HEEED Policy

HEEED Commitment

HEEED accepts all volunteers on an independent basis and will do all it can to ensure that the Volunteer will have an enjoyable and safe experience during their stay in Malawi.

However, the HEEED Volunteer is ultimately responsible for his/her own safety, health or events outside HEEED control – while working as a Volunteer. Although HEEED can and will offer support in an emergency situation, the Volunteer is expected to organize his/her own travel and travel insurance. To this end, the HEEED Volunteer will be requested, upon arrival at Tandy House, to sign a waiver and to pay a deposit for the room key.

At the same time, HEEED undertakes to give the Volunteer an orientation session, introducing him/her to all staff, an up-date on current news at the project site, basic safety and cultural issues, as well as emergency telephone numbers.

Code of Conduct

HEEED Volunteers are expected to respect local customs, religions and traditions and behave in an appropriate manner. Unfortunately, illness and funerals are a regular occurrence in Chembe and this may delay or alter work plans.

Moderate use of alcohol is permitted but no drugs are allowed at Tandy House. No visitors are allowed overnight at Tandy House and the HEEED Volunteer must inform the night watchman if he/she will return late.

Should the Volunteer decide to alter his/her programme or duration of stay – he/she needs to inform the HEEED Malawi Coordinator.  Communication with HEEED staff is extremely important. 

Teacher’s Assistant

The HEEED Volunteer who assists a Malawian school teacher at any level will soon become familiar with the general approach of Malawian students and teachers to one another.

Malawian students are often taught by rote and not encouraged to question the teacher’s information or opinion.  Consequently, many foreign teachers are surprised by the passive behaviour of the average student and the HEEED Volunteer is encouraged to find his/her way to stimulate independent thinking and enterprise among students.

At the same time, the HEEED Volunteer needs to recognize the Malawian school curriculum and work within this frame-work – whilst also providing complementary, innovative material and methodology.

Begging

This trait has become more pronounced since the days of President Muluzi, when hand-outs from foreign donor organizations became the norm.  As a result, a begging mentality has permeated the whole strata of society and the HEEED Volunteer needs to be alert to requests for anything from pencils to the contents of their purse.

We strongly discourage a HEEED Volunteer from succumbing to more or less subtle forms of begging.  If a Volunteer wanted to provide school fees for someone, this could become a subject of discussion.  However, this would require careful handling – if money is to be properly allocated and genuine school reports be sent to the donor.  Please do not give any money to any individuals in the village or to HEEED Cape Maclear EcoLodge staff.

Please report any HEEED staff who request money from you as this is against HEEED policy.  Gifts are greatly appreciated and should be handled by the Trainee Manager, Rhita Kaunda.  All HEEED accounts are transparent and funds will be spent as you desire.  Large donations will be deposited in their own designated account to be spent as the donor requests.

Questions and Comments

HEEED hopes that the Volunteers will enjoy their work and stay at Tandy House or the Cape Maclear EcoLodge – also managed by HEEED. A tip to the HEEED staff is appreciated and expected if you are pleased with the service.

Overseen by Rhita Kaunda – any donation to staff will be divided equally among the Staff members who have taken care of you, and this encourages them to work unceasingly to make your visit memorable and enjoyable.

If there are any questions or comments – please do not hesitate to contact our HEEED Volunteer Coordinator.