Tonga - Medical Relief COMPLETE

Tonga

June 28, 2019 - July 7, 2019

About The Mission Trip

trip_InfoAboutHave you ever wanted to be the first in the world to greet the new day? Then join IMR in Tonga and greet the new day as part of the most amazing group of medical and dental professionals you will ever be a part of.

The trade winds will ensure pleasant days and cool nights in "the Friendly Islands" as the Kingdom of Tonga has been known since Captain Cook first visit almost 240 years ago. Tonga is made up of some 170 plus Islands scattered across more than 700,000 square miles of the world’s bluest ocean. Our patients will be warm, gentle people who share their culture with open arms and hearts.

Tonga remains true to herself and Polynesian traditions, never having been colonized by a foreign power. After over 1000 years of rule, today’s monarchy and its structure still remain the most powerful and influential entity in Tonga. Tongatapu’s stone trillithon, gateway Ha’amoga ‘A Maui, dating back many centuries, stands as a powerful reminder of the legacy of this ancient and proud royal culture.

Join us in Tonga for the experience of a lifetime - you won't want to leave so stay a few extra days!

About Clinic

trip_InfoClinicYou will see patients of every age on this trip and diseases ranging from the commonplace to some of the neglected tropical diseases. In February 2018, Tonga was hit hard by Tropical Cyclone Gita, a category 4 storm that damaged more than 1600 homes, caused widespread flooding, contaminated water supplies, and increased the incidence of dengue fever and rotavirus. While Tongans have access to healthcare, it is difficult to obtain and requires long waiting periods. Your IMR team will play an important role in caring for the remote island communities. Your participation and expertise will make a tremendous difference to this island nation - please join us!

Transportation & Lodging

trip_InfoLodgingThe team will stay in modest and safe accommodations on Tonga. Your home for the week will be right by the wharf with beach and ocean views. Dormitory style, you will have western bathrooms and comfortable beds. You'll travel by boat for day trips to different islands during your stay. The health clinic, minutes from your lodging, will be dedicated to helping your IMR team during your stay. You will be able to walk to restaurants and enjoy the town in the evenings.

The team will fly into Tonga's international airport, Fuaʻamotu International Airport (TBU), about 20km from the capital city of Nukuʻalofa on Tongatapu. Tongatapu is the main island in the chain.

Trip Highlights

trip_InfoHighlightsThe highlight of this trip will be the cultural interactions. The community is so excited for your visit and care! There will be many cultural experiences that outsiders never see. Between the Ministry of Health, the local community, our wonderful hosts, and the small villages where you will work, you will have the opportunity to get to know the Tongans during kava ceremonies and more. f you are a food lover, you will love the Tongan delicacies including Lu Pulu their corned beef which is cooked with Taro leaves and coconut cream.

And of course, there are the WHALES too. That's a whole other kind of cultural experience so be prepared to get wet!!

Extend Your Stay

trip_InfoExtendedStay

You're venturing around the globe, have you considered extending your stay a few additional days to visit some of Tonga's top spots? Join IMR on an exclusive three-day extension! Explore pristine beaches, blowholes and caves. Swim with ocean giants and indulge in local customs and traditions. Many uninhabited islands are lined with white beaches, protected by vibrant coral reefs and covered with tropical forests.


Take a look at the trip itinerary here: https://worldwidenavigators.com/trips/a-taste-of-tonga/


For more information contact Worldwide Navigators, our preferred travel agency, at travel@worldwidenavigators.com

Trip Donation & Travel Options

Pay 2,013 and complete your application to secure your place as a TEAM MEMBER!

Payments / Requirements & Earlybird Discount

How much do I need to pay?

Cost Per Volunteer: $3,325

  • * Amounts below INCLUDE a discount for the Bag Scholarship Rebate ($300)

Before Apr 1st, 2019: 2,825

  • Pay 2,013 of the total cost by the Early Bird date AND upload/complete all of your required documents and forms receive $200 off the cost of your trip.  
  • Meeting this goal ensures that your space on the team is confirmed
  • You are an EARLY BIRD!  
  • Payment in full is due by Jun 6th, 2019

After Apr 1st, 2019: 3,025

  • To confirm your space on the team: Pay 2,013 of the total cost AND upload all of your required documents and forms!  
  • Space on our teams is on a first come/first serve basis.  Your space is not reserved until you have met these requirements.  
  • Payment in full is due by Jun 6th, 2019
  • Unfortunately, eligibility for the $200 savings on this trip is no longer available after Apr 1st, 2019.
     

