FAQs

INTRODUCING CACHA

Canada Africa Community Health Alliance (CACHA) is a humanitarian foundation that offers basic health care to isolated African villages, participates in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and contributes to the training of human resources both in Canada and in the host countries of Benin, Tanzania, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. 

OUR MISSION

CACHA seeks to improve population health and provide HIV care and education to remote African communities. We accomplish this through the provision of adequate resources based on the determinants of health that include: childhood education, water, and sanitation, women's rights, income security, housing, and nutrition. We provide materials, infrastructure, and the exchange of skill development in order to create a positive outcome on health in supported regions of operation. We seek to engage in strategic partnerships and build programs to ensure sustainability, transparency, and accountability.

OUR OBJECTIVES

CACHA works in partnership with many Canadian and African organizations in order to pursue these objectives:

  • To provide basic health care and contribute to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS,
  • To help isolated communities to become self-sufficient,
  • To train and supply local medical staff with necessary tools,
  • To offer the opportunity to students to do internships in southern countries and
  • To improve life conditions of isolated African villages

VOLUNTEERING, MEMBERSHIP, AND INTERNSHIPS

Who can volunteer with CACHA?

We are looking for highly motivated individuals who are passionate about our work, share our vision and want to help make a difference in the lives of people in Africa.  By volunteering with CACHA, you will be joining many committed individuals and groups across the country who volunteer their time and expertise on a regular basis for social change causes. Your gift of time will help make a difference and is very much valued.

Do volunteers have to be registered CACHA members?

Yes, CACHA is a membership-based organization with members across the country that support our mission and includes volunteers, donors, employees and corporate supporters. These members are active in fundraising, donating, volunteering and raising awareness of our activities among their networks and communities. Although it is not required, many CACHA volunteers are also CACHA members. You can show your support by becoming a member of CACHA and help to shape the direction of our organization. Membership is $25 for a year for students and $40 for a year for general registration.

Can I help if I only have limited time to give?

We welcome all volunteer help. There are a variety of ways to volunteer if you only have limited time to give. Your gift of a few hours could help us translate documents, organize our warehouse, complete administrative tasks, help run fundraising activities, and much more. Contact our office (613- 234 9992 or apo@cacha.ca) to get information on current projects that need support, or register at http://www.cacha.ca/volunteer.html.

Can groups volunteer?

Yes! Volunteering with your own group can be a fun way to work together with colleagues, friends, classmates or family members. In the past, we have worked with high school and university groups to successfully fundraise for projects in Africa and organize our warehouse. For information about group activities contact our office at apo@cacha.ca or call (613) 234 9992.

Are there any job opportunities with CACHA?

Because CACHA is a small, volunteer based organization there are  limited paid job positions available. However, we are always looking for volunteers for our office in Ottawa or for professionals to join one of our committees (including; Marketing, Finance, Fundraising, Policy, Members and Volunteers, and Medical Supplies). If you are interested in volunteering please email us at apo@cacha.ca or register as a volunteer at http://www.cacha.ca/volunteer.html

Donations and fundraising

How can I support CACHA?

There are several ways to support CACHA:

  • You can volunteer your time on one of our activities or committees
  • You can support our work through a donation by cheque, money order or by credit card.
  • Donations can be made securely over the internet at http://www.cacha.ca/donate.html
  • You can also donate bequests, gifts of stock, life insurance donations and annuities.
  • The success of our health and development programs also relies on the many material donations we receive, such as medical and hospital equipment or medication. To make such a donation, please contact our office in Ottawa at: apo@cacha.ca or call (613) 234 9992.

Third Party Fundraisers

CACHA welcomes and encourages fundraising efforts by individuals, businesses, service clubs, other non-profits, school groups and volunteers who share CACHA’s vision and want to help make a difference in the lives of people in Africa.  Your group or organization can easily help raise money for CACHA by hosting a third party fundraiser! Please contact us at apo@cacha.ca or (613) 234 9992 for more information.

How does CACHA raise funds?

