This outline details the rules of behavior that is expected of ABV volunteers, not only by ABV as a volunteer placement organization, but also by our Project Coordinators, the local host families and especially, the projects that we work with.
ABV is dedicated to providing responsible volunteer programs. The guideline was created to help volunteers accomplish the most out of their volunteer programs in a responsible and safe manner. We aim to create a harmonious experience for all those involved. Volunteers must agree to follow the laws of the host country, the policies of the community in which they volunteer, and/or the rules of the host family, failure to do so will result in the termination of your program and forfeiture of all program fees.
- Follow the rules, advice and policies set by the local Project Coordinator. You are required to fulfill a 40 hour work week. Sightseeing and side trips are strictly limited to weekends. Work schedule is pre-determined by ABV and You can not make changes to this schedule. Request for days off, or time away from the program are based on the sole discretion of ABV US and the Country Coordinator. Any disregard for the work schedule will result in the immediate termination of Your program placement.
- Recognize they are representatives of ABV, and their home country and should act accordingly. Remember this is a chance to be an ambassador of your country.
- Acknowledge that possession of illegal substances is a grave violation of ABV policy, and if discovered will result in the immediate cancellation of your program. Participants are cautioned that the possession of drugs is often dealt with severe punishment by host country law enforcement.
- Travel with an open mind; be respectful to the culture and customs of the country you are volunteering in. This means practicing patience and understanding.
- Understand the alcohol consumption is not permitted in the host family, at the project site or at the local ABV offices. Responsible consumption is expected, gross misbehavior will result in the termination of your program.
- Be aware of the potential hazards of becoming involved in a sexual relationship with local people in the country which you are volunteering. (ie: HIV, STDs)
- Treat all people with respect and dignity, especially the elders of the community.
- Dress properly with regard to the local culture, as well as weather conditions. Realize what is socially acceptable in western countries, can be considered offensive in others.
- Avoid all political demonstrations and activities. Remember you are guests in the host country and subject to local laws and punishment.
- Acknowledge the program and accommodations provided are customized for you and not changeable in country without approval and consent of ABV and our Project Coordinator
- Advise the host family and Project Coordinators of weekend travel plans.
During the Program, you should be:
- PROACTIVE Jump in and maintain a positive attitude.
- PATIENT Life in your host country moves slower than one might be used to. Relax and enjoy the slow pace. Remember, not everything is as organized and predictable as life in the US or UK.
- FLEXIBLE Plans change, roads get flooded, and electricity goes out. Realize that not everything goes as planned, but good intention is always there.
- CONSIDERATE Respect those around you and be a reliable worker at the program site. Tell your host family if you will be late. Advise the Project Coordinator if you are sick and can not work.
- RESPECTFUL Remember that the local people you are working with, side by side, do so with little or no salary. They do this work because they believe in it. There are times when you may not agree with or understand the organizations decisions or direction. Although your suggestions are always welcome, your faith, respect and consideration for their long term work and commitment is appreciated.
- FRIENDLY In order to truly help someone you must get to know them. Do not be afraid to make friends with the local people. Smile, wave and see how fast you are welcomed into the community.
- TOLERANT The food, the culture, the smells and the sounds will be unfamiliar to you at first. We recommend that you dive in and experience life head-on. You will be surprised at how quickly you will adapt.
Local Accommodation, you must:
- Respect the policies of the community and the rules of the host family in which you are staying.
- Don’t invite any guest/friend to the host families house.
- Be aware that overnight guests are not allowed.
- Respect the accommodation, and pay for any damage you may cause.
- Keep your room clean and neat. Offer to help with chores around the home.
- Not smoke or use alcohol in your accommodation.