Volunteer Policies

+ Policy and Liability Release Statement

This Release and Waiver of Liability executed on behalf of the volunteer/intern releases the African Community Center of Denver, a program of ECDC, a nonprofit, 501©(3) organization engaged in social service, humanitarian, and educational activities, and existing under the laws of the state of Colorado, and each of its directors, officers, employees, and agents. The volunteer or intern desires to provide volunteer services for ACC and engage in activities related to serving as a volunteer.

I, the volunteer/intern, release and discharge ACC and its employees and agents from any and all liability, claims, and demands of whatever kind or nature, either in law or in equity, which arise through the services I provide for ACC. I understand and acknowledge that this release discharges ACC from any claim I may have with respect to bodily or personal injury, illness, death, or property damage that may result from my time as a volunteer. Further, I understand that ACC does not assume any responsibility for or obligation to provide me with financial or other assistance, including medical, health, or disability benefits or insurance of any nature in the result of injury, illness, or damage to property. I understand that the services I provide to ACC may include activities that may involve inherent danger or hazard. As I volunteer, I hereby expressly assume the risk of injury or harm from these activities.

I grant and convey to ACC all right, title, and interests in using any photographs, images, video, or audio recordings of me or my voice made in connection with ACC events and activities in which I am participating as a volunteer.

I have read, understand, and will adhere to the to the policies covered in this Volunteer Handbook (ECDC/ACC’s Code of Conduct, Confidentiality Policy, Policy Protecting against Sexual Exploitation, and Driving Guidelines). I acknowledge that any violation of these policies may be grounds for disciplinary action and/or termination of volunteer employment.

I understand the release and liability waiver outlined for volunteers with ECDC’s African Community Center.

+ Volunteer Policies

Code of Conduct

Any person or group acting under the position of volunteer for the African Community Center should act in accordance with the mission, vision, and values of the ACC. As a volunteer, we depend on you to complete your scheduled shifts and/or assigned visits. We do understand that from time-to-time certain situations may arise that prevent you from doing so. Please alert ACC any time you are unable to appear for a scheduled volunteer time because of a vacation or time conflict ahead of schedule so that supervisors have time to adjust and fill necessary positions. In the event of an unscheduled absence – illness or emergency – please alert your ACC supervisor as soon as possible. If absenteeism becomes excessive, your volunteer relationship with ACC will be reevaluated. The successful business operation and reputation of ACC is built upon the principles of the ethical and responsible participation of volunteers and interns, as well as all hired employees and affiliates. Our reputation for integrity and excellence requires careful observance of all applicable laws and regulations, as well as a scrupulous regard for the highest standards of conduct and personal integrity. The continued success of ACC is dependent upon the trust of our partners, employees, and the community members whom we serve. We are dedicated to preserving that trust. Volunteers have a duty to our community members to conduct themselves in a way that will merit the continued trust and confidence of everyone with whom they work. Volunteers must refrain from any illegal, dishonest, or unethical conduct. The use of good judgment based on high ethical principles will provide the guidelines for acceptable behavior in the office and in the community. It is vitally important that volunteers only engage in tasks requested directly by ACC Staff. Any additional services or volunteer contact requested by ACC clients/community members MUST be reported to and approved by ACC staff. Dress code for volunteers is the same that is required for ACC staff and employees. Colorado business casual is acceptable, with the stipulation that given ACC is a multicultural environment, it is important to have respect and consideration for the other cultures and peoples represented in any volunteer activities. ACC’s Volunteer Coordinator takes primary responsibility for effective volunteer utilization, assisting staff in identifying productive and creative volunteer roles, and assigning volunteers to a supervisor/role. Once a volunteer is assigned a volunteer role, ACC staff are responsible for maintaining communication and scheduling with that volunteer, and ensuring that each volunteer is given adequate training and supervision in their tasks. The Volunteer Coordinator continues to act a resource to both ACC staff and volunteers to troubleshoot and provide guidance.

Misconduct

Improper conduct or violation of ECDC/ACC policies may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal.

Dress Code

All ECDC employees are expected to use good taste and common sense in their office dress and whenever representing ECDC. ECDC employees have the option of dressing “business casual” every day as opposed to more formal, traditional business attire. Business casual dress is the opportunity to enjoy a style of dress that is more relaxed than traditional business attire, however employees are expected to project a professional appearance. Examples of appropriate business casual dress are polo/golf shirts, button-down shirts, blouses, sweaters, khakis or other unwrinkled trousers, casual skirts or dresses, and loafers, nice sandals, or flats.

Requests for Information

All inquiries from the news media should be forwarded to the Director. Employees may not speak to the news media as an official or unofficial spokesperson of ECDC or ECDC/ACC without permission from the Director. Requests for information from local police and other community entities should be forwarded to the Director or other Managers.

Information Technology

An Information Technology Policy must be signed by all ECDC/ACC staff, interns and volunteers as appropriate.

All issues with IT (repair, maintenance and troubleshooting) must be reported to your supervisor who will inform ECDC/ACC’s Admin & Finance Coordinator. No ECDC/ACC employee may call any vendor to request IT service.

Internet Usage

ECDC/ACC employees, interns and volunteers are expected to use the Internet responsibly and productively. Internet access is limited to job-related activities.

+ Confidentiality

As a volunteer with the African Community Center it is likely that information of a highly confidential nature may be shared with you. It is imperative that personal information is not shared with anyone outside of this agency. Failure to maintain this confidentiality will result in the end of a volunteer relationship with this agency and possible criminal charges being filed.

No information obtained as a result of activities with a refugee community member or agency records and communication should be disclosed without written permission from that refugee community member and agency. Protecting the privacy of our community members and the integrity of the US Resettlement Program is of utmost importance and must be respected. You may not share, sell, exchange or purposefully collect information about a community member or the agency unless there is written permission from the director of the agency and the individuals involved. You may not divulge the name, address or personal business of a community member to anyone without the consent of that community member.

+ Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy

It is the policy of the ECDC that recruitment and employment of staff and volunteers are based upon individual merit, qualifications, and competence. Any hiring, promotions, demotions, training and personnel procedures shall not be influenced or affected by age, color, creed, marital status, national origin, or physical disability that does not prohibit performance of one’s essential job function, political belief, race, religious persuasion, or sex. In addition, laws regarding veterans’ status shall be observed. All matters relating to employment are based upon ability to perform the job, as well as dependability and reliability once hired.

Because the primary purpose of ECDC is to serve the interests of refugees, immigrants, limited English speakers, and from time to time, a particular national group, the agency may recruit and/or give priority to an individual who speaks not only English, but also that language required for service to a particular client group.

This policy shall comply with all new and existing EEO laws or regulations mandated by all levels of government. ECDC will also make every effort to ensure that both its staff and volunteers represent the various ethnic, national, and racial communities it serves.

At its meeting on December 20, 2003, the DCDC Board approved the revised ECDC’s anti-discrimination policy which stated: The Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc. will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, veteran status or sexual orientation in any of its activities or operations.

Harassment Policy

ECDC prohibits harassment in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law. Harassment in employment can occur, and is prohibited, both in the workplace and off the premises, including at social activities conducted or sponsored by ECDC. All ECDC personnel must comply with this policy and violations will result in disciplinary

Protection against Sexual Exploitation

Volunteers and Interns at ECDC/African Community Center (ACC) often play roles similar or identical to those of staff members, and are therefore held to the same code of conduct as ECDC/ACC staff. This code of conduct is to be maintained by ECDC/ACC volunteers, interns and employees towards ECDC/ACC staff, volunteers, interns, refugee community members and all other individuals and companies with whom ECDC/ACC conducts business, such as employers and landlords: Sexual exploitation and abuse by ECDC/ACC volunteers constitute acts of gross misconduct and are grounds for immediate termination of the volunteer relationship; Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defense; Exchange of money, offers/contingency of employment, goods, or services for sex, including sexual favors or other forms of humiliating, degrading, or exploitative behavior, is prohibited. This includes exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries; Sexual relationships between ECDC/ACC employees and refugee community members are prohibited since they are based on inherently unequal power dynamics. Such relationships undermine the credibility and integrity of ECDC/ACC’s work; Where an ECDC/ACC employee, intern or volunteer develops concerns or suspicions regarding sexual abuse or exploitation by a fellow worker, whether at the ECDC national office or an ECDC branch office, subsidiary, or affiliate s/he must report such concerns to his or her immediate supervisor. If he or she is not comfortable reporting concerns to the immediate supervisor s/he should contact human resources. Failure to report may result in disciplinary action; ECDC/ACC employees, interns and volunteers are obliged to create and maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and abuse and promotes the implementation of this code of conduct. Managers at all levels have particular responsibilities to support and develop systems that maintain this environment.