxi or public transport). Sometimes airport collection might not be feasible outside of office hours, e.g. when the distance between airport and project site is too far (>100 miles) or outside public transport hours. NB: We usually do not recommend to travel or drive long distances at night. If you do want to be picked up outside of office hours please let us know before you book your flight so we can try and arrange everything for you.
Accommodation: NGO Taxi and its partner accommodations are in local home-stays, B&B’s, hotels, cabañas, lodges, hostels or at the NGO Taxi HQ. The accommodation will be sometimes be of basic level and vary depending on the location within the country. The standard of most bathroom and toilet facilities is often very basic and may not fully comply with what you are used to. However, be assured that we carefully monitor our accommodation and continuously try to improve standards. This adheres to our philosophy.
We aim at favoring hosts who usually do not receive tourist dollars or whose accommodation is situated off the main routes and can therefore be very basic. In these cases we want to house you there in order to improve the hosts’ standards which – in the long run – will ultimately improve your accommodation options.
In individual cases there may also be luxury accommodation (hotels and higher standard lodges, hostels or higher standard private accommodation) available, depending on the country, city and program. We understand that senior volunteers (e.g. doctors) in particular often want to be accommodated at a higher accommodation standard. Please let us know a minimum of 4 weeks in advance if you prefer to reserve a higher standard accommodation. However, we will do our best to find the right place for you even at short notice.
NGO Taxi and its partners can offer you accommodation from the first to the last day of the program or NGO Taxi project excursion. We provide the necessary information about your accommodation either in your personal pre-arrival pack, upon arrival or whilst traveling or volunteering with NGO Taxi.
In case you opt for a placement with one of our partner programs and stay at a project site for the duration of the project you agreed upon, individual accommodation policies and fees may apply. Please refer to the individual project or program. Accommodation is subject to change in case of emergency.
It is your responsibility to arrange your own room and food if you arrive earlier at the agreed meeting point or stay after the completion of your project or NGO Taxi project excursion.
Travel, accident and health Insurances: It is your responsibility to arrange your own travel, accident and health insurances before you travel and/or volunteer with us. NGO Taxi and its partners can assist you with finding travel, accident and health insurances from the first to the last day of the program or project excursion, for an additional cost. All NGO Taxi volunteers must have third party liability insurance and international health insurance that covers return transport in case of death. NGO Taxi and its partners cannot be held responsible for any personal damage or loss you may suffer unless such damages are deliberately or negligently caused by NGO Taxi or its staff. You can find more information about insurances here. It may be possible to extend the duration of cover for travel, accident and healthcare for your placement. Please contact us for details of benefits.
Visas: NGO Taxi and its partners do not arrange visas. You are entirely responsible for arranging your visa and extending your visa (including all costs associated therein) and ensuring that it remains valid for the duration of your placement or NGO Taxi project excursion.
Note from staff who have personal knowledge of the countries, cultures and accommodation: NGO Taxi will endeavor to provide as much information about your destination as possible, and this will be information that comes from personal experience and knowledge of the programs, projects, countries, cultures and accommodations. Any information given by us about laws, flights, visas, healthcare, vaccinations, climate, clothing, equipment, conditions and other matters is given in good faith but without responsibility on our part.
For a successful placement to the NGO Taxi program, NGO Taxi project excursions or one of it’s partner programs volunteers agree to pay a program fee to the NGO Taxi program which is due prior to their arrival. This program fee comprises any bookings made at the time of handing in the NGO Taxi Volunteer Placement Registration Form, plus any bookings made via NGO Taxi thereafter. The program fee allows us to sustain our Mission, programs and projects we support. It allows us to be loyal to our program and project partners, do research, and identify, evaluate and promote other projects for future support. Without this program fee we would not be able to operate our service. Your program fee covers the project’s administrative costs such as:
- use of office space (rent, maintenance work, electricity, water, gas etc.) .
- office equipment and supplies (computers, printer, cartridges, paper, promotional material etc.).
- accommodation for permanent staff and volunteering coordinators .
- internet, telephone bills and ongoing software license costs .
- international banking costs.
- traveling costs to project site (bus tickets, out-of-pocket expenses etc.).
- costs for organizing social and fundraising events to raise awareness for NGO Taxi and its projects.
- workshops and introduction seminars for both the volunteers and project partners.
