2018India_WelcomePackage_Pages_Jan15-2018

Welcome Package

Your ME to WE Trip to India

Safet y over v i ew. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Vi s i t i ng a t ravel doctor .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Commun i cat i on wh i le t ravel i ng .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Money .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

ME to WE Tr i p rules and pol i c i es .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Pack i ng t i ps for I nd i a .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

I nt roduc i ng our I nd i a count r y team. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Upon ar r i val .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Wel come to I nd i a : Count r y i nformat i on over v i ew.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Accommodat i ons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Volunteer i ng . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Sample i t i nerar y .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Next -steps check l i st .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Contact us .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Table of contents

Safety overview: our #1 priority ME to WE has been facilitating volunteer trips overseas since 2002. Since then, we have taken more than 6,500 youth to Africa, Asia, South America, Central America and North America without major incident. We take serious measures and precautions to ensure your child’s safety from the moment they approach you about going on a ME to WE Trip to the moment they return home. ► ► ME to WE Trips abide by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs travel advisories and monitors these updates prior to and during travel. ► ► Canadian and American participants are registered with their respective embassies before departure to ensure accountability in case of emergency. For all other nationalities, ME to WE strongly recommends participants register with their embassy prior to travel. ► ► Copies of all passports, medical and travel insurance, and emergency contact information are collected well in advance of the trip. ► ► Our extensive facilitator training program includes emergency evacuation protocols, standard operating procedures, and crisis prevention and risk In India, our safety measures include: Pre-trip

management. All facilitators are trained in first aid. ► ► Emergency communication is available 24 hours a day between our Country Team and our Toronto office. During trip ► ► All accommodations have 24-hour security systems and participants are given an orientation to know where to find resources. ► ► All transportation is run by our trusted transportation providers and all travel within India occurs under the guidance of our team. ME to WE Trips do not utilize any public transportation in India. ► ► ME to WE Trips travel with a local ME to WE staff member fluent in the local language and familiar with all locations of ME to WE programming. ► ► Purified water is available at all times and all food is prepared by cooks who are trained in proper food preparation. ► ► During all building activities, participants are given thorough instructions on the use of equipment and wear protective gear at all times. ► ► Local hospitals with Western medical standards are available and prepared to handle any minor or major medical situations. ► ► Click here for more information on ME to WE’s safety procedures.

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Visiting a travel doctor As you prepare for your ME to WE experience, we recommend that you visit a travel doctor. At ME to WE, we cannot provide advice on specific medications or vaccinations you may need for your trip. The advice given to you by a travel doctor will depend on your past medical history, and will ultimately be a family decision. We suggest going to visit a travel doctor two to six months before you depart on your adventure. When you visit the travel doctor, you can let them know: ► ► You will be spending time in the Rajsamand district, approximately 2.5 hours from Udaipur ► ► Please note that you will not be interacting with animals on your trip, but you may see animals in the communities you are working in.

youth immerse themselves fully in programming and the adventure they are having.

Within 24 hours of arrival, travelers will have an opportunity to contact parents or guardians back home by email to let them know they have arrived safely. Please note that although we strongly encourage travelers to send an email home, some choose not to. If you would like an email, please let your traveler know. From then on, the trip coordinator will send an update to all listed emergency contacts approximately every three to four days of the trip outlining what the group has been doing. Facilitators will carry an emergency cellphone at all times to be used in the event of an emergency and will be in daily communication with our team in India. Remember, no news is good news! In the event of an emergency in-country, parents or guardians will be contacted immediately by phone. We therefore ask that you ensure that if the phone numbers of the emergency contacts listed on the Trips Portal are up-to-date. If they have changed, please contact your trip coordinator as soon as possible. In the event of an emergency at home please contact ME to WE’s emergency phone at 1.416.526.8450. If you have any general questions about the trip, please contact your trip coordinator.

Communication while traveling

Once the group arrives, there will be limited access to phones and the Internet for the duration of the trip. Apart from there being very limited cell service in the areas we work in, we truly believe in having

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Money We recommend bringing between $150 and $200 USD in small bills for your trip. Your food, water, transportation and other basic costs are included in the cost of the trip, but you will want to have some money to purchase souvenirs. You may also want to buy snacks along the way or at the airport before and during your travel—this will be at your own expense. Please exchange your money to USD before the trip. There will be an opportunity to exchange money when you arrive in India as well.

