Check out the safety tips that you need to remember while volunteering with HavServe in Haiti.
When you plan for your volunteering journey abroad, one natural question that’ll surely strike you is – “Will I be safe?”
While volunteer trips can be an unparalleled experience, they can be dangerous if the necessary safety measures aren’t followed. When you choose to embark on your journey through HavServe, we make sure that you will be safe in whichever part of the world you go. Our in-country coordinators are there at every project location to take care of the volunteers and guide them whenever required.
However, we would like to mention some safety tips that you should keep in mind while you are traveling abroad for volunteer work.
1. Keep an eye on your belongings
We always warn volunteers not bring any valuable items with them. Most of the volunteering placements are located in areas where people are less privileged and don’t have much exposure to luxuries that could be extremely valuable to them. While you take local transportation, you need to be careful about your wallet and money. It is best not to carry much cash with you. When people understand that you are from another country, you could easily become a target of pickpocketing.
2. Scan your important documents
Scan and keep photocopies of your passport, visa, medical insurance and all other important documents that you are carrying in case the physical documents go missing. This will help to expedite any services you’ll need at an embassy.
3. Get a health check-up done
Before you set sail, check in with your physician. Do a proper research about the climatic conditions of the place where you’ll travel to, and ask your doctor if you need to follow any particular diet. Tropical regions can create can make you more prone to sunburn or rashes.. Also, get all the necessary vaccinations or immunizations that your doctor may recommend.
4. Dress properly
The clothes you wear back at home might not be suitable for your volunteering site. Avoid wearing clothes that are too skimpy. While at work, you’ll need to be comfortable in whatever you are wearing. Do a proper research on what’s acceptable in your host country and be respectful toward their customs. Following local customs will help you avoid any unwanted attention.
5. Don’t go out alone at night
No matter in which country you are, we would advise you not to go out alone at night. If you want to explore the nightlife or attend parties, ask you fellow volunteers to accompany you. Also, inform your in-country coordinator about the place where you want to go, so that he/she can reach you in the case of any emergency. As a general rule, avoid walking at the late hours of the night by yourself, and avoid very isolated areas where you might be approached by a stranger.
6. Don’t indulge yourself in too much alcohol consumption
It can be extremely tempting to relax and sip in some alcohol while you are traveling abroad. But, remember that you become extremely vulnerable when you are drunk. A little bit of drinking with your teammates can be fine, but be sure to keep it on moderation!
7. Keep in touch with your friends and family back home
It’s always good to be in touch with the near and dear ones, even when you are traveling abroad. While international calls are expensive, you can stay connected through Skype, Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp. Tell them where you are, how you are living and who you are with. Also, give them some contact details where they can contact if you are directly unreachable. This will lessen their worries, and ensure your safety.
For any other safety tips, you can always reach out to your in-country coordinator who can guide you about your moves. Also, follow all instructions in the Pre-Departure checklist that you’ll receive once you book your program with HavServe.
We hope that you’ll have an amazing and safe journey with HavServe in Haiti!