Mission Direct (MD) is a registered Christian charity that supports poor or disadvantaged communities around the world. As part of this work, it recruits self-funded volunteers to work on short term mission trips to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
The people MD help live in basic and challenging conditions and, although the mission itself is not inherently dangerous, MD takes every care to ensure the safety of volunteers, staff, and beneficiaries and strives to minimize any risks during our mission trips. The local contractors that will be used on the mission will operate to in-country practices and therefore volunteers should be aware of all risks involved and take responsibility for their own actions.
Volunteers must complete an application form, read and agree to these terms and conditions, including the behaviour protocols for working with children and vulnerable adults (see section 12) and pay a non-refundable application processing fee to participate. Once MD have approved the application the volunteer is asked to raise the funds in contribution donations to cover the costs of their participation. These donations made by volunteers to MD, or made on their behalf, cover (a) the costs of the volunteer’s mission trip including their accommodation, meals, transport, and insurance; (b) costs for setting up the mission campaign; and (c) UK elements of the mission trip provided by MD.
Volunteers will also be asked to raise project donations to fund the projects that they will work on. These will typically be construction of schools, medical facilities, homes, and related facilities.
All Gift Aid raised from contribution donations and project donations shall be retained by MD to cover the operating costs of the charity.
The following conditions shall apply to the mission trip. They are to be read in conjunction with the appropriate MD Country Handbook, the terms of which shall be considered part of these conditions.
1.1 Contribution Donations
1.1.1 Application Processing Fee
All volunteers, whether for an overseas or UK mission trip, must complete an application form and pay a non-refundable application processing fee of £50. This fee funds MD’s costs for processing applications and screening applicants, which is an important part of MD’s work to protect volunteers, staff, and beneficiaries. Screening will include making relevant safeguarding checks and ensuring that volunteers have the necessary health to participate. Volunteers must agree to the behaviour protocols for working with children and vulnerable adults (see section 12). MD will inform applicants of the outcome of this screening process by email. The application processing fee total is taken out of the advertised contribution donation total that is requested to cover the costs of the mission trip.
1.1.2 Contribution Donations
Once MD has approved the application, the balance of the contribution donation shall be provided as follows:
For overseas and UK mission, the contribution donation covers:
It also covers the following for overseas mission trips:
Subject to additional fuel surcharges which are imposed by an airline or any government tax levied, which shall be your responsibility, the value of the requested contribution donation will not change unless you amend your booking in any way or there are changes to Government imposed taxes or charges prior to completion of your trip.
The contribution donations may be made by;
220.127.116.11 Cheque payable to Mission Direct
18.104.22.168 Debit or Credit Card – Debit card payments are free, but Credit card payments attract a 3.5% surcharge.
22.214.171.124 Bank transfers and Direct Debit: If you wish to make a bank transfer or set up a DD, please contact the MD office on 01582 720056 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
126.96.36.199 Please note we do not accept CAF or Stewardship payments for contribution donations.
188.8.131.52 Through a fundraising portal – we suggest JustGiving.com as they take less commission and collect the Gift Aid, therefore saving time for MD staff.
To allow time for processing please allow 10 days after posting for cheque payments and up to 4 days after making a card transaction.
1.1.3 Gift Aid on Contribution Donations
HMRC guidance related to Gift Aid does not define donations to support living and travel costs for volunteers as a personal benefit to them. Instead, HMRC categorises donations to cover the costs for volunteer missionaries as eligible charitable donations for Gift Aid. Please Gift Aid contribution donations if you can and ask those who give towards your contribution donation to also Gift Aid them. MD will retain Gift Aid payments to cover the charity’s operating costs.
Your place on the mission trip will be secured once you have cleared our application and screening process – and on the basis that you wish to commit to make a full contribution.