$300 Bag Scholarship

$300 Rebate To Carry IMR Supply Bags - Bag Scholarship
  • We need your help to take IMR supply bags internationally to Tonga!
    • The scholarship is first come, first served.  We only have a few on every trip!
    • Priority is given to group flight ticket holders but independent fliers are also welcome to apply!
    • Apply for the scholarship on your account page.
    • You will receive the funds in the form of a rebate check after your IMR bags have been received at the IMR warehouse following your trip.
    • How It Works...
        • You will be notified via email if you been chosen to receive the IMR bag scholarship!
        • If chosen, you will receive the IMR supply bag(s) to the address provided in your application within a week of departure
        • We will email you prepaid shipping labels to return the bags to us once you're back in the US! All you have to do is drop the bag off at your nearest UPS office!
      • Note:
        • You are responsible for any checked baggage charges on your domestic and international tickets (check your baggage policy with your airline)
        • Bags may weigh up to 50 lbs and are not always on rollers
        • You will receive a rebate check for $300 approx. 4-6 weeks after returning your bag(s) following your trip (using your pre-paid UPS mailer).

Flexible Flight Options

Is group airfare available through IMR?

Before Apr 1st, 2019:  YES! IMR will arrange your international flight on a "group" ticket at your request!

  • Domestic and international airfare is NOT included in the published cost of the trip.
  • Pay 2,013 of the total cost AND upload all of your required documents and forms to be eligible to fly on the international group ticket.
  • Submit your flight choice as “economical” or “premier” in your account.
  • Approve the ticket that IMR is going to purchase on your behalf and complete the purchase with IMR's approved travel agency.
  • The cost of airport transfers are included in the cost of your ticket!

After Apr 1st, 2019: You may still be able to join the group flight on a space-available basis only

    • Pay 2,013 of the total cost AND upload all of your required documents and forms by Apr 1st, 2019
    • Contact the office to see if group tickets are still available.
    • Submit your flight choice as “economical” or “premier”, approve the ticket, and complete the purchase with IMR's approved travel agency.  
    • The cost of airport transfers are included in the cost of your ticket!
    • You will need to purchase your domestic roundtrip ticket after your international flight is ticketed and confirmed.
May I purchase my own international flights?

Yes! Purchasing your own international flights provide you with maximum travel flexibility! 

  • Some trips may require an international flight and a domestic flight in country to meet the team.
  • You are required to meet the IMR team at the designated time and location per the trip itinerary
  • Submit your flight choice as “independent”.
  • You have many options for extending your stay including extended stays available through IMR’s preferred travel agency, Worldwide Navigators
  • If you would like to request airport transfers at an additional cost, please click on the link to send an email to the IMR office.

Extended Stays - Trip of a lifetime!!

May I book an extended stay through IMR if I choose the group flight?

Yes!

Contact Worldwide Navigators to see your options

May I book an extended stay through IMR if I choose to book my own tickets?

Yes!

Sleeping the way you want to!

What are the sleeping arrangements?
  • Triple or double twin bed rooms are standard on IMR trips. This is part of our safety and security policies.
  • Each volunteer has their own bed (no shared beds outside of couples). 
  • Let  the IMR Office know if you are a family or couple.  We always try to accommodate our volunteer’s needs!  Please use the link to email our office. 
  • IMR does not discriminate in any way – please let us know your rooming needs.  
  • Please understand if we are unable to accommodate your specific needs based on availability at the hotel or lodging on your trip. 
Are single rooms available?

Yes!

  • Contact the IMR Office to find out if single rooms are available and at what cost
  • Standard IMR sleeping arrangements are double or triple rooms, twin beds

Sleeping the way you want too!!

Travel Assistance

If you would like help booking flights, hotels, extended stays, and more contact Worldwide Navigators at (970) 633-3033.

Your Donation to IMR Includes:

  • All group costs from the time you arrive at the team meeting point in country until you separate from the team, including transportation, lodging, food, tips for services provided to the IMR team, costs associated with clinic, and all logistics, including translation services and security as needed.

 

Costs that you are responsible for in addition to your donation to IMR:

  • If flying on subsidized team flight: your domestic round-trip airfare to the central point of departure and any costs associated with this portion of your travel.
  • If flying independently: your international round-trip flight to destination city and any costs associated with this portion of your travel.
  • Passport fees, visa fees, and transit fees, including baggage or overnight accommodations/meals while in transit.
  • Vaccinations and medications common for travel.
  • Spending money for souvenirs and personal purchases.
  • Trip supplies and personal equipment or small gifts for the special people you meet. 
  • Any lodging, meals, and transportation outside of the scheduled team trip, payable at the time of service to the local vendor.

Fundraising

IMR provides a fundraising packet and personal fundraising page to all registered trip applicants that is full of ideas on how you can raise support for your trip or for supplies to be utilized on this specific mission. When soliciting donations for any of our trips, success is completed through telling your personal story. Why do you want to go? Who will you help? Why their donation can help you achieve the ultimate goal. Tell your story to anyone and everyone. Refer your potential or active donors to our website or Facebook page and to your IMR personal fundraising page. You may share your IMR personal fundraising URL on Facebook and other social media sites.

