The YUVA Volunteer Policy & Procedures Booklet is an essential resource offered to YUVANs to ensure that their time shared with YUVA is a rewarding experience and also acts as an essential guide for YUVA employees and the community groups who rely on volunteers.
YUVA recognises its responsibility to keep volunteers informed of changes that may affect them and intends to provide updates to keep the latest information.
The information included in this booklet is a guide to policies and procedures of volunteering and is based on sources believed to be reliable. This booklet is broadly applicable to community groups working with children and young people and involving volunteers. However, it does not take account of specific objectives, needs or resources of any particular group.
1. INFORMATION ABOUT VOLUNTEERING.
Formal volunteering is an activity that takes place through not for profit organisations or project implementation and is undertaken:
- To be of benefit to the community and the volunteer,
- Of the volunteer’s own free will and without coercion,
- For no financial payment and
- In designated volunteer positions only.
1.2 General Principles
YUVA adheres to the following eleven principles of volunteering:
- Volunteering benefits the community and the volunteer,
- Volunteer work is unpaid,
- Volunteering is always a matter of choice,
- Volunteering is not compulsory or undertaken to receive pensions or government allowances,
- Volunteering is a legitimate way in which citizens can participate in the activities of their community,
- Volunteering is a vehicle for individuals or groups to address human, environmental and social needs,
- Volunteering is an activity performed in the not for profit sector only;
- Volunteering is not a substitute for paid work,
- Volunteers do not replace paid workers nor constitute a threat to the job security of paid workers,
- Volunteering respects the rights, dignity and culture of others and
- Volunteering promotes human rights and equality.
2. ABOUT YUVA.
YUVA was formed in January 2015 as an independent, not for profit, non-governmental organisation in Mauritius. YUVA started as a group of enthusiastic individuals. Today, it has mobilised thousands of young people with the simple aim of creating a better future for the children and youth of Mauritius. At the heart of YUVA’s duty lies the conviction that the collective destinies of the human race are bound together.
Volunteering at YUVA is managed and coordinated, providing an exciting opportunity for people to experience fundamental operations from the office to the ground.
MISSION – WHAT WE DO?
YUVA is focused on making a long-term impact by helping children and young people living in poverty or not having access to basics.
VISION – WHAT WE WANT?
We have a bold vision: ensuring Quality Educated, Good Health, Empowerment and Employment of young people through our programmes to achieve the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty and providing a bright future for children and young people of Mauritius. Period.
TWO things: Breaking the cycle of poverty. Ensuring a bright future. PERIOD.
VALUES – HOW WE ACT?
Our values are based on the assumption that leadership for our generation is not a singular concept but embodies the challenge of bringing together people from diverse fields and schools of thought. We have the collective challenge of building leadership that can be reflected within our communities and our policies.
3. INTRODUCTION TO VOLUNTEERING AT YUVA.
Volunteers continue to provide YUVA with general and specific skills and experience required for almost every YUVA programme, including but not limited to education, health, empowerment, employment programmes, office administration, office handyman, special community events, volunteer education, knowledge management and web maintenance.
YUVA appreciates and values the two-way relationship between the organisation and volunteers and is committed to offering a Volunteer Programme that assists YUVA’s work and satisfies volunteer needs and expectations.
YUVA’s Volunteer Programme:
- Recruits and maintains volunteers to help us reach our objectives and mission,
- Offers volunteers the opportunity to gain skills, and/or get a worthy volunteering experience,
- Involves the community in YUVA’s 4 pillars of its vision – education, health, empowerment and employment,
- Promotes community awareness and participation in improving the lives of children and young people,
- Builds strong and connected communities and
- Fosters diversity in all our work areas based on the belief that diverse cultural backgrounds, abilities, skills and perspectives will represent benefit for the organisation, making it more efficient, sensitive, respectful and cross-culturally aware.
3.2 YUVA’s Volunteering Philosophy
YUVA’s volunteer philosophy is achieved, and wherever possible exceeds, the Standards for Volunteer Involvement in Not-ForProfit Organisations. This is achieved by developing, establishing and maintaining a volunteer management system that embraces the principles and practices contained in the organisation.
