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Purpose

 Volunteers 2 Uganda {V2U} is committed to upholding the security, rights and freedoms of children and vulnerable adults at all times. While assisting developing communities through providing international volunteers to local organizations, the first priority of V2U is the safety and protection of the children and vulnerable people they are working alongside. V2U is committed to ensuring that the children and vulnerable adults are not exposed to abuse, exploitation, violence or neglect.

As a responsible volunteer travel operator, we understand the importance of having effective policies and processes in place to protect the welfare and interests of the communities and individuals that our operations interact with. We know that particular risks exist in relation how we interact with children and vulnerable adults and we’re focussed on ensuring that those risks are mitigated through the effective implementation of this policy.

 

Scope

The Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy is an organization-wide policy and statement of intent. It applies to all V2U staff members and our operations, the operations of our partner organizations and also the actions of our volunteers. The policy is written with the acknowledgement that every V2U volunteer and every member of our organization has a responsibility to support the care and protection of children and vulnerable adults.

It also considers that V2U does not hold sole responsibility for protecting these members of society and identifies that their protection is also incumbent upon other stakeholders such as government agencies, families groups and non-government organisations.

 

Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, a child is considered to be any person who is under 16 years of age. A vulnerable adult is considered to be someone who may be in need of additional community support for reasons of disability, illness or socio-economic conditions. This includes older adults suffering from dementia, or adults who through poverty are unable to care for themselves and avoid exploitation.

When this policy refers to placement participants the conditions are related to any individual or group of individuals who are the recipient of the placement’s services. This can include children, vulnerable adults or any other individual who volunteers interact with on their placement.

When this policy refers to abuse the primary interpretations is sexual abuse or other physical or mental harm deliberately caused to a person. Similarly, exploitation refers to an act of treating a person unfairly in order to gain some kind of benefit.

 

Best Interests of the Individual

All decisions and actions concerning a child or vulnerable adult will take the best interest of the individual as the most important consideration. It will be the policy of V2U that decisions or actions regarding any child, vulnerable adult, or groups of either, should ensure that the positive impact of the decision or action will outweigh any negative impact.

 

Non-discrimination

V2U is committed to enforcing a policy of non-discrimination at all times. All children and vulnerable adults who have an interaction with V2U and our volunteers will be treated with respect and equal consideration.

The guidelines set out in the Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy aim to protect both children and vulnerable adults from abuse, and also volunteers from false accusation of abuse.

It is the policy of V2U to:

  • Respect the rights and dignity of the children, vulnerable adults, families and communities with whom V2U works, and always act according to the best interest of the community.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to actively preventing the abuse of children and vulnerable adults.
  • Take positive action to prevent abusers becoming involved with V2U, and enforce stringent measures against any associate of V2U who commits abuse.
 
Volunteers 2 Uganda (V2U) Code of Conduct
 
This code of conduct sets out the standards of behavior that are expected of V2U volunteers, not only by V2U as volunteer placement organizations, but also by the local staff, home stay families and/or providers of accommodation and, most importantly, the projects we work with.
 
This Code of Conduct is separated into three sections:
 
-     Project Code of Conduct
 
-     Accommodation Code of Conduct
 
-     General Code of Conduct
 
-     Breach of Code of Conduct’s Consequences
 
V2U are fully committed to responsible volunteer travel and sustainable tourism. This Code of Conduct is designed to help you achieve the most out of your time in Uganda while doing it in a safe and responsible manner. It also ensures that the organizations and people we work with are treated with respect and that consideration is given to other cultural aspects during your placement.
 
Please note that breaches of the Code of Conduct may result in your placement being terminated without compensation.
 
Project Code of Conduct
 
You must:
 
-     Endeavour to maintain a positive mental attitude throughout your placement.
 
-      Act as a conscientious member of the project team. You are relied upon as a dedicated member of staff.
 
-      Abide by all rules of the project at which you are working and respect them as any other member of staff.
 
-     Not accept payment of any kind for the work that you are doing.
 
-      Work hard to achieve not only your own personal goals but also those of the project and the people and/or organization that you are helping.
 
-      Listen to, and follow the instructions of your supervisor/contact at the project and the people and/or organization you are helping.
 
-      Inform your supervisor/contact at the project if you are at any time unable to fulfil the duties to which you have committed.
 
-     You must treat with care all of the materials that you use during your placement.
 
Accommodation Code of Conduct
 
You must:
 
-     Respect local custom and abide by the rules of the accommodation in which you are staying.
 
-      Check  with  your  local  accommodation  supervisors  before  inviting  anyone  back  to  the accommodation and/or your room.
 
-     Be aware overnight visitors are strictly not allowed.
 
-      Respect the accommodation you are using and pay for any damage you may cause to the property.
 
-     Keep your room/area clean and tidy.
 
-     Do not smoke in your accommodation unless the owner/supervisor allows it.
 
-      Stay  at  the  accommodation  allocated  to  you.  You  are  not  allowed  to  make  your  own accommodation arrangements for safety and security reasons unless discussed with local program coordinator.
 
-     Settle any outstanding bills before departing from accommodation.
 
-      Pay for any extra nights you stay (prior to night before orientation) directly to local staff at or before orientation.
 
-      Be aware that there are no refunds for food/accommodation if you decide to go on a trip away or leave early.
 
 
General Code of Conduct
 
You must:
 
-     Listen to, and follow the advice or requests of your in country staff.
 
-      Understand that you are a representative of not only V2U, but also your country of origin, your family and of course, yourself and therefore should act accordingly.
 
-     Realize V2U has a zero tolerance policy towards the possession and use of illegal substances.
If you are found in possession of, or are under the influence of such substances, you will have your placement contract terminated immediately.
 
-      Respect, and seek to understand, the culture of Uganda. This involves being tolerant to varying approaches of the local people (your coordinator can explain the cultural norms and advise you on these).
 
-      Follow your project rules; respect your family and local community regarding consumption of alcohol.

-      Be  aware  of  potentially  different  attitudes  towards  sexual  relationships  in  Uganda  and understand the effect that any such relationship may have on individuals  and the local community.
 
-     Treat all people with respect and dignity.
 
-     Dress appropriately at all times with regard to the culture you are living in.
 
-     Not engage in political activities or illegal activities.
 
-      Understand that the project and accommodation booked and provided is non-changeable in country without the prior approval of the head local coordinator.
 
-     Keep local staff informed of your plans about trips and weekends.