Risk Management Pre-Program and On the Ground

Our Top Priority

As a well-established and experienced volunteer-abroad organization, Operation Groundswell takes active precautions to keep you safe and secure while overseas on your program. We take travel safety very seriously. Below is a list of the measures included in our Safety and Security Protocol.

  • We are constantly monitoring the political situations in the countries we travel to while remaining in constant communication with our local partners and program leaders on the ground.
  • All program leaders receive Wilderness First Aid training and are certified to handle emergency and medical situations abroad. They also receive supplementary health training that is region-specific.
  • All program leaders conduct a dry-run of their programs and perform risk assessments of every site we visit prior to the arrival of participants. Hazards involving the environment, political situation, transportation, food/drink, project work, crime/security are assessed and ways to eliminate or minimize these risks are established.
  • Health clinics and emergency contacts in each region are re-established each year.
    Each participant is required to register their travel plans with their government’s Department of Foreign Affairs, in case of any emergencies.
  • Each program is required to check in daily with our Toronto headquarters to relay important information and ensure the health and safety of participants. Our Programs Director is aware of daily changes in travel advisories, has contacts in-country, and is available 24/7 to deal with emergencies on the ground.
  • Though we do use local transportation, we always choose safe routes. We avoid unnecessary travel at night and always use registered drivers and services.
  • With comprehensive preparation from their program leaders, participants will split into small groups for about six days towards the end of their program. Program leaders will hold multiple sessions to advise participants on where it is safe to travel and recommend travel companies and routes. Program leaders may or may not be traveling with participants (depending on their plans) but will be available to all participants should they need anything during this time.
  • To help minimize health risks, Operation Groundswell expects every participant to meet with a travel doctor before leaving their country of origin. Everyone must be up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations and equipped with any necessary medications for travel.

If Not Now, Then When?

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