Guidelines - Responsible Exchange and Volunteering 2018
Debrief It is essential that exchange participants receive appropriate support when they return to their home country after a placement. This is the responsibility of the home country or sending partner and it should take place relatively soon (1 – 3 months) after they return. Some Programs have this built into their offerings in the form of a seminar, however, not all exchange experiences will necessarily have it as part of the “package” and therefore a suitable debrief must be developed as an Organisational responsibility. Debriefs should be in-person engagements and must at the very minimum allow for the following aspects to be dealt with: The Learning – provide an appropriate environment for the exchange participant to share their learning that occurred as part of the exchange experience. The debrief is an extension of the exit interview but recognizes that the participant will have now become physically detached from the project, have been through a self and project reflection process and likely grappled with a range of emotions, social questioning and world order norms & conflicts.
Provide a pre-debrief structure with guiding points that assist them to think critically and encourages a deeper level of reflection on the part of the participant. Examples of preparation questions could include:
• What aspects of the exchange made you feel it was a meaningful experience? • In what ways do you see volunteering/exchange contributing to the organisation and country you visited? • Were there specific opportunities where you could share new skills with people you engaged with on the exchange? • Are there specific new skills that you gained on the exchange? • Do you feel the community you worked in could have benefited more from you and your time there? How? • In what ways have you grown as a person, if any? • Are there any specific aspects to your life that you have changed as a result of volunteering/the exchange? What are these?
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