Sunday, June 25, 2017

Travel Information – Volunteers

Airfare Gambia – Volunteers

You may use any travel agent you chose to procure flight arrangements. However, you need to be aware that the Gambia is not a frequently traveled destination from the United States of America. At this time, there is no direct flight from any destination within the US to Banjul. At times, it may be easier to arrange for a flight via England, Germany, or the Netherlands. We will be happy to assist you, if need be.

Our volunteers are expected to pay for transportation to and from the Gambia. However, since Healing Hands of Gambia, Inc. ® is a registered 501(c)(3) corporation with the US Internal Revenue Service, most travel and living expenses and related costs incurred by a volunteer are considered a tax-deductible donation. Volunteers need to save their receipts and keep track of their expenses. Upon returning home, these expenses can then be submitted to us via our Financial Contribution Form for review by our accountants, after which we will issue a “Letter of Acknowledgment” listing the monetary value of the tax deduction to serve as documentation for the Internal Revenue Service.

We encourage you to discuss this matter with your own accountant.

Passport – Volunteers

Be sure that your passport is current and is valid until six months after your projected departure date from the Gambia. If you need to apply for a passport or renew your old passport, please click on the following link: United States Department of State (Passport Services). Be sure to allow two to three months for the appropriate agency to fulfill your request.

Room and Board – Volunteers

Room and board will be provided by Healing Hands of Gambia, Inc. ® for the duration of your volunteer service with us.

Spending Money – Volunteers

A reasonable amount of spending money may be brought along for your own use and enjoyment. It would be advisable not to bring too much cash. The use of credit cards is also not encouraged, as the safety precautions regarding personal information are not always enforced or enforceable in African countries, including the Gambia. The best option would be traveler’s checks, making sure to note and safeguard the serial numbers. While these checks are not usable at bazaars and markets, they can be exchanged at a local bank without too much difficulty.

Please carefully review all of the information on the safety section.

Travel Registration – Volunteers

As indicated in the “Safety” section, which we encourage you to review carefully, you should register with the US Department of State prior to your departure, so that they are able to assist you in case of an emergency.

We also encourage you to share the address and telephone numbers of the Embassy of the United States (or the Embassy of your country of origin, if you are not an American citizen) with your family or emergency contact person at home.

Embassy of the United States
Kairaba Avenue, Fajara
PMB 19
Banjul, The Gambia

Telephone: (220) 439-2856/437-6169/437-6170
Emergency Line: (220) 439-2170
Fax: (220) 439-2475
E-mail: ConsularBanjul@state.gov
Web: www.usembassybanjul.gm

Hours of Operation: Mon-Thu 8:00 – 17:00, Fri 8:00 – 12:30

Visa – Volunteers

Citizens of the United States of American currently require a visa (together with documentation of yellow fever vaccination) to enter the Gambia. The current fee for a two-year visa is $100. Please review the information on the US Department of State website which describes this in greater detail.

The Embassy of the Gambia is located in Washington, D.C.. Visa applications are accepted by mail; however, the Embassy of the Gambia requires that your original passport is sent to them, which we do not encourage and which you may not wish to do. Unless you intend to travel to Washington, D.C. and can obtain your visa in person, you may want to obtain your visa upon your arrival in Banjul, in which case we will be able to assist you without difficulty.

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