CACHA depends primarily on the generosity of individuals, members and corporations to financially support our activities. Fundraising is an essential element to our organization. Each year, CACHA develops an extensive fundraising program which incorporates annual giving such as direct mail campaigns and corporate donations, as well as events such as benefit dinners, art sales, concerts and golf tournaments. It all adds up to drive success for our projects in Africa.

Is my donation eligible for a tax credit?

Yes.  CACHA is a registered charity and issues tax receipts. All donations to CACHA are eligible for tax credit under the registration number 862889755 RR0001. Tax-creditable receipts will be issued for all donations of $10 or more, unless otherwise requested.

How is my donation spent?

When you make a donation to CACHA, your donation is spent towards our medical missions, project and CACHA operational costs. Our overhead expenditures are kept low by the contributions of our dedicated volunteers and members.

How can I give to CACHA on a regular basis?

There are several ways to give to CACHA:

  • You can set up a monthly donation plan with CACHA; how much you would like to donate each month and your preferred method of payment.
  • We accept credit card donations through www.canadahelps.org, and cheque or money order payable to “CACHA”.
  • You can target your donation by specifying a particular project on the memo line of your cheque, e.g. HIV/AIDS Centre, Medical Missions, Orphan and Vulnerable Children support program, etc.
  • A general donation will ensure that your money is used where it is most needed.
  • To become a monthly donor, please contact us at apo@cacha.ca or call (613) 234 9992.

Medical missions

How many years has CACHA been running international volunteer missions?

CACHA has been running medical missions to Africa since 2002 resulting in the treatment of over 200, 000 patients.

What is a Medical Mission?

A medical mission is a major CACHA overseas activity that involves teams of healthcare and development professionals (including nurses, doctors, pharmacists, logisticians, etc.) travelling from Canada to work alongside their African counterparts from partner organizations. The medical missions emphasize community outreach by providing free medical consultations, minor surgeries and medications to remote and isolated rural communities. As part of these missions we undertake education and prevention activities to improve the lives of the people in these communities.

What are the mission dates?

Finalized mission dates are posted on our website (http://www.cacha.ca/missions/) and sent out to our mailing list. CACHA’s missions take place in the fall (September to November) and the winter/ spring (end of January to end of April). If you would like to be put on CACHA’s email list and be informed of the dates of upcoming missions, please email apo@cacha.ca.

How long are the medical missions?

Our missions to Benin, Tanzania and Uganda range from 2 to 3 weeks.

Who can participate in a Medical Mission?

Everyone is welcome to join a CACHA mission.  Generally, we require healthcare professionals: doctors, surgeons, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, etc.  We also welcome people with related expertise, logistics and development experience to participate in our missions.  We also take medical and nursing students who work under the guidance of experienced healthcare professionals.   For volunteers interested in going to Benin, fluency in French is a must and English is essential to participate in the Tanzania and Uganda missions.

Is there a minimum or maximum age for volunteers?

If a participant is under the age of 18, they must obtain parental permission to join the CACHA mission.  If the participant is under the age of 16, their participation on a CACHA mission will be evaluated on a case by case scenario.  Thus, they may not be permitted to participate on a mission. 

There is no maximum age for volunteers. However, if partaking on the mission will put the individual’s health at risk, then they will not be permitted to participate.

When can I apply to participate in a mission?  How far in advance do I need to enroll?

Applications are accepted year round. We encourage interested individuals to apply at least three months before the mission date.  Applying early will give you ample time to fundraise your contribution towards the mission.

Do many CACHA volunteers enroll solo?

The majority of CACHA mission participants volunteer by themselves.  CACHA Missions are a great way to meet new friends and develop life- long connections. Generally, by the time you enroll on your second mission, there will be many familiar faces accompanying you.

Can I volunteer with a group of friends, colleagues, or family members?

Absolutely, CACHA welcomes both individuals and groups of participants.  In the past, CACHA has had groups of students (from the secondary and post- secondary levels) as well as work employees (from the medical and non- medical sectors) join us on our missions to Africa.

What is the cost of participating in a mission?

Once our mission costs have been finalized for the spring and the fall, they are posted on our website under each individual mission.  Please see: http://www.cacha.ca/missions/.

