Safety and Support Plan for International Volunteers

October 16, 2022by cayodental0

Your safety and security are our prime concerns. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind.

  • Our staff are available 24 hours a day to help and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
  • We believe no other provider offers the safety and security to their interns and interns that we do. We have thoroughly risk assessed. Every member of staff is trained to our high standards. Safety and support are at the heart of everything we do.
  • We employ all our staff directly – we never use third parties or contractors
  • We carefully choose our host families, to ensure security, comfort, and friendliness
  • We have whole teams in every destination, so if any problems or illnesses were to arise, there’ll always be someone available to keep you safe and secure
  • We carry out thorough risk assessments to ensure that all our project destinations are safe and politically stable
  • We have an in-house medical officer who is available to consult with you and your doctor before you leave, so you can discuss any health concerns to make sure you’re feeling confident about your upcoming trip.

Here we’ll take you through how our approach to safety and backup is different. We’ve also included information on safety precautions in all our destinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Our Enhanced Safety Protocols for COVID-19

We’ve thoroughly reviewed our health and safety protocols and increased them in light of COVID-19. Our enhanced protocols are in line with guidance from the World Health Organization and requirements from local authorities. These include:

From September 2022, some destinations, airlines, or projects may require interns to provide a negative lateral flow or (PCR) test for COVID-19.

This may also require you to take the certification with you on the flight.

If you are uncertain about whether this impacts your journey or not, please speak to one of our team members, who will be willing to help.

In the rare event that you cannot get tested before departure, local teams can help you get one on arrival.

Our team members have been trained on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. We’ve pre-identified the best hospitals and clinics to use if interns or staff show any symptoms.

Anyone developing symptoms will be required to isolate, either at their host accommodation or a separate guest house or hotel. A dedicated staff member will be responsible for looking after anyone having to isolate.

We’ll carry out deep cleaning of all volunteer accommodations before each new arrival.

We’ll implement social distancing measures at our accommodation and projects. Depending on the destination and project, single rooms can be requested.

 

Our staff, no contractors

We employ all our staff directly. That means we never use third parties or contractors for our support staff, as some providers do.

Our staff will meet you at the airport, check your accommodation before you arrive and give you a thorough induction and safety briefing. From that point, they’re there when you need them. They will regularly check in on you, but if you ever have a problem, question, or just want someone to chat with, you can reach them 24/7.

We also have 24/7 emergency telephone numbers so that you or a member of your family back home can contact us if you need to.

 

Fully vetted accommodation

Most of our volunteers live with a local host family. Each of our host families is carefully chosen for security, comfort, and friendliness. The family, their home, and the neighborhood are all fully vetted by our expert staff before and during your visit.

Many hosts are associated with our programs – for example, a doctor works at our programs. We also try to place you alongside fellow volunteers so your stay is sociable and you can share your experience with like-minded people.

 

A personal service

You’re not just a number to us. Our staff is passionate about making sure you get the most out of your time with us. We keep in touch with you before you leave, during your Project, and after you come home.

Our team knows the local area inside out and will be the first to know if there are any security or safety risks. They also know your host family and the local community well. If you have any problems or illnesses, they’ll be there to keep you safe and secure.

 

 Your safety comes first

We know that you can only achieve your best when you’re in a safe and stable environment. The same is true for our staff and project partners. It’s for this reason that safety is our number one priority. We only bring volunteers to places that are safe and politically stable. If they are not, we don’t go.

We carry out thorough risk assessments for all aspects of the programme, and have health and safety checklists for our staff to complete regularly. We also devise and train our staff on crisis management plans, so they know what to do if a problem occurs.

All of this is designed to give you and those who care about your peace of mind, so you can focus on enjoying your time abroad.

 

An in-house medical service

Your physical and mental health is a top priority during your time with us. Living and working in a completely new environment can be a challenge which is why we have employed an experienced doctor who is available to consult with you and your physician before you leave. This way you and your doctor can discuss any health concerns and our in-house doctor will advise you accordingly so that you feel confident about your upcoming trip.

But our medical service doesn’t stop there. If there is ever an emergency or you wish to see a doctor while abroad, he will advise our local staff on the next best steps. Our doctor will also act as a link with your medical insurance company when required.  We are there to take care of everything so that you can feel your best and achieve the best.

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