Interacting with the children outside of the ABC’s and Rice project
While there is so much fun and laughter to be had, there is also a very serious side to volunteering. It’s easy to form favorites (even though we know we shouldn’t) and want to take a child or children somewhere special or buy them something as a treat out side of school hours. Besides creating jealousy and rivalry there is a worse consequence to consider. Unfortunately, having positive experiences like this with you, can lead a child into a false sense of security and wanting to replicate the experience with another, only to find the next foreigner they spend time alone with may not be as well-intentioned as you. Terrible things have happened as a result of this and for this reason we have the following rules for ALL volunteers/visitors to abide by.
The children’s long term safety and wellbeing are our highest priority.
* NO children are to be taken on a motorbike, tuk-tuk or car without arrangements made by and with the directors of ABC’s and Rice.
* NO children are to be taken to your guesthouse or accommodation (under any circumstance). This is an offence and punishable by Cambodian law.
* NO socializing with the children outside the school grounds except for a friendly hello.
* NO children are allowed to be singled-out with special attention or gifts.
Please refer to our child protection policy for further detail.
Child abuse happens in all societies throughout the world. The child abuser can be anyone, including those who work/care for children.
The UN convention on the Right of Child states that: All children have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitation.
Everybody has responsibility to support the care and protection of children. The duty bearers are accountable to eradicate child abuse.
Based on the above we are obligated and committed to ensuring that children involved with our programs are protected from any form of abuse.
A child means every person below the age of eighteen years old.
Child abuse means sexual abuse or other physical or mental harm deliberately caused to a child. Our Child Protection Policy is a statement of intent that demonstrates a commitment to safeguard children from harm and makes clear to all, exactly what is required in relation to the protection of children. It helps to create a safe and positive environment for children and to show that the organization is taking its duty of care seriously.
Statement of commitment
As a community support / child based organization, The first priority of ABC’s and Rice is the safety and well being of the children under its care.
We are committed to a strict child protection policy to ensure the children are not exposed to abuse, exploitation, violence or neglect.
Best interest of the child: The best interest of the child will be the primary
consideration of all ABC’s and Rice staff. All decisions and actions concerning a child will serve the best interest of the child. When weighing up alternatives ABC’s and rice will seek to ensure that final decision or action arrived at will be that in which the child receives the maximum benefit possible.
We will at all the times consider the impact that any decision or action will have on the child and ensure the positive impacts outweigh any negative impacts.
Non-Discrimination: ABC’s and Rice will enforce strict policies of non-discrimination at all times and all children will be treated equally with love and respect.
Participation and Self-Determination: ABC’s and Rice abides by the principle that a child has the right to have his or her views taken into account in accordance with their age, development and family wishes in major decisions affecting their life. They will be given the opportunity to express their ideas and views and be heard on all the matters affecting them. ABC’s and Rice will in all cases give serious considering to the child’s wishes (and those of their legal guardians; where appropriate) throughout the decision-making process. All children have the right to terminate their relationship with the ABC’s and Rice project.
ABC’s and Rice aims to provide safe and friendly environments where children can learn and grow in a healthy way.
The guidelines in this Child Protection Policy are set out to protect both the child from abuse and the adult from false accusation.
ABC’s and Rice will:
* Respect the rights and dignity of the children, their families and the communities with whom we work, and always act according to the best interest of children.
* Demonstrate commitment to actively prevent any form of child abuse
* Take positive action to prevent child abusers from becoming involved with ABC’s and Rice in any way. Furthermore, stringent measures will promptly be taken against any ABC’s and Rice associate who commits any form of untoward activity(s).
To ensure the above commitment, ABC’s and Rice is committed to upholding
* The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child
* Cambodian constitution, especially article 41 and 42 (see below)
* The Cambodian current and future laws regarding children’s rights and anti-trafficking.
