Namaste! If you’ve got as far as reading this, then you’re probably considering an unpaid placement with Childreach here in Nepal.
Childreach Nepal has always encouraged the involvement of volunteers to support its programmes and operations, and has received invaluable support from individuals both from Nepal and around the world.
We want to be transparent about how we work with volunteers, what we expect from them and what they can expect from us.
The purpose of this policy is therefore two fold:
- To help us appropriately match the skills and interests of volunteers against the needs of the organization, resulting in a positive placement with a mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge and skills.
- To ensure that volunteering happens in accordance with Nepali law and the policies detailed in Childreach Nepal’s Human Resources Policy
We want volunteering to be the best possible experience both for you and for us and the communities we work with. We welcome your interest and really hope this works out!
The Childreach Nepal Team
According to Childreach Nepal’s human resources policy “International Volunteers are an integral part of an organization who deliver their expertise to develop the skills of staff working in the organization.
They can work here from four to twenty-four weeks depending on the agreed objectives, the range and depth of skills of staff and the volunteer’s own availability.
Such volunteers are subjected to all Childreach Nepal’s policies and code of conduct. Such voluntary placements are totally unpaid.”
- Welcome interest from anyone that wants to volunteer with us, listen to your motivations and aspirations and do our best to match you to the right available role
- Provide a clear explanation when we are not able to match you to a placement, for example when your skills and experience are not a good match to current organizational need
- Provide a role description and or terms of reference clarifying your role and responsibilities during a placement
- Offer appropriate training, support and encouragement for you to develop your skills and expertise
- Recognize and respect the contribution of volunteers, ensuring their voices are heard and valued within the organization
- Create a positive environment for volunteering to enable you to have the best placement experience possible
- Listen to and act on your concerns if your expectations are not being met
We ask you to:
- Honour the commitment that you make to Childreach Nepal, and do so with efficiency, reliability and quality, bringing us the best of your skills and abilities
- Commit to our aims and values and be a positive advocate for the work of Childreach Nepal
- Treat everyone you meet during your placement with dignity and respect
- Act and work in accordance with our organisational policies, procedures and management decisions
- Be accountable for your behaviour and actions and be open to receiving and acting on feedback
- Work with your Supervisor to maintain clear and open lines of communication with the organisation, including early identification of any issues arising with the placement or changes in your personal circumstances
Recruitment and Selection
Volunteering with Childreach Nepal provides a unique opportunity to gain practical work experience in the fields of health, education and sports, and other subjects such as general management and operations /administration.
Childreach Nepal encourages volunteers to be fully involved in the activities of the organisation, bringing diversity to its workforce and supporting transfer of knowledge between the volunteer and the organisation. We welcome the wide range of skills, experience and knowledge that volunteers can bring, and select applicants based on their ability to conduct and add value to an assignment; whether this is a group activity such as Big Build, or an expert (professional) volunteer placement over a longer period. We’ll ask for evidence of relevant competencies (e.g. in the form of a CV), and carry out informal interviews to make sure that you are right for us and we are right for you.
Volunteers must be over 18. There is no upper age limit as long as you are fit, well and comfortable with the physical challenges associated with daily life in a developing country.
Checks for suitability
Childreach Nepal has a duty of care to protect the children we work with, and we take that duty extremely seriously. We believe children must be protected and we aim to create a safe and happy environment for their care and development.
References are always requested and taken up.
If the role requires it, e.g. when you will be spending a lot of time in the field, a health check is requested. Other checks may also be completed, such as ascertaining professional qualifications or a criminal records report for those working directly with children. We will always ask your permission before such checks, but your placement is dependent on our ability to complete due process.
International volunteers are required to bring a letter from their respective universities or organisations as well as relevant personal documentations such as valid visa, resume, letter of intent etc., to process for approvals from the Social Welfare Council in Nepal.
All volunteers will receive a role description or Terms of Reference, containing full information about their roles and responsibility for the placement, along with a volunteer agreement document to be signed by the volunteer and the organisation.
Equal opportunities and diversity
Childreach Nepal is an organisation that believes strongly in diversity and inclusivity, and values individual difference. We welcome interest from anyone that wants to volunteer with us, and we will not accept or tolerate any form of discrimination.
Support and supervision
Each volunteer will have a clearly identified Supervisor who is responsible for your day-to-day management, and is your contact point for all issues relating to your placement. You will also be made aware of other individuals within the organisation that you can approach for guidance and support.
