WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOWWhat it’s really like being ‘in-country’ and working on a business in the developing world in 2017.
Projects are typically four weeks, however, some range from three to eight and are held during the University breaks. Please see the specific Project you’re interested in for the upcoming dates here.
Please note you are required to be in country for the dates of your chosen project, meaning you must be present for all days, inclusive. You are not to fly in on the project start date or fly out on the project end date, but rather on either side of these.
Accommodation is very basic, generally comprising a small kitchen, bathroom, workspace, and bedrooms. The bedrooms are a bunk-style layout and the kitchen has basic appliances, including a stove cooktop. The bathrooms are likely to be cold-water only and be aware that some areas operate with bucket only showers.
The electricity frequently cuts out due to poor infrastructure and the water pipes are often closed during periods of heavy rain or due to overuse. Sometimes the cause may be unknown. Laundry facilitates may be available, however, be aware that you may have to hand wash. Do not expect air-conditioning to be readily available.
Your workspace is not an office and is often located at the accommodation site and may be outside. Chairs, tables and power sources are available.
Accommodation is covered from the first night of project. No accommodation is provided after the final dinner. You will be required to find your own on the final evening.
All students are required to obtain a local SIM card on arrival and top this up with pre-paid data and call credit.
Internet is included for project related purposes and is either available through WiFi or a dongle. Be prepared to experience dial up speeds in some locations. If you require internet outside of project work, you will need to purchase your own. Power and water included.
Breakfast and dinner on project days are included. Food is generally based on the local cuisine and is simple. Expect a lot of basic carbohydrates, fresh vegetables, and fruit. Standard breakfasts include toast, eggs and some cereals. Milk is usually in powdered form at some locations. Meat can be scarce, so may only be available in limited amounts. You’ll make breakfast yourself, however, dinner is cooked for you.
Public transport is the main form getting around. Transport for project related activities are covered, however uber’s and taxi’s are not generally advised as costs are high. Microlets, busses, trains and tuk-tuks are preferred methods. There are cars in command by your Senior Leaders, however these are generally reserved for emergencies and significant meetings.
Accommodation, food, and resources for your two-day training are included in the price. Trekker Training runs for two days, about five weeks before project commencement. You meet your team, Team Leader, 2IC, Group Leader, receive your project brief, handover documents, impact assessments, handover videos, receive training on social business, crisis management, team dynamics and personality profiling. It is highly practical, experiential based learning.
Dates found on the website. Training is compulsory. If you do not attend, you will find yourself severely underprepared.
You will start the Project with an in-country induction. You may also run through activities such as pitch and public speaking practice, design thinking workshops, impact assessment activities, risk assessment activities and leadership activities. This is all designed to focus on your development and the success of the team and Project.
As a Trekker you gain full access of Basecamp. Basecamp is an online platform where the Project Everest community can discuss, collaborate and further develop the projects into thriving, scalable and, most importantly, socially beneficial ventures. With the Project Everest Basecamp, we now have a virtual workspace to collaborate and build some incredible social enterprises. Alumni will especially be encouraged to provide commentary on new ideas posted by Trekkers throughout the course of their time in-country so ventures can benefit from their experience. Each prospective venture will be allocated a page within the “Challenges” space on the platform. To be clear, general assessment projects won’t be found in here. The “Challenges” space is only for projects that have passed the “Define” stage of the Design Thinking process. Findings from “Empathise” and “Define” stage field assessments will, on the other hand, be found in the “Blog” section as a short, two-page report. Teams looking for advice on a given topic should head to the relevant Q&A section under “Challenges”. This should provide an effective medium for different questions pertaining to specific areas to be asked and answered. By exploring the platform, you’ll all be able to see ways in which you can interact with challenges, submit new ideas, and collaborate on the development of what will hopefully immensely successful social businesses.
Access to consultants
While on Project you are able to communicate with the entire Project Everest team, including R&D, Business, Impact and People consultants. Skype sessions can be arranged to check on progress and receive support through coordination with your Team Leader.
