Frequently Asked Questions - Sponsor Visit FAQs
What do I need to begin the process?Please contact your Sponsor Representative as soon as possible (ideally three months before you plan to go) to let them know you are considering visiting your child. They will answer any preliminary questions you have, register your visit and put you in touch with the International Department Administrator, who will help you work out the details in coordination with the Sponsor Site.
The following documents are required from each person wishing to visit:
What is a Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Search?All Chalice sponsors and their guests aged 19-24 need to submit the results of a Criminal Record Check (CRC) before they can visit the site. All sponsors and their guests aged 25 or older need to submit the results of a CRC with a Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS) before they can visit the site. The CRC with VSS is a background check for those in contact with vulnerable persons; both can be completed by your local police department or the RCMP. This check is required by most organizations in Canada that provide opportunities for individuals to form relationships with vulnerable persons. This is a requirement of Chalice's insurance provider. It can take several weeks to process a CRC with VSS; for example, in some areas it can take as long as 12 weeks. If you have any additional questions, please let us know.What expenses will I have in visiting my sponsored child?You are responsible for covering all the expenses related to the visit for both yourself and the local Chalice staff member. This includes transportation to and from your sponsored child's community, meals and accommodations (if applicable). Assistance with arrangements for accommodations in country may be available through the Site where sufficient notice is provided.What if I have to cancel or make changes?Cancelling your visit should be avoided if at all possible. If you must cancel for unavoidable reasons, please contact us as soon as possible. As the coordination of your visit may already be in progress, you may be requested to reimburse Chalice for any incurred expenses. If changes to your itinerary affect the plans made for your visit, contact Chalice immediately and we will try to coordinate alternative plans.Do I need immunizations?It is important that you visit a travel clinic or speak with your health care professional before any international travel. They will be able to provide you with information about diseases and immunizations, prevention measures, advice on food and travel insurance with medical coverage. At Chalice, we request that you check the Travel Reports and Warnings that are provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for further information: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories .Where will I meet my sponsored child?Sponsors will typically meet their child at the Site office, school, community centre or church for the initial meeting. Welcoming a foreigner into your home can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience for our sponsored families. Therefore Chalice seeks to respect the unique needs of each family. Availability to visit the child's home will be assessed by the Site and where possible facilitated after the initial meeting. During your visit you will see how your support is bringing about positive change in your sponsored child's community.What if I don't speak the language?The Chalice Sponsor Site will provide assistance with translation if needed.Should I contact the Sponsor Site when I first arrive in my sponsored child's country?Yes, the office will expect to hear from you once you arrive in order to finalize the details o fyour visit. You will be provided with the name, address, email and/or telephone number of the Sponsor Site before you leave.How will my sponsored child feel about my visit?Chalice sponsored children and their families are usually very honoured and excited to meet their sponsor. Your sponsored child may initially be quite shy and the experience may be overwhelming or intimidating. Give your sponsored child some time to get comfortable with you. You may receive a special welcome from the elders, leaders and even the entire community. Be assured that your sponsored child will cherish the memory of your visit for years to come.How long will my visit last?Sponsor visits are highly rewarding when sufficient time for the visit is made available to permit the child and sponsor to connect. It is recommended that at least one full day of available time be scheduled for the visit (this does not include travel time). If your schedule will only allow for a short visit, please let Chalice know this when you are making the initial arrangements.Will I be able to take pictures?While it is usually acceptable to take photos of your visit, you must ask permission. The Chalice Sponsor Site staff or translator will advise you about this. Please respect the wishes of your sponsored child's family if they do not want their picture taken. If you are able to share a few photos of your visit afterwards (by mail or email), it is a nice keepsake for your sponsored child! Contact your Sponsor Representative to find out how to do this.What should I wear?When you are visiting your Chalice sponsored child please dress modestly. Keep in mind that clothing may be a sensitive cultural issue. If you have questions or concerns about what is appropriate to wear, ask the person from the Sponsor Site with whom you are coordinating your visit. A comfortable pair of walking shoes or sneakers is essential.May I bring gifts?Yes. Gifts such as colourful books of Canada, scenic postcards or maps, family photos or school supplies are wonderful ice-breakers when you first meet your Chalice sponsored child. Practical gifts for the family like clothing, hygiene items or cooking utensils are also appropriate and could be purchased in country prior to your visit or between the initial meeting and visiting the home of your sponsored child (if applicable). When selecting gifts, please be sensitive to your sponsored child's lack of possessions and remember that siblings and/or other children in the community will likely be gathered around as well.
- Signed Personal Information and Emergency Contact form
- Signed Informed Consent
- Signed Release of All Claims Against Chalice
- Copy of valid Passport (some countries require it to be valid a certain length of time after leaving)
- Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Search
- Copy or details of travel itinerary, indicating days of Site visit
- Proof of Travel Medical Insurance with worldwide coverage
It is important not to make promises to your sponsored child to provide additional help. Following your visit you will have the opportunity to discuss with the Sponsor Site how you may continue to help. Please do not give money directly to your sponsored child, family or community members. If you would like to assist in meeting additional needs of the child, family and/or Sponsor Site your Sponsor Representative can explain how to give special money or grant donations before you go or when you get home. In order to protect your privacy, sharing personal contact information about where you live is discouraged.
Sponsor visits are life changing and have a lasting impact on all involved! Chalice seeks to ensure that every effort is made such that the sponsor and the child are given every opportunity to strengthen their relationship and gain a greater appreciation for each other.