All staff members receive training and guidance on how to involve volunteers effectively in the work of the organisation
Copyright and intellectual property
Childreach Nepal holds full rights to any original materials that you may produce during your placement, unless specifically agreed otherwise. This includes research, written work, photography, graphic design and artwork.
Safeguarding and child protection
We are committed to safeguarding the well-being of all staff, volunteers and partners who are involved in or affected by our work. Volunteers are expected to behave appropriately, and all reasonable steps will be taken to avoid volunteers having unsupervised access to a child or vulnerable adult.
Childreach Nepal has a strict Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct. All staff/volunteers are expected to sign and abide by this Code of Conduct.
If you have any concerns about a child or adult during your placement, please raise them immediately with your Supervisor.
Photography/ image use
Childreach Nepal’s Child Protection Code of Conduct requires all personnel in the organisation to abstain from taking photographs of children without both their consent and the consent of the Child Protection Officer.
Data protection and confidentiality
Childreach Nepal respects the volunteer’s right to privacy and confidentiality, and takes great care to protect your information. In turn, volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all privileged information to which they are exposed while volunteering with Childreach Nepal.
All volunteers are also required to sign a confidentiality agreement with the organisation.
We sometimes use photos of volunteers, taken during their placement activities, for promotional purposes e.g. on social media or in a leaflet. If you don’t want your image used in this way please let your Supervisor know.
We use social media and we expect that you do too. When we post online about our projects we prioritise the privacy and dignity of the people and communities that we work with, and we ask you to do the same. The sections on Safeguarding, Copyright, Photography and Data Collection in this policy are all important and relevant here – e.g. you cannot share pictures of children, or material you have developed as part or your placement. Volunteers are also requested to read and respect the Radi-AID social media guide available from http://www.rustyradiator.com/social-media-guide/ (and copied at the end of this policy).
The Radi-AID guide is based on the following principles:
- Promote dignity
- Gain informed consent
- Question your intentions
- Use your chance – bring down stereotypes
Volunteers are expected to work within the policies and procedures of Childreach Nepal and adhere to its ethos. As a volunteer you’ll be a representative of the organisation, and we ask that you act appropriately in presenting a positive image of the organisation to the outside world.
Health and Safety
Childreach Nepal Human Resources Policy asserts that all measures will be taken on part of the organisation to ensure safety of the volunteers. However, it is also the responsibility of the individual volunteer to ensure that they have suitable medical insurance in place and have communicated details of that insurance to the organisation.
Induction and training
Childreach Nepal will provide an induction programme for all volunteers, including inhouse training on child protection and safeguarding, emergency response and disaster mitigation. You will also have access to training and support relevant to your specific placement.
During your induction, we will check that you have read and understood every section of the Volunteer Policy (this document!).
Within longer placements, volunteers sometimes become involved in new or unanticipated activities according to their interest and the needs of the organisation. If you take on an additional role or activity we will make sure that you are supported to widen or develop your skills and knowledge accordingly.
Volunteering is an unpaid position and we expect volunteers to cover their own expenses.
However, we are happy to help you identify appropriate accommodation within the city according to your budget.
If you are participating in a field placement then accommodation is mostly in homestays and we will be responsible for arranging and overseeing these agreements.
Insurance and visas
Childreach Nepal has an employer’s liability insurance that provides cover in event of a volunteer being harmed due to negligence of the charity.
We do not cover any medical insurance and it is your own responsibility to make sure you have appropriate travel insurance in place for the whole of your stay, including medical cover. Please note that standard travel insurance packages vary significantly in the maximum period that they allow you to be away (e.g. this could be 30, 60 or 90 days) and we strongly advise that check your insurance details carefully before traveling to Nepal.
All visitors to Nepal require a visa. We can provide guidance and advice according to individual circumstance, but it is ultimately your own responsibility to ensure that you have an appropriate visa for your stay in Nepal.
Although volunteers offer their time freely and willing and without binding obligation, there is a presumption of mutual support and reliability.
Volunteers play key roles in the organisation and so we expect you to commit to the arrangements we have made. If circumstances change and for whatever reason you are unable to maintain the level of commitment promised, please raise this with your Supervisor at the earliest opportunity.