1.3.1 Overseas Mission
MD will reserve your travel and accommodation arrangements and will issue either by post or email confirmation of your mission arrangements. The confirmation will also show the application fee paid, and the total and balancing contribution donations and due dates, which will be at least 50% of the balance 24 weeks before the departure date and the remainder at least 12 weeks before the departure date. Your travel will only be booked once adequate contribution has been processed. A request for an additional contribution may be made if costs are incurred due to late contributions. This confirmation will also remind you that the contribution donation does not cover the cost of the project, which needs to be raised additionally.
1.3.2 UK Mission
MD will reserve your accommodation arrangements and will issue either by post or email confirmation of your mission arrangements. The confirmation will also show the application fee paid, and the total and balancing contribution donations and due dates. A request for an additional contribution may be made if costs are incurred due to late contributions.
1.4 Overseas Travel documents
MD will issue your travel and information documents at least 2 weeks prior to your departure. If we are unable to meet this target, we will notify you by email of any delays.
1.5 Changes to your overseas trip by airlines
All flights, timings, itinerary and arrangements are subject to change by airlines. MD will make all reasonable endeavours to give you as much notice as possible when changes are made.
1.6 Cancellation by MD
If circumstances outside the control of MD make the mission trip unviable, MD will seek to reschedule the mission to another country and/or another time. MD may cancel a mission at any time for any reason, for example in the event that:
– The UK government issues an adverse travel advisory. In such case you may be offered a substitute mission trip or be offered a refund of contribution donations made depending on what MD is able to claim back from already incurred costs, except that any monies that have been raised by donations from third parties, subject to clause 5 herein.
– Fewer than the minimum required team places have been filled by the 12 weeks (Overseas) or 6 weeks (UK) before the departure date or for any other reason the mission trip becomes unviable as determined solely by MD. In such case, you may be offered a substitute mission trip or be offered a refund of contribution donations made except for any monies that have been raised by donations from third parties, subject to clause 5 herein.
– Insufficient funds for the project have been raised meaning that there is no project for the volunteers to work on. In such case, you may be offered a substitute mission trip, or the project date and therefore the mission date may be pushed back, or you will be offered a refund of contribution donations made except for any monies that have been raised by donations from third parties, subject to clause 5 herein.
MD reserves the right in any circumstance to cancel the mission trip. However in no case will MD cancel your mission trip less than six weeks (Overseas) or two weeks (UK) before the scheduled start date unless it is for reasons outside of MD’s control. If MD must cancel the mission trip before the start date, other than where Force Majeure, you will be offered either (i) an alternative mission trip of comparable type, or (ii) a refund of contribution donations made except for any monies that have been raised by donations from third parties, subject to clause 5 herein. MD defines Force Majeure as events outside MD’s control like war, terrorism, other conflicts that endanger life, disease outbreaks, nuclear contamination, natural and man-made disasters, or other events of equal significance or danger.
Most MD overseas mission trips will participate in a project that needs to be funded in addition to the volunteer contribution donation costs. The total cost of the project is funded by the mission team as-a-whole, so each volunteer needs to aim to raise their proportionate share. If you aim to raise both the contribution donations and project donations at the same time, MD will allocate all donations towards the contribution donation target first until the full amount is raised, before allocating raised funds to project donations. MD will retain Gift Aid payments to cover the charity’s operating costs.
3.1 In the event that MD is negligent in the performance of its duties, and taking into account all relevant factors, MD will pay you reasonable compensation provided that you are able to show that MD has been negligent and has caused loss or damage (excluding consequential loss or damage).
3.2 MD will not be responsible or pay you compensation for any injury, illness, death, loss, damage or expense, cost or other claim of any description if it results from:
3.2.1 The act(s) and/or omission(s) of the person(s) affected;
3.2.2 The act(s) and/or omission(s) of a third party unconnected with the provision of the services contracted for and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable; or
3.2.3 Unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond MD’s control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised, or,
3.2.4 An event which MD could not, even with all due care, have foreseen or forestalled.
The amount of compensation if MD are found liable under this clause shall be limited to the cover provided by the Emergency Medical Expenses and Travel Insurance held by MD.
