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How we select listings

Every organisation listed in this directory has provided us with evidence – and makes that information publicly available, either on their website or on request – of the following:

  1. the project is a legally registered entity in its own country.
  2. how much the volunteer needs to pay & where and how that money is spent
  3. the informed consent of local people & volunteers – no volunteer is placed without prior mutual consent
  4. child protection policies are in place and enforced & all volunteers working with vulnerable children and adults are screened.
  5. wildlife protection policies are in place.
  6. volunteers are required to sign a code of conduct.
  7. safety is a priority – for the local community and for volunteers

How will we check this?

1. The project is a legally registered entity in its own country.

We will require evidence of such registrations

2. How much the volunteer needs to pay & where and how that money is spent

The organisation will provide information about all costs incurred by the volunteer and will declare not only how that money is spent, but equally important where that money is spent.

All too often, sending organisations allocate a percentage of costs to project development, yet this money is spent in the originating destination (e.g. in head office in the UK or USA), rather than the host country. Volunteers assume that money allocated to project development is spent on the project itself, though it may often be spent on travel expenses incurred by international employees.

Volunteers will not be asked to provide more than the previously agreed costs, and the sending organisation will not require the local community to cover any costs in providing them with volunteers.

3. The informed consent of local people & volunteers – no volunteer is placed without prior mutual consent

We will require written proof from the organisation that the project leaders have accepted a volunteer BEFORE the volunteer’s place is confirmed. We also require proof that the volunteer knows which project they will be working with and what work they will be expected to do BEFORE they are asked to confirm.

4. Child protection & screening

All organisations working with children must supply child protection policies and proof that volunteers are screened

5. Wildlife protection 

All organisations working with wildlife must provide evidence that protocols are in place to protect wildlife

6. Volunteers are required to sign a code of conduct

We will require copies of the code of conduct

7. Safety is a priority – for the local community and for volunteers

We will require copies of risk analyses and emergency procedures.

Please note: many small, community projects do not have the management capacity to deliver this criterion. Where that is the case, it will be clearly shown in the relevant organisation’s listing – and hopefully a future volunteer would be able to work with them to introduce the relevant procedures.

How is this directory funded?

There is a one off membership fee of £75 per listing and an annual fee of £30- this will be paid to people and places and will enable us to manage, market and update this site.

What action will we take if it comes to our notice that organisations listed by us fail to deliver on the claims they have made?

We will contact the organisation and will publish our correspondence on their listing. We will also publish their response and any action they take. If it is proved that they have acted contrary to the above criteria, and make insufficient efforts to correct the situation, we will remove the organisation’s listing from the directory.

What can’t we do?

* We cannot intervene in any problems a volunteer may have with an organisation – we can only take action as detailed above

* We cannot visit the projects – resources do not allow that

* We cannot advise volunteers on whether they should travel with a particular organisation

* We cannot be 100% certain that the information provided by organisations is 100% accurate. We can only take reasonable steps to check the information provided to us is accurate and take action if it is not – as described above.

* We cannot accept any implied warranties – this directory is a listing service and volunteers must take responsibility for any agreements they enter into with any organisations listed here.

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