Code of Conduct
(please note, ‘volunteer’ in this policy relates to any person on placement in Vietnam, including, but not limited to, individual volunteers, participants of student groups, University representatives and student educators)
As a volunteer you are expected to make every effort to adapt to the culture and lifestyle of the host country. There may be significant cultural, economic, and lifestyle differences between the volunteer’s home country and the host country, including differences in health care services, living conditions, transportation systems, educational systems, criminal justice, civil liberties, customs, values and acceptable behaviour with regards to age and gender. The volunteer must be aware of and accept these differences as part of the placement, and accept the risks associated with travelling and living in another country. By doing so the volunteer acknowledges that GGC Volunteers holds no liability whatsoever for the actions or welfare of the volunteer within the host country and/or the action or negligence of the host country and/or the host country organization.
The Volunteer’s level of maturity must be adequate to recognize and cope with these differences and challenges.
Volunteers must take responsibility for informing themselves and preparing for risks associated with foreign travel and living abroad. GGC Volunteers will provide basic logistical assistance and will offer recommendations prior to the placement, however GGC Volunteers cannot and does not provide constant direct assistance to the volunteer whilst in country. The Volunteer must be responsible for taking the initiative to communicate with GGC Volunteers, host country organization, emergency services, or their country’s embassy to seek help as soon as she/he needs assistance.
Laws of the land:
As a visitor in a foreign country, you fall within the jurisdiction of that country’s local laws and the local law authority. If you are caught by authorities using or in possession of any type of illegal substance, or engaging in any illegal act, you will be arrested and submitted to the mercy of the local justice system. If you are arrested for any illegal activity whatsoever, GGC Volunteers holds no responsibility and will not be in a position to assist you. A volunteer who is found in possession of or using illegal drugs, or engaged in any other illegal activity, will be immediately dismissed from the placement without warning and without any refund of monies paid or expenses incurred.
GGC Volunteers will issue the volunteer with a site specific Code of Conduct policies in the student or volunteer handbook sent after payment of invoice.
These policies will also prohibit the consumption of certain substances despite their being deemed legal within that particular country.
GGC Volunteers expressly prohibits volunteers from engaging in irresponsible drinking while on placement, including during and after placement hours (all breaks, evenings and weekends). Volunteers who drink irresponsibly do so entirely at their own risk, and must accept any and all consequences for any adverse outcome related to alcohol consumption at any time during their placement.
Irresponsible drinking is classified by GGC Volunteers as drinking that puts oneself or others at risk, negatively affects one’s participation in the volunteer project and/or negatively affects, in any way, the reputation of the host community and/or GGC Volunteers and/or its community partners. Attending one’s project under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited.
A Volunteer who drinks irresponsibly will be given a formal warning. On the second offence, the volunteer will be dismissed from the placement with no refund of monies paid or expenses incurred.
GGC Volunteers expressly prohibits volunteers from engaging in any form of prostitution.
Regardless of its legal status (in most countries it remains illegal), if a volunteer is caught contributing to the prostitution industry in any way whatsoever, he or she will be immediately dismissed from the placement without prior written notice and with no refund of monies paid or expenses incurred.
Behaviour and dismissal:
The volunteer is aware of GGC Volunteers’ policies and agrees to abide by them or accept the risk of dismissal from the placement. GGC Volunteers expects all volunteers to conduct themselves in a manner that is responsible, professional, respectful and supportive of the rights of others. Behaviour that is contrary to this standard, including but not limited to acts that are insensitive to local customs, illegal, detrimental to or incompatible with the interests, harmony, and/or welfare of the host organisation’s role in the local community may be considered grounds for dismissal.
The host country organisation will ask the volunteer to sign a specific code of conduct to cover the time working with it. GGC Volunteers is not responsible for any decision made by the host organisation or the host country to dismiss a volunteer, but will uphold and support any decision that may be made by the host organisation or the host country where a volunteer is in clear violation of a signed Code of Conduct.
Use of volunteers’ name and likeness:
The volunteer gives consent and authorises GGC Volunteers and the host organisation to use the volunteer’s name, photograph, file or video likeness of the volunteer, or any appropriate comments or statements of the volunteer in materials or publications to promote the placement.
After full payment has been received for a volunteers’ placement, restrictions exist for the refund of any monies due to voluntary withdrawal from the placement.
In all circumstances, the non-refundable application fee will be retained.
Cancellations up to 6 weeks prior to the start date of your placement allow a 70% refund of placement fees (minus any non refundable component). Cancellations less than 6 weeks to the start of your placement will retain 100% of your placement fees. This money can however be retained for the period of two years from the date of withdrawal toward a placement booked for a later date (with any difference in placement fees due to price increases to be paid by the volunteer).
Volunteers who are dismissed or voluntarily leave the program after commencement of the placement for any reason including accident and illness will forfeit all monies.
GGC Volunteers reserves the right to cancel any placement if there are insufficient registrants or if GGC Volunteers or the host community determines it is in the best interest of the Volunteer’s safety and quality of placement to cancel the placement. GGC Volunteers is not responsible for other costs incurred by a volunteer preparing for a volunteering trip.
Should a placement be cancelled through no fault of the volunteer, the volunteer will be offered the option of other GGC Volunteers placements for the period of two years after cancellation, or a full refund of placement fees paid minus non-refundable fees and transfer fees.
GGC Volunteers is not responsible for any other costs whatsoever (apart from placement fee) incurred by the volunteer preparing for a placement in this case.
Where the placement is cancelled, or interrupted due to no fault of the host country organisation, including, but not limited to force majeure, or serious weather events, the placement fee is non refundable.
RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS PROVISIONS
The volunteer understands and is aware that all specific host country arrangements for the Vietnam program are organised by the host country organization, GGC Vietnam (a distinct and separate entity to GGC Volunteers Limited. GGC Volunteers Ltd is not liable for any action, inaction or negligence whatsoever caused by GGC Vietnam or as a result of the volunteer being involved in the placement, which is the subject of this agreement.
As a condition of the volunteers’ participation in the program, the volunteer agrees to release and hold harmless GGC Volunteers Ltd of any responsibility whatsoever for injury, death, loss, delay, or any damage and expense incurred by the volunteer due to:
(i) Any incident beyond GGC Volunteers Ltd reasonable control, including without limitation, theft, force majeure, crimes of violence, acts of war, or government actions and restrictions;
(ii) Any events directly or indirectly caused by intentional or negligent acts or omissions by any third party, including, but not limited to, any member, guest, employee, student or volunteer of GGC Volunteers Ltd or GGC Vietnam or any other persons in the host country or outcomes related to information given to GGC Volunteers Ltd by the host country and used by them in good faith to prepare volunteers;
(iii) Risks associated with foreign travel and living abroad, including, but not limited to, risks associated with health care, accidents, injury, death, sanitation, transportation, crime, justice, legal systems, customs, and values;
(iv) Any differences in the living conditions and standards between the volunteers home and home country and the host ‘home’ and host country;
(v) Voluntary withdrawal from placement or dismissal from placement;
(vi) In making arrangements for the placement, GGC Vietnam in Vietnam uses commercial buses, dining venues and other entities whose performance and services cannot be controlled by GGC Volunteers Ltd. Consequently; the volunteer agrees that GGC Volunteers Ltd is not liable for any of the actions or negligence of such commercial entities. The volunteer further agrees that GGC Vietnam in Vietnam reserves the right to change or alter travel, accommodation or other arrangements if it believes such a change to be in the best interest of the volunteer or for the efficient functioning of the placement. Changes within the host country are the responsibility of GGC Vietnam in Vietnam.