Meeting on arrival and in-country support
Once you arrive, we make sure you get picked up from the airport and dropped off at your volunteer accommodation. You will receive a SIM card to help you navigate and understand your new environment. We will also facilitate your connection to a reliable and trusted network of local support. Your placement, partner and fellow volunteers have been carefully selected to ensure an enriching experience for everyone.
Your volunteer accommodation will be safe, clean and comfortable. The hosts will have a basic understanding of the project you are working with. Skilled Impact’s local team will regularly check in on the host families to ensure your safety and comfort.
You can contact our local team on the 24/7 emergency line that you receive upon arrival. Based on extensive experience in volunteer management, Skilled Impact has developed safety best practices to ensure the wellbeing of our volunteers. They include extensive risk assessment of the placement location and partner organisations, as well as a detailed Incident Management and Emergency Response Plans. If needed, medical care will be rendered to volunteers from the most reliable hospitals around the location of the placement.
Volunteer Safety Policy
Pre-Departure Safety Measures
In order to ensure your safety while volunteering, we have developed practices and processes that manage the risks of each placement.
We follow a thorough risk assessment and management process of the following:
- Partner Organisations
- Placements and Job Descriptions
- Effects on Beneficiaries
- Location of the placement
- Accommodation and Hosts
Volunteer Management Training
At Skilled Impact, we have accumulated 10+ years experience in volunteer management. We provide every team member with the appropriate volunteer management training, to ensure your safety when volunteering. When it comes to choosing and vetting partners, we also make sure that the NGOs and social enterprises we work with are able to support the volunteer throughout their journey. That’s why you are assigned a placement supervisor, who has experience in volunteer management and will guide you through the experience. In general, following advice of local staff and respecting local culture and social norms is the best way to stay safe when volunteering.
Orientation for volunteers
Through our pre-departure materials, we orient volunteers to cultural nuances, and share necessary information regarding visas, flights and travel precautions such as vaccinations. We also provide volunteers with the details of their placement, the location and the local partner organisation well in advance, so that you can prepare for the experience ahead.
Health and Travel Insurance
We require our volunteers to sort out health and travel insurance before landing in the host country. We collect digital copies of the documents, so that we have them at hand in case of emergency situations.
In-country Safety Measures
Culture, Health and Safety Training
Volunteers will receive a detailed induction to the culture of the local communities to create an understanding of the new environment. Following the guidelines of our Code of conduct also contributes to your safety when volunteering. You will also be informed of the essential health and safety measures while volunteering, such as:
- Personal safety when volunteering
- Public safety when volunteering
- Food safety
- Water safety
- Injury prevention
- Workplace safety
Volunteer Training for Community Projects
Before the commencement of the project, Skilled Impact and our local partner ensure volunteers receive a detailed induction and training necessary for the placement. This training creates awareness about the measures you must take while working on community projects with vulnerable people, such as volunteering with children or the disabled. Since a majority of the beneficiaries you work with belong to disadvantaged communities, volunteer training ensures your safety as well as that of the beneficiaries.
For more information, read our policies on volunteering with vulnerable people here.
General Safety when Volunteering
The in-country team of Skilled Impact make sure that you feel well supported throughout your time with us. In order to ensure your wellbeing, we periodically check with our partners and the volunteer accommodation. Whilst we do everything to ensure your safety when volunteering, there are a few things you can do. Making smart decisions, following your intuition and behaving culturally appropriate will get you a long way. Skilled Impact is always there for you, from emotional support to emergency preparedness, but a lot of your personal safety also depends on you.
Volunteer Safety Tips
Travel Safety Tips
Here are the general safety measures we highly recommend volunteers to follow while in-country:
- Always exercise vigilance and always take smart and carefully informed decisions.
- Follow the advice of the partner representatives and adhere to the guidelines laid out in your induction training.
- Be sensitive and respectful to local culture and customs.
- Dress in a way that is culturally-appropriate.
- Do not get romantically or physically involved with the members of the local community.
- Do not engage in activities considered illegal as per local laws.
Travel Safety Checklist
When packing your bags, there are a few items you shouldn’t forget. Make sure you carry the following items with you before starting your journey:
- Emergency medical kit
- Mosquito repellant
- Culturally-appropriate clothes
- Sturdy sports-shoes
- Medicines as needed