A local Projects Abroad staff member is taking care of the safety of the volunteers and kids in Fiji.

Our Approach to Safety and Backup

Providing the gold standard of staff support so you can travel with peace of mind

We believe no other provider offers the safety and security to their volunteers and interns that we do. Every single one of our Projects are thoroughly risk assessed. Every member of staff is trained to our high standards. Safety and support are at the heart of everything we do.

  • We employ all our staff directly - we never use third parties or contractors
  • We carefully choose our host families, to ensure security, comfort, and friendliness
  • We have whole teams in every destination, so if any problems or illnesses were to arise, there'll always be someone available to keep you safe and secure
  • We carry out thorough risk assessments to ensure that all our project destinations are safe and politically stable
  • We have an in-house medical advisor who is available to consult with you and your GP before you leave, so you can discuss any health concerns to make sure you're feeling confident about your upcoming trip.

Here we’ll take you through how our approach to safety and backup is different. We’ve also included information on safety precautions in all our destinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Enhanced Safety Protocols for COVID-19

We’ve thoroughly reviewed our health and safety protocols and increased them in light of COVID-19. Our enhanced protocols are in line with guidance from the World Health Organization and requirements from local authorities. These include:

  • All volunteers will be asked to provide a medical certificate showing a negative Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19.  Volunteers will also need to take this certificate with them on their flight.
  • Our local teams have been trained on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. We’ve pre-identified the best hospitals and clinics to use if volunteers or staff show any symptoms.
  • We’ll require volunteers to take regular temperature checks provided by Projects Abroad.
  • Anyone developing symptoms will be required to isolate, either at their host accommodation or a separate guest house or hotel. A dedicated staff member will be responsible for looking after anyone having to isolate.
  • We’ll provide alcohol-based hand sanitisers for all volunteers. Regular hand washing is required for all volunteers and staff.
  • We’ll provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in line with the requirements of local authorities and individual placements.
  • We’ll carry out a deep clean of all volunteer accommodation before each new arrival.
  • We’ll implement social distancing measures at our accommodation and projects. Depending on the destination and project, single rooms can be requested.

Please also read our answers to the most commonly asked questions about travelling with Projects Abroad during COVID-19.

Our staff, no contractors

We employ all our staff directly, no matter where they are in the world or what their role is. That means we never use third parties or contractors for our support staff, as some providers do.

We believe that if you’re volunteering or interning with Projects Abroad, that’s who you should be dealing with every step of the way.

In fact, many of our staff have been volunteers as well, and have a personal connection to Projects Abroad. This means they understand what it’s like to take part in an experience like this, and how important it is to have great staff support.

Our in-country staff will meet you at the airport, check your accommodation before you arrive and give you a thorough induction and safety briefing. From that point, they’re there when you need them. They will regularly check in on you, but if you ever have a problem, question, or just want someone to chat to, you can reach them 24/7.

We also have 24/7 emergency telephone numbers so that you or a member of your family back home can contact us if you need to.

Read more about our staff.

Group of volunteers after a beach cleanup

Fully vetted accommodation

Most of our volunteers and interns live with a local host family. Each of our host families are carefully chosen for security, comfort, and friendliness. The family, their home, and the neighbourhood are all fully vetted by our expert staff before and during your visit.

Many hosts are associated with our programmes - for example, a teacher or headmistress at one of our partner schools, or a doctor at one of our medical placements. We also try to place you alongside a fellow volunteer or intern so your stay is sociable and you can share your experience with like-minded people.

Read more about our accommodation.

A personal service

You’re not just a number to us. Our staff are passionate about making sure you get the most out of your time with Projects Abroad. We keep in touch with you before you leave, during your Project, and after you come home.

We have whole teams of staff in every destination, but you’ll have a dedicated supervisor assigned to you. They know the local area inside out and will be the first to know if there are any security or safety risks. They also know your host family and the local community well. If you have any problems or illness, they’ll be there to keep you safe and secure.

From the very first day, our support quite literally could not have been better. Our main Projects Abroad contact and our two other support staff, did quite literally absolutely everything they could to make our stay easy, enjoyable, stimulating and any other adjective you can think of! They were wonderful, we could not have asked for more. Would I do it again? Tomorrow, without a second thought! - Vicki James, Warwickshire Girl Guides Group Leader.

Your safety comes first

We know that you can only achieve your best when you’re in a safe and stable environment. The same is true for our staff and project partners. It’s for this reason that safety is our number one priority.

We were very impressed with the organisation of the placements; the level of protection you provided our children; and the kindness of your staff exhibited to us all. You are blessed with fantastic staff who treated us like family, we cannot praise them enough! We are truly grateful for all of your support and assistance leading up to our trip as well as on the ground. We cannot wait to come back soon. - Sophie Colbourne, City of London School for Girls Group Leader.

We only send volunteers and interns to places that are safe and politically stable. If they are not, we don't go. We are constantly in contact with the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (as well as officials in other countries), regarding safety and stability.

We carry out thorough risk assessments for all of our Projects, and have health and safety checklists for our staff to complete regularly. We also devise and train our staff on crisis management plans, so they know what to do if a problem occurs.

All of this is designed to give you and those who care about you peace of mind, so you can focus on enjoying your time abroad.

Diving volunteers are briefed by staff before a dive

An in-house medical advisor

Your physical and mental health is a top priority during your time with us. Living and working in a completely new environment can be a challenge which is why we have employed an experienced doctor in volunteering travel and expeditions who is available to consult with you and your GP before you leave. This way you and your GP can discuss any health concerns and our in-house doctor will advise you accordingly so that you feel confident about your upcoming trip. 

But our medical service doesn't stop there. If there is ever an emergency or you wish to see a doctor while abroad, he will advise our local staff on the next best steps. Our doctor will also act as a link with your medical insurance company when required.

We are there to take care of everything so that you can feel your best and achieve the best. 

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