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ME to WE Tr i p rul es ME to WE has a set of rules that will apply to all youth, adults and staff while you are traveling with us. Breaking these rules could result in a traveler’s removal from the trip at their own expense or that of their parent/guardians. 1. There is no alcohol, tobacco or any illegal substances allowed on the trip. This includes any drug or alcohol paraphernalia, regardless of the age of the traveler. 2. There is no sexual activity or romantic relationships allowed on the trip and all accommodations are separated based on gender. 3. Only respectful and positive relationships are allowed. All travelers must show respect for themselves, their educators, staff, the community and the general public. There is no tolerance for discrimination, violence or inappropriate language use while on a ME to WE Trip. ME to WE po l i c i es There are a few policies that we ask travelers to commit to in order to ensure we are preserving the relationships we have with our communities and making this trip as impactful as possible. Photo policy This policy exists to preserve the positive relationships we have with our partner communities.

We want to ensure that the photos we take are not exploitative, and that we are taking photos of solutions—not problems—to share with friends and family. We ask that photos are only taken of people with whom we have built a relationship, after obtaining their permission. We will never take photos of people we see while driving or walking by. We can assure you that there will be plenty of opportunities for you to take photos and highlight key moments on your trip. The trip facilitators will let the group know when it’s appropriate to take a photo. Gift-giving policy WE has worked for many years to create strong partnerships with the communities we work with. The WE Villages program works toward sustainable development and empowering people and communities to support themselves. This means that the work we do is in solidarity with our communities, not an act of charity. Because of this, we ask that participants do not bring gifts from home to give local children or families. This includes anything and everything from a soccer ball to school supplies to the sunglasses on your face. Remember that you’re already contributing so much just by being in the community volunteering. A friendly wave, a smile or a hello in the local language is the most important gift you can give.

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Packing tips for India Be sure to consider the weight of the items that you are planning to bring—remember that you’ll have to carry them around with you throughout your travels. All clothing and personal items should be packed in a hiking backpack (45-65 litre) or a duffel bag. It is recommended that you have a document holder (e.g., money belt) to carry important documents such as your passport and money that should never leave you while in transit. Please be sure to review our clothing policy before packing and dress conservatively throughout the trip. This means not wearing any clothing that is tight or revealing. Please note that the clothing list is a guide and to be used at your discretion, however, please consider that there may be cultural expectations around dress that may be different from home. If you are concerned about what you should and should not wear, please refer to the list below for must haves and items to leave at home. Cotton and natural fibers do not Average temperatures in India In the winter season (October to March) During the winter season, average temperatures range from 5°C-33°C. Apart from some light rain in October and November, this time of year is quite dry. Groups may experience clear skies with plenty of sunshine during the day, along with cooler evenings. Please remember to bring enough warm clothing and come prepared for hot temperatures.

dry well in hot weather. We advise synthetic, quick- drying fabrics. If you would like to wash a few items during the trip, you can bring biodegradable laundry soap and do so in the sinks at your accommodations. If you plan on doing laundry, remember that cotton will keep you cool, hot weather, but takes a long time to dry and therefore may not be the best material for this trip. Please bring travel-size amounts of items and only what you will need for the duration of the trip. Please also remove any plastics and packaging from products before packing them to ensure proper recycling and limited waste in-country. You will be asked to not leave anything behind at the end of your trip. We invite you to take the opportunity to use your trip as a time to disconnect from technology and immerse yourself in your new surroundings. We ask that you do not bring your cellphone on your trip, and if you do it is only to use it as a camera. If you are on a connecting flight, we recommend bringing your cellphone for transit in case you need to connect with our team. In the summer season (April and May) April and May are the hottest months in India with the temperature ranging between 23°C and 40°C. Please ensure you are prepared for the hot weather. In the monsoon season (June to September) In the monsoon season, temperatures range between 20°C and 37°C. Groups can expect and should be prepared for periods of heavy rain and humid air.

