Venture FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

General Venture FAQs
Team-specific FAQs
College Immersion FAQs


General Venture FAQs

What kind of work will I be doing?
Projects vary by team. Visit our Upcoming Trips page to see which projects are happening.

What is the cost of a Venture Trip?
Costs vary by country, length of stay, etc. Please contact our Venture office for a general estimate.

Do I need a passport? A visa?
Yes, passports are required for travel to any COTN country. Visas must be purchased before traveling to Sierra Leone. All other countries will issue visas to Venture participants upon entry. Each Venture participant is responsible for the cost of purchasing a passport and visa (not included in COTN invoicing). Your Venture Manager will assist you and your team throughout this process.

Which vaccinations are recommended by COTN? Do I need to get a rabies vaccination? Do I need to take malaria medicine?
COTN recommends that immediately upon approval of your application, you consult your local health department or family physician to determine which vaccinations and medications will be needed. If you are traveling to Sierra Leone or if your trip includes a safari excursion in Zambia, you must have a yellow fever vaccination.

Where do I send my payments? Do I (and/or my supporters) pay by check or online?
All Venture participants and supporters may submit payments by cash, check or credit card. All checks should be made payable to COTN, have your code (assigned to you after acceptance) on the memo line, and be sent to:

COTN Venture Program
P.O. Box 3970
Silverdale, WA 98383


Please do not send cash in the mail. You may give cash payments directly to a Venture Manager.

You may submit a credit card payment online. Supporters may also make donations online using your assigned code.

What is my code?
Your code is assigned to you (or your team) after you are accepted into the program.

When do I need to send out my support letters?
Once you have been approved to join a team and have your team code, begin raising funds right away. COTN recommends that Venture participants allow at least three months to raise funds. In addition, it is advised that you begin gathering addresses as far in advance as possible. When considering whom to invite to support your Venture Trip, here's a tip: form a list of individuals, churches, and organizations that you would invite to your wedding/graduation or other special event.

Will I have medical insurance?
All Venture participants traveling with COTN are required to have travel insurance to cover emergency medical care and, in the case of a major medical need, evacuation. This medical insurance will be arranged and purchased by a Venture Manager. The premium for this insurance is included in the cost of your trip. However, in the case that you need to use the travel insurance, the $100 deductible is not included in the cost of your trip. For more information, see the Venture Emergency Plan.

What medical services will be available?
COTN is affiliated with reliable medical clinics in each of the countries in which we serve. In addition, we have trained nurses on staff in most countries. For more information, see the Venture Emergency Plan.

Is there safe drinking water?
Yes. Venture participants generally drink store-bought, bottled water. If not store-bought, drinking water is boiled and filtered.

Where do Venture participants live? What are the conditions like?
Please visit the individual country pages to learn more about our in-country programs.

What is the average temperature in the summer?
Please visit the CIA World Factbook website for each country to learn more about the country’s climate and geography.

Will Venture participants need to sleep underneath mosquito netting?
In any African country, mosquito nets will be provided and all participants are advised to use them every night. Nets are not necessary in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Is there a dress code?
Yes. Once accepted you will learn more about the dress code for each country in your Venture Manual. Please review this carefully before packing, as it is a primary way of communicating respect in each country.

Will there be contact with sick children?
Yes, there will be some contact—it cannot be avoided when working with children in the U.S. or abroad. Venture participants will not be expected to care for sick children (unless part of a trained medical or surgical team). Part of the COTN in-country orientation will cover how to stay healthy and avoid getting sick.

If there is any indication of civil unrest, what does COTN do to evacuate Venture participants from the country?
COTN has a full evacuation plan in place that will be implemented at the first sign of serious unrest. For more information, see the Venture Emergency Plan.

Can I travel to another destination or stay longer at my destination?
Very few exceptions are made for travel beyond the duration and location of the scheduled trip, due to liability reasons. Contact a Venture Manager for specific questions or concerns.

What is the Venture Emergency Plan (VEP)?
The Venture Emergency Plan has been created for the protection and safety of those traveling with COTN to developing nations where dangerous situations and medical emergencies may occur. The safety and well-being of participants traveling with COTN is of utmost importance.


Summary:

  • All Venture participants are registered with the U.S. Embassy in the destination country
  • Venture participants are required to have travel insurance.
    • COTN purchases travel insurance through Seven Corners, Inc. A program summary and benefits are available upon request.
  • Emergency evacuation plans are in place in all COTN countries in the unlikely case of political uprisings or other dangerous situations.
  • Copies of each participant’s passport, medical information (e.g. medications, allergies), emergency contact information, and travel itinerary are kept in a safe and central place while participant is en route and in-country.
    • Both the in-country Venture Manager and the Venture Emergency Contact who is on-call in the U.S. will have access to information in case of emergency.
  • A detailed and specific plan of action is in place in case of sickness or injury.
  • COTN has developed partnerships with several trusted medical providers and facilities in each country


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Team FAQs

Will there be Venture Team training? What kind?
The amount and nature of training will vary depending on the type of trip. If you live in the same area as your fellow team members, periodic team meetings which include training, preparation, and team building are strongly encouraged. If not, regular email/telephone communication and close review of the Venture Manual will be essential in preparing for your trip.

Do I need to be a Christian to participate in a Venture Team trip?
COTN does not mandate that all Venture Team members be Christians; however, each team member must understand that he or she is embarking on a mission trip with a Christian organization and may be required to take part in Christian-focused activities. He or she must agree that regardless of personal beliefs, he or she will not compromise the ministry efforts of Children of the Nations by outwardly exhibiting any contradictions to COTN’s Statement of Faith.

What is the age requirement to participate in a Venture Team trip?
Participants must be at least 6 years old to participate on a Venture Team. Children ages 6 to 12 must travel with a parent or legal guardian. If a participant under the age of 18 is traveling without a parent or legal guardian, their parent or legal guardian must complete a notarized Affidavit of Temporary Guardianship which the Team Leader must carry during international travel.


How do I join a Venture Team?
There are two ways to participate with a Venture Team:

  1. Form A Team — Become A Team Leader (apply)
    You can become a Venture Team Leader by gathering a group of people from your church and/or community to form a Venture Team to serve in one of the countries in which COTN serves (Dominican Republic, Haiti, Malawi, Sierra Leone, or Uganda).
  2. Join A Team — Become A Team Member (apply)
    You can join a COTN Venture Team as a Team Member on a scheduled trip with an existing COTN team or a team leaving from your church or community. COTN will connect you with a Team Leader who will consider your application and help you prepare for the trip. As a Venture Team Member, you are responsible for interacting with your Team Leader to receive training materials, and you are required to attend scheduled team meetings. Please visit the Upcoming Trips page to view future opportunities.


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College Immersion FAQs

What are the dates for the college immersion trips? Are they flexible?
Yes, dates are flexible. Groups may choose to go during winter break, spring break, or during the summer. Please contact the Venture Teams Manager to learn available dates.

Will there be training? What kind?
Yes, there will be training. If you are coming with a university or church group, your group may provide pre-trip training. All College Immersion team leaders are also required to participate in COTN training prior to their trip. Once in country, all teams will receive an in-depth orientation.

Do I have to be a Christian to serve on a College Immersion team?
Yes. Because these trips have a discipleship focus, applicants must have a strong foundation from which to mentor the children.

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