I’ve had the amazing fortune of being able to jump from one beach to another in Thailand’s beautiful southern islands. Towering, craggy limestone cliffs signal a dramatic ascent from beneath the sea in epochs past, with powdery white sand blanketing the ocean floor and clear turquoise water lapping at the shore—at that moment, while ensconced underneath the open sky, life couldn’t seem to get any better. Thailand’s uninhibited geophysical gems truly humble the spectator into believing he or she is encountering the sublime.
But then, Euro-techno music, empty bottles and discarded plastic bags littering the beach mar this immaculate work of art by nature. Having paid expensive plane tickets from across the world, hordes of foreign travelers assume entitlement to do whatever they wished: toss their garbage freely, parade about half-nakedly in a Muslim community, withhold sensitivity towards native workers, engage in environmentally damaging packaged enterprises… the list goes on. For the sole pursuit of pleasure, they forget that the place they are visiting is a real place with real communities, and that the damaging consequences of their actions are real.
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ~Oscar Wilde
Volunteers who are working abroad are entitled rights and responsibilities. Irrespective of the type of volunteer work being done, the volunteers have rights that should be followed. These rights are there to protect the volunteer and to make sure they are not being taken advantage off. These rights and responsibilities protect both the organization and the volunteers who are abroad and also for smooth running of the volunteer work.
Here are the international volunteer rights:
To work in a healthy and safe environment
To be interviewed and employed in accordance with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation;
To be given accurate and truthful information about the organization for which they are working in;
To be given a copy of the organization’s volunteer policy and any other policy that affects the volunteer’s work;
Not to fill a position previously held by a paid worker;
To have a job description and agreed working hours;
To have access to a grievance procedure;
To be provided with training and orientation to the organization;
To be heard – to feel free to make suggestions, to have a part in planning.
To new opportunities and a variety of experiences – through advancement or transfer, or through special assignment.
To be kept informed through departments, attendance at staff meetings, memoranda, etc. about what is going on in the organization.
To expect that the volunteer’s time will not be wasted by lack of planning, coordination or cooperation within the organization.
To know whether the volunteer’s work is effective and how it can be improved: to have a chance to increase understanding of the volunteer, others and community.
Do meaningful and satisfying work;
Be seen as belonging, through inclusion at meetings, social functions, etc.
Be seen as a person or a co worker and to be supported in the volunteer’s role;
Have choices and feel comfortable about saying “no”;
Not be exploited;
Be consulted on matters that directly or indirectly affect the volunteer and the work
Receive recognition for the volunteer’s contribution
Have the volunteer’s personal information be kept confidential
To have the volunteer’s service hours documented (certificate or letter) upon request.
To a suitable assignment–with consideration for personal preference, temperament, life experience, education and employment background
The volunteers’ responsibilities are:
To be reliable, trustworthy and punctual
To respect the rights of people the volunteer works with
To have a non-judgmental approach
To carry out the specified job description
To give feedback (i.e. participate in evaluations when asked), accountable and accept feedback
To be committed to the program
To avoid overextending themselves
To acknowledge decisions made by the staff or the organization
To address areas of conflict with the appropriate staff member or volunteer coordinator
To ask for support when it is needed
To be open and honest with the organization about the volunteer’s expectations and abilities.
To maintain confidentiality and privacy with regards to agency information, clients, and personnel.
To learn from the community service experience.
To be open and honest about their motivations and goals.
To understand what a job requires before accepting it.
To accept guidance and supervision from the person in charge of volunteers.
To participate in any training offered by the organization.
To notify the coordinator as soon as possible if they are unable to attend a training session or carry out their assigned duties.
To adhere to all station rules, policies and procedures pertaining to his or her volunteer commitments.
To decline work that is not acceptable to them; maintain an open mind with regard to other people’s standards and values
For more free information and low cost volunteer in Africa programs visit http://www.volunteercapitalcentre.org/
Botswana is a country located in the southern part of the continent of Africa, and is known for beef and diamonds. But it is also becoming well-known as a wonderful holiday destination with plenty of fun activities or sights to see. Consider taking Botswana safaris on your next vacation.
Chobe National Park is located in the northern side of the country, with part of it lying on the border with Namibia. Visit this park any time of the year, keeping in mind that it can become very hot during October. But no matter when you choose to visit, you’ll see more wildlife here than in any other part of the country. One of the largest populations of elephants is located in this park, and there are plenty of hippos and Cape buffalo in the Chobe River. Dry season safaris will treat you to views of zebras, wildebeests, impalas and other herd animals. The wet seasons will bring out various species of ducks and storks, as well as other waterfowl.
The Moremi Game Reserve is located in the northwest section of the country and is well-known for its abundant and diverse plant and animal life. This beautiful reserve is home to elephants, giraffes, leopards, and cheetahs, as well as the Red Lechwe antelope. You might even hear the eerie laughing call of hyenas as you tour this beautiful landscape.
Botswana safaries into the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park can give you the extra treat of camping in a wilderness area. Camp grounds are located several kilometers up the Nossob River and in other areas in the park. You’ll be able to hear the roar of the lion or leopard from your campsite and, as you travel through the park, you’ll see these animals as well. Wildebeest, springbok and gemsbok live here, too, and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to watch them and learn about this fabulous land.
With these and other parks and nature reserves established throughout the country, there is sure to be a place that you will find interesting and exciting on your holiday in Botswana.