Safety & Security

We take security very seriously at IMR.  It is our job to ensure that security precautions are in place, but please keep in mind that we cannot guarantee your safety on the trip.

  • We continuously review all current activities occurring on the ground, and we work with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy to know the ground situation to the best of our ability. 
  • We have a security training conference call with our volunteers where we detail our security procedures that are in place for the trip. 
  • We take many security precautions such as radios, a buddy system, and security planning. 
  • We provide you with an email address that you can give to the people you meet to protect your privacy until you determine that you want to remain in contact with team.
  • We rely on our teams to be cognizant of their own safety and to be aware of their surroundings. 
  • We have several policies in place that we require the team to adhere to for their safety and that of the team as a whole. 

Trip Preparation


A service that we are very proud of at IMR is the preparation that each team and team member receives prior to the trip. This is one of the most important reasons that you should join an IMR team.

All team members receive a detailed briefing packet outlining the important elements that make a successful trip, packing lists, and a checklist to keep you on track. You will receive detailed information on how clinic operates, the roles on an IMR team, community health education topics, fundraising, and access to a personal IMR fundraising page. Best practices for providing care in short term medical clinics, public health information specific to the country you are traveling too, and a guide to the infectious diseases of that country will be shared with the team. You will also receive a comprehensive country briefing packet that provides background information, cultural etiquette, common phrases, and links to additional information from a variety of sources. Finally, a departure packet that outlines how and where to meet your team will be sent just prior to departure.

IMR applicants and team members will also have access to a series of phone conferences where you will learn about specific aspects of IMR trips and 2 Q and A calls where you can ask questions specific to your trip. There will also be a Q and A call just prior to departure to help ensure that you have the most important information and are ready to go!

Most importantly, we are always here to answer your questions or help you complete your application. It is our goal that we exceed your expectations for preparation, patient care, and your overall trip. Let us know how we can help and how we did!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the donation amount include?

The donation amount covers the cost of lodging, meals, and transportation while you are in the country, and clinic supplies/medications for our patients. If you are eligible for and choose the Subsidized IMR Flight, your donation amount also includes the cost of your international airfare. Costs that are not included in the donation amount are your passport, travel visas (if applicable), domestic airfare to the group departure city, vaccinations, and insurance. You also have the option of flying on your own directly from your hometown and meeting up with the team in country. IMR gives you the option of purchasing your own tickets, which decreases your minimum donation amount. It also gives you the opportunity to extend your stay to do some sightseeing after the trip, and fly directly from your home city to your final destination.

What will the team be doing on the trip?

IMR teams provide medical care and community health education to communities that lack access to care. A typical IMR team consists of doctors, nurses, EMTs, medical/nursing students, pre-med students, and non-medical volunteers. We strive to have a dental team on every trip as well. The team usually stays in a central location and travels each day to a different community to set up a mobile medical clinic. In order to promote lasting and sustainable improvements in the health of those communities, IMR conducts an extensive community health education program in each area as well. No matter what your specialty or skill level, there is a job for you on an IMR trip!

Can I fundraise for the trip?

Yes!  Many volunteers fundraise for trips.  Once your references are approved, IMR will send a fundraising packet that contains information on how the personalized fundraising page on the IMR website works.  It also contains some great ideas for fundraising events and other ways to fundraise for the trip.  IMR is a 501(c)3 charity, and all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Are there any important dates I need to know?
      • IMR Subsidized Flight: In order to qualify for the IMR Subsidized Flight, you will need to reach 50% of theMinimum Donation Amount on or before Apr 1st, 2019.
      • Early Bird Special: A discount of $200 is awarded to team members who raise / pay 50% of the Minimum Donation Amount on or before Apr 1st, 2019.
Are there additional costs / expenses for the trip?
  • If flying on subsidized team flight: your domestic round-trip airfare to the central point of departure and any costs associated with this portion of your travel.
  • If flying independently: your international round-trip flight to destination city and any costs associated with this portion of your travel.
  • Passport fees, visa fees, and transit fees, including baggage or overnight accommodations/meals while in transit.
  • Vaccinations and medications common for travel.
  • Spending money for souvenirs and personal purchases.
  • Trip supplies and personal equipment or small gifts for the special people you meet. 
  • Any lodging, meals, and transportation outside of the scheduled team trip, payable at the time of service to the local vendor.
Can IMR assist me with travel plans and extended say options?

Yes!  We encourage our volunteers to extend their stay and explore.  And by extending your stay you also put money into the economies of these developing countries!