VOLUNTEER POLICY

The Jonathan Jackson Foundation is a community focused non-profit organization based in Nairobi and geared towards women and youth empowerment

Mission – To Enable, Encourage, Enrich and Empower Nairobi residents through accountable, progressive and sustainable community engagement.

  1. Volunteer Policy Information

    1. Introduction

The Jonathan Jackson Foundation (JJF) recognizes the important role which voluntary activity plays in complementing the work of its staff and therefore values, supports and encourages the efforts of these individuals who give freely of their time and energy to benefit the foundation. Volunteering is about giving, contributing and helping other individuals and the community. Volunteering means working with others to make a meaningful contribution to a better community.

JJF takes responsibility for ensuring that its volunteers are appropriately involved and valued for their contribution and respected as colleagues.

This volunteer policy is intended for use by the JJF volunteers.

    1. Definitions

Volunteering

Volunteering means the commitment of time and energy for the benefit of society and the community i.e. the environment of individuals outside one’s immediate family. It is undertaken freely and by choice without concern for financial gain.

Volunteer work

Volunteer work means activities performed willingly and without pay to produce goods or provide services for others outside the volunteer’s household or family.

Persons in volunteer work

Persons in volunteer work means all those of legal working age who, during a short reference period, perform or performed any unpaid, non-compulsory activity to produce goods or provide services for other economic units outside the volunteer’s household or family.

1.3 Purpose of Policy

The purpose of this volunteer policy is to provide overall guidance, structure and direction to the volunteers and JJF staff throughout the volunteer process. This policy does not constitute, either implicitly or explicitly, a binding contractual agreement or an employment agreement.

1.4 Scope

In issuing this volunteer policy, JJF wishes to:

  • Formally acknowledge and support the role of volunteers in its work;

  • Set out the principles governing the involvement of volunteers and provide a set of guidelines to ensure good practice in working with volunteers; and

  • Encourage and enable, rather than restrict, the involvement of volunteers.

This policy applies specifically to volunteers recruited directly within JJF and covers all sites, buildings and areas where JJF operates. It should be read in conjunction with the Code of Conduct for Volunteers.

  1. Voluntary work within JJF

    1. Eligibility

The minimum age for volunteers within JJF is 18 years. JJF welcomes applications for volunteering from across the country (Kenya) and there is no upper age limit, however the volunteer must be able to fulfil the duties and demands of the volunteer role.

Categories of JJF Volunteers

JJF volunteers can be broadly categorized into 4 groups:

  1. Specialist (Skills Based) volunteers: They include people with professional technical skills and professional experience such as trainers and teachers for the JJF Training Centre, teachers or trainers for construction skills such as plastering, painting, tiling, woodwork and other skills such as hairdressing and beauty.

  1. Community volunteers: Such roles require individuals with a strong community presence, local knowledge and networks within the relevant localities.

  1. Youth and Women volunteers: Youth and Women volunteering is strongly encouraged by JJF and is part of its mission geared towards women and youth empowerment.

  1. Other volunteers: JJF welcomes the public to volunteer on JJF projects.

Key requirements to become a JJF Volunteer

  1. Responsibility to behave in accordance with the JJF code of conduct (Annex 1).

  2. Must have the responsibility to participate in any necessary training provided by JJF.

  3. Must conduct themselves with integrity and honesty and to display a committed and positive attitude while performing their assigned tasks.

  4. Must respect the rights, beliefs and opinions of all JJF beneficiaries.

2.2 Recruitment & Selection

Recruitment of volunteers will be from all sections of the country. Appropriate targeting may be used in the case of specialized skilled volunteers. To be eligible as a skills-based volunteer, interested parties must submit their CV with accompanying referees to [INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS] or as instructed in the JJF vacancy advertisement.

Community volunteers, youth and women volunteers and other volunteers will be selected on an interview basis or will be required to submit their CV. The necessary requirements will be on a project need basis and details of requirements will be posted on JJF’s vacancy advertisements.

JJF is committed to promoting equal opportunities. Any volunteer applicants will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

2.3 Length / Location of the Volunteer Placement

Volunteer placements of any length may be organised within JJF. All volunteer roles will have a written role description and be clear about the purpose and activity associated with each volunteer role.

2.4 Support & Supervision

All volunteers will be assigned a named contact person for supervision and support.

2.5 Problem-Solving

JJF recognises that problems/issues do arise. JJF will ensure that each volunteer is heard and any volunteer who has an issue of any kind will have a contact person to discuss the same in the first instance with. JJF recognises the value of each and every volunteer and will do its best to try solve (within its means) issues that may arise in relation to volunteers.

2.6 Confidentiality

Volunteers are expected to hold in confidence any information about JJF, its staff and projects which they may obtain during the volunteer work period and comply with all JJF confidentiality policies and procedures. The volunteers will be bound by the same confidentiality agreements as JJF paid staff.

2.7 Expenses and costs

Although voluntary work is freely given with no expectation of payment, any out of pocket expense must be pre-approved by the JJF authorised project manager. All reasonable authorised expenses will only be paid on production of a claim form and receipts.

2.8 Health and Safety

All volunteers are required to follow the same health and safety policies as JJF staff to ensure their safety. Any accident/incident involving the volunteer should be reported by completing an incident form.

2.9 Relations with Paid Staff

JJF is committed to ensuring that the volunteers work complements the work of paid staff, and that the volunteers will not be used as substitutes to undertake paid work.

Steps will be taken to ensure that staff at all levels are clear about the roles of volunteers and to foster good working relationships between staff and volunteers.

JJF recognises the need for training for all those working alongside and managing volunteers. Such training will be provided to the JJF staff who will be involved with working together with JJF volunteers.

2.10 Management, Training, Monitoring & Evaluation

Individuals selected as JJF volunteers are expected to sign a statement of agreement issued by the JJF recruitment department in advance of the placement starting.

Volunteers will then receive full information about their chosen area of volunteer work and will be given a clear description of their responsibilities and roles in the Volunteer Toolkit.

Volunteers will be given induction and training in the specific tasks to be undertaken.

JJF strives to ensure that volunteers are heard and will endeavour to consult volunteers in all decisions which may affect them.

There are a variety of volunteer roles within JJF. The roles are laid out in the JJF Volunteer Tool Kit which each volunteer will receive before the commencement of volunteer position at JJF together with the statement of agreement. The tasks given to volunteers will be specific and the volunteer is expected to take responsibility for such tasks.

Managers should ensure that all staff within their team are clear about the role of the volunteer and foster good working relationships with them. The standards of care and conduct of the volunteers is expected to be the same high degree as those of JJF staff. The manager should ensure that each volunteer receives full information about their work area and their responsibilities to JJF. The manager should provide the volunteer with induction and training in the specific tasks to be undertaken and they should receive ongoing opportunities for learning and development.

All JJF volunteers must complete an orientation and participate in any continuing education classes (Volunteer Orientation).

Volunteer Orientation provides an overview of JJF, its mission, history, goals of JJF and the Code of Conduct of Volunteers. Each volunteer will participate in a scheduled Volunteer Orientation within the first week of beginning their service. The Volunteer Orientation is designed to provide the volunteer with a framework for volunteering in respect of the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their volunteer assignment.

Continuing recognition of JJF volunteers is vital and will occur throughout the volunteer attachment.

2.11 Volunteers responsibilities

Volunteers are expected to participate in all training and induction sessions which the manager feels is relevant and necessary to their role. Volunteers may only undertake their voluntary work at times agreed with their manager/supervisor. Volunteers should raise any issues of concern relating to their voluntary work with their immediate manager/supervisor.

Volunteers are always required to wear suitable clothing and footwear for the work situation and be neat and tidy. This will be covered by the manager in the program training. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to notify the area to which they are allocated if they are unable to be present and to do so as far in advance as possible.

Volunteers are always expected to act responsibly and to take care not to expose themselves, or others to any risk. Volunteers should not operate machinery unless they have been trained in its use and have been approved to use the same by their manager and should not attempt to lift heavy or awkward objects. If in doubt, ask.

Volunteers are expected to inform their manager immediately and complete an accident form if they sustain an injury at work. Volunteers should also inform their manager immediately if they feel unwell.

2.12 Records Management

JJF will maintain records on each volunteer. Volunteer records include application forms, identification documents, volunteer category, dates of volunteer service, volunteer service, station, duties performed, positions held, training attended, and awards/recognitions received.

Other required documentation on each volunteer will be maintained including reference checks and background checks (where necessary). Volunteers are responsible for submitting and updating information contained in their files either directly or online. JJF will keep confidential all information provided to it by the volunteer.

2.13 Attendance and Time

Volunteer attendance is important to the operation of each activity. Volunteers should always report on and off duty on each occasion to the appropriate manager as stated in their statements of agreement. Volunteers should notify their manager in advance if they are unable to be present on their scheduled day or presentation. Time not accounted for is the responsibility of the volunteer.

2.14 Change of Placement

Volunteers may request a change in placement anytime during their volunteer service.

2.15 Termination of agreement

Volunteers are responsible for all JJF property which includes all tools, materials, files, ID badges, keys, passwords or any other written or electronic information issued to volunteers or in volunteers’ possession or control. All JJF property must be returned on or before your last day. JJF may take all actions deemed appropriate to recover or protect its property.

JJF requests the volunteer to give as much notice as possible if the volunteer wants to stop volunteering with JJF.

JJF may also end the volunteering period early with giving the volunteer one days’ notice.

ANNEX 1: CODE OF CONDUCT FOR VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers are expected to follow rules of conduct that will protect the interest and safety of all volunteers, staff and JJF stakeholders.

The volunteers shall act responsibly during their volunteering period and the following include but are not limited to inappropriate conduct which could lead to immediate termination of the volunteer’s services:

  • Unauthorized disclosure of JJF’s proprietary or confidential information.

  • Unsatisfactory performance or conduct.

  • Theft or inappropriate removal or possession of JJF’s property or that of any JJF volunteer, staff, or visitor, including failing to cooperate fully in any JJF investigation of such theft, inappropriate removal or possession of property.

  • Altering any JJF reports or records.

  • Inappropriate use of JJF’s telephones, computer equipment or systems.

  • Inappropriate use of JJF e-mails to send personal emails.

  • Volunteering under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

  • Creating a disturbance on JJF’s premises at sponsored activities (such as Nairobi City Stars sporting events) or in areas which could jeopardize the safety of others.

  • Improper use of JJF’s property or property owned by any other volunteer, staff or visitor of JJF.

Organization.

  • Unauthorized possession, distribution, sale, transfer, or use of alcohol or illegal

drugs in the volunteer environment.

  • Lack of cooperation, or other disrespectful conduct.

  • Violation of JJF policies, National and County legislation and any health and safety rules.

Drug-Free Environment

JJF provides a drug-free, healthy, and safe environment. While on JJF premises and while conducting JJF-related activities off JJF premises, a volunteer may not use, possess, distribute, sell or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

Occasionally, JJF may sponsor events where alcohol is served. In such situations, volunteers who consume alcohol are expected to act in a responsible manner at all times.

The legal use of prescribed drugs is permitted during volunteer service only if it does not impair a volunteer’s ability to perform the essential functions of the volunteer position effectively and in a safe manner that does not endanger other individuals in the workplace.

Volunteers must advise their supervisor/manager if they are taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs which could adversely affect their safety or performance.

Conflict of interest

JJF is judged, in large part, by the individual and collective performance of its volunteers and JJF recognizes the importance of a volunteer’s duty to its members and supporters to act in a manner that merits public trust and confidence. As such, each volunteer must act in all matters in a manner that will safeguard the reputation and integrity of the JJF and will preserve and strengthen public confidence in all JJF activities.

Likewise, volunteers must refrain from engaging in any transaction in which personal interests, conflict, potentially conflict or appear to conflict with individuals in JJF. An actual or potential conflict of interest occurs when a volunteer is in a position to influence a decision that may result in a personal gain for him/herself or for a relative as a result of JJF’s dealings.

For the purposes of this policy, a relative is a person who is related by blood or marriage, or whose relationship with the volunteer is similar to that of persons who are related by blood or marriage. Participation in any activity prohibited by this policy can result in the termination of volunteer service.

Some conflict of interest situations are easily identifiable, whereas others are more subtle. Some of the more common situations pertaining to volunteers rise to the potential conflicts are set out below. This list is illustrative only and should not be regarded as conclusive:

  • Accepting payment or gifts: No volunteer shall accept payment of any kind (including gifts, cash, discounts, services or other similar item or benefits) for services rendered as part of his or her volunteer service.

  • Improper Influence: Any volunteer, or close relative, should not, when acting on his or her own behalf or when acting on behalf of another person, business or organization, attempt to influence JJF’s position on any issue, matter or transaction nor participate in any discussions pertaining to a related organization.

  • Political Activities: Volunteers are encouraged to take an active interest and to participate in the political and governmental process. However, unless authorized to act on behalf of JJF, volunteers participating should only do so as individuals and not as representatives JJF. To avoid any inference of support or sponsorship by JJF, a volunteer must never represent that his or her political donation, endorsement or other political activity was made or engaged in with the approval, or on behalf, of JJF. Likewise, volunteers must not engage in political activities during their volunteer service on behalf of JJF.

  • The making of statements: No volunteer shall use JJF stationery or any title of JJF or refer to JJF or misidentify him or herself as an employee thereof in connection with any matter as to which he or she is not authorized as a representative of JJF and to express an opinion on its behalf.

  • Inside Information: Inside information should not be used either for the purposes of gaining advantage for one’s self, a close relative, or another organization or for any other purpose not specifically approved by JJF.

  • Competing with JJF: No volunteer shall prevent or hinder JJF from lawfully competing with others or divert business or personnel from JJF.