4.1 Application Confirmation
Your volunteer place on a mission trip is confirmed when we issue your confirmation by email or post.
4.2 Cancellation by Volunteer
4.2.1 If you need to cancel, your cancellation must be made in writing, either by email or post. If you cancel MD will retain your initial non-refundable application fee of £50 for either overseas or UK mission trips.
4.2.2 If your cancellation is made up to 30 days before the start date MD will return any of the outstanding costs that are not at that point paid or owed to third party suppliers, except that any costs that have been raised by donations from third parties, subject to clause 5 herein.
4.2.3 If your cancellation is made within 30 days of the departure date MD will not be liable to make any refunds.
4.2.4 Your booking is accepted on the basis that the refund decision of MD is final.
4.3 Extending your overseas trip
If you decide to extend your trip for a period of independent travel, MD may be able to offer to book your return flight from your contribution donation. If the return flight is more expensive than would have been charged to MD on the original return date, MD will charge you the difference in price. You will be liable for any additional costs incurred by your trip, including your own insurance extension for the extended dates, and for a £25 charge to cover administrative costs.
5.1 In the event of cancellation in accordance with clauses 1.5, 1.6 or 4.2 above, within one week of cancellation the volunteer shall send any money donated by third parties to MD together with details of the donors.
5.2 Unless third party donations are expressly conditional on the volunteer completing the mission trip, they will be treated as unconditional donations to MD and retained by MD.
5.3 Regarding any donations that are expressly conditional on a specific volunteer completing the mission trip, MD will, so far as reasonably practical, seek the permission of donors who have given more than £25 to retain the donations, despite cancellation. If such a donor does not give permission, MD shall return the donation to the donor.
5.4 If a donor cannot be contacted after making reasonable efforts, MD shall retain the donation.
6.1 It is your responsibility to ensure that you and all those travelling with you have a valid passport. In some countries your passport is required to be valid for a defined set of months after the mission date.
6.2 MD will help you apply for any necessary visa and immigration requirements for holders of UK passports. For destinations where it is not possible to obtain visas in advance you will be required to obtain it at the point of entry.
7.1 It is your responsibility to check regarding the vaccinations necessary to gain entry to any country visited and obtain any vaccinations as required.
7.2 MD mission trips are physically demanding. Physical disability or a medical condition should not prevent you from taking part – MD will attempt to accommodate you but must also satisfy itself that you are fit and healthy enough to participate and that you will be covered by our insurance. If there is a problem we will let you know and may suggest an alternative (e.g. another mission trip where medical facilities are more easily accessible).
7.3 It is your responsibility to determine your physical and emotional preparedness to serve, and you should consult with your doctor to determine your readiness and make arrangements for your health and physical requirements. Accordingly, the medical questionnaire in the MD Volunteer Application Form must be completed accurately and MD informed of any pre-existing medical condition, or condition that arises subsequently to your completing the application form that may adversely affect your involvement on the mission trip, or the involvement of other participants. Failure to disclose existing health considerations honestly or adequately could expose you to not having insurance cover if you needed it while overseas.
MD will hold emergency medical expenses and travel insurance cover for all volunteers, specialist arrangements will be made for anyone over 80 years old, any additional cost will be requested as an additional contribution. Any costs incurred that fall below the excess stated on insurance policy will be the responsibility of the volunteer. Details of the terms of the policy are available on request.
The availability or provision of accommodation is subject to the ‘house rules’ of the accommodation or site. Your project will be taking place in a country where travel and accommodation standards are less developed than you are used to in the UK. Standards of accommodation will vary from extremely basic to adequate and in some locations, you may have to do without essential services. The mission trip is based on using twin or triple accommodation (where applicable), and if you join a project alone, you may be partnered with another member of the same sex to share accommodation.
