Just like with any travel abroad, being properly prepared is a really important first step to keeping safe.
That’s why all IVHQ volunteers receive exclusive access to our pre-departure training as soon as they register for one of our programs. The training is delivered through three engaging interactive learning modules, one of which is dedicated to safety. This provides volunteers with the knowledge they need to make smart decisions while in a foreign country, and the training has a particular focus on risk areas that are not in the direct control of IVHQ or our local teams and how volunteers can mitigate such risks. For example, the training explores risks related to activities that volunteers commonly undertake during their ‘free time’ outside of the typical program hours, such taking transport to tourist attractions, trying local food or beverages and drinking alcohol.
The training also provides guidance around wearing appropriate clothing and displaying culturally-sensitive behaviour, and it also outlines the steps that volunteers need to take in the event of an emergency or serious incident.
All IVHQ training is highly encouraged through our pre-departure communications with volunteers and via MyIVHQ (our bespoke online home for every volunteer). Ultimately, we want IVHQ volunteers to be both safe and responsible while abroad with us.
We support this training with detailed information provided in each of our Program Information Booklets. These Booklets provide a wealth of information for volunteers about local risks and how to avoid them, specific to the destination they are volunteering in.
The IVHQ team are also experts in volunteer safety and can provide first-hand insight into how IVHQers can keep themselves out of harm’s way. Sometimes this advice is as simple as suggesting to a volunteer that taking one form of public transport over another is a wise move, but it’s the kind of help that only an expert can provide.