Responsible Volunteering

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Responsible travel is about travellers making informed and responsible choices, and planning trips which have a positive impact on the country they’re visiting.

Ensuring that our projects are making a viable impact in local communities and contribute sustainably to conservation is our priority. We believe that volunteering is very much a two-way thing which brings value to both the local people and wildlife and the volunteers themselves, who benefit from an authentic cultural exchange and knowledge transfer about a new country, its environment and threats facing its animals.

Through careful planning, we seek to have a positive and sustainable impact on the social, cultural and physical environment at each of our project bases.

Volunteers sharing stories with people from the community during village tour.

Our Responsible Measures...

Community Involvement

It’s also imperative to us that every single one of our projects has community stakeholders. We won’t run a project unless the community not only wants us there, but actually has ownership of the project. Community buy-in is essential and we work hand in hand with local tribal chiefs, community leaders, government departments, clinics and schools to ensure that the best possible impact is being made. We also employ local staff as coordinators and project support.

Modern Slavery

Modern slavery is a heinous crime and a morally reprehensible act that deprives a person’s liberty and dignity for another person’s gain. At African Impact, we have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and are fully committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in our operation and supply chain. Modern Day Slavery 2021.

Monitoring & Evaluation

We also put measurable aims and achievements evaluation processes in place for everything we do. We run and manage our own projects and have teams made up of trained and experienced people at each base. Each month Business Managers from our projects submit reports to our Operations team, who then analyze the success and impact of the project and work on any improvements to be made.

Lasting Impact

The project contribution paid by volunteers to join us on our projects is used to fund the on-going development of our programs and allows us to assist with further funding and donations to our projects through The African Impact Foundation.

Volunteering responsibly with Children

It is African Impact’s responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children across the continent. As such, we have strict childcare policies and structured training programs in place to define and determine best practice, which involves and engages African Impact staff members at all levels of the organization.

African Impact’s Stance on Orphanage Volunteering

Unfortunately, exploitative orphanages exist where the focus is on generating income from well-meaning volunteers, not the welfare of the children. It is for this reason that we took the decision to stop working with a number of orphanages across the continent and, as of 2018, no longer have any affiliation with this type of institution.

While African Impact, under no circumstances, supports the institutionalizing of children in orphanages, we do continue to work with orphaned children in reputable childcare organizations if the long-term aim of these institutions is to place children into a family setting. Our goal is to support vulnerable children across Africa and help them reach their full potential and our volunteer work will continue in foster-care homes, after-school centers and schools across the continent.

In order to do this effectively and ensure that our programming is beneficial for the children and partner organizations we support, African Impact always hires long-term staff (both international and local) across all of our volunteer projects and works hand-in-hand with local carers and teachers in a variety of facilities. Our volunteers are there to support and assist the local staff members, not replace them.

TEFL in zambia

Child Protection and Criminal Record Check Policy

African Impact recognizes its responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and thus, have based our Child Protection Policy on the UN Standards for Child Protection

We are aware that many children are the victims of different kinds of abuse and exploitation. They can be subjected to social factors that have an adverse impact on their lives, including domestic violence, substance misuse, bullying, child prostitution and ritualistic abuse. This abuse could also be extended to the misuse of authority as it relates to our industry, tourism, especially as it relates to capturing images of the vulnerable communities we work with. We aim to create a safe environment within which children can thrive and adults can work with the security of clear guidance and therefore promote good practice through:
  1. Providing children with appropriate safety and protection whilst in the care of African Impact.
  2. Allowing all staff, interns, volunteers and visitors to the projects, to make informed and confident responses to child protection issues.
  3. Deterring people from working with us who do not have the right intentions.
  4. Ensuring all volunteers and staff have submitted criminal record checks prior to arrival at our projects.
We strive to integrate this policy via regular training and ensure it is at the forefront of our operations, relationships with partners and communities, and with volunteers who travel with us to create a safer environment for children.

African Impact’s Child Protection Policy has been vetted and approved by Keeping Children Safe (KCS), who represent a commitment by organizations worldwide to safeguard all children from exploitation, abuse and violations of their human rights.

Logo of hand weighing the scales of success.

Our Sustainability Fund

Acknowledging the limitations of volunteering and understanding that it is not an all-encompassing solution to development lead us to develop with our foundation a sustainability fund.

In order to support long–term aims, we charge a small fee in addition to the program fee. This fee goes directly to The African Impact Foundation and is recognised as a volunteer donation. The donations ensure that the projects you participate in, can sustainably continue in the future long after you have returned home.

For every booking received, an additional mandatory fee of GB£20 | US$25 | EU€20 | AU$35 is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund.

This is done for several reasons; one being that it provides transparency, so that you know exactly where your money is going. It also prevents the contribution from being affected by any disadvantageous exchange rate fluctuations or pricing adjustments. We believe that separating the contribution out in this way makes it beneficial for the projects, our Foundation and you, our volunteers. 

It is payable with the final payment towards your volunteer placement.

At the end of every quarter (January, April, July and October), the fund is reviewed, and a payment is made to the African Impact Foundation based on the paid fees.

Contributions made to the Sustainability Fund are non-refundable once full payment is made.

The contribution to the Sustainability Fund is mandatory and is part of African Impact’s commitment to long-term sustainable operations in the communities we work with, as well as supporting an increased impact through developing the African Impact Foundation’s work. 

A large version of the African Impact logo.