Volunteers are an integral part of our organisation, and to protect their rights, YUVA will ensure that:
- The relationship between YUVA employees and volunteers is reciprocal,
- YUVA will set, implement, monitor, assess and adjust policies and procedures required to fulfil the policies for involving volunteers in not-for-profit organisations,
- Volunteers not only know about their rights but also their duties and responsibilities to follow and respect YUVA policies and procedures,
- YUVA employees comply with YUVA volunteers policies and procedures,
- YUVA will be updated about and comply with Mauritian legislations and standards related to non-for-profit organisations and volunteers rights,
- Volunteers have information about their rights, tasks and YUVA, and receive the training required to fulfil their jobs and duties,
- Volunteers have the opportunity to gain skills and experience,
- Volunteers provide feedback and input to their supervisor regarding their experience at YUVA and the Volunteer Management System, and
- Volunteer work is recognised appropriately and their working time is recorded.
3.3 YUVA involving volunteers
To involve volunteers, YUVA supports the “Universal Declaration on Volunteering”, adopted by the Board in February 2015:
- Interview and employ volunteer staff in accordance with anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation,
- Provide volunteer staff with orientation and training,
- Provide volunteer staff with a healthy and safe workplace,
- Provide appropriate and adequate insurance coverage for volunteer staff,
- Not place volunteer staff in roles that were previously held by employees or have been identified as paid jobs,
- Differentiate between paid and unpaid roles,
- Define volunteer roles and develop clear job descriptions,
- Provide appropriate levels of support and management for volunteer staff,
- Provide volunteers with a copy of policies pertaining to volunteer staff,
- Ensure volunteers are not required to take up additional work during industrial disputes or employee shortages,
- Provide all staff with information on dispute and resolution policies and procedures,
- Acknowledge the rights of volunteer staff,
- Ensure that the work of volunteer staff complements but does not undermine the work of paid staff,
- Offer volunteer staff the opportunity for professional development,
- Reimburse volunteer staff for out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation,
- Treat volunteer staff as valuable team members and advise them of the opportunities to participate in agency decisions, and
- Acknowledge the contributions of volunteer staff.
4. YUVA PROTECTING VOLUNTEERS.
4.1 Volunteers Rights
- Receive adequate information and a clear job description of what is expected and to understand why they are doing a task and how it fits into the broader programme,
- Be assigned a suitable project, task or job and to say no to tasks they are unable to do, or would rather not do and to ask for a new job,
- To have on the job supervision provided by a designated staff member,
- Receive respect and support from their coworkers as well as recognition and feedback from their supervisor for their work,
- Be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses, providing prior approval is obtained with the supervisor,
- Be briefed on the broader aspects of YUVA and discuss with their supervisor whether YUVA is suited to them or whether they are suited to YUVA,
- Request a reference from their supervisor when applying for a job, providing the volunteer has worked at YUVA for a minimum period of three months,
- Provide feedback, suggestions and recommendations regarding their job or the wider programme,
- Have access to dispute resolution procedures and to be supported through such a process,
- Have their personal details kept in a confidential manner,
- Work in a safe and healthy environment,
- Be provided with a place to work and suitable tools and materials, and
- Be adequately insured.
5. VOLUNTEERS RESPONSIBILITIES.
YUVA asks volunteers to:
- Be reliable and commit, where possible, to regular day/s and time of work so tasks can be planned accordingly,
- Keep YUVA informed of changes of address and phone number,
- Be responsible to and consult with their supervisor,
- To ask for support when needed,
- Agree to do job training necessary to carry out duties as stated in their Position Description,
- Abide by any YUVA policies regarding their work,
- Appreciate and respect the confidential nature of information that may be acquired during course of duties,
- Discuss any grievances or problems with their supervisor. If they remain unresolved speak to the Volunteer Coordinator,
- Not to spend money or order goods on behalf of YUVA without prior approval,
- Notify their supervisor or the Volunteer Coordinator if they are no longer able to work with YUVA,
- Show enthusiasm, loyalty and belief in the work of the organisation,
- Agree to work in a safe and healthy way and not jeopardise the health and safety of others,
- Inform YUVA of any pre-existing medical conditions or special needs that YUVA should be aware of that might affect the volunteer’s ability to undertake certain tasks, and
- Report any injury immediately to their supervisor.