All Leaders have had considerable training and hold current First Aid certificates. All countries are thoroughly assessed by ISOS and DFAT with Risk Assessment and Evacuation documentation updated periodically. A reconnaissance of the area is completed by Senior Leaders before the start of each Project. In some locations, a security guard is stationed at the accommodation from sunset to sunrise. While we do operate in developing countries, the local population are welcoming and recognise Project Everest. We are located in safe areas, and would not accept or encourage situations of high risk.
Health and Safety
Project Everest has a high degree of support from International SOS, who provide live updates on country conditions across environmental, political, social, and economic factors via email and an iOS and Android app. ISOS have 24/7 medical advice available, where Project Everest members may speak to a medical professional over the phone and receive immediate advice, support and direction to ISOS approved medical facilities. ISOS also provide evacuation support and can coordinate with local and international partners to ensure a smooth response to health and safety issues.
Facts about ISOS:
- Assistance Centres take over 12,000 calls a day.
- On average, ISOS perform 1,600 air ambulance missions and fly 12,000 flight hours (eight million km) per year. This means that any given day ISOS have an average of four to five flight missions active.
- The largest site project ISOS support has over 20,000 workers.
- Through the ISOS contract with TRICARE, ISOS provide medical care, education, case management and assistance to more than 500,000 US military personnel, retirees, and their dependents in 207 countries and territories.
For further information see their website: https://www.internationalsos.com/
You will need to obtain a First Aid certificate before starting Project. If you have a current First Aid certificate with your CPR component (renewable every 12 months) up to date, this is adequate. If you hold a Bronze Medallion, that will also be adequate. When you are on Project you want the people around you to know what to do in an emergency. That means you need to be in that position too. You’re there as a team.
It’s important to consider the country you are interested in and conduct research on the current situation in general. Look at DFAT Smartraveller, Lonely Planet, …Google. Your Team Leader will guide you in country. There are cultural events included during Project for you to be able to understand the context and history of the issues we are there to solve.
Uniform and Clothing
You will receive a Project Everest polo for Project, and we expect you to wear comfortable, conservative and breathable clothing. You should also expect to dress slightly more formally for meetings with stakeholders. Bring enclosed shoes, jeans, and active wear. Your Team Leader will make you aware of any specific cultural clothing you may need to obtain, however, it is best to do this in-country. You will receive a ‘packing list’ at Trekker Training.
Timings and hours are determined during your in country induction as a team but are typically from a 0830 morning meeting to 1800 finish. Often Trekkers work overtime to achieve their daily and weekly goals. Ultimately, it’s only a few weeks of hard work – it’s worth leaving feeling accomplished, having really moved the Project forward.
We thoroughly encourage you to travel before, during the weekends, and after Project. The countries in which we operate are stunning, and it’s important to experience the culture and enjoyment that is a new environment. This is not coordinated by Project Everest or your in country Leaders. This is entirely on you.
Your leaders may provide you with a list of areas you may be able to travel to, given their experience.
You will be a Trekker in a team of four to nine, with one Team Leader. You may also have a Second in Charge [2IC] and a Group Leader [GL]. You may be living with other teams in country as they complete separate Projects. There may be Projects running at different times to your Project with some overlap. Teams may also be located across separate locations or regions.
Your Team Leader will live with you. Your 2IC and GL work together across all projects and are primarily there to provide direction and work closely with you on certain aspects. They will also deliver on logistics and work closely with your Team Leader to move projects forward.
Project Everest view your timeline as a long line of investment and paid leadership opportunities.
During your in country Project, those who excel are able to apply for Leadership Training. The leadership training is made up of three components, which have the potential to culminate in you leading your own team in a foreign context. The week-long intense immersion that goes into the four types of leadership – people, project, pressure and personal, is a highlight.
Should you be successful, you are then able to return as an Experienced Team Leader – a paid role. Additional to this is Senior Leadership Training, which can result in positions at the Second in Charge and Group Leader level. The autonomy and responsibility grows as the roles progress.