SQUADS ABROAD-Refund Policy

Squads Abroad is a program of Global Brigades, Inc.  All contributions and donations are made to Global Brigades, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization in the United States. As agreed to by all volunteers upon sign-up and by all donors upon donation, ALL CONTRIBUTIONS AND DONATIONS MADE TO GLOBAL BRIGADES TO SUPPORT THE SQUADS ABROAD PROGRAM ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.* All contributions and donations raised will be used to further Squads Abroad’s mission, regardless of an individual or squad participation. Contributions and donations made to Squads Abroad are not made to specific squads nor individuals. If a volunteer or squad elects not to participate in a program, or if their squad is cancelled  the funds raised to meet their squad will continue to be utilized for their intended purpose to further Squads Abroad’ mission.

Global Brigades demonstrates accountability to donors in publishing an annual audit from an independent accounting firm, which can be found online.

*This policy is effective November 1st, 2018, and applies to all contributions and donations made on or after this date.  

Cancellations

Squads Abroad strongly encourages volunteers wishing to cancel their squad participation to find a replacement volunteer so their original commitment to the squad implementation may be fulfilled.

A volunteer must communicate the cancellation of their program participation to Squads Abroad. Within 1 month after their cancellation, the volunteer must email Squads Abroad Program Director if they plan to apply the funds raised toward their squad for a future squad, which will be reserved for a future squad for up to 12 months upon time of cancellation. If a volunteer cancels their participation within 14 days of their squad start date, the funds available for application toward a future squad will be reduced by $150. This $150 will be utilized to cover the costs already expended to prepare for their squad participation which was cancelled on short notice.

*If the volunteer doesn’t email Squads Abroad Program Director within the 1 month period, the funds raised toward the volunteer’s squad program will be utilized to further Squads Abroad’s mission and no longer available to meet a future designated squad.

**If the volunteer reserves the funds raised for a future squad, but does not sign-up for a new squad within 12 months, the funds raised toward the volunteer’s program will be utilized to further Squads Abroad’s mission

Flight Cancellations

If Squads Abroad has already booked a volunteer’s flight at the time the volunteer cancels their participation, Squads Abroad’ travel team will work with the airline to cancel the flight. If the airline provides a cash refund back to Squads Abroad for the flight, we will utilize those funds to further Squads Abroad’s mission. If the airline provides a flight voucher back to Squads Abroad in the name of the volunteer, the volunteer can utilize the flight voucher for a future squad flight.*

*Typically, most flight vouchers expire 1 year after the date the original ticket was issued.

Squad Cancellations

A Squad may have to cancel for various reasons. Examples include not meeting the volunteer group minimum, or not having administrative support to travel abroad. When a squad cancels their scheduled program, ideally they work with their volunteers to schedule a new squad that works for everyone.

In some cases, the new scheduled squad may no longer work for an individual volunteer and they may have to cancel their squad participation. If this happens to you, please contact Squads Abroad Program Director to find out if we can add you to another squad that is scheduled for dates that work better for your schedule.

If you are unable to sign-up for a new squad, you can email the Squads Abroad Program Director to reserve the funds raised toward your current squad for a future squad for up to 12 months upon time of cancellation.*

*If the volunteer doesn’t email Squads Abroad Program Director within 1 month of their cancellation, the funds raised toward the volunteer’s squad program will be utilized to further Squads Abroad’s mission and will no longer be available to meet a future squad.

Squad Cancellations Made by Squads Abroad

Squads Abroad’s number one priority is volunteer safety. In rare scenarios, Squads Abroad may have to cancel squads in a country due to events beyond our control, which may include, but are not limited to natural disasters, endemic and pandemic disease, and political unrest.

If your squad is canceled by Squads Abroad, we will do our best to help reschedule your squad to possibly a new date and/or different country. If you are unable to participate in the rescheduled squad, you can elect to reserve the funds raised toward your squad for a future squad.*

*If the volunteer decides to not utilize the funds raised toward the volunteer’s squad for a future squad, the funds will be utilized to further Squads Abroad’s mission.

 

SQUADS ABROAD-ACCIDENT WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY FORM

In order to be able to participate in the Squads Abroad program (“Program”) offered by Global Brigades, Inc. (“Global Brigades’), I hereby warrant, represent and agree to the following:

  1. I am 18 years of age or older and I understand this is a legal document.
  2. If I am not yet 18 years of age, and will not be 18 at the time I depart for my Program, I hereby agree and acknowledge that  one or more of my legal guardians must review, agree to, and sign this waiver according to the terms below.
  3. I have read the Ethics Policy (transcribed below) and will adhere to it.  I will act with the utmost respect for the culture and community that I will be serving.  
  4. I understand that the possession, use, sale, distribution or production of narcotics or other illegal drugs, or acting as an accessory, liaison or facilitator for any of the above, will not be tolerated and will result in my being immediately terminated from the Program without any reimbursement or compensation.  I understand it is my responsibility to know the local laws. I will not consume alcohol so as to impact others around me or to impede my ability to participate in Program activities. I understand that it is my responsibility to report any violations of the policies set forth in this paragraph as well as to report any other actions that may be harmful to the group or to staff.
  5. I understand that I may be dismissed from the Program and turned over to local law enforcement should I violate the local law of the host community or country.  I also understand that there is zero tolerance for any violent behavior or possession of any weapon or any aggression or perceived aggression and that my engaging in any such actions will result in automatic and immediate dismissal from the Program.
  6. I understand that sexual relations and expectations within local cultures are different and should be respected.  I will maintain a high level of professionalism and I will not develop or engage in intimate relationships while conducting international volunteer activities with Squads Abroad.  Sexual misconduct is disruptive to the brigade and potentially offensive to the host culture and similarly merits dismissal.
  7. I understand there are risks involved with international travel and I understand the nature of the Program on which I am to embark.  I have been given the opportunity to ask questions about the Program and about travel to and from my ultimate destination. I am not required to participate in the Program but I want to do so, despite the risks my participation entails.  
  8. I understand that participation in the Program will take me away from my home country for an extended period of time. I understand that I will be in unfamiliar surroundings and that I will be exposed to risks to my person and possessions. I understand there are hazards and risks inherent in travel and in my participation in the activities in the Program, including but not limited to: political, social, and economic conditions which are different than in my home country and which can change in an unpredictable manner; differing standards of design, safety, and maintenance of buildings, hygiene, sanitation, public spaces, and transportation; varying quality of available medical treatment and differing health, safety, legal, cultural, and religious beliefs and conditions; homesickness and loneliness; kidnapping; violence and crime; civil unrest; all of which could cause serious personal injury or loss of life to me and/or loss or damage to me or my property.  I understand that communication in different regional or international locations can be difficult and in the event of an accident, rescue and medical treatment may not be immediately available. I understand that weather conditions may be extreme and can change rapidly and without warning, making travel by any means hazardous. I acknowledge and accept that Squads Abroad may be unable to predict whether the foreign location used is safe for travel at a given time. I understand that human error; failure to forecast or recognize a hazardous situation; negligence of other travelers or local residents; and negligence on the part of other students or of Squads Abroad, including the failure of Squads Abroad to safeguard or protect me from risks, dangers, and hazards, may result in personal injury, death, property damage or losses resulting therefrom.  Nonetheless, I freely and voluntarily accept and assume all risks for such personal injury, loss of life, or property loss or damage.
  9. To mitigate the risks associated with travel and immersion into another culture, such as any violent, sexual or other assaults, I hereby agree that I will remain with my group at all times.  I understand that I am expected to participate in all planned Program activities unless there are health issues preventing my participation.
  10. I understand that for my Program dates, I will be covered by the Squads Abroad travel insurance policy which provides base coverage for injuries and illnesses I sustain or experience during travel outside my home country. I understand that I have the option, at my own expense, to increase the coverage limits of the policy provided by Squads Abroad, or to purchase separate travel insurance on my own.  I understand that Squads Abroad is not responsible for any medical expense I may incur while abroad. I agree to be accountable in all respects for my own actions and I will not hold Squads Abroad to be accountable for my actions. I acknowledge that I have been advised by Squads Abroad of the risks and dangers of my participating in the brigade and of the need for me to act responsibly at all times.
  11. I understand the risks of illness, infection and disease in the region(s) in which I am traveling, and have been advised of the recommended vaccinations/immunizations according to the CDC. I further understand and acknowledge that during the course of my Program, I may come into contact with individuals whose ailments may range from minor colds to serious illnesses and diseases.   I understand that it is my sole responsibility to obtain the recommended vaccinations and/or immunizations prior to my Program. While Squads Abroad will do everything it reasonably can to create a safe environment for me, I understand that Squads Abroad cannot prevent illness or infections while I am traveling and therefore I absolve Squads Abroad and Global Brigades from any responsibility or liability for any illness I incur during the program or while traveling to or from it unless such illness or infection is due to Squads Abroad’ gross negligence. I am physically fit and have not been advised by a medical professional not to participate on the Program. I do not have any health-related reasons or problems precluding my participating in the Program. I hereby consent to receive medical treatment which may be deemed advisable in the event of injury, accident, and/or illness during my time in the Program or while traveling to or from it.  
  12. Discipline Policy: If I violate any of the aforementioned policies or procedures, Squads Abroad may, at its sole discretion, require me to return immediately to my home country.  In such event, no refund will be made and I will bear any costs associated with the decision to require me to leave. In its sole discretion and for any reason, Squads Abroad may cancel the Program at any time and may at any time require all participants return to the United States.  In such event, no refund will be made and I will bear my share of any costs associated with the decision to cancel the brigade and return to the United States. I hereby warrant and represent that I have reviewed the below policy and submit to same:a. Should participant commit or engage in any of the following acts during the Program, Squads Abroad’ reserves the right to immediately remove the participant from the Program and send them back to their home country at their own expense.
        1. Possession, use, or sale of narcotics or other illicit substances;
        2. Possession or consumption of alcohol;
        3. Violent behavior and/or possession of weapons;
        4. Sexual misconduct and/or engaging in inappropriate intimate relationships during the Program, which is deemed offensive to the host country;
        5. Any and all acts which are deemed criminal in nature;
        6. Failure to remain with the group at all times;
        7. Engaging in abusive behavior towards the staff, community members, or fellow volunteers;

    b. Should participant commit or engage in any of the following acts during the Program, they shall be given one warning. Upon commission of a second offense, participant shall be removed from the program at the discretion of the in-country Executive Director, and sent back to their home country at their own expense.