6. RECRUITMENT, ORIENTATION, & INDUCTION POLICY.
6.1 Recruitment and Selection Policy
YUVA’s motto for its volunteer recruitment policy is “Matching our needs with the volunteers’ skills and availability”. YUVA’s recruitment policy and procedures are consistent with its regulations, practices and guidelines. That means that YUVA does not refuse a volunteer job because of race, age, gender, religion, cultural background and/or disability. However, YUVA has the right to refuse volunteers when they do not match the YUVA needs and requirements for becoming a volunteer.
YUVA’s policy to recruit volunteers will include two ways: Volunteer Offers and YUVA Demands. The offering way occurs when a potential volunteer has an initial contact with YUVA to offer their time for helping out with the organisation’s projects and tasks. The demanding way happens when a YUVA employee identifies a need for a volunteer position.
When potential volunteers contact YUVA, they will receive information about YUVA’s goals and projects and the YUVA Volunteering Agreement. Upon request, they can receive a “Volunteering with YUVA Package”. The package will include:
- A YUVA Brochure,
- A general business card,
- A volunteer registration form,
- A copy of a volunteer record-keeping form, and
- A copy of YUVA Volunteer Agreement
All potential volunteers will have a meeting with the YUVA executive director, Mr Krishna Athal, to talk about:
- Their interests for volunteering at YUVA,
- Their expectations,
- Their background,
- Their availability, and
- Their specific needs or limitations YUVA should be aware of.
6.2 Volunteer Orientation
After a volunteer has accepted to become a YUVAN, the YUVA Secretariat will have an orientation session with the volunteer to:
- Sign the YUVA Volunteer Agreement Form.
- Share important information about volunteering at YUVA:
- Insurance for Volunteers,
- Copyright and Confidentiality,
- Appropriate Behaviour and
- Trial Period.
- Tour YUVA’s facilities.
- Be introduced to YUVA staff.
6.3 Volunteer Induction
The objective of the induction is to inform new volunteers of their role in the delivery of YUVA’s services and to offer the volunteer the opportunity to make sure the role meets their needs and interests. The Volunteer Supervisor will have a meeting with the new volunteer to discuss:
- Their rights and responsibilities,
- Define with them days and times of volunteering,
- Define needs of any specific training for the volunteer to conduct their tasks, including Occupational Health & Safety and Risk Management, and
- Explain about lines of authority and management within the organisation, lines of communication to raise concerns or to source information and reporting mechanisms and protocols.
7. ENHANCING VOLUNTEER INVOLVEMENT POLICY.
7.1 Volunteer Motivations
There are three reasons for YUVA to know the volunteers’ motivation for working for the organisation:
- To know more about volunteers interests and needs,
- To better match volunteers with roles to enhance retention, and
- To have an idea of which kind of recognition is more suitable for them.
7.2 Volunteer Availability
YUVA wants to ensure that volunteers clearly understand their commitment to the role. Time commitments and suitable hours will be discussed early in the recruitment and induction process. YUVA has a duty of providing advance notice of expected involvement, and the volunteers should inform YUVA about their time availability.
7.3 Feedback from Volunteers
YUVA agrees that a two-way feedback process is a central part of a Volunteer Management Programme, allowing volunteers the opportunity of commenting on their experience and suggest ideas for its improvement. This facilitates YUVA to have the opportunity to acknowledge and provide input to volunteer performance. YUVA feedback policy and procedures will be based on three different approaches:
- Keeping in touch with volunteers through conversations,
- Periodic ‘spot checks’, and
- Appraisal surveys when applicable to the volunteer job, especially for those volunteers doing work experience, students doing internship or practice.
