Terms and Conditions and Refund Policy

This agreement contains important information relating to the Volunteer Program. It is essential that you carefully read and understand it. By signing this document and paying the non-refundable deposit or full payment, you acknowledge that you have read, understood and agreed to the terms below.

  1. VESA AGREES TO PROVIDE YOU WITH THE FOLLOWING: 
    1. 5 days of a humanitarian volunteer project(s) in conjunction with a local volunteer organization in Ecuador, South Africa, Laos or in the Fiji Islands (your ‘host country’)
    2. 5 days guided jungle tour plus 1 night Andes adventure in Ecuador, 5 day safari in South Africa/Swaziland, 5 day adventure tour in Laos or 6 day island hopping cruise in Fiji, including guides, all necessary equipment and transportation and activities. 
    3. All transfers and transportation throughout the duration of the VESA program, not inclusive of international or domestic flights.
    4. All accommodations during VESA program. 
    5. At least three (3) meals a day during the course of the VESA program except designated free day (max 1 per program) 
    6. Drinking water during the course of the VESA programs where local water unsafe to drink (parts of Ecuador, Fiji, Laos and Africa)
    7. On-site VESA staff member to supervise participants during the humanitarian based volunteer project. 
    8. On-site VESA staff member to supervise participants during the adventure tour. 
    9. Experienced trades people to supervise and assist in any building projects 
    10. All materials and tools necessary in the humanitarian based volunteer project/s.
    11. A certificate of participation in the volunteer project upon written request.
  2.       YOU AGREE TO:
    1. Pay a non-refundable, non-transferable deposit (the “Deposit”) (or, at your option, the total program cost) with the submission of this agreement signed by you. The Deposit will be applied 100% to the total program cost. 
    2. Purchase adequate and valid travel insurance prior to departure covering costs of medical treatment and transport. VESA takes no responsibility whatsoever for any actions or omissions by any travel insurance provider. 
    3. Provide VESA office with proof of valid travel/medical insurance coverage at least 45 days before departure. You may email or mail a photocopy of your insurance policy, including name of the insurer, policy number, name of insured, etc. VESA provides a list of recommended insurance companies in the preparing to go section of its website. 
    4. Disclose in writing to the VESA office all your medical information relevant to your undertaking the VESA program. You represent that the medical information written on your application is complete and accurate. If your medical information on your application is not complete and accurate or if your medical information changes prior to departure from your host country, you must inform VESA’s Participant Coordinator in writing immediately. Because of the inability to ensure rapid medical response times, VESA cannot accept you on any program if you suffer from anaphylaxis.
    5. Pay the balance of the program cost no later than 45 days prior to departure to your host country. Africa Unearthed. THE PROGRAM COST DOES NOT INCLUDE DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE OR ANY APPLICABLE AIRLINE TAXES OR SURCHARGES. 
    6. Pay the balance of any and all other travel costs no later than 45 days prior to your departure to your host country. 
    7. Comply with all applicable laws of the countries which you visit in the course of the VESA program. VESA has a zero tolerance policy on illegal drugs. Any participant found to be breaching the law or interfering with the well-being of the group will be immediately removed from the program at their own cost and with no right of refund. 
    8. Accept the authority of the VESA program leader. At all times, the decision of the VESA leader or representative will be final concerning all matters regarding the program including, without limitation, those likely to affect the safety and well-being of the group. 
  3.       FURTHER INFORMATION
    1. VESA will send regular update emails containing information on travel arrangements and the program prior to your departure to the host country. These will provide you with details about what to expect whilst travelling overseas and provide further information on the volunteer project and adventure tour. 
    2. VESA may also request further information from you or require you to take action such as booking flights, acquiring travel insurance etc. It your responsibility to monitor your emails and it is advised to check or adjust your email filters to recognise VESA correspondence. 
  4.     CANCELLATION OR WITHDRAWAL BY YOU AND REFUNDS
    1. If you wish to cancel your booking, notification of cancellation must be given to VESA in writing. The date of cancellation is the date on which written notification is received by VESA. The cancellation charges applying in relation to the period of notice given, are as provided in the following table:
      PERIOD OF CANCELLATION NOTICE CANCELLATION CHARGE
      45 days or more prior to departure Deposit only
      44 to 30 days prior to departure 75% of total program fee
      Less than 30 days prior to departure 100% of total program fee
      No show 100% of total program fee

      All refunds will be processed at the END of the VESA Program term 

      This cancellation policy does not apply to your airfare, which is governed by the conditions of your air ticket. If under those terms a refund is not possible and the reason for cancellation falls within the terms of your travel cancellation insurance cover, then your insurer will normally refund some or all of your cancellation fees.

