We are Excited that you are interested in Joining Us in Ukraine!  On this page you will find Information to help with your Decision and with PREPARATION including fundraising, Immunizations, Etc.  Additional information will be added as is becomes available. 

+ Ukraine Fire Training Trip - May 6-17, 2020

Mission Costs Include: Airfare, Lodging, Transportation, Mission Supplies/Expenses, Meal Stipend, Trip Insurance/Medical Evacuation, 2 AFM Team Shirts

Additional Costs: Passport, immunizations, souvenirs, additional food, additional travel

Kherson, Ukraine, Fire Training Mission
May 6-17, 2020
Important Dates:
January 10, 2020: Application & $200 Deposit Due
January 17, 2020: Team Members Finalized
February 7, 2020: $1300 due
April 7, 2020: balance due
4 Team Meetings (Tuesday’s 7:30P Eastern; January 21, February 18, March24, April 21 )
May 6: Leave US for Ukraine
May 7: Arrive in Ukraine
May 8-9: Orientation to TCI, Kherson Fire Stations, Cultural activity, Final Logistics
May 10-15: Fire Training, Kherson Region, Ukraine
May 16: Team Debriefing, Return to Kiev
May 17: Return Home
Debriefing team meeting: Tuesday, June 2, 2020

+ Team Member Expectations

  • Africa Fire Mission expects professional conduct on this mission. You are representing Africa Fire Mission, our partner organizations and the Fire Service at all times on your trip.
  • All trip participants are required to follow the trip schedule and participate in all group functions.
    • Permission to deviate from scheduled activities must be obtained from the trip leader.
    • Be flexible, changes in the schedule will occur and information may not be available until the last minute.
    • Separation from the group is not allowed without prior approval by the team leader.
    • Always let the team leader know your whereabouts. NEVER wander off or go exploring by yourself.
  • Trip participants are expected to respect the culture and traditions of our hosts. Be willing to give and take and maintain the spirit of unity.
  • Extend politeness and courtesy to those with whom we come in contact (missionaries, nationals, team leaders, team members).
  • You will be expected to acclimate to the host culture. This may mean eating food you are unfamiliar with or participating in foreign customs. Embrace the opportunities to learn about a new culture - complaining about or comparing the differences from U.S. culture is not beneficial to the experience.
  • It is important that your dress in a neat, clean, modest and appropriate for the activities of the day. Your appearance is important for your safety and our reputation. Follow your team leaders guide regarding any uniform, personal protective equipment and the team dress code expectations.
  • Giving gifts of any kind to nationals without consulting AFM staff or team leader is not permitted. The preferred method of giving is through structured programs by AFM’s partners.
  • The exchange of personal information and social media connections with nationals is not permitted without team leader approval. This can create an expectation of ongoing support that may be detrimental to AFM’s ongoing mission.
  • Team members are expected to be transparent with financial matters and support raising.
    • Funds given toward this mission will be used for the costs of this trip.
    • If you are unable to go or funds are received by AFM in access of the trip costs, all funds will be used at the discretion of Africa Fire Mission.
    • Payments for the trip need to be made on time. Failure to do so may result in not being able to participate in the trip.

+ Team Meeting Video Conference Information

  1. Join the online meeting: Online Meeting Link: https://join.freeconferencecall.com/486-629-812 Online Meeting ID: 486-629-812

  2. Dial into the conference: Dial-in Number: (712) 775-7031 - United States Access Code: 486-629-812 International Dial-in Numbers: https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/486-629-812/#international

Instructions: At the scheduled date and time of the meeting, dial into the conference line. When prompted, enter the Access Code followed by the pound key. To join the online meeting, click on the meeting link listed above and follow the prompts to join the meeting. For 24/7 customer service please call 844-844-1322

+ Team Meeting Agendas

Informational Meeting:

  • Mission Trip Goals
  • Travel Information/ Cost
  • Deadlines
  • Question and Answer
  • Elephant vs Mouse story

Meeting 1:

  • Orientation to Africa Fire Mission
  • Team Member Introductions
  • Passports
  • Fundraising training/policies
  • Schedule of payments
  • Instructor Cadres and Scheduled Cadre meetings
  • Relief vs Development CHE Lesson (short team teams river crossing videos 1-5) -
  • Question and Answer

Meeting 2:

  • Introduction to Mission Partners
  • State of partnering Fire Departments
  • Mission Philosophy: Community Health Education (CHE)
  • Team Member Introductions
  • Immunizations/Passports
  • Community Ownership (Short Team Teams) CHE Lesson (mountain story)
  • Instructor Cadres and Scheduled Cadre meetings
  • Question and Answer

Meeting 3:

  • Mission Philosophy: Community Health Education (CHE) part 2
  • Training Goals
  • Participatory Learning (CHE Lesson)
  • Team Member Introductions
  • Spiritual Development/ Spiritual Warfare (Devotional Guides and Prayer Partners)
  • Instructor Cadres and Scheduled Cadre meetings
  • Question and Answer

Meeting 4

  • Team Itinerary
  • Cultural Considerations
  • Final Details - Packing/Dress Code
  • Training Tips
  • Instructor Cadres and Scheduled Cadre meetings
  • Question and Answer

+ Suggested Reading

When Helping Hurts (especially chapter 7) by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

Multiplying Truth and Light through Community Health Evangelism by Stan Rowland

+ Training Tips - Integrating Community Health Education


  • Plan to come along side of the Firefighters and Community Members.
  • Share your faith with the firefighters and with other partners.
  • Ask questions and assume nothing. When you ask questions, allow time to respond – just as we are adjusting to accents, they are adjusting to ours. Also, in many cultures students are taught to listen and not ask or answer questions- if you really want an answer – WAIT for it!
  • Have participants introduce themselves every time they address the group – this will help participants get to know each other.
  • Relationships are important - Spend time (especially the first day) getting to know the firefighters, mission partners and community member - their strengths and their challenges as well as equipment available.
  • Learn from the Firefighters and community members - remember that the people we are serving's are the experts - we are there to help grow their knowledge.
  • Limit your personal examples and US fire examples during formal training (Do share these stories during breaks and lunch time) Local Firefighters know they probably don't have what your department has - be respectful of that. Instead ask for their examples and help them problem solve and build on their situations/struggles.
  • Photos - remember that they don't have what we have - some of the people will be coming from remote places - be careful again about sharing photos from home. We have photos from the countries where we are serving - if you need some photos for training, let us know.
  • Avoid abbreviations or colloquialisms - if you use them explain them. NFPA, GPM’S, etc.

AFM’s Community Health Education Transforming nations through the seamless combination of fire training, fire prevention, evangelism and community development

  • Development not Relief
  • Mature Leadership
  • Multiplication
  • Integration - Physical & Spiritual
  • Sustainable
  • Teaching not Doing
  • Prevention vs Cure
  • Community Ownership
  • Participatory Learning
  • Local Resources

Use the SHOWD model to reinforce concepts and to ask trainees questions First provide an example and then ask:

  • S = What do you SEE?
  • H= What is HAPPENING?
  • O= Does this happen in OUR place?
  • W=WHY does this happen?
  • D=What will you DO about it?

+ Cultural Considerations

Cultural Considerations in Ukraine

In order to be most effective in our work we need to learn a little bit about the culture we will be experiencing and how to interact in it. Ask questions and learn from the Firefighters, Mission Workers and Community Members you are working with. If you are unsure, please ask your mission team leader. Relationships are critical. Take time to talk to those we are there to serve during down time or time that may feel unproductive.

The Culture:

  • It is Ukraine -- not Russia.
  • They speak Ukrainian -- not Russian. Although almost everyone speaks Russian as well, Ukrainian is the official and primary language.
  • Many attend the Ukrainian Orthodox Church -- not Russian Orthodox.
  • Under the Soviet Union both Russia, Ukraine and others were often referred to as "Russians." With the split that is no longer appropriate.
  • It’s Ukraine – not THE Ukraine - http://time.com/12597/the-ukraine-or-ukraine/
  • There is continual conflict in Ukraine as Russia attempts to overtake Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have a strong desire to protect their country and are very proud of their defense of Ukraine from the Russians.
  • Children understand warfare. They expect that they will be involved in the war at some point. This has lead to depression and anxiety for many.
    The People:
  • Ukrainians are resourceful and resilient. They find ways to survive and help each other despite poverty and struggles.
  • They have maintained their fire equipment for years and take good care of their things.
  • They are smart and want to learn but a very proud. This pride has to be accounted for and we must alter our teaching and communication methods to acknowledge their pride.
  • They are motivated, innovative, dedicated and proud of what they do have and know.
  • Under communism, there were few leaders and mostly followers. Leadership is a newer concept. They are more used to being told what to do, without questioning.
  • Ukrainians are cultured. Many play musical instruments. Singing is a part of their lives. Art and Poetry are appreciated.
  • Relationships are extremely important and valued.
  • Meals and Tea Time is vital to relationships.
  • It will take time to build a trusting relationship.
  • Take cues from our hosts about when to proceed with an agenda.
  • As Americans we tend to have some greeting and then jump into business – be patient and wait. Small talk and ice breaking is important in Ukrainian culture and moving to business to quickly can create unintended barriers.
  • Do match tone and volume with our hosts.
  • Ukrainians are very loving and hospitable. Personal space is often closer than what Americans are used to.