Volunteers and paid staff
Volunteers are appointed to enhance the capacity of paid staff, not act as a substitute for them. Conversely, Childreach Nepal does not accept the services of its paid staff as volunteers.
Clear roles are established to differentiate between paid staff and volunteers, to foster mutually beneficial and complementary relationships.
Volunteers are treated as full members of the Childreach Nepal team. They are treated as equally and fairly as paid staff and are included in the organisation’s functions and decision-making processes wherever practical.
Volunteers are provided with appropriate work sites and have access to the space, equipment and facilities necessary to volunteer effectively and comfortably.
Working hours are negotiated between the Supervisor and the volunteer and are as flexible as the tasks allow. Voluntary time commitment is never expected to match that of full-time paid staff, but unscheduled absences can create organisational problems. When expecting to be absent, volunteers should inform their Supervisor as soon as possible, so that alternative arrangements can be made.
Childreach Nepal values open and honest communication. We recognise that sometimes things go wrong, and always aim to identify and solve any problems or complaints at the earliest possible stage.
In the event that a volunteer’s work or conduct is not meeting the organisation’s standards, the issue will be raised in the first instance by the volunteer’s Supervisor who will seek to agree the most productive solution/way forward.
Volunteers have the right to raise concerns or to complain about their experience and in the first instance we expect that this would happen in conversation with your Supervisor.
All staff, paid or unpaid, have a route to escalate issues that they don’t feel are being handled appropriately, and the mechanisms for this will be explained clearly during your induction.
Representation of Childreach Nepal
Volunteers must seek prior approval from the Senior Management Team before undertaking any discussion with external bodies that might affect the organisation. This includes, but is not limited to, statements to the press, joint initiatives with other bodies, and agreements involving contractual or financial obligations.
A system of records is maintained on all volunteers, including dates and times of service, duties performed, evaluation of work, etc. Volunteer records are accorded the same confidentiality as staff records.
Termination of service
Any voluntary service is at the discretion of Childreach Nepal. Childreach Nepal may, at any time, and for whatever reason, decide to terminate a volunteer’s relationship with the organisation. Similarly, volunteers may at any time, and for whatever reason, decide to terminate their relationships with Childreach Nepal. Notice of such decisions should be communicated at the earliest opportunity, preferably in writing.
Volunteers who do not adhere to the organisation’s rules or who fail to perform their volunteer assignments satisfactorily may be subject to dismissal.
No volunteer’s involvement will be terminated in writing until the volunteer has had an opportunity to discuss the reasons for possible dismissal with their Supervisor.
Grounds for dismissal include, but are not limited to, the following: gross misconduct, being under the influence of drugs (including alcohol), theft, misuse of equipment and materials, abuse of clients and co-workers, breaches of confidentiality, failure to abide by Childreach Nepal’s Human Resources policies and procedures and failure to complete duties to a satisfactory standard.
Childreach Nepal is registered as a local non-governmental organisation in Nepal. Childreach Nepal believes that every child in Nepal should have the opportunity to reach their full potential in life. We believe that children, parents and communities hold the best solutions to bring positive change. Our aim is to improve access to education and healthcare, providing protection and livelihood to children and their families in Nepal by working in partnership with government community schools, civil society and the government.
Childreach Nepal believes in involving more people more effectively in volunteering, to help meet its vision to see “a world where all children have the opportunity to fulfil their potential in life”.
It bases its principles on volunteering as a commitment of an individual, who is willing to give their time and service of their own free will for no financial gain, and recognises “volunteering” as a two-way exchange of skills and knowledge.
Founded on Respect, Inclusivity and Honesty, Childreach Nepal values the diversity of volunteers and the experiences they bring, which in turn creates a diverse and dynamic organisation. It is with this belief that Childreach Nepal expects all volunteers to willingly work within the aims and objectives of the organisation.
Our policy is based on:
- Childreach Nepal’s Vision and Mission
- Childreach Nepal’s Operations Manual
- Inputs from co-workers
- Wider literature on best practice in working with volunteers
Policy review and renewal
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure it is up to date and reflects the organisational priorities of Childreach Nepal. We are a learning organisation and always seeking opportunities to improve our policy and practice. If you have suggestions to improve this policy, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Educational Resource
Childreach Nepal believes in sharing!
This policy is published under the following Creative Commons Licence:
This means that you are welcome to use/adapt/edit it for your own organisation, under the following terms:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits
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