        1. Failure to act in a respectful manner towards community members;
        2. Failure to comply with Squads Abroad and Global Brigades’ Ethics Policy;
        3. Engaging in any act which jeopardizes the safety of Squads Abroad’ staff, community members, or fellow volunteers.

    c. Should it be necessary to send participant back to their home country prior to completion of the Program, any costs incurred to change the flight back shall be the sole responsibility of the participant. If participant refuses to pay the fee, Squads Abroad reserves the right to contact participants’ emergency contact to cover the flight change costs.

  13. Photo/Video Privacy Release. I hereby consent that Squads Abroad, its legal representatives, agents, successor or assigns, shall have the right to use my name, image, and likeness contained in any photograph, video recording and/or sound recording taken during my Program, for marketing, publicity, educational or any other lawful purpose, in reproductions thereof in color or otherwise. In giving this permission without fee or limitation whatsoever, I represent and agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless Squads Abroad, its employees, volunteers, and staff members, from any and all claims, actions and demands of whatsoever nature, including but not limited to any claims of libel, or invasion of privacy, arising out of or in connection with the use of any photograph, video recording and/or sound recordings or any part thereof. I understand that the above use and disclosure may continue without expiration, but that I may revoke this authorization at any time by submitting a written request that it be cancelled to Squads Abroad.
  14. In consideration for my being able to participate in the Program, I hereby take action for myself, my family, my estate, my executors, and my heirs, as follows:a. I AGREE TO INDEMNIFY, HOLD HARMLESS, AND PROMISE NOT TO SUE Global Brigades d/b/a Squads Abroad and any related or affiliated companies or organizations, as well as their respective officers, employees, agents, representatives, and volunteers (individually and in their official capacities) from any and all liabilities or claims made as a result of my participation, whether caused by negligence or otherwise.  I acknowledge that Global Brigades d/b/a Squads Abroad, and its officers, employees, agents, and volunteers (individually and in their official capacities) are not responsible for the errors, omissions, acts, or failures to act of any party or entity conducting a specific activity on their behalf. I agree, promise, and covenant not to sue, or assert any claim against Global Brigades for any reason whatsoever arising from or in any way connected with my participation in the Program or from any claim brought against me by other participants or third parties.b. I WAIVE, RELEASE, AND DISCHARGE Global Brigades d/b/a Squads Abroad and any related or affiliated companies or organizations, as well as its respective officers, employees, agents, representatives, and volunteers (individually and in their official capacities) from any and all claims, judgments, and liability for any injury, including but not limited to personal injury and death, or damage to property, including but not limited to total loss, arising out of or in any manner related to my participation in and travel to and from the Program. I agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Global Brigades and any related or affiliated companies or organizations, as well as its respective officers, employees, agents, representatives, and volunteers (individually and in their official capacities) from any and all liability, losses, damages, judgments, or expenses, including attorneys’ fees, that they may incur or sustain in connection with my participation in and travel to and from the Program.  I understand that this statement covers any and all claims, including but not limited to, negligence and failure to supervise, against any of those mentioned above. I also understand that this statement binds me, my family, estate, and/or heirs.
  15. Refund and Cancellation Policy:  I hereby warrant and affirm that I have reviewed the Squads Abroad’ Refund and Cancellation policy found on the Squads Abroad website and agree to abide by the same.
  16. Force Majeure:  Global Brigades, d/b/a Squads Abroad reserves the right to cancel or postpone the Program due to the following force majeure events (“Force Majeure Events”): (a) acts of God; (b) flood, fire, earthquake, hurricane or tropical storm (c) war, invasion, hostilities, terrorist threats or acts, riots or civil unrest (d) government order or law; (e) endemic and pandemic disease; (f) strikes, labor stoppages or slowdowns; and (j) other similar events beyond the reasonable control of Squads Abroad. In the event of a cancellation or postponement due to a Force Majeure Event, the Squads Abroad’ Refund and Cancellation Policy shall remain in full force and effect.
  17. This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between us and supersedes all prior proposals, discussions, and agreements, whether oral or written between us on any matter regarding Squads Abroad or the Program.
  18. This Agreement is to be construed under the laws of the State of Washington.  If any portion of it is held to be invalid, the remainder shall remain in full force and effect.  I have read this statement in its entirety and I understand its terms and agree to be legally bound by it.
  19. Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, or the breach thereof, shall be settled by arbitration in Seattle, Washington, administered by the American Arbitration Association under its Commercial Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures.
  20. This Accident Waiver and Release of Liability Form shall be construed broadly to provide a release and waiver to the maximum extent permissible under applicable law.