  • Unless they have met Americans previously, their view is taken from TV. Lives of the rich and famous is their impression.
  • DO Take photos - Don’t force smiles. Under communism people never smiled when photographed because the photos were often used in political situations.
  • They might share photos of friends and family. They would love to see your photos – (please refrain from showing pictures of your homes or cars)
  • Be sensitive to their lack of things. Be careful of taking photos and making comments that make an "us-them"or "privilege-poor" division.

+ Language Preparation

In many countries where we work, training participants speak English. In some countries, we will work with translators. Regardless of the cultural context, it is helpful to learn a few words of the language for the country we will be working in. Learning even a few words will help you connect with our training participants.

Language Tips:

  • Connect with a native speaker locally to help you practice.
  • Study a few words every day
  • Download Google Translate on your phone and download the local language for offline use.
  • Watch, listen and read in the local language to prepare for what you will hear and to help familiarize yourself with the language.

Try out these free language Apps:

+ Finance and Fundraising Policy

Purpose: Team Members which are a part of AFM's Trips are encouraged to raise funds for their trips. As AFM is a 501c3 we operate under the following policy for individuals raising financial support for their mission trip:

1) AFM works hard to keep the costs of short term mission trips reasonable.
2) Team Members are encouraged to raise support for their trips.
3) Check is the preferred method of payment from team members. Donations made online through paypal or everyday hero or via credit card are subject to a processing fee.
4) For donors team members solicit - team members are responsible to communicate that the name should be included with the donation, but not on the check. For tax deduction purposes the donor gifts must be made out to AFM and there should not be a gift designation on the check itself but rather on an attachment to the check
5) It is suggested that you ask donors to make the check out to AFM and send the check to you so that you can track donations that are intended to be utilized for your trip.
6) If team members believe that donations may be or have been sent directly to AFM, the team member is responsible for notifying AFM of the anticipated donation and the name of the donor.
7) Use of AFM's Everyday Hero crowdfunding site will allow donors to make tax deductible donations and will allow for lower fees to AFM, donors and team members.
8) Use of AFM’s Paypal donation option is allowable, however donors need to be clear regarding the specific person or project. If the person or project is not specified funds may be designated for the general fund of AFM.
9) Use of Crowdfunding is acceptable, however funds received through crowdfunding (other than everyday hero) may not be tax deductible for the donor and the team member will incur any fees associated with the crowdfunding site.
10) Team members are encouraged to host personal fundraisers such as dinners or events to raise awareness about the work AFM is doing and the participants role in training in Africa
11) Once donations are received by AFM - including trip fees from team members, the donations are not refundable. AFM does obtain trip insurance that will allow you to recover your airfare and some other costs in the case of an emergency.
12) Team members are responsible for communicating to potential donors that if something should happen that does not allow them to travel with the team, donations will be used for other AFM goals and projects.
13) There will be 3 deadlines for payment of trip expenses

  • application fee and deposit
  • first payment (generally half of mission costs) and
  • second payment (generally the second half of the total mission cost). Missing a trip deadline could result in your not being able to travel with the team. The first payment may vary based on the cost of airfare.

+ Raising Support

Philosophy: Participants in AFM’s Trips are responsible for raising their own support. AFM team members should plan to contribute their own funds and should also involve others in raising funds. AFM trips raise awareness for AFM by expanding supporters and financial contributors.

  1. Ask God first. Pray persistently
  2. Ask yourself: What can you contribute?
    • Extra work
    • Fund-raisers
  3. Ask others:
    • Ask people who know and love you face-to-face or by phone
    • Send a letter to those who you don’t know as well
    • Ask fire department Members, Unions and Vendors
    • Host an AFM Fundraiser with other team members. (Contact your team leader for details on suggested fundraisers and any limitations).

