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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to commit to a single project?

2. How much of my time is required between trips?

3. How much of my time is required to prepare for a trip?

4. How quickly can GVE mobilize a group trip?

5. Do I need to speak a foreign language?

6. Do I have to be a registered professional engineer? How much experience is required to be a volunteer?

7. Where does GVE get its funding?

8. Does GVE have any employment opportunties?

9. How does GVE use my donation?

10. Who pays for volunteer travel costs?

11. How long are the trips?

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1. Do I need to commit to a single project?
We prefer to match volunteers with a single project for a variety of reasons. It is important for volunteers to establish working, personal relationships with host communities. Continuity is the best way to capture and examine all the details about a project. Therefore, we assign a group of two to four volunteers to work together on a single project. We hope that by doing this, all members of the group will travel to their host country more than once, although their presence on all trips may not be possible. We recognize that our volunteers are also professionals with a primary responsibility elsewhere.

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2. How much of my time is required between trips?
GVE asks each volunteer to be available for up to 40 hours after returning from a trip. This time is very flexible. Generally, the volunteer teams meet with a GVE director for approximately 3 hours to thoroughly review what happened during a trip. Following that post-trip meeting, volunteers collaborate and prepare a memorandum or field report for their host community.

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3. How much of my time is required to prepare for a trip?
GVE handles all travel logistics, including airline tickets and local accommodations. Volunteers are briefed on the project objectives well in advance of departure. Expect to devote eight hours reviewing pre-trip briefing documents.

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4. How quickly can GVE mobilize a group trip?
Once GVE identifies a project and selects a volunteer team, we can generally mobilize quickly. However, we prefer to plan trips approximately three weeks in advance so we can secure reasonable airline fares.

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5. Do I need to speak a foreign language?
No, but it is preferred. On most trips we employ a local translator.

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6. Do I have to be a registered professional engineer? How much experience is required to be a volunteer?
Professional registration is not required. GVE's primary mission is to provide services to rural communities. However, a secondary mission is to provide an avenue for working engineers to grow and develop their skills. To the best we can, each volunteer team includes a senior engineer to work alongside less-experienced but motivated junior-level engineers. We request that our volunteers have a minimum of five years professional experience, or two years of professional experience with a Master's degree from an accredited U.S. college or university.

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7. Where does GVE get its funding?
GVE is a registered tax-exempt organization. Our financing comes from public contributions, private foundation grants, tax-deductible contributions from the engineering community, and other non-governmental organizations. Often our volunteers will pay for their own expenses as a donation to GVE.

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8. Does GVE have employment opportunities?
Since GVE is a network of volunteer engineers we do not offer employment opportunities. The only full-time representative of the organization is the Executive Director.

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9. How does GVE use my donation?
The majority of GVE's expenses are travel expenses, such as airline tickets. The Executive Director is the sole full-time employee, whose compensation is derived from our financing sources. Approximately, 95-cents of every dollar donated to GVE goes directly to the project.

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10. Who pays for volunteer travel costs?
GVE pays for all volunteers expenses while traveling. This includes airfare, lodging, meals, ground transportation, translation, etc. We prefer that you donate your skills, GVE will handle the rest. Unlike some other organizations, you do not need to pay to participate.

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11. How long are trips?
In general, trips are no fewer than four days. Depending on the volunteer and the project needs, trips can last as long as several months. On average, trips seven to eight days.

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Global Village Engineers is a 501(c)3 registered charitable organization.