United for U Volunteers’ Convention
Chapter I. United for U: Introduction
Chapter II. Code of Conduct of U4U Volunteers Chapter III. Rules of Engagement of U4U Volunteers
CHAPTER I. Introduction to United for U and Scope and Purpose of the United for U Volunteers’ Convention
- United for U (“U4U”) is an international non-governmental organization registered as a non-for-profit association in Geneva, Switzerland. It strives to promote and facilitate the peace and prosperity of all people in urgent need of assistance, especially those affected by volatile security situation, hostilities, health emergencies, natural disasters and other unforeseeable events (“beneficiaries” or “Affected persons”).
- The mission and mandate of U4U are to:
- Protect the rights, interests and welfare of all beneficiaries;
- Provide aid to all beneficiaries;
- Establish, develop and maintain dialogue and cooperation with the United Nations system, non-commercial organizations, administrative authorities and all public sector entities with a view to securing aid for beneficiaries;
- Cooperate with private sector entities, groups, and individuals sharing the mission of the Association and willing to provide aid to beneficiaries;
- Defend, support and represent beneficiaries vis-à-vis any authorities, entities and individuals, where appropriate, to protect their rights, interests and welfare. U4U does not pursue any political, ideological or religious goals, collective or individual interests. It is established as a neutral humanitarian entity, mandated to assist all beneficiaries, without discrimination on any basis whatsoever.
- This U4U Volunteers’ Convention, composed of the Code of Conduct (the “Code”) and Rules of Engagement (the “Rules”), forms the basis of the policies and rules applicable to all U4U Volunteers. The Code and Rules are amended periodically by U4U.
- The Code establishes the standards and principles of conduct expected of all volunteers engaged by U4U (“U4U Volunteers” or “Volunteers”) in undertaking their activities and sets the rules of conduct which underpin these standards and principles to which all Volunteers must adhere.
- The Rules are intended to define the rights and responsibilities of both U4U and Volunteers and ensure compliance with local applicable laws and regulations.
CHAPTER II. Code of Conduct of U4U Volunteers
- RESPECT FOR THE PRINCIPLES AND VALUES OF U4U
- U4U Volunteers must uphold, respect, and be loyal to the principles and values promoted by U4U, including respect for fundamental human rights, dignity and worth of the human person, and equal rights of all people.
- Consequently, U4U Volunteers must show respect for all persons equally and shall not discriminate against individuals or groups of individuals.
- Specifically, U4U Volunteers must show respect for all persons equally without distinction whatsoever based on race, gender, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, language, sexual orientation, disability, age, socio-economic status, political conviction, or any other distinguishing feature. Any form of discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment, exchange of money, goods or services for sex, abuse of authority, assault, or threat is prohibited.
- Furthermore, U4U Volunteers must show utmost respect for confidentiality of any and all information concerning beneficiaries.
- INTEGRITY, INDEPENDENCE, AND IMPARTIALITY
- U4U Volunteers must uphold and promote the highest standards of efficiency, competency, and integrity, ethical and professional conduct, as well as values inherent in volunteerism, such as commitment, engagement, and solidarity. The concept of integrity includes, but is not limited to, probity, impartiality, fairness, honesty, and truthfulness in all matters affecting their activities and status.
- U4U Volunteers must avoid any action and any public statement which may reflect negatively on U4U or its integrity, independence, and impartiality.
CHAPTER III. Rules of Engagement of U4U Volunteers
- RESPONSIBILITIES AND COMMITMENTS OF U4U
- U4U must respect the nature of volunteering activity as a free commitment to carry out an action in favor of beneficiaries in the environment outside of the Volunteer’s professional and family time. As a rule, said activity is limited in time and duration, and is not compensated. The volunteering activity complements and supports paid work, but does not compete with it.
- U4U must provide clear information on the organization and its activities, in particular through welcome sessions, training and onboarding for incoming U4U Volunteers, as appropriate.
- U4U must regard U4U Volunteers as equal contributors to the organization.
- U4U must assign U4U Volunteers to an activity that best suits their skills and preferences and help them integrate into the team, as well as ensure the Volunteer’s agreement to carry out such activity
- U4U must designate a focal point/supervisor, with whom the Volunteer can meet regularly and to whom he or she can refer with any question. Said designated person must communicate regularly with the Volunteer and, whenever possible, take his/her suggestions into consideration.
- U4U must provide U4U Volunteers with appropriate support in case of need, to be decided by U4U. Upon request, U4U will issue a certificate of volunteering activity.
- U4U must provide U4U Volunteers with details of U4U’s insurance policies which will provide cover for U4U Volunteers in specified circumstances.
- U4U shall not be in any way responsible for acts or omissions of U4U Volunteers.
- RESPONSIBILITIES AND COMMITMENTS OF THE U4U VOLUNTEER
- The Volunteer must observe all applicable rules, regulations, instructions, procedures, and directives of U4U and partner organizations, including requirements for attendance, dress code or any other guideline established for the volunteering activity.
- The Volunteer shall not be considered in any respect as being an employee or agent of U4U.