+ How to write a support letter

  1. Make it no longer than the front of one page, 10-12 pt. font. (sample attached).
  2. Include three paragraphs answering the reader’s three main questions: Who are you? What do you want? How can I help?
  3. Write in a natural and personal way, balancing the goals of AFM and the personal benefits of the trip. Do not over-spiritualize or exaggerate the goals of the trip; neither put too much focus on the “touristy” aspects.
  4. Include a hand-written “PS” at the end. This may be the first thing the reader reads. It is a good opportunity to connect personally and convey important information.
  5. You are strongly encouraged to include a color photo of yourself to help connect with the reader. Choose a close-up shot with you looking directly into the camera and hand-write a message on the back.
  6. PROMPTLY send a handwritten thank-you note for all donations.
  7. Follow up with a phone call or e-mail to those who do not respond.
  8. All letters for AFM sponsored trips must include the trip Donor Card.

+ Example Support Letter

Address/ November 2020
Dear Friends and Family:
I will be traveling to Ukraine as part of a group of firefighters from AFM. We will spend about 10 days in Ukraine working side by side with their Fire Departments to help improve the state of the Fire Departments. Our team will be conducting a Fire Academy, provide community fire prevention training and support and encourage our fellow firefighters.
I will be…. (talk about the specific training you plan to provide) The work that our team will be doing will have direct impact on fire departments in country. I hope to… (talk about the impact you hope to see)
Being able to help serve fire departments overseas comes a significant cost to each of the members of the mission team. I need to pay about $3000 to be a part of this trip. We are committed to going - would you partner with us and 1) pray for myself our team 2) consider supporting us on this mission with a financial gift to help defray the costs.
Thank you for the role you play in my life and for considering prayer and financial support for our trip.
Team Member
PS - You can learn more about AFM at: www.AfricaFireMission.org and follow our team on Facebook: #AFMUkraine2020
(As per IRS requirements for tax deductible donations, contributions are solicited for this mission trip with the understanding that AFM has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds. Please make your check payable to ‘AFM." The memo line should include the name of the trip NO WHERE should my name be written on the check. Please mail checks to my address: __ and enclose the donation card included with this letter

+ Immunizations

AFM will strive to provide accurate information regarding immunizations required and recommended for Mission Trips. However, AFM is not an expert in immunizations and it is the responsibility of all team members to review and obtain needed and suggested immunizations with a medical professional prior to travel.

• Participants should be up to date on all routine immunizations such as, but not limited to:

  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella
  • Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Menactra Meningococcal Meningitis

• Participants should consult with a medical professional and review Center for Disease Control recommendations for the area(s) you will be traveling (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list)

• Depending on the area of the world and the type of work you will be doing you may consider the following immunizations along with others recommended by your medical professional:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid – oral preferred
  • Yellow Fever - for some areas of Africa, the Yellow Fever immunization is required for reentry into the United States
  • Malaria - oral; Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Kenya

• It is recommended that you obtain and bring your “Yellow Card,” which will list your immunizations. It is your responsibility to know the immunization requirements for the country you will be traveling to.

• Health Departments sometimes have lower cost immunizations.

• Travel Clinics such as PassPort Health can be very helpful in simplifying the process and providing expert recommendations for travel.

+ Dress Code

You are representing your local Fire Department throughout our entire trip. We will stand out and we need to leave a positive impression and support those we are serving to be viewed in a positive light. We are modeling respect for the Fire Service profession through what we wear.

Dress to Impress

Firefighter Teaching Days:

  • Uniform Pants, Dress Pants, or Kakis
  • Collared Shirt: i.e. AFM or Fire Department Golf Shirt
  • Closed toed shoes
  • Hat as needed for sun protection
  • If Hands on Training: Dress Appropriate to the task including PPE/Safety Equipment.