      Any refunds will be either:

      1. Repaid to your credit card
      2. Sent to you via Paypal
      3. Deposited into your bank account 
    2. VESA ASSUMES NO LIABILITY FOR YOU BEING UNABLE TO, OR DECIDING NOT TO, PARTICIPATE IN ANY ACTIVITY FORMING PART OF THE VESA PROGRAMS, WHETHER BECAUSE OR ANY PHYSICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITION, TREATMENT OR MEDICATION, OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER OR NOT THE RELEVANT MATTERS WERE NOTIFIED TO VESA. 
    3. If having travelled to the host country, you decide to depart the VESA program before the scheduled time of departure from the host country, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK, AND YOU AGREE TO RELEASE VESA, ITS OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES AND CONTRACTORS (“VESA RELEASEES”) FROM ALL LIABILITY, AND TO INDEMNIFY AND KEEP INDEMNIFIED THE VESA RELEASEES AGAINST ANY CLAIM MADE BY YOU OR BY ANYONE ELSE, IN RESPECT OF ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OCCURRING AS A RESULT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH EARLY DEPARTURE, HOWSOEVER CAUSED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE NEGLIGENT OR WILFUL ACT OR OMISSION OF ANY OF THE VESA RELEASEES.
    4. You acknowledge that the program is subject to a range of circumstances and conditions that may not meet your expectations and that VESA incurs the costs of the program whether or not your expectations are met. ACCORDINGLY VESA IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO REFUND ANY PART OF THE TOTAL PROGRAM COST IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH ANY ASPECT OF THE PROGRAM IRRESPECTIVE OF THE REASON.
    5. VESA ASSUMES NO LIABILITY FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY TRAVEL DELAYS/CANCELLATIONS INCURRED FOR ANY REASON INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, 'FORCE MAJEURE', MISSED OR CANCELLED FLIGHTS OR GOVERNMENT TRAVEL ADVICE. YOU MUST LOOK TO YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE.
  5. GROUP FLIGHTS
    1. VESA will cause the booking of optional group flights. Group flights are dependent on minimum passenger numbers and in the unlikely event that these are not reached on some or all of the program dates, VESA’s licensed travel agents will make available competitive alternate flights. Group flights may not be available for individual tours within VESA’s supplementary Amazonas, Fiji or Africa programs, in which case VESA and its agents will assist affected participants to attempt to source the most competitively priced airfare available to meet their travel requirements. Group flights require the payment of a deposit and the balance of fares by dates which will be advised to those participants flying on them. Those on group flights will be met by VESA personnel at the airport at the host country destination, but those on individually booked flights must find their own way to the program location unless arrangements are specially made.
    2. VESA may vary program dates due to flight scheduling with the aim to obtain the best possible group flight prices.
  6. GENERAL
  7. VESA and its service providers will do everything they reasonably can to ensure your safety and well being when on tour. VESA operates trips in regions where standards of accommodation, transport, hygiene, medical facilities and other infrastructure are particular to the area and may not be of the standard you are accustomed in your home country. By accepting this agreement you acknowledge this fact and the physical nature of the program. 
  8. Any dispute between you and VESA arising out of or in any way connected with this agreement or the volunteer services program the subject of this agreement which is not resolved within fourteen (14) days after a notice providing particulars of the matters in dispute is given by either party to the other, may thereafter be referred to mediation before the person(s) agreed between you and VESA or, failing such agreement within 30 days after such notice is given, before a person nominated by the President for the time being of the Institution of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia or by his or her delegate, The mediation shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules of the Conduct of Commercial Arbitrations of the Institute of Arbitrators Australia and take place in Sydney, NSW, Australia. Neither party shall commence proceedings until after such mediation is concluded except to obtain urgent injunctive relief. Both parties must keep the fact and details of the dispute and the mediation confidential except as is necessary to obtain legal advice and representation and to take court proceedings.
  9. The contract shall be governed by the law of New South Wales, Australia and the parties agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of that State and any courts having appellate jurisdiction from them. Notwithstanding any other provision of this agreement nothing in this agreement purports to affect your statutory rights which cannot lawfully be affected by agreement of the parties.