Your program fee also helps projects in remote communities that often do not have the means, knowledge or necessary mediums (e.g. computers or internet) to make their cause heard. Our objective is to support projects that need our help most. Your program fee helps us to support them as well as the local economy, i.e. the businesses we work with (e.g. private homestay, hostels, transportation businesses, small shop owners, local tourist companies or language schools etc.). There will not be any extra program or placement fee involved. Your program fee helps us be loyal to our partners, work professionally, provide you with a strong and safe support network and ensures we deliver the best service we can for our volunteers, i.e. for YOU!
In order for you to be able to estimate your expenses and plan your budget before you leave, we will give you a price estimate that includes your fee for the program, personal volunteering and traveling tips as well as traveling costs for the individual program. The expenses are average costs drawn from our own personal experience within the destination countries. We reserve the right to change our programs, projects and tours and any costs involved in case of emergency. Prices are as set out in http://www.ngotaxi.org/.
Additional Program Fee Information
- NGO Taxi project excursions and tours:
In case you apply for the NGO Taxi project excursions your program fee also covers the organization costs for the detailed tour plan or the tour block you applied for. Depending on the tour, your personal 1:1 cost calculation for the respective tour is covered as well (listing the expenses you will have to expect and which will be paid by you on the spot and at local prices; fair and transparent).
- On-site volunteering at our project sites:
If you apply for a placement to the NGO Taxi HQ or at one of our partners’ project sites in the host country, your program fee, i.e. the prices for the projects to which you commit yourself on a long-term basis, includes our running costs of the project and your placement costs. Depending on the project it also covers food and accommodation for your stay. The program fee is to be made by the volunteer in advance (as stated on NGO Taxi’s or its partners’ websites). The organization of your long-term commitment is dependent on different conditions that need to be planned months ahead with our host families, NGOs and other third parties which we ourselves depend on.
3. Project combinations:
In case you want to combine two or more NGO Taxi projects in one and the same country and where no flights are included in between project sites, there is no additional charge, because our administrative efforts at logistical and organisational level are fairly minor. If you prefer to combine projects in between two or more countries however, please understand that we will charge an additional fee of 150€, because we have to arrange and meticulously plan everything with our project partners, tour agencies and operators, public transport companies, language schools, hostels or hotels, homestay accommodations, airport or bus pick service providers etc. Changing one date during your program period usually entails multiple phone calls and emails in order to re-arrange your entire program: If you want to change your projects after you have filled our Volunteer Placement Registration Form (VPRF) within the same country we will ask for a service fee of 100€. If you want to change your projects across borders after you have filled our VPRF we will ask for a service fee of 150€. There will be no refund on that changing fee.
NB: It is your own responsibility to adhere to the schedule of your program. Please bear this in mind, too, when you embark on personal adventures in between two or more project or program periods, or go hiking, rafting, climbing or mountain biking. South America can be an enormous stimulus for adventure sports and exciting tours, but we cannot encourage your thrill seeking adventures and risk any program delays resulting thereafter. We understand that you want to travel, explore and embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but please understand that we also need to comply with our responsibilities as an organisation within the realm of development work. Our project partners need to be able to rely on us as much as on you. This is why we have carefully selected the tour agencies and operators we work with. Their prices might be a bit higher than other companies you might find, but quality (in our eyes) has it’s price, and we need to be able to rely on quality and safety rather than working with low budget tour agencies and operators. This is our philosophy. And this is exactly what we aim to provide you with. In case you need to change your program/ dates because you have put your schedule at risk due to booking something with a service provider that has not been vetted by us, the changing fees mentioned above will apply and there will be no refund on that changing fee.
PAYMENT OF PROGRAM FEE
A deposit of 35% of the program fee or excursion cost is to be paid upon successful application. By handing in the NGO Taxi Volunteer Placement Registration Form (VPRF) the applicant agrees to make this down payment the latest two weeks (date of entry into the NGO Taxi account) after handing in her VPRF. This deposit is strictly non-refundable if volunteers cancel or pull out of their placement (please see cancellation charges). The remaining balance of your program fee will be due in full eight weeks before project start (date of entry in our account). In case you have been admitted to a project or excursion within eight weeks before your arrival the entire program fee is due at once. You will usually receive your volunteering information four weeks before your departure. In case of admission to the program or project at short notice, e.g. due to a suddenly available position at a project site or a place on a NGO Taxi project excursion, the delivery of your volunteering information can vary and will be individually arranged with you.