Non-teaching days/evenings

  • Men: Long Pants (jeans are fine), Shirts with Collars, nice T-Shirts
  • Ladies: Long Pants (jeans are fine), Capri’s, Shirts with Collars or Blouse (modest); Nice T-shirts; Dress/Skirts -at least calf length (dress modestly)
  • Closed Toed Shoes
  • Hat as needed for sun protection

Fire Academy Graduation Day:

  • Class A/Dress Uniform or nicest uniform you have
  • Non-firefighters - Men: Suit or nice pants/shirt.
  • Ladies: Nice pants/shirt (modest), or Dress/Skirts at least mid calf (dress modestly)
  • Most AFM Training Trips have a formal graduation, we need to be models of professionalism


  • Men: Long Pants, Shirts with Collars
  • Ladies: Dress/Skirts at least mid calf, blouse (dress modestly, longer skirts are encouraged – some countries this is required)
  • Closed Toed Shoes

“Pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace.” 2 Timothy 2:22

+ Press Release

Part of our advocacy efforts include sharing the needs of the firefighters across the world. We request that you work with your fire department’s Public Information Officer to release information to the press regarding your trip. AFM’s public information officer, Bob Rielage, can support your efforts as well. Please contact him at Robert@africafiremission.org

For Immediate Press Release:
AFM is a non-profit organization founded by firefighters. Its goal to better train and equip the firefighters across the world to meet the challenges of 21st century firefighting. Currently, AFM volunteers from across the United States and Europe are working with Fire Departments throughout Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Ukraine to distribute surplus firefighting gear and to train fire departments in those regions to a higher level of firefighter safety and community risk reduction.
AFM’s preferred model is to hold a country-wide one-week Fire Academy, hosted in a central location that is easily assessable by representatives of that country’s firefighters. In 2020, this train-the-trainer concept is scheduled in Kenya and Ukraine, with discussions ongoing in other countries for expansion. Equally as important, the AFM fosters a firefighter to firefighter partnership that spans international borders while helping fire departments better protect the lives of millions of men, women and children from the threat of fire.

Personalize this paragraph Locally, (insert Firefighter rank and name) of the (Insert FD name) has been active with AFM as a (member, fund-raiser, instructor etc.) and has/will (traveled, sponsored, obtained fire gear) for one of the missions to Ukraine. Currently, (name) is working with AFM to assist with an upcoming Fire Academy in Ukraine. If you would like to help (name) ,he/she can be reached by contacting the (name FD or the AFM) at (provide phone or some contact information)

For more information, or if you’d like to volunteer to help with an upcoming Mission, visit www.africafiremission.org or contact either AFM Executive Director Dave Moore dave@africafiremission.org at 513-616-9192 or Public Information Officer Robert Rielage Robert@africafiremission.org at 513-728-9978.

+ Packing List

It is recommended that you inventory your luggage and keep a list visible in your suitcase and a copy with you. This deters theft. Also include a note with the name, location and phone number of the hotel.

Please verify the number of pieces of luggage and weight you are allowed prior to arriving are the airport. Each airline’s policy varies.

Personal Bag:

  • PASSPORT (must be good for 6 months after return to US; some countries require a certain number of blank passport pages as well. Plan to carry your passport with you at all times)
  • VISA (if required – for most counties you will need to obtain your visa prior to departure)
  • AFM Travel Itinerary and/or Humanitarian Aid Travel Letter
  • Emergency Contact information for the US
  • Credit card (recommend a visa or mastercard) and cash for exchange recommend crisp bills of $50 or greater, dated 2013 or later (money pouch recommended)
  • Basic toiletries: small hand lotion, tissues/toilet paper
  • Basic first aid: small Neosporin and a few bandaids
  • Medications – prescriptions (in original container). Other recommended medications include: Tylenol, Sinus, Cough Drops, Imodium AD, Pepto Bismol, Cipro (ask your doctor!), Anti-Malaria Meds
  • Ear plugs and eye mask/neck pillow
  • Jacket/long sleeve shirt/sweater (if you’re cold on the plane)
  • Camera
  • Snacks (granola bar, etc.)
  • Entertainment (tablet, book, magazine, deck of cards, etc.)
  • Small flashlight
  • Bottled water (purchased AFTER security check)
  • EMS Gloves

*In event of lost baggage, make sure you can exist for a few days with carry-on only!
Check size and weight requirements of the airlines.