* Positive standard and cultural practice
Royal Government of Cambodia Constitution (unofficial translation)
Article 41: Causing wound on purpose:
• Anyone who beats/fights another person on purpose resulting in permanent
disability must be punished by putting them in prison for 1 – 5 years.
• If they temporary disability less than 6 months they must be punished and put in
prison for 6 months to 2 years.
• If it doesn’t cause disability they are to be punished by putting them in prison for
2 months to 1 year.
• If using any kind of weapons must be punished 2 timed more.
Article 42: Rape
• Anyone who rapes another, even the same sex or opposite sex by touching or
actions involving sex must be punished in prison for 1 year to 3 years.
• If the rape conducted be coercing a victim younger than 16 years old then the
person who commits this must be punished 2 timed more
WHO THIS POLICY APPLIES TO AND OWNS RESPONSIBILITY FOR
This policy applies to all associates of ABC’s and Rice: volunteers, visitors, employees, prospective employees, donors, any partner organization members and all current or future board members.
The ABC’s and Rice directors will show due diligence in ensuring that the Child
Protection Policy is dispatched and understood by all associates and volunteers.
All potential volunteers and/or associates must acknowledge their receipt and understanding of responsibilities under the policy.
ABC’s and Rice will show due diligence in ensuring the Child Protection Policy remains relevant and effective.
ABC’s and Rice directors will consistently monitor all risks pertaining to the children and when needed, create any necessary changes to the Child Protection Policy.
ABC’s and Rice will advise and assist all associates in the implementation of the policy.
The ABC’s and Rice director(s) will be responsible for the effective implementation of the Child Protection Policy.
VISITORS TO THE CENTRE
* All visitors and volunteers must sign off on receipt and understanding of the policy, as well they are to be escorted by a staff member at all times whilst on school property.
* No unannounced visitors or volunteers should be allowed in without informing an ABC’s and Rice director or senior staff member, unless prior authority has been granted.
* All visitors must be closely monitored by ABC’s and Rice staff or volunteers, no visitor
can be left alone, with or without children when in the school area.
Your time spent with ABC’s and Rice will be a very memorable part of your journeys, in fact many volunteers describe the experience as “a life changing experience”. That being said, photography is only permitted if ABC’s and Rice management gives approval, after which point it is up to the individual children to determine whether or not they wish to be photographed. Children should be adequately clothed in photograph or images taken of them and not
in posses that could be interpreted as sexually suggestive.
As well, any photos taken are NOT to be displayed in public, posted on the internet or used in any means other than personal memories unless permission is expressly granted by an ABC’s and Rice director.
PERSONNEL RECRUITMENT, SCREENING AND ORIENTATION
Advertisement for job vacancies will make clear that ABC’s and Rice is committed to child protection and that prospective employee’s commitment to child protection must be a condition of any employment.
* All prospective associates will be informed of our Child Protection Policy at the start of any recruiting process.
* Screening of applicants will include a written application, personal interviews prior to entry of any centres run or associated with ABC’s and Rice, a copy of passport and one additional piece of photographic identification, a permission form granting ABC’s and Rice the ability to conduct a criminal records or police search from your home country, and a list of references.
*. Expatriates will be subject to the same background checks as possible and permissible by law in their home countries.
* ABC’s and Rice reserves the right to terminate a contract with any party if deemed necessary for any reason.
* The Child Protection Policy will be reviewed during new staff orientation. And a copy of this signed document will be added to each file.
I _____________________________________________ have read, understood, and
(Name of prospective associate)
agree to adhere to all of the above policies as set in place by ABC’s and Rice.
If responding by email state acceptance of terms of child protection policy.
You will receive a hardcopy to sign once you arrive
Q. What is the school like? How big are the classes? How old are the students? What classroom equipment is there?
A. The school has grown...a lot! We have five pre-fab classrooms, donated by sponsors from around the globe, and a lovely art building. Outside the classrooms there is space for the children to play at breaktimes. The classes are made up of approximately 8 to 20 children with ages ranging from 4 to about 16. The children are polite, friendly and enthusiastic. The main equipment used are whiteboards and curriculum books.