If we fail to give you a placement due to programs being full, your application being rejected by our partners or any other circumstances for which we are not responsible, NGO Taxi or its partners will endeavor to find a comparable or, in our opinion acceptable, alternative placement for the volunteer. If NGO Taxi or its partners are unable to offer the volunteer what is in our opinion a satisfactory alternative project, a refund of the full balance of the remaining fee/deposit for the chosen project will be offered to the volunteer.
In the event of cancellation by the volunteer, the remaining program fee/deposit for the project and your placement that will be refundable is dependent on the date of receipt of written notice in line with the following notice of cancellation:
- More than 12 weeks before program start: 100% refund of the remaining program fee/deposit
- 8-12 weeks before program start: 75% refund of the remaining program fee/deposit
- 4-8 weeks before program start: 50% refund of the remaining program fee/deposit
- Less than 4 weeks before program start: no refund of the program
- If a volunteer cancels his or her placement after joining a program or prior to the agreed end date, no refund will be made.
All refunds will be made between 60 and 90 days.
NB: NGO TAXI makes payment to its overseas partners well in advance in order to make arrangements for food and accommodation, travel, volunteer coordination, training, workshops and running project costs. In order to continuously and successfully guarantee the projects’ sustainability we need to commit to our partner projects. Therefore we ask for the same commitment to be made by our volunteers and excursion participants.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF VOLUNTEERS
- To be aged at least 18 on the date that the placement begins.
- Te meet the language requirements necessary to successfully work and communicate at project site
- To respect the local culture, customs, and rules.
- To arrange, finance and manage your own travel, which includes incoming and return air fares and local transportation. It is your responsibility to carry all necessary documents while you travel overseas.
- To be aware of the health risks of living and working in South America or in any other host country you apply for. Volunteers are requested to take medical advice and take necessary safety precautions, inoculations and immunizations with respect to the countries in which they will be placed.
- To bring with you any necessary medications or medical equipment.
- To avoid drinking tap water and eating foods purchased from roadside vendors or in inexpensive restaurants. Water sources are polluted in most developing countries so drinking tap or unboiled water and eating foods from roadside vendors or similar sources might result in illness and parasites. NGO TAXI and partners will not be responsible for any damages to your health caused by you choosing to take such risks.
- It is the volunteer’s responsibility to take travel advice and learn about travel warnings from his/her government agencies. We will not be responsible for any liability resulting from his/her failure to take appropriate travel advice.
- You take all responsibility to carry out duties for completing the project and attending the project as planned and agreed with NGO Taxi, our partners and your placement contact.
- The volunteer must abide by the projects code of conduct/rules and fulfill the duties assigned to the best of his/her abilities, behaving responsibly at all times and co-operating with other staff/volunteers at the project. The volunteer must inform their project contact of any absence from duties.
- The volunteer is required to provide NGO Taxi and its partners with a current and authenticated copy of his/her criminal record report/ criminal background check (CBC) and a health certificate at least 6 weeks before departure, as many of our projects involve working with children. We can advise on this process.
TERMINATION OF AGREEMENT
NGO Taxi and its partners reserve the right to end the volunteer agreement with immediate cancellation of your program with no refund if:
- The project where the placement is taking place believes you are not fulfilling your responsibilities and duties or you fail to uphold the responsibilities that you signed up to.
- If your language skills do not meet our project’s requirements to insure a successful volunteer placement at work level
- You are found to be involved in any illegal activities or convicted of any criminal activities during the period of the volunteer placement.
- You violate any conditions outlined under “Responsibilities of Volunteers”.
- If you have given false information about your medical or mental health condition, lifestyle choices or personal habits within your application.
NGO Taxi and its partners only hold and use a volunteer’s or traveler’s personal information for the purposes of providing the volunteer with an excursion or project. We reserve the right to transfer the personal details of a volunteer to third parties for the following purposes only:
- Disclosure of information to the volunteer’s or traveler’s parent/guardian or next of kin, as notified by the volunteer/traveler to NGO Taxi and its partners in advance, in writing, in the case of an emergency or in any circumstances where we reasonably believe that the volunteer’s or traveler’s vital interests are threatened.
