Once you arrive to your placement, the project will take you through an induction clearly explaining the expectations they have of you in terms of your role and behaviour when working with the project. You will be asked to sign a code of conduct, so we suggest you take a look at this general ‘Code of Conduct’ so you are aware of what may be expected of you – view here >
A ‘Code of Conduct’ is a voluntary code, enforced by the will of the organisation to maintain the standards. It seeks to guard our standards of behavior, and maintain the high standards of humanitarian aid, effectiveness and impact to which we aspire to as an organisation.
What Guides Us?
1. Humanitarian principles
In aid response to any humanitarian crisis, whether they are caused by conflict, violence or natural disaster, the humanitarian principles help us understand what guides global humanitarian work. When volunteering you will be expected to work in line with those principles:
Humanity – The singular motivation is to save lives and alleviate suffering in a manner that respects and restores personal dignity.
Impartiality – Humanitarian action is based solely on need, with priority given to the most urgent cases irrespective of race, nationality, gender, religious belief, political opinion or class.
Neutrality – Humanitarian actors refrain from taking sides in hostilities or engaging in political, racial, religious or ideological controversies.
Independence – Requires autonomy on the part of humanitarian actors, who are not to be subject to control or subordination by political, economic, military or other non-humanitarian objectives.
2. Do No Harm Principles
The principle of ‘do no harm’ obliges all actors to prevent and mitigate any negative impact of their actions on affected populations. As a volunteer you are expected to adopt this approach in professional and social environments, and consistently assess the implications and potential consequences of your actions for yourself as an individual, for beneficiaries and for your respective organisations. Volunteers must be conscious of the social, cultural and professional contexts they are working in, particularly their interactions with beneficiaries, and work within the necessary professional boundaries that ensure we can provide principled, accountable and high-quality humanitarian aid.
Understand the context of your volunteer role and project…
3. Do your research
Before you volunteer you should find out more about your destination and familiarise yourself with the culture, especially with its social norms. This information can only be found in travel guides.
Check out Volunteer preparation