20 September 2021 • ACTUALITÉS
[Volunteering] Congé Solidaire® missions are opening in 3 countries !
In March 2020, following the COVID-19 health crisis, Planète Urgence volunteering missions abroad were completely suspended. A complex and unprecedented situation, which the association has been able to cope with in particular by creating e-volunteering, a 100% remote system. Today, thanks to the efforts of the team, local partners and some health improvement, Planète Urgence is reopening the Congé Solidaire® missions in the field: in Ecuador, Cameroon and Benin where conditions allow a gradual recovery.
Ecuador: the first country to reopen
In April 2020, following a study carried out by Planète Urgence with 209 local associations, 96% of them said they were impacted in their daily activities, and had to reduce or adapt their actions. 62% of them counted in particular at the time on volunteering to help them get out of the crisis. In order to overcome this impossibility of travel and the needs of local partners who are always present, Planète Urgence then created e-volunteering, a 100% digital system delivered remotely.
With the recent reopening of the Ecuadorian borders and the easing of sanitary conditions, local associations such as the Sumac Muyu Foundation for biodiversity missions can now receive volunteers on Congé Solidaire®.
After 1 year and 5 months of inactivity, 5 volunteers were the first to return to survey the biodiversity in the Rio Bigal reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon at the beginning of July. 9 more are expected this summer with the same local partner.
A second country reopens its borders: Cameroon
A country in West and Central Africa has been added to the list of countries reopened to international travel: Cameroon.
After an in-depth analysis of the health and security situation, Planète Urgence has decided to reopen the Congé Solidaire® missions also in this country of historical intervention of the association. Capacity building and biodiversity protection missions will therefore be planned from October 1, 2021 with around fifteen local associations!
Benin can also welcome volunteers
Benin can also welcome volunteers
Good news ; Planète Urgence is able to reopen its missions in Benin from November 1st! Country in which the association has been present for a long time with many local partners who were impatiently awaiting the reopening of Congé Solidaire®!
For the smooth running of a mission in Benin, the volunteer will be asked to carry out a test on arrival and departure from Benin to obtain the results between 12h and 24h. Each test will cost the volunteer €115, or €230 for the 2 tests. In order to facilitate applications and departures to Benin, we recommend that companies study the possibility of paying for these tests on an expense note so that their costs are not an obstacle to their departure on a mission.
The association remains confident in the possibility that other West African countries may soon be open to short-term volunteering.
Who says reopening of borders and missions during health periods, obviously means strengthening the security protocol and support for volunteers.
A strict security protocol for a serene recovery
Planète Urgence attaches great caution in the choice of its intervention sites, inseparable from the implementation of strict security procedures taking into account the specific characteristics of each country. These are defined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself according to the health and social environment of the said countries. The current health situation has therefore led to increased vigilance by the association regarding the sending of volunteers in the face of an epidemic risk.
This is why, in addition to the 9 essential criteria for the reopening of a country and a mission, the association has changed its security protocol, in particular on the state of the epidemic in the host country.
Please note: for open countries, the deployment of volunteers is only possible subject to being under 45 years old and presenting a negative test less than 72 hours before the departure date, as well as a medical certificate ensuring that the/ the volunteer does not present any particular vulnerability to Covid-19. Attention: all this is obviously subject to health constraints likely to evolve.