PLEASE DOWNLOAD THESE GUIDELINES AS A PDF TO YOUR COMPUTER, AGREE AND SIGN THE GUIDELINES AND RETURN IT TO US WITH YOUR APPLICATION FORM OR IF PREFERABLE BRING THE SIGNED COPY WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN MY HAPPY VILLAGE:
Volunteer behaviour at the school and within the Commune will influence how the local people perceive foreigners which will include their understanding of Western culture and attitudes. This perception will influence how they interact with volunteers in the future. If you dress inappropriately or act in any disorderly way this will be a poor reflection of what is considered polite behaviour in Cambodian society. Such behaviour will also reflect badly against My Happy Village Cambodia Organization and the school.
The following guidelines suggest a code of conduct that respects cultural values within the community and harmonises locals with visitors.
Volunteers will be expected to dress according to the conservative Cambodian custom. This will include covering shoulders and chest areas and legs above the knee. Volunteers should avoid wearing singlet tops, short skirts or dresses and avoid tops that display excessive cleavage or to much of the stomach area. Transparent clothing should also be avoided. Clothes with offensive logos, images or words will not be tolerated. A MHV T- shirt can be purchased by volunteers and worn as uniform when teaching or working at the school. It is asked that all volunteers dress neatly when in the teaching environment to show the professional look of the school.
Cambodian village culture is conservative and traditional. Inappropriate physical contact should be avoided at all times including touching and flirting as examples. These aspects are important both for the preservation of dignity and safety for both village and female volunteers. Exceptions may be acceptable when comforting another person at a time of stress or upset. All forms of aggressive behaviour are unacceptable. Cambodian people are generally uncomfortable with such behaviour and would find it distressing. In the same way that MHV protects the interests of its children and local staff, MHV also accepts that it has a duty to its volunteers and will listen and assist with any problems that may arise.
Generally we have covered the aspects of good behaviour and modest dress wear. Therefore it is stressed that offensive language i.e. swearing, must be avoided as the children are enthusiastic learners and mimic volunteers. However they cannot distinguish between good and bad language. Although the children and/or villagers may not understand the meanings of the words used it may be spoken by the children and undermines the integrity of the school. Volunteers act as ambassadors of their home countries and their behaviour should reflect responsibility to their own families and associates.
Volunteers will not display favouritism to individual students for example, the giving of gifts, singling out for extra tuition outside school hours or involved in other activities to the exclusion of other children.
Volunteers must respect the privacy of the students, children and members of the community and must not intrude into their private lives unless invited. Volunteers must always seek permission to take photographs of the students/children and above all should not display photographs on social networking sites such as Facebook without seeking permission from the CPO, member of staff or of the person photographed.
Volunteers must not physically discipline students under any circumstances. Any discipline matter must be referred to a member of permanent staff, CPO or director. Any subsequent discipline must be given in a constructive manner so that it does not cause humiliation or undermine the child’s self esteem.
Volunteers will not engage, under any circumstances, in sexual relationships with children. If such actions come to notice the volunteer will be dismissed and reported to the Cambodian authorities to be dealt with according to Cambodian Law. Also the facts will be reported to the relevant authorities of the volunteer’s home country.
I have read the above MHV volunteer guidelines and code of conduct and agree to follow the above rules.
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