Where Do the Funds Go that Are Collected by the Heightened Hearts Foundation?
Funds for the Heightened Hearts Voluntourism Programs go directly to:
Consulting and materials to help facilitate the construction of schools, homes, libraries, clean water facilities, etc.
Purchase school supplies
Many of our guests choose to sponsor the trips in which they participate. It is our ultimate vision to see this amazing generosity continue to support these remarkable journeys. If this sounds like something that may interest you, you can donate directly through the Heightened Hearts Foundation safe in the knowledge that 100% of the money goes to the people in need!
How Far in Advance Do I Have to Book My Heightened Hearts Voluntourism Trip?
For most of our trips, we urge participants to book 2-3 months in advance. The exact amount of planning depends on the time of year (and whether or not it is peak season in your chosen destination). At the Heightened Hearts Foundation we will go out of our way to ensure your trip becomes a reality, but generally speaking, the earlier in advance you book the better.
What Are the Ways to Pay for My Trip, and By When Do You Need My Payment
Participants can pay online with a credit card or bank transfer or by cashier’s check. Paying by credit card incurs up to a 3.95% surcharge, depending on the type of card you use. These charges apply to debit cards as well. You can pay with a 20% deposit to secure your booking, with the balance due 60 days prior to your trip start-date.
What Is the Minimum Number of Volunteers Needed to Ensure a “Voluntourism” Trip Will Take Place?
For almost all of our trip types, the minimum number of people needed to ensure a trip (at the stated price) is TWO. In fact, with two or more people, you can choose your own departure date! Even better, if you choose to travel alone, and you are the first person to book a trip, you can choose to pay a surcharge to guarantee that the trip will go ahead.
How Are the Volunteer Projects Selected by the Heightened Hearts Foundation?
All of our Volunteer Projects have been sourced through consultation with the local communities to identify the ways in which a small group of volunteers, regardless of their specific skills, could be of benefit.
I Want to Make a Difference, but I’m Not Sure About ‘Roughing It.’ Is This Okay?
Absolutely. We recognize that many of our guests may be volunteering for the first time and would appreciate a measure of solace at the end of a day’s volunteering. As such, most of our trips include 4-5 Star accommodations wherever available.
Are International Flights to My Destination Included in the Price?
No, but we can assist you in arranging your travel itinerary.
Will I Be Safe During My Trip?
It goes without saying that at the Heightened Hearts Foundation, your safety is our top priority. Therefore, we always take all reasonable steps to ensure you are safe and secure during your trip. You can rest assured in the knowledge that we only go to areas with excellent track records for safety.
What if I Get Sick during the Trip?
At the Heightened Hearts Foundation, our pre-trip information pack will provide you with information detailing some ways to minimize the risk of falling ill during your trip, and our guides will also brief you on local hygiene tips. Additionally, we strongly encourage participants to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy, one that will cover the price of your airfare in the event you fall ill. This coverage should certainly include all medical-related expenses, and emergency air lifts where required.
If I Am Tasked with Building a House, Will I Get to See the Finished Product during the Time I Am There?
In most cases, YES. The time allocated for most of our trips is expected to be sufficient to build a house when its foundation has already been laid.
However, delays can (and do) occur, so there may be rare instances in which full completion of the project will not be feasible during the course of your trip.
Will Someone Pick Me Up from the Airport When I Arrive at My Destination?
YES. Travel to and from the airport is included in the price of your trip. You will be met on arrival by one of our staff members, who will then transfer you to your hotel. You will also be transferred to the airport at the conclusion of your trip (this is also included in the price).
Can You Arrange Accommodations for Me on the Nights Immediately Prior to and after My Tour?
Yes, gladly. For those that want to spend extra time at their chosen destination, either before or after their “Voluntourism” trip, we at Heightened Hearts will happily make those arrangements for you. Just adjust your booking form to indicate the extra dates you plan to stay and we will do the rest.
Where and When Will I Meet My Tour Guide and the Remainder of My Group?
As part of your Heightened Hearts travel package, participants will be given detailed information regarding where and when their tour will commence. Normally, all participants will meet at one of the local hotels—typically the hotel at which the volunteers will be staying.
Wherever possible, we will also arrange a welcome drink at a nearby bar the evening before your trip commences, giving you a great opportunity to meet your fellow volunteers and tour guides in a friendly atmosphere.
Will I Have to Share a Room with Another Group Member?
Generally, Yes. Volunteers will be partnered with someone of the same sex, unless they opt to pay for a single room, which is available on most trips.
Are There Special Dietary Allowances, e.g. for Vegetarians, Vegans?
At Heightened Hearts, we will always strive to meet any and all dietary requirements of our guests—requirements which should be indicated on the booking form. However, please bear in mind that your choice of meals may be considerably lower than what you are accustomed to in your home country.
If I Choose to, Can I Assist at a Project for an Extended Period of Time after My Tour Finishes?
Should you wish to assist for, say, one month after your tour, we can assist you with this, however is it not always possible and is ultimately the decision of the Community Development project itself. Additionally, there may be some legal and visa restrictions which prohibit stays over a certain length of time.
Keep in mind that extended stays will need to be arranged by you, including making the necessary changes in your flight arrangements.
Why Is a Background Check Required for some Volunteer Projects?
At the Heightened Hearts Foundation, the safety of our volunteers—and the local people they work with—is a major priority. Criminal Background checks allow us to weed out potential volunteers who, because of the crimes they have committed, are prohibited from working with, say, children or other groups.
What Is the Minimum Age for Volunteers?
All volunteers under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.
Is There a Maximum age?
No, but we do encourage you to be guided by the Activity Level rating, and for our more physical trips, you may be required to submit a medical certificate if you are over 60.
My Days of Backpacking are Gone Now—am I Too Old to Participate?
Not at all—as we explained in the previous question, there is no maximum age for Heightened Hearts volunteers. Additionally, most of our trips include 4-5 Star accommodations, allowing you to make a positive difference during the day and sleep in the utmost comfort at night.
Are Any Heightened Hearts Tours Suitable for Families, and If So, Which Ones?
All of the tour programs offered through the Heightened Hearts Foundation are ideal for families. As many of our previous volunteers have stated, “volunteering with the family can be a life-changing experience and the ultimate lesson in generosity for children.”
Appropriate projects for families include environmental missions, as well as those which involve teaching in schools or engaging in the repair and maintenance work of orphanages, all of which help children learn the benefit of giving back while interacting with the local children.