- The Volunteer must carry out their activities with the utmost diligence and to the best of their ability, bearing in mind that they are responsible for their actions to the beneficiaries they help in the course of their activities.
- The Volunteer must maintain regular contact with U4U during their volunteering activities.
- The Volunteer must work constructively and openly with other U4U Volunteers andper sonnel in a spirit of mutual understanding and support.
- The Volunteer must not accept cash donations or valuables from beneficiaries.
- The Volunteer must inform U4U as soon as possible if they are unable to participate in planned volunteering activities.
- The Volunteer must contact U4U if they encounter any difficulties or feel unable to cope with the tasks assigned to them.
- The Volunteer must not divulge sensitive/confidential information on beneficiaries or internal documentation to any third parties without the prior written consent of said beneficiaries and U4U. Disclosure of such information without authorization may seriously jeopardize the credibility and efficiency of U4U and endanger the beneficiaries. In case of doubt, the Volunteer must seek the advice of U4U. These obligations do not end upon termination of the Volunteer’s volunteering activities.
- The Volunteer must not divulge to beneficiaries any sensitive, confidential or internal information provided to it by U4U or the U4U partners;
- influence the choices of the beneficiaries by sharing personal experiences, opinions or insights;
- offer personal advice, contact details, accommodation or other personal benefits to beneficiaries;
- ask questions about the beneficiaries backgrounds, experiences and other personal details;
- refer beneficiaries with any psychological or physical health needs to professionals of the Volunteer’s choice.
- VOLUNTEERS REGISTERED WITH AN UNEMPLOYMENT FUND OR A CANTONAL EMPLOYMENT OFFICE
It is the responsibility of the Volunteer registered with an unemployment fund or a cantonal employment office to make sure that their volunteer activity will not result in a loss of unemployment benefits.
- REGISTRATION AND REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
- Before any engagement by U4U, the Volunteer must register through the U4U
CrowdCaring platform by filling out a form posted on the U4U website at www.unitedforu.org. The Volunteer is required to agree with the U4U Volunteers’ Convention by clicking a corresponding box in the aforementioned form. In addition, the Volunteer is encouraged to provide a professional resume to U4U by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will assist U4U in determining the most appropriate volunteering activities.
- If the Volunteer agrees to be assigned by U4U to one of its partners (e.g. a governmental
authority, an international organization or a non-governmental organization), they will provide any additional documents required by said partner.
The duration of a volunteering activity is to be decided by U4U and the Volunteer by agreement. The maximum hours of volunteering with U4U cannot exceed 4 hours/day and 8 hours/week. Any extension requires the approval of U4U. The Volunteer must inform U4U of any changes in the nature of their contribution at any time in writing. If required to extend the duration and hours of volunteering by a U4U partner, U4U must be alerted in writing before any additional activity is carried out.
VISA AND RESIDENCE PERMIT
The Volunteer is personally responsible for ensuring that they have an appropriate valid visa and other legal authorizations to reside in the country of volunteering activity.
U4U does not accept responsibility for the medical insurance of the Volunteer. Volunteers are responsible for arranging, at their own expense, health, life and other forms of insurance covering the period of activity with U4U according to local laws and regulations.
- U4U does not accept responsibility for loss or damage to personal effects that may occur during the volunteer activity.
- U4U provides limited insurance coverage against injury, illness, permanent disability or accidental death incurred during the period of the volunteer assignment, and if attributable to the execution of the assignment. Said insurance applies to those U4U Volunteers that become members of U4U by filling out the form “Become a U4U Member” posted on the U4U website at www.unitedforu.org.
U4U does not offer salary, wages, leave entitlements, pay in lieu of notice, severance pay or other benefits to Volunteers for services provided in the course of their activity. The costs of travel, accommodation, visas, and living expenses during the period of assignment are the responsibility of the Volunteer.
- If U4U requests, and the Volunteer agrees, to support U4U beneficiaries beyond the maximum hours of volunteering with U4U (i.e. 4 hours/day and 8 hours/week), U4U will cover the reimbursement of expenses at the customary daily rates to be communicated to the Volunteer in writing.
- Reimbursements of other expenses occurring in relation to the volunteering activity will be discussed on a case-by-case basis and agreed to in writing between the Volunteer and U4U.
TERMINATION AND CESSATION OF ACTIVITY
The volunteering activity may be terminated prior to the agreed cessation date, at U4U’s sole discretion or by express agreement between U4U and the Volunteer. The Volunteer must give notice in writing before leaving U4U within 7 (seven) calendar days, unless agreed otherwise. Gross negligence, willful misconduct, and violation or reckless disregard of applicable rules and policies may result in immediate cessation.
A Volunteer who intends to contest a decision of U4U or conditions and circumstances of their assignment is encouraged to raise any such issue directly with U4U to find a mutually agreeable informal settlement. Any contest must be made in writing and include (a) name of the Volunteer; (b) date; (c) statements of the reasons for dispute, including any evidence the Volunteer wishes to put forward; (d) be addressed to U4U at email@example.com. The U4U’s reply will be provided within 14 (fourteen) calendar days of receipt of the letter.
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