Does the CACHA mission cost include health insurance while I’m abroad?

Travel insurance is not included in the total cost of the CACHA mission. Thus, it is up to the participant to obtain this on their own. We recommend that you check in with your benefit plans associated to your work place and bank to see if your travel insurance is covered there.

Can I go on consecutive programs in different locations?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to do multiple CACHA missions back to back.  In the past, we have had numerous mission participants join two or more missions in Tanzania, or travel from a mission in Tanzania to the mission in Uganda. It is important to note that no discounts are provided for mission participants enrolling in consecutive missions.

If someone makes a donation towards my participation costs on a mission, are they eligible for a tax receipt?

Of course!  Anyone who makes a donation of $20.00 or more towards your mission cost is eligible for a tax receipt.

Are flight costs eligible for tax receipts?

Yes, flight costs are eligible for tax receipts as long as you have booked your flight through CACHA’s Travel Agent.

What is the deadline for making payments towards my contribution?

Participants are required to make the full payment for their mission at least one month ahead of their departure date. It is important to note that in order to book your flight through CACHA’s Travel Agent, you must have at least $2,000 in your CACHA account.

Can I make an in-kind contribution?

You can make in-kind contributions of medical and other supplies. These have to be supplies that are useful for the medical missions and projects. To discuss the possibility of using this option as your contribution, please contact us at apo@cacha.ca or (613) 234 9992.

What financial support is available for Medical and Nursing students?

Be proactive! There are many ways that you can receive support for your participation: most universities have travel grants that you might be eligible to apply for, contact your university or college’s international or financial service offices.  Speak to a faculty member or organize events to raise funds.

Is there a pre-mission orientation?

Yes, a mandatory orientation is organized for mission volunteers at our Ottawa HQ about a month before your departure date.  Our pre- departure session will provide you the opportunity to meet your Mission Lead and your fellow mission participants.  In addition, you will have the chance to meet with past mission participants and hear their first hand experiences. You will also receive a pre-departure package that includes recommendations for travel and health insurance, visa requirements, required immunizations, tips and tools for raising funds and more.  Finally, you will participate in organizing the medical bins at the CACHA warehouse and distributing them amongst the team.  This is essential for your arrival in Benin, Tanzania or Uganda so you are aware of the contents of each bin, thus, making setting up for caravan more efficient and effective.

What if I cannot make it to our pre- mission orientation?

Two orientations will be held on separate dates to provide you with ample opportunity to attend the session. One orientation will be run by your Project Officer and the other by your Mission Lead.  If you cannot make it to the office for the meeting, you can Skype or teleconference into the session. Pre- departure training sessions are mandatory.

During the mission

Will there be time to travel while I’m volunteering abroad?

During the mission, you will have at least one weekend off in which you will be able to travel.  This is your free- time and thus it is up to you to decide what you do.  If you are interested in traveling or taking part on a safari, we recommend that you coordinate with your fellow mission participants (i.e. at the pre- departure orientation) so that you will not have to travel alone. Bigger groups ensure safety in numbers and better discounts!

I still have a question. Who can I ask?

If you have any further questions, please email apo@cacha.ca or call (613) 234 9992.

2 Comments

Kirsten blaine March 18, 2014

Hello - I am a consulting paediatrician in Stratford Ontario. Would love to learn more about your organization. Could you please add me to your mailing list?
In addition, if you have any information about how i may contribute in my particular capacity (General Consulting Paeds and Level II Neonatology with some limited tropical medical experience) that would be helpful too!
thanks.

Krista Humick June 24, 2014

Hello Kirsten,

I'm not sure if anyone contacted you after you left this comment. Sorry for the delay...

Thanks for your interest in CACHA. You can add yourself to our mailing list at the bottom of our website "register for email updates".

If you are interested in a particular mission, you may contact myself and the Mission Lead. You can find a list of all of the missions here http://www.cacha.ca/missions/

Our FAQ on that page will give you quite a bit of information as well.

I look forward to hearing from you,
Karen

Karen Buckshi
Assistant Project Officer
CACHA

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