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Checked baggage (45-65 litre backpack or duffel bag) Toiletries Toothbrush and toothpaste Dental floss

Carry-on bag (School sized backpack) Passport and travel documents Prescription medications Camera or cellphone (to use as camera) 2 t-shirts 1 pair of pants 1 sweater 2 extra pairs of underwear Sunglasses Essential toiletries (no liquids over 100ml) Personal items (e.g.: books, magazines, journal) Reusable water bottle $150 - $200 USD Spending money Provided in country on trip P P Filtered water to fill your water bottle P P Hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, steel toe covers and masks

Hairbrush Deodorant Moisturizer Hand wipes and sanitizer Sunscreen Feminine products (if required) Biodegradable shampoo, conditioner and soap Bug spray with DEET Footwear Sturdy running shoes Socks for length of trip Flip-flops or sandals for showers and accommodations Clothing 4-5 quick-dry or light pairs of pants 2-3 pairs of knee-length shorts/capris Undergarments for the length of the trip 5-6 t-shirts (no low cut v-necks) 3-4 quick dry long sleeve shirts 2 sweaters or 1 jacket + 1 sweater 1 light rain jacket with hood Light pajamas Hat with a brim & winter hat Optional recommended items Nut-free snacks Rehydration salts or electrolytes Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries Universal adaptor plug to charge items Camera with charger Biodegradable laundry soap Towel and facecloth A thin scarf or bandana Aloe vera cream/gel/anti-itch cream

What not to bring × × Yoga pants or leggings × × Tank tank tops or low cut tops × × Jewelry × × Clothing with any sayings that may be culturally inappropriate × × Knives or weapons of any kind (including Swiss army knives) × × Hair straightener or blow dryer × × Electronic items, including shavers

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Introducing our India country team Below is one of the incredible team members who is working hard in India to make all the arrangements for your life-changing experiences. While our team works mostly behind the scenes, you may see them pop in during your trip, so make sure to introduce yourself! You will also be accompanied by two full-time facilitators, who will be confirmed closer to your date of departure. Your facilitators will be there 24/7 to guide you through the each moment of your trip experience, and make sure that you are having a fun, safe and meaningful journey.

Lloyd Hanoman South Asia Projects Director, WE

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Upon arrival

Although your final destination is Udaipur, you will first land in either Mumbai or Delhi, where you will go through customs before proceeding to your connecting flight. After landing at the Udaipur Airport, you will proceed as a group toward baggage claim to find your luggage. You will gather as a group to ensure everyone has claimed their luggage and is ready to go. Then you will all exit to the arrivals area, where a member of our team will be waiting to greet you! The drive to your hotel is approximately two hours from the airport so if necessary, please make sure to use the bathroom in the arrivals area before you head to the vehicles.

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Welcome to India

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Country information overview Bound by China and the Himalayan Mountains to the north, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea to the south, and situated between Pakistan and Myanmar, India is one of the oldest civilizations and home to 1.2 billion people. India’s most celebrated figure, Mahatma Gandhi, led his country to independence from British rule in 1947. Famous for his humanitarianism and being leader of the India National Congress in 1921, Gandhi was later assassinated in 1948. Today, India remains the largest democracy in the world. Every major world religion is represented in India, with Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism all originating in India. Eighty percent of Indians are Hindu and although Hindi and English are the country’s official languages, the government recognizes 17 other languages as well as 1,652 dialects being spoken throughout the country. Despite impressive gains in economic investment and output, India still faces significant issues such as overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife. Approximately 44 percent of children under five are underweight in India, which, given its impact on health, education and productivity, remains a major obstacle to human development and economic growth in the country, especially among the most marginalized populations.

India facts: ► India is the second-most populated country in the world. ► ► 69% of India’s population lives in rural areas. ► ► India’s average life expectancy is 66 years. ► ► The literacy rate in India is 63%, which means almost 444 million people are illiterate. ► ► 12% of children aged five to 14 are engaged in child labor. ► ► While 90% of those in rural areas have access to improved water sources, only 40% have access to improved sanitation facilities.

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Accommodations In India, you will either stay in locally inspired guesthouses that we have very close relationships with, or our ME to WE leadership center. You will share a room with some of your fellow travelers of the same gender.

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Dinner ► Tomato basil soup

Food In India, all your meals will be served buffet-style, with a familiar dishes and some more traditional Indian foods. Below is a sample menu of the types of foods you might find on your plate in India:

► Daal dhaba ► Jeera rice

► Parsley potato ► Chicken tikka ► Stir-fried vegetables ► Brownie with chocolate sauce

Breakfast ► Masala tea ► Fresh orange juice ► Cut papaya & pineapple ► Cereal and milk ► Hash brown potatoes ► Grilled tomato Lunch ► Yellow Daal ► Sautéed vegetables ► French fries ► Chicken a la king ► Plain rice ► Pineapple mousse

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Volunteering You will find out the name of the community you will be volunteering in approximately one month before your trip. Communities are allocated based on need and the progress made by previous groups. You can learn more about the communities in India that WE Villages works with here .

