Challenging Down with the People
1) As a rule construction professionals manage the volunteers, and ensure the required standard and quality of work is achieved and not compromised
2) Volunteers cover their own expenses and contribute a significant donation to the project
3) Volunteers expectations are managed (they attend training, briefing and team buiding sessions before they travel, they understand their role and why they are there, they are aware of their potential impact on the community and discuss issues like ‘cultural awareness’, ‘attitude’ etc before departure. i.e. They sign up to the “Volunteer Charter” and their sending organisation follows the “Code of Practice”)
4) Local construction professionals are hired and local materials are used as much as possible where the quality is available
5)‘Building something’ wasnt the only goal of the exercise, instead – bringing people together (breaking down barriers), raising awareness of the issue first hand (creating life long ambassadors) and learning from another culture (fostering understanding, appreciating difference) were bigger aims…
No doubt Scott will have a few thoughts on this most thoughtful response. I’m putting it out there to make sure that we hold true to our mantra of open dialogue and transparency. If we’re going to improve aid, then we need to have honest, tactful and constructive dialogue, which is exactly what Karen’s letter is. I’m definitely a fan.