- Transfer of contact details to fellow volunteers/travelers and project partners.
- Transfer of personal details to hosts overseas.
- The volunteer/traveler should notify NGO Taxi and its partners in writing if he/she does not want their details passed to any third parties for any of the above purposes.
- If the volunteer/traveler does not explicitly disagree in advance, personal data in the NGO Taxi database allowing the volunteer to be kept involved with NGO Taxi and its partner networks and global volunteer/travel networks will be maintained.
- NGO Taxi and its partners remain solely and fully responsible at all times for ensuring that appropriate security measures, technical, organizational and otherwise, are in place to ensure that the volunteer’s/traveler’s personal data, including sensitive personal data, is protected. Where personal data is transferred outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), we will only transfer such personal data if protections similar to those required by European data protection legislation are in place.
- NGO Taxi and its partners will retain the volunteer’s/traveler’s personal data for the duration of the volunteer or excursion project and thereafter as long as may be necessary to deal with any claims or issues arising in relation to the volunteer or excursion project (including invoicing); to enforce any terms or contract between NGO Taxi, its partners and the volunteers/travelers; to perform permitted marketing activities; and to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and orders by any competent authority.
APPLICABLE LAW AND JURISDICTION
These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Germany, and so the volunteer/traveler submits to the jurisdiction of the German courts, although NGO Taxi and its partners shall have the right to institute or enforce proceedings in any other court jurisdiction.
LIMITATIONS AND RISKS
Like other international volunteer/travel programs, NGO Taxi’s and its partner projects may involve risks, foreseen and unforeseen, and participants should be prepared to accept those risks. Whilst we aim to safeguard your health and safety with appropriate advice on what is likely to affect you, we cannot be responsible for damage, illness or injury sustained during or resulting from participation in an NGO Taxi project, program, excursion or any of its partners’ placements. Please make sure you understand and accept the following:
- An overseas volunteer experience with NGO Taxi and its partners involves an element of personal risk and potential hazard.
- The realities of developing countries include poverty; potential risks from wildlife, flora and fauna (poisonous or otherwise); political instability or criminal activity; poor medical, communication and transportation facilities; beggars; and cultural differences; you may experience cultural shock associated with these limitations that may affect your stay.
- Conditions may be basic and of a similar standard to those experienced daily by the local community, and at times may be unfamiliar, uncomfortable and unhygienic.
- Risks exist in many areas of travel: by train, plane, automobile, raft, canoe, boat, bicycle, horseback, or by other means of conveyance; or on foot, roads, or trails; or in hotels.
- If you choose to take part in one of our programs/projects or excursions, we cannot allow for every eventuality. You will be choosing to travel to places which can be unpredictable.
The volunteer/traveler accepts that there are risks involved in working/traveling abroad and accepts such risks knowingly. The volunteer/traveler understands that NGO Taxi is not liable, nor able to mitigate such circumstances. The limitations outlined in these Terms and Conditions are not adequate reasons for complaints and requests for refunds.
WAIVER OF LIABILITY
By complying with or signing these Terms and Conditions you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. You agree that NGO Taxi and its partner projects, programs, tours or excursions have limitations and involve some risk (foreseen and unforeseen). You are ready to accept those risks and you hereby release and discharge NGO Taxi and its partners and all of its agents, employees, or representatives, including persons, parties, organisations or agencies collaborating with them, from all action suits, claims, or liability for damages of any nature resulting from, arising out of, or related to these Terms and Conditions and/or your participation in a volunteer program, project, tour or excursion (including, without limitation, claims for personal injury, property damage, deviation, delay, or curtailment).
ENTIRE AGREEMENT AND VARIATION
These Terms and Conditions constitute the entire understanding and agreement between the parties in relation to the subject matter of these Terms and Conditions. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall be deemed to grant rights or benefits to any other person other than the parties (or their permitted successor or assignees), or entitle any third party to enforce any terms or conditions of these Terms and Conditions. The parties do not intend that any term or condition herein should be enforceable by a third party. In providing the volunteer/traveler with the stated services, NGO Taxi and its partners are acting as an independent contractor. Save as explicitly set out in these Terms and Conditions, nothing shall be deemed to create any relationship of agent and principal, partnership, or employer and employee.