Volunteers must comply with the laws and regulations of the countries visited and comply with all reasonable instructions of the MD mission leader relating to the safety and organisation of the mission. If in the opinion of MD, any airline pilot, accommodation manager or other person in authority feels that you are behaving in such a manner as to cause danger, distress or annoyance to others or cause damage to property, your mission arrangements may be terminated by us or the supplier concerned. In such an event, we shall have no liability to you and will not be responsible for making any refunds, paying any compensation or meeting any costs or expenses you incur as a result. Furthermore, you must meet any expenses we incur as a result of your behaviour, including the potential cost of earlier repatriation to the UK.
MD is committed to the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and is opposed to all forms of exploitation and abuse, including child sexual abuse. As part of our application and screening process and depending on the nature of voluntary activities you are likely to undertake, you might be asked to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application so that we can try to protect volunteers, staff and beneficiaries from harm. You will be expected to agree to the behaviour protocols for working with children and vulnerable adults (see below) and follow the instructions of the MD team leaders in all matters related to safeguarding.
If in the opinion of MD, partners, accommodation manager or other person in authority feels that you are not following MD’s safeguarding policy and procedure or are creating a safeguarding risk due to your actions or behaviour, your mission arrangements may be terminated by us or the supplier concerned. In such an event, we shall have no liability to you and will not be responsible for making any refunds, paying any compensation, or meeting any costs or expenses you incur as a result. Furthermore, you must meet any expenses we incur as a result of your behaviour, including the potential cost of earlier repatriation to the UK.
12.1 Protocols for working with Children and Vulnerable Adults
12.1.1 MD expects all its Overseas and National Staff and Volunteers to give respect and dignity to all children and vulnerable adults associated with the work of MD.
12.1.2 Volunteers will not usually be left with children or vulnerable adults unsupervised by MD Staff.
12.1.3 MD Staff & Volunteers must never be alone with children or vulnerable adults who are not their own offspring in a private place that cannot be readily seen by other responsible adults.
12.1.4 National children or vulnerable adults will not stay overnight in the residence of MD Staff or Volunteer, unless accompanied by a parent or adult family member and approved by the Country Manager.
12.1.5 MD Staff and Volunteers will not touch a child or vulnerable adult in a way that is against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. (A general guideline is not to touch children in areas that would normally be covered by shorts and t-shirt, but also includes kissing and tickling in an inappropriate way.)
12.1.6 MD Staff and Volunteers will not discipline a child in a way that is against the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
12.1.7 MD Staff and Volunteers will not use a child in a way that is against the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
12.1.8 MD drivers will not take a child or vulnerable adult home without at least one other person being present in the vehicle, unless the child or vulnerable adult is a family member.
12.1.9 MD Staff and Volunteers will not visit a child or vulnerable adult at their own home, while they are at home alone.
12.1.10 Adults will always be responsible for their behaviour and cannot blame the child or vulnerable adult, even if they ‘provoke ’or act in a ‘seductive’ way.
12.1.13 Abuse and exploitation of children and vulnerable adults is wrong. Keeping silent is also wrong; if it is known beyond doubt that a child or vulnerable adult is being abused or exploited it is essential to speak out to an appropriate authority.
12.1.14 MD Staff and Volunteers are encouraged to be open in discussing the potential of abuse.
Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years old and in suitable physical condition to undertake the mission trip as set out in the itinerary. Participants should be fully aware of the possible risks inherent in a mission trip. 7-17 year olds may also participate in certain mission trips with the agreement of their parent or guardian and when accompanied by a parent or guardian on the mission trip.
You will be responsible for providing your own personal equipment and kit as set out in the MD handbook.
All volunteers are taken to give their consent for their picture to be reproduced and published and distributed within promotional material of MD. It is not possible to give any remuneration for any image or other material that is used.
If a volunteer passes on their own images or written contributions to MD we receive it on the understanding that they can be used on the same terms as outlined above.
Your contract will be governed by English law and any disputes will be dealt with in the courts of England and Wales. If you live in Northern Ireland or Scotland, the courts of Northern Ireland and Scotland (as appropriate), can deal with any disputes.