As a nonprofit organization, our commitment to community-driven service and encouraging global citizenship is matched or exceeded only by one other commitment, and that is to safety.
Amizade recognizes first and foremost that the safety of its participants, site directors, and community partners is the primary concern on any Amizade program. As you or your loved one prepares to study and serve with Amizade, you can rest comfortably with the knowledge that Amizade has an exceptionally strong safety record and the ability to respond to any emerging challenges. Amizade draws from extensive experience to continually improve our programs and make them safe for studying and exploring. This strong record stems from several organizational commitments.
We cooperate closely with local Amizade site directors, who are well respected in their communities. Our history and reputation as long-term partners in the communities where we work provide us with an exceptional level of access and local insight in each location.
All participants are required to complete and submit the Amizade Medical and Insurance Form prior to participation. Amizade requires that all group members participate in a pre-departure orientation approximately two to four weeks prior to departure. During the orientation, an Amizade site liaison will share important travel information and expectations.
We monitor global events closely and stay abreast of all relevant US State Department Travel Advisories and Warnings, as well as specific embassy messages. We stay in close contact with international organizations such as CISI and Armada Global as well as local experts.
Our staff members and site directors have collectively traveled to more than 150 countries and are experts at quickly understanding emerging information. When considering any emerging trends, we adhere closely to best practices established by the Forum on Education Abroad.
All participants who travel internationally are automatically enrolled in International Travel Assistance and Medical Insurance through CISI.
Our policies and procedures are frequently reviewed and refined by our Executive Director, Director of Operations, senior leadership team, and our experienced and well-trained in-country community partners. For more information about our most up-to-date health and safety policies and procedures, please review our Risk Management Plan and Resource Guide.
For more information about how Amizade is approaching traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, please the following pages on our website:
PARTICIPANT WELLNESS AND SUPPORT
We recognize that participant wellness is more than just policies and procedures. We are committed to creating inclusive and supportive environments for our participants, as well as for our community partners, site directors, and friends. Because of this, we encourage all participants to play an active role in supporting positive learning communities. This begins with thinking about your own health and wellness needs prior to participating in a program and sharing these needs with us through your health questionnaire. Participants who may need support for physical or learning accommodations should be in touch with their program leader or site liaison. We also encourage you to think about your own social identities, such as sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and religion. Our identities shape how we perceive and interact with the world and how others perceive and interact with us. Consider how social identities might impact (or be impacted by) your Amizade experience. For example:
What are the cultural attitudes toward sexual orientation and gender identity in your program location? Are there any laws regarding sexual orientation and gender identity?
What is the attitude of local community members toward people from the U.S., people of other nationalities, different ethnicities, religions or sexual orientations?
What are your interests in seeking and finding a community with people who identify in the same way as you? Are there active communities or organizations in your program location?
We encourage you to talk about your wellness needs with your group leader or an Amizade staff member. Providing this information will not impact your acceptance into our programs, but it will help us work with you to identify the best programs and outline available resources.
Health and safety concerns vary by location. You should begin by reviewing the CDC travel website and the US State Department travel website for your program locations. These websites provide detailed information about required immunizations, medical resources, travel warnings and tips for staying safe.
EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
Emergency support (monitored 24/7)
This is our office phone number. When Amizade participants are traveling, it is monitored 24/7. For non-emergency inquiries our business hours are M-F, 9am-4:30pm Eastern Time.
CONTACT FOR HEALTH & SAFETY AT AMIZADE
For more inquiries about health and safety in our organization, please contact our staff at [email protected].
HOW WE MAKE AN IMPACT
Transparency is important to us—here’s a window into how we measure our impact and make sure that our work is ethical.