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Sampl e I t i nerar y Day 1 : Tr ave l and a r r i va l i n I nd i a Your adventure begins as you depart for India via overnight flight. Get ready to change the world! Da y 2 : A r r i v e i n Ud a i p u r Transfer to your accommodations near a WE Villages community in Rajasthan state. Our accommodations are approximately two hours from Udaipur Airport. Enjoy the beautiful landscape and the fantastic views of the Aravalli Mountain Range during the drive! Da y 4 - o nwa r d s : E x p l o r e I n d i a Highl ights include: Morning yoga: Start each day with a sunrise yoga session. Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that emerged in India thousands of years ago. It allows people to focus on their physical and mental well- being. Take on the day feeling energized, refreshed and calm. Community orientation: One of the most exciting moments of your trip may be the first time you visit the community where you’ll be volunteering throughout your time in India. Your facilitators will

lead you on a tour of the development projects in the community. Be welcomed by local community members and learn more about India’s culture and traditions, joys and daily challenges. For the next several days, you won’t just be a visitor in the community—you’ll be part of a family as you work together toward shared goals. Building 101: Make the most of your volunteering time in the community by taking part in a mandatory one-hour project building safety workshop. Volunteer project: Depending on the community, day and time, your volunteering could be a variety of different activities—you could be laying bricks that will become a school, digging wells that will provide clean water, or working on constructing local Anganwadis that will help provide health services to the local community. You’ll see the real results of your work as you volunteer alongside community members on WE Villages development projects— your work will have an impact that will last for generations to come! Evening discussion: In the evenings, learn more about WE Charity’s holistic and sustainable community development model, WE Villages.

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Throughout your trip you will have the opportunity to learn about the five WE Villages Pillars of Impact: Education, Water, Health, Food and Opportunity. Henna workshop: Learn more about this traditional form of Indian body art—you’ll even have the chance to try it out for yourself! Hindi lessons: Throughout the course of your trip, you will have the opportunity to learn basic Hindi. Knowing a few of the basics in Hindi, including how to say “Hello” and “Goodbye,” is a great way to connect with the people you meet when you visit local communities. You’ll have the chance each day to practice what you’re learning! F i n a l d a y : Tr a v e l t o Ud a i p u r Say goodbye to community members and return to Udaipur, stopping by the Old City Market to pick up souvenirs or gifts. Depart from the Udaipur Airport for your flight home. *Please note that each trip experience has slight variations to accommodate our communities, our projects and to consider the goals and objectives of each specific group. The above is a sample overview, however, a more detailed itinerary will be provided to you closer to your departure date.

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Next-steps checklist Log in to the Trips Portal Confirm your insurance

3. Submit a copy of your passport Please upload a copy of your passport to Portal as soon as possible to secure your spot on your group flight. If your passport is expiring within six months of returning from your trip, you will need to renew it. However, please still upload a copy of your expiring passport to Portal in the meantime. When you get your new one, you will be able to upload your updated passport. If necessary, we recommend applying for or renewing your passport as soon as possible. 4. Sign your waivers After you complete your application, our team will email you the waivers that must be signed for your trip. The waivers will be sent to you using an online, electronic signature program called DocuSign. If you are under 18 years old, the waivers will be sent to your parents or legal guardians. If you are 18 years old or older, you will need to sign the waivers for your trip. Please check your junk mail folder for the waivers if you cannot find them in your inbox.

Fill out your online application Upload a copy of your passport Sign your trip waivers through DocuSign (if under 18, will be sent to a parent/guardian for signature) 1. Log in to the Trips Portal Our online Portal is a great way for you to stay on track with completing necessary trip items and access important trip resources. As the date of your trip approaches, resources will be added such as a packing list, trip itinerary and letters from your facilitators. You should have already received a welcome email with your username and password. If you have not received it, please check your junk folder or contact your trip coordinator. To log in, click here . 2. Complete your online Trip Application Through your Portal account you will be able to complete your online application. This form will collect the dietary, medical and parent contact information we need to make sure you have the best trip possible.

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Contact us!

You can contact our team anytime by calling, emailing, or contacting your trip coordinator directly.

416.640.3865

c o o r d i n a t i o n @w e . o r g

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