We seek to locate the gaps and needs in volunteerism in Sri Lanka and help bridge these gaps among organisations and the government in order to ensure more sustainable volunteerism in the island. 

Volunteering policy at CHA

Introduction

This policy sets out the broad principles for voluntary involvement in CHA. It is of relevance to all within the organisation, including volunteers, staff, members, and those elected or appointed to positions of responsibility.

This policy is endorsed by the Board of Directors  and will be reviewed Annually , to ensure that it remains appropriate to the needs of CHA and its volunteers.

Commitment

 CHA  values the contribution made by volunteers and is committed to involving volunteers in appropriate positions and in ways which are encouraging, supportive and which develop volunteering.

CHA recognises its responsibility to arrange its volunteering efficiently and sensitively so that the valuable gift of the volunteer's time is best used to the mutual advantage of all concerned.

Definition 

Volunteering is an important expression of citizenship as well as an important component of democracy. Volunteers are people who are, unpaid and of their own free will, contribute their time, energy and skills to benefit the community.

Statement of values and principles

Volunteering is a legitimate and crucial activity that is supported and encouraged by CHA  and is not intended to be a substitute for paid employment.

The volunteer role is a gift relationship, binding only in honour, trust and mutual understanding. No enforceable obligation, contractual or otherwise, can be imposed on volunteers to attend, give or be set a minimum amount of time to carry out the tasks involved in their voluntary activity. Likewise the organisation cannot be compelled to provide either regular tasks, payment or other benefit for any activity undertaken by the volunteer.

Although volunteers offer time freely and willingly without binding obligation, there is a presumption of mutual support and reliability. Reciprocal expectations are acknowledged – both of what the organisation expects of volunteers and what volunteers expect of the organisation.

Volunteer Co-ordination

All volunteers will have a nominated member of staff or volunteer to offer guidance and advice to help the volunteer carry out tasks effectively. Volunteers will be informed of who to contact to receive support and supervision.

Recruitment & Selection 

CHA is committed to equal opportunities and believes that volunteering should be open to all regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs or offending background that does not create a risk to vulnerable groups including children. The acceptance of volunteer assistance for a particular role is made on merit, the sole selection criterion being the individual's suitability to carry out agreed tasks. Information about the volunteer not relevant to the performance of the volunteering tasks concerned will be disregarded by the organisation in terms of recruitment and selection.

Volunteering opportunities will be widely promoted in ways that makes them accessible to all members of the community.

All volunteers will be asked to produce references and will be invited to attend an informal interview.

Volunteers will have a clear and concise task description, which will be subsequently reviewed. The task description will be prepared in conjunction with the volunteer and the designated person referred to above.

New volunteers will be properly inducted into the organisation.

Volunteers will be properly briefed about the activities to be undertaken and given all the necessary information to enable them to perform with confidence.

Support, Supervision and Recognition 

Volunteers will have a named person to whom they can take their volunteering concerns and seek guidance and support.

Volunteers will have access to regular support and supervision. This will enable both the volunteer and the supervisor to identify, monitor and evaluate the volunteer's involvement, recognise achievements and identify individual training needs, including that relevant to their particular volunteering role and to their wider personal development. The frequency, duration and format of these sessions will be negotiated between the volunteer and the designated officer referred to above.

Volunteers will be given the opportunity, where relevant, to share their views and opinions with the organisation's wider staff.

A process will be developed in order to give formal recognition of the contribution of the organisation's volunteers.

Confidentiality 

The organisation will advise the volunteer on its confidentiality policy and procedures, where relevant. This would include those relating to personal information held by the organisation relating to the volunteer.

 Objectives

  • Facilitate volunteers from overseas .
  • To setup a self-sufficient network and be the base for volunteering opportunities. The idea is to find opportunities for hands on volunteering in Sri Lanka and find willing volunteers and bring them together.
    • The long-term goal for this network would be to offer volunteers different kinds of volunteering opportunities from one off opportunities to projects they can be a part of on a regular basis.
    • The issue at hand is that most opportunities available happen to be donations and not hands on work for volunteers to get involved in whilst the target group identified for recruitment is very narrow, i.e. students on a gap year and students just out of school. The target group needs to be widened.
  • To develop relationships with existing partner organisations and find new organisations to collaborate with that would provide regular opportunities as well as creating our own opportunities for volunteers to be a part of.
  • To encourage more people to sign up to volunteer.
  • We will connect volunteers with options within programmes under Equal Rights and change.Based on volunteer interest potential areas of work, opportunities can be created in those areas with studies showing that about 65% of recruiters prefer someone who has volunteering experience, especially with the culture of companies becoming more prone to adopt CSR initiatives.