YUVA wants to improve its Volunteer Programme continuously. A satisfaction survey will be held periodically.
The feedback process will allow YUVA to improve the volunteer’s contribution and make sure they feel valued and part of the organisation.
YUVA agrees that monitoring how volunteers are performing is essential for three reasons:
- To know if the tasks given to the volunteers have been achieved properly,
- To know if the volunteer is reaching their own expectations and getting appropriate support, and
- To receive feedback about the Volunteer Programme.
7.4 Recognition and Awarding Volunteers
YUVA has a formal recognition and reward programme for volunteers that entails an attitudinal approach, specific support rewards and recognition gifts. The formal approach will correspond to planned events or actions. Meanwhile, the informal one will be represented in acts of appreciation for their contribution daily.
YUVA will promote that its employees reflect enthusiasm to the aims of the Volunteer Programme because it will naturally create a work environment where recognition for volunteers is paramount.
Volunteer contributions will be highlighted in each YUVA Newsletter and Annual Report. Every year, YUVA will organise a ‘Celebration Day’ for volunteers. Volunteers who have committed 42 hours or more may receive a gift depending on YUVA’s current availability.
Volunteer Groups will be recognised as a Group and will receive a “Thank You Note” after their activity or event participation has finished.
Other acts of volunteer recognition will be taken into account, for example:
- Recommend volunteers to prospective employers.
- Maintain Occupational Health and Safety standards.
- Take the time to explain and listen to volunteer’s ideas and concerns.
- Recognise and accommodate personal needs and problems.
- Celebrate achievements and efforts.
- Keep volunteers informed using our web page and newsletter.
- Provide letters of reference on request.
- Honour volunteers on International Volunteers Day, December 5th.
8. OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH POLICY.
YUVA, a volunteer-involving organisation, is not exempt from Occupational Safety and Health (OH&S) obligations. Therefore, the organisation owes a duty of care to volunteers as ‘other persons’ are not usually defined as employees. YUVA is committed to providing a safe YUVA is committed to providing a safe
YUVA is committed to providing a safe workplace for all employees and volunteers and, in return, asks all of them to accept their responsibility to work safely. This means working intelligently, with common sense and foresight. All volunteers will be asked to fill in the ‘Volunteer Sign In the book’ to indicate their presence in the YUVA building. This is essential in case of an evacuation situation.
To aid safety, volunteers must always follow YUVA requirements and standards related to equipment and tool use, clothing and protection. Volunteers must report any injury immediately to their Supervisor, who should then refer the matter to the Volunteer Coordinator or YUVA Secretariat.
9. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND HARASSMENT POLICY.
YUVA is an equal opportunity employer that celebrates and respects diversity and difference. Volunteers will not be disadvantaged or discriminated against because of their age, race, gender, career status, disability, political belief, sexual orientation and religious belief. Even though the Equal Opportunity Act 2011 mainly applies to paid employees, the fundamental principles of the legislation will be used to guide YUVA to recruit and treat volunteers.
YUVA considers that all employees and volunteers should work in a supportive environment free of any discrimination or harassment. The organisation does not tolerate harassment of any kind to volunteers or staff and commits to treating any reports of discrimination or harassment seriously, investigating such complaints promptly, confidentially and impartially. To do so, YUVA will develop an Equal Opportunity and Harassment Policy to define standards and procedures to prevent and face discrimination and harassment events involving both employees and volunteers.
Some of the topics that this Policy include are:
- Definitions of equal opportunity and harassment,
- Who this policy covers,
- What to do if an employee and/or a volunteer feels someone is treating them unfairly, discriminating against or harassing them,
- What to do if an employee and/or volunteer is treating someone else unfairly, discriminates against or harasses anyone,
- How to do a formal complaint,
- How to keep a record of discrimination and harassment events; processes which may be followed to achieve resolution, and
- The roles of the Volunteer Supervisor, Volunteer Coordinator and YUVA Secretariat.
10. COMPLAINT AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION POLICY.
YUVA is a community-based organisation, and it is wished that all disputes and complaints can be managed in a timely approach and resolved through dialogue between the involved parties. YUVA has a Complaint and Dispute Resolution Policy and Procedure to deal with any dispute involving employees and volunteers. This policy is a guide to deal with any complaint and dispute resolution issue that can be raised and includes the following topics:
- What to do when an employee and/or a volunteer have a dispute between them,
- What the complaint procedure includes,
- How to use the complaint procedure,
- What an employee and/or volunteer can do if they have a complaint,
- What the roles of the Volunteer Supervisor, Volunteer Coordinators and YUVA Secretariat are,
- What the person will do,
- Who handles the complaint,
- How an appeal will work,
- What may happen and,
- Who else can help.
11. CESSATION OF VOLUNTEER INVOLVEMENT POLICY.
Volunteer involvement at YUVA can finish for three reasons: unsatisfactory performance, dismissal and resignation.
Dismissal would take place immediately if a volunteer misbehaved in a manner that is dangerous, harmful and/or contrary to YUVA’s ethical or environmental policies.
Cessation due to unsatisfactory performance will occur when the procedure to notify and improve poor or inadequate performance has failed. The following four-step procedure should be applied when a volunteer is performing unsatisfactorily clearly below an acceptable level and does not meet requirements:
- On the first occasion, the volunteer shall be notified verbally of the reason.
- If the problem continues, the matter will be included in the appraisal session. The volunteer will be advised of the need to improve work performance and a further period of review will be set.
- If the problem continues, the volunteer will be interviewed by the Volunteer Coordinator and a final written warning will be given.
- In the event of the problem recurring after a final warning, the volunteer may be asked to cease volunteering for YUVA provided that the volunteer shall be entitled to pursue the matter of their termination through the Volunteer Coordinator or if not appropriate through the YUVA Secretariat.
The resignation will occur when a volunteer no longer wishes or cannot continue their YUVA involvement. In this case, the volunteer should inform their Supervisor and/or the Volunteer Coordinator and provide as much notice as possible. The volunteer will be asked to return any materials (such as books, files and/or tools) belonging to YUVA before they leave.
Considering that YUVA wants to improve its Volunteer Programme continuously, a feedback form will be given to the volunteer to gather information about their experience. Data collected from this feedback will be included in the Volunteer Programme Annual Report prepared by the Volunteer Coordinator.
12. MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REPORTING POLICY.
The monitoring, evaluation and reporting process will indicate the effectiveness of the Volunteer Programme. This includes the contribution volunteers make to YUVA, benefits to the individual volunteer, the delivery of services and the contribution to community wellbeing. This can be used as an indication for maintaining and/or increasing support (including funding) for the Volunteer Programme. The evaluation outcomes will be communicated to employees, volunteers, Executive and Community Committee members, YUVA partners, volunteer organisations and the broader community. Data obtained through the monitoring and evaluation process will provide an accurate profile of volunteers and inform how YUVA recruits, motivates, manages and retains its volunteers to best meet its objectives.
To analyse YUVA improvement in implementing and attaining the National Standards for involving volunteers in not-for-profit organisations, an annual workshop will be conducted with the participation of YUVA employees and volunteers.
YUVA will set up a Volunteer Management System to operationally manage, monitor, and prepare reports on the Volunteer Programme to comply with this policy. An Annual Report on the progress and requirements of the Volunteer Programme will be prepared by the Volunteer Coordinator to be presented to YUVA Secretariat and YUVA Committee and will include the following key elements:
- Data and statistics such as numbers of volunteers, hours volunteered, activities undertaken and measures of how volunteers contribute to the agency’s delivery of services, outputs and outcomes.
- Descriptive information, including issues such as the value of volunteer involvement.
- Measurement of the economic and social value of the above data, where possible.
- Analysis of the YUVA Volunteer Programme feedback provided by volunteers.
- Analysis about the improvement of the YUVA Volunteer Programme in attaining the National Standards for involving volunteers in not-for-profit organisations.