  • Color Copy of Passport
  • Clothing: something to sleep in, underwear, socks, & change of clothes/shoes
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Small towel/wash cloth (towels are available at hotel)
  • Toiletries: toilet paper (carry some with you when away from the hotel), shampoo, deodorant, hair-related items, shaving items, toothbrush/tooth paste (only use bottled water to brush when traveling), contacts, dental floss, make-up, small mirror, etc
  • Clock
  • Convertor(s)/Adaptors for anything electrical needing plugged in (consider a powerstrip and one adaptor); check the voltage and plug adaptor needed for the country you will be traveling to; Prepare for 220V
  • Spare batteries/memory card for camera
  • Extra pair of glasses, contacts, eye solutions
  • AFM Mobilization Guide
  • Bible, small notebook, pen
  • Sunglasses

Checked Bag(s):
Generally you will get at least 2 bags, sometimes 3. You may be asked to take mission supplies in your second checked bag. Your team leader will let you know what’s needed.
Personal Items:

  • Toiletries: shower soap, nail clipper/file
  • Sunscreen: wear daily
  • Bug spray/wipes with deet: wear daily (Malaria is prevalent in some parts of Africa. May also want to bring a spray to treat your clothes and your hotel room - recommended Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent. Mosquito nets will be provided in the hotel when needed.)
  • Medications – any that you choose to check instead of carry on.
  • Undergarments/Socks
  • Sunday clothes (see Dress Code)
  • Training Clothes (see Dress Code)
  • Non-work/evening outfits (Laundry is available at hotel)
  • Fire Department Dress Uniform or Nicest Uniform for Academy Graduation (see Dress Code)
  • Return flight outfit
  • Pajama’s/night clothes
  • Comfortable shoes and clothes for hotel
  • Work shoes
  • Dirty clothes bag
  • Hat
  • Rain Jacket and Umbrella
  • 2nd color copy of passport, extra photo
  • Training Items:
  • Work Gloves; EMS Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • PPE (Pants, Coat, Fire Helmet, Boots) (if doing hands on training)
  • Computer (at least 1/cadre); Electric Plug Adaptors/Converters; USB Drives
  • Clicker (at least 1/cadre)
  • Copies of AFM approved Handouts (based on projected class size)
  • Recommend but Optional:
  • White Board/Flip Chart Markers
  • Extension Cord (1/cadre)
  • Other supplies identified by lead trainer
    *Africa Fire Mission will assign a team member to carry the team EMS Kit and Supplies for team emergencies.

Basic packing instructions:
✓ Pack as light as possible for your personal items
✓ Since you have to take off your shoes in airport security, consider wearing easy to slip on travel shoes and pants without belts for the trip there/back.
✓ Leave pocket-knives, scissors and any other sharp objects at home or put them in your checked baggage.
✓ Most countries now prohibit or strictly limit the size of containers with liquids, gels, aerosols and pastes (including the empty containers) during security check-in. For carry-on baggage, limit any container of liquids, gels, aerosols and pastes to a maximum size of 3.4 oz/100ml. Place all such items in a single quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag. You will remove your quart-size bag from your carry-on and place it in the provided bin at the security checkpoint.

+ Mission Trip Final Details

This includes important information and reminders. Please print a copy to take with you to the airport and leave a copy for your family. Leave a color copy of your passport with your family as well.

Emergency Contact Information:
We recommend that you add Dave and Nancy Moore and your team leader on Facebook Messenger and/or Whatsapp; ask your emergency contact to connect with us as well in case of emergencies at home.

Airport Etiquette:

  • Stay calm and focused.
  • Help each other get your bags, and once you have your bags proceed through customs.
  • Keep an eye on your carry-ons.


  • You will need to present or obtain your visa (depending on the country) after you get off the plane, this can take some time.


  • You may need to complete a customs form in addition to immigration forms, if this is the case you will present this form as you leave the airport.
  • Gather your luggage (any luggage that you checked in under your name). If your luggage is lost, report it at the airport. Use the address for the hotel that you have been given prior to travel. Give Nancy Moore’s e-mail address: nancy@africafiremission.org along with your e-mail address for contact. Be sure to keep the receipt they give you. (we have trip insurance which will cover lost or stolen items, however you must follow these procedures for the insurance to be utilized). Ask for lost luggage to be delivered to the hotel.
  • After you pick up your checked luggage, everybody should just walk casually, through the “nothing to declare line” out of the airport, they may want to scan your luggage – that is completely normal.
  • If you are stopped, don't be concerned, nobody is going to jail. Answer their questions honestly. Let the customs officials know you are there to train firefighters and that any supplies will be used for training purposes. While it is becoming less common, agents may be looking for a bribe. If they ask for money, do not give it to them unless they file a customs duty form and charge you through the system in place through customs. If you have trouble, find a team leader. If you do have to pay a tax, please obtain a receipt so AFM can reimburse you.
  • Dave/Nancy Moore or your team leader will meet you outside the customs area after you clear customs.

Money exchange:

  • AFM will be giving you $100-250 USD cash for your meal stipend and Visa reimbursement. (this varies by trip and how many meals will be provided by AFM or the hotel vs you)
  • Team Leader will collect your money for exchange the first morning after you arrive.
  • Put the money you wish to exchange in an envelope with the money exchange form in bills $50 or larger and 2013 or newer, crisp bills only (recommend $50 or larger for a better exchange rate)
  • How much to exchange? The airports all accept credit cards and US Dollars. You will have the opportunity to purchase gifts made in our mission partner’s job training program or from local markets. Most people spend $100-200. Consider getting gifts for people that supported your trip financially.
  • You can exchange more money if you need it at local ATM’s or banks (with your passport).

Packing/Baggage Reminders (see packing list)
It is recommended that you inventory your luggage and keep a list visible in your suitcase, this deters theft. Also include a note with the name, location and phone number of the hotel. Please verify the amount of luggage and weight limits that you are allowed.

Remember to bring these things (consult with your team leader regarding how many bags are included with your flight – this information should be included with your flight information):

  1. 1-2 suitcases with team supplies - if applicable, based on approved luggage and team needs
  2. Your personal suitcase (check airline requirements)
    • Have one name tag on your luggage that includes your personal address.
    • a colorful ribbon, duct tape or strap can help you easily identify it on arrival. (we will send you AFM luggage tags to use as well for identification)
  3. Your smaller carry on (check airline requirements)
    • this should have a change of clothes, toiletries, etc. Also include a color photocopy of your passport, your suitcase inventory list, and the in-country address inside
  4. Your personal items:
    • include meds, sleeping stuff (eye mask, neck pillow), reading material, journal, snack, and whatever you need for sleeping on the plane. .
  5. Staying in touch with home:
    • If you’re taking a phone but you don’t have an international plan, you can download the app Messenger or What’s App for Wi-Fi calls and messaging. Be sure to turn off cellular data so you don’t incur any unexpected charges.
    • If you would like to purchase a SIM card for your phone - contact your US carrier prior to travel to ensure that your phone is unlocked. We will generally be able to get SIM cards within 24 hours of being in country - your patience with this will be helpful.
  6. Insurance and Credit Cards:
    • AFM has purchased trip insurance for everyone. This includes some medical coverage and evacuation plans should they be needed. You should also check with your own health insurance company to see what, if any, coverage they would provide to you overseas.
    • Notify your credit card companies that you will be traveling. This will help avoid any payment issues should you choose to use a credit card while traveling. Credit cards usually give the best exchange rate for purchases. You can also use ATM’s for obtaining cash; also check with your credit cards regarding any trip protection they may offer.
  7. The Flight:
    • Drink extra water before leaving and take every opportunity they offer for water on the plane (8oz water per hour of travel, no caffeine). Staying well-hydrated will support your health and help your recovery from jet lag.
    • Sleep: Do your best to get some extra sleep the 2 weeks before departure so you don’t begin the trip exhausted.
    • For the flight, the goal is to transition your body into the local time zone ASAP. To do that, you need to make every effort to sleep as much as possible during the flight across the ocean and as little as possible on the final flight. You will want to stay awake the first part of the flight and sleep the second, but you need to work to do the opposite of your instincts.
    • A normal dose of a mild sleep aid can be helpful (melatonin, Simply Sleep, Tylenol PM, or Benadryl). Take this as soon as you get on the plane before the meal service. Then, as soon as they take your dinner tray, put on the eye mask, plug in the headphones, and try to sleep. Hopefully you can get 4-5 hours of sleep.
    • For your second long flight, try to stay awake or limit sleep to an hour or two so you’re able to sleep when we get there. Acclimating to the new time zone helps prevent sickness, gives more energy for the mission, and makes the trip more enjoyable.
    • Bring a jacket or sweater as the plane is often chilly during the night. Long compression socks help too.
    • If you wear contacts, you’ll probably want glasses for on the plane—the air is very dry.
  8. Laundry:
    • Laundry service is generally available at hotels where we will stay. It will be turned around in 1-2 days and is generally inexpensive. (some trips may have limited laundry service- ask your team leader if you have questions before travel).