Q. Will I have to plan lessons? Is there a curriculum?
A. You will not need to do lesson planning. We have permanent Khmer teachers who plan lessons via our curriculum. If you have any ideas for contributions for lessons however these are always welcome. Your main focus will be helping with pronunciation, grammar and games to assist the children’s learning and to create a fun environment in which they can learn.
Q. What hours will I be expected to work?
A. The school hours are 8 – 11 for the morning class and 2 – 5 for the afternoon class (with breaks), Monday to Friday. Thus you have a good 3 hour break in the middle of the day. We do not mandate you must work both the morning and afternoon sessions but we would like to make the most of you whilst you are here! There is no school on national holidays.
Q. Is there a dress code?
A. No; but upon arrival in Cambodia you will instantly notice that the Khmer are very modest people, even the men. Bare shoulders in front of a monk, at the temples or in a pagoda are considered offensive. While at the school the dress code is less severe it is still a primarily Buddhist society and short t-shirts, low-cut/hipster trousers or skirts that show your belly button or, even worse, your underwear are NOT appropriate. Being mindful of your attire and your work with children is a sign of a respectful, informed and conscious volunteer.
Q. Do you require volunteers to have any teaching qualifications? Do I need to have previous teaching experience?
A. You should be a native English speaker. We do not mandate any teaching English qualifications or previous experience although it would be useful. Enthusiasm, creativity, and love are the most important things.
Q. Is there a minimum time period in which to volunteer?
A. We stipulate 4 weeks as a minimum to provide consistency for the students however there are instances where a volunteer's skill set allow for shorter stints to be quite valuable. Please contact our volunteer co-ordinator discuss.
Q. Where will I live?
A. There are 2 spacious spare rooms (each with bathroom) in a large house rented by the teachers which costs $15 per person/ room. This cost covers the house costs e.g. electricity and a daily cleaner. The remainder of the money helps go towards the running of the school. The house is 2 minutes walk from the school. Alternatively, if these rooms are unavailable (i.e. already taken by other volunteers), there is a good friendly guest house within the same village (a short bike ride from school) which costs c. $5 per room (with bathroom). Or, if you preffer to be in town, the kind folks at European Guesthouse are offering our volunteers fan rooms at $150 per month and A/C rooms at $225 per month. Share options are available at the same price.
Q. What is it like living in the village/ Siem Reap?
A. The schools village is typically Khmer and gives anyone living there a great feel for what life is like for the average Cambodian. There are many shops, places to eat and a good local market as well as some outdoor bars. Siem Reap is just 10 minutes away by moto and has many great bars, shops and eateries and a very laid back feel. And of course Angkor Wat, Tonle Sap lake and other sights are only a short distance away.
Q. How can I get around the village/ town?
A. For Volunteers staying at the volunteer house, we have a bicyle for you to use, this is included in your accommodation fees. There are moto and tuk-tuk drivers ready in most areas of town to take you where you need to go, usually costing $1 to $2. There is also the option of renting a bike for the average cost of $1 per day.
Q. What will my living costs be?
A. Please see “Where will I live?” for accommodation costs. You can easily eat for a dollar in the village and general living costs are very low in Cambodia. There are also some good supermarkets in Siem Reap where you can buy many of the things you would find at home at reasonable prices. You can of course splurge at some of the higher end shops and eateries if you have a budget to suit!
Q. Do I have to pay to volunteer?
A. No! However, we do not have enough funds to pay for any contribution towards your living costs and so covering your own costs in this respect is payment enough and is much appreciated.
Q. When can I start?!
A. It is preferable if you can give us as much notice as possible of when you would like to start (6 weeks or more is ideal) so that we don’t have too many volunteers at the same time. We currently have capacity for 6 volunteers at any one time.