Safety Measures for Our Volunteers
Volunteer safety is our number one concern. We have implemented the plans and procedures, outlined below, to alleviate the unknown element of volunteering abroad. Please understand that there is an element of risk whenever traveling outside of the United States.
Pre-Trip Cultural and Travel Training
We will require every United Service Corps member to attend a mandatory virtual or live three hour cultural and trip safety session. The training will provide a cultural overview of the country, travel tips and etiquette, packing suggestions, resources to study beforehand and a forum to answer any questions that may arise. Parents will be strongly encouraged to attend this training as well.
Volunteer Ambassador Pledge
We ask each volunteer to take a pledge to conduct themselves as mature adults whose primary purpose is to serve others and learn about a new culture as ambassadors of the United Service Corps and the United States. To make the most of their experiences we ask that volunteer pledge to not drink alcohol, not to take any sort of drugs, and to refrain from any type of romantic interactions, especially with locals. We find these things can not only jeopardize the safety of our volunteer, but can also have a detrimental effect on what should be a phenomenal experience.
We have faith in our volunteers to conduct themselves in a manner that would leave a good lasting impression on the communities we serve.
Twenty Four Hour Hotline
Volunteers, parents and trip leaders are given a twenty four hour, seven day a week hotline phone number to a contact at the United Service Corps in case of an emergency. We also assign a local liaison in addition to the trip leaders in the host country as a local emergency resource.
Our trip guides will blog about trip events and post pictures so family and friends can follow along on the progress of the trip and see pictures of the students volunteering. We hope that this blog will help those back home feel connected. Please understand that in most of the areas where volunteers will be serving have very limited access to internet.
Always With the Group
We will use the buddy system and the whole group will be with a trip leader from the time they reach the airport meeting point until they return to the United States.
Experienced Program Leaders
We carefully choose program leaders who have undergone background checks who have experience traveling abroad.
We Have Been There
We will only send volunteer to places United Service Corps staff has been and volunteers will only be involved with communities and organizations where we have developed prior relationships.