OUR TEN ETHICAL COMMITMENTS
Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer, and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.
1. Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects: We aim to design all of our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.
2. Clear Objectives And Sustainable Outcomes: We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.
3. Primum non nocere: This is an ethical principle which means, “First, do no harm”. In all our programs, we ensure that no harm comes to any of our stakeholders through improper and/or illegitimate practice such as an unqualified participant taking part in a medical or veterinary procedure.
4. Working Against Dependency: We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.
5. Responsible Exit Strategies: For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.
6. Clear Roles And Specialized Training: We aim to ensure that every participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.
7. Respect for All: In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture, and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI. We see it as our responsibility to educate participants and the world at large about the damage caused by the international savior attitude.
8. Local Ownership: We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.
9. Transitioning From The Orphanage Model: We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.
10. Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection: We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.
As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.
However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfill their potential to create maximum positive impact and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know we are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.
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