Guidelines - Responsible Exchange and Volunteering 2018

2. Home hosting – participants on project are hosted by a local family. It is suggested that the arrangement between your organisation and the host family is formalized in an MOU which clearly outlines roles and responsibilities. I. See above (Shared Accommodation) – most of these points are relevant to home hosting situations. II. Host and participant preparation – while it is important for the participant to be prepared and equipped to integrate into the host family, it is equally important for the host family to be prepared and equipped to effectively host an exchange participant. III. Unique considerations which are specific to the family and their needs. This could include quiet time for homework, TV off times etc. IV. Culturally appropriate behavior within the family and as the host family towards the participant – as a host organisation, you must prepare both the family and the participants for the cultural benefits and possible challenges of being home hosted. Consider topics such as meals (new/unusual food), dress, language, religious or cultural practices within the home. V. Introduction into the family – participants must be formally introduced to the family by a representative from the host organisation. VI. Living & integration - participants need to be made aware that they come to integrate into a community and family. Their role is not to “force” their own cultural values and beliefs onto the host family (male/female relationship, religion, vegetarianism etc) but learn, share and appreciate diversity. VII. Crisis management – clear process for participants to follow in the event of a crises, unhappiness etc. It is equally important for the family to have similar processes and points of contact to deal with any unforeseen or unplanned for challenges.

Home hosting benefits:

I. Cultural emersion – home hosting provides a powerful cultural learning experience as one is living the learning. II. Relationship building – participants are connecting daily and at an intimate level with a family who has opened their home, and therefore their lives to the learning journey. This can create extremely strong connections and relationships that last long after the project placement. III. Project relevance – home hosting can reduce the disconnect participants in “shared accommodation” experien ce in relation to the realities of host countries.

African German Youth Initiative Page 34 of 67

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