Thank you for volunteering for the Lifeline Fund. On behalf of our beneficiaries (those who benefit from our work in Malawi), we would like to thank you in advance for your service and hope it proves to be the life changing experience it has been for many.
This document provides you with information you need to prepare to volunteer.
It also asks for your agreement to statements about what you will do to prepare, and how you will conduct yourself in Malawi.
What you need to know
The Lifeline Fund, has a Christian ethos and seeks to provide practical help to those children and vulnerable adults in need in Malawi. We do this by coming along-side our beneficiaries.
Most Malawians are warm and loving people. For those of us coming from outside of Malawi, predominantly from first world countries, it is important to understand that volunteers remain guests in the Malawian culture and that volunteers might come with pre-conceived ideas, which may be challenged through this experience. We ask you to be respectful of the people and the culture we are being invited into and keep the needs of the beneficiaries paramount at all times.
The Lifeline Fund will meet (face to face, video, phone or exceptionally by email) with you to brief you, answer your questions and identify how you can serve. The following topics will be covered:
- What Lifeline Fund does
- Your skills and how these fit in, the things you might be doing
- Where the Lifeline Fund centres are and their primary functions
- A list of “who’s who” within the organization
- An idea of costs: necessary inoculations, flights, visas, accommodation, and food
- An idea of the culture, appropriate dress, food, and protocol.
The Lifeline Fund will attempt to provide you with a safe workplace, and will apply our policies on equal opportunities, data protection, recruitment and complaints procedure.
Please note that your experience may well involve you coming face to face with some disturbing conditions such as extreme poverty and victims of trauma.
What you agree to
You agree to:
- Attend briefing(s) with the Lifeline Fund coordinator or delegate
- Read, understand and adhere to the Lifeline Fund policies that relate to safeguarding, confidentiality, fire, health and safety, drugs, alcohol and whistleblowing
- Provide photographic proof of your identification (usually sight of your passport page)
- Speak to your GP and have all required vaccinations for travelling to Malawi prior to travel
- Take with you all necessary medication for when you are in Malawi, e.g., anti-malaria tablets and medication for any pre-existing conditions
- Take out adequate personal travel insurance covering you for personal injury and health care
- Work diligently
- Discuss with a member of staff, any issues you may have around volunteering. Let us know if you have any concerns and we will do our best to address them.
- Respect the privacy and confidentiality of our beneficiaries and do not discuss their stories beyond the environment of the Lifeline Fund
- When you meet with our beneficiaries, introduce yourself as a volunteer. Have a supportive, non-judgemental, attitude towards our beneficiaries.
- Respect the culture of Malawi, adhere to appropriate dress, language and general behaviour in all likely situations. Your induction will help with this.
- Tell a Lifeline Fund representative if a beneficiary says anything inappropriate to you or that makes you worried.
- Safety / possessions
- Ensure a Lifeline Fund representative knows where you are. Please do not wander around on your own.
- Cover/protect any cuts, ulcers or patches of eczema on your own skin
- Accept that The Lifeline Fund does not take any responsibility for you contracting any disease as a result of being in, or having travelled to or from Malawi as part of this agreement.
- Accept that Lifeline Fund can take no responsibility for the safety of personal possessions. These are taken solely at the owner’s risk
- Accept at your own risk that you may witness traumatic situations and that the Lifeline Fund can accept no responsibility for subsequent trauma to yourself.
- Accept that travel or any other expenses are the responsibility of the volunteer only. Such expenses may include but are not limited to: flights, visas, vaccinations, meals and accommodation, The Lifeline Fund cannot accept any responsibility for loss of earnings or inconvenience caused due to the delay, alteration, or cancellation of any of the above.
- Accept that you will be subject to a Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) check, which will be completed at your expense.
What you agree not to
You also agree not to:
- Take photos of our beneficiaries or share their stories with friends and colleagues or via social media without permission from Lifeline Fund, in line with our data protection policy.
- Disclose your private and personal details to our beneficiaries; do not divulge your telephone number, address, or any personal information.
- Be under the influence of alcohol or any other drug while volunteering.
- Bring or have on your possession any alcohol, illegal drugs or weapons.
- Smoke; Smoking is prohibited in or around any Lifeline Fund premises.
- Go into a room alone with, or be alone with, a beneficiary; please keep to the public areas.
- Receive or offer gifts (including monetary gifts) to beneficiaries without first obtaining approval from senior management.
- Tolerate abuse or harassment of any kind.
(You can download a .pdf version of this page here: 2022-02-09 Lifeline Fund Volunteer Agreement)
I declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief, all particulars I have given are complete and true. I am 18 years of age or over. I understand that any false declaration or misleading statement or any significant omission may disqualify me from volunteering.
I agree to all the statements in section 3. I agree to refrain from all activities in section 4.
I hereby give permission to Lifeline Fund to view my DBS online and to carry out all relevant checks.
Statement of health: I hereby confirm that I am fit and healthy and have no underlying health issues or contagious diseases that would adversely affect my suitability to travel and work as a volunteer in Malawi. Should there be any concerns I will consult my G.P. prior to volunteering.
Signature: ………………………………………………….. Date: ……………….
Please also print your name here: ………………………………………………………