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Required Reading

All articles in this section should ideally be read prior to booking a placement, and certainly before the placement begins.

2wk 04Details include information regarding our rules, policies, requirements, and a page concerning the required national criminal record check. It isn't enough to just turn up at the foundation, and think that everything will slot into place. We work in a certain way, we have commitments to villagers, students, government officials and our own staff. There is etiquette, tradition, and culture, all of which make life very different from western lifestyle. Lack of knowledge and understanding will make a volunteer stand out like a sore thumb, and could give great offence to those we are trying to help, those we work with, and ourselves too.

The information in the pages below, and the information elsewhere on the website are all designed to help volunteers understand and slip smoothly into life here. Please use these resources to help us, but more importantly, help yourself.

general informationThe main purpose of the volunteer work at The Mirror Foundation is to strengthen and support the local culture and communities.

Volunteers need to be flexible - although you come in on a particular programme, there are various common tasks which involve all volunteers and staff, from the directors to the cleaner. Everyone is considered equally important, is equally valued and respected, and expected to do their fair share.

We accept hundreds of volunteers throughout the year, and many of our jobs will broaden your experience of the world.

All the jobs required to be done by volunteers directly, or indirectly, help The Mirror Foundation to continue its vital work. It may not always be apparent why or how this is the case, so volunteers are encouraged to ask questions as much as possible (on all subjects, not just the work). But in essence, anything that a volunteer can do to help the staff, whether it's teaching, building water tank systems, cleaning the office, or washing the dogs, will be gratefully received - a volunteer taking the time to do something that a staff member would otherwise have to do, means that they can concentrate on the job in hand. Volunteering is about helping others, putting your needs and desires second to the work necessary.

Read more: Volunteering - the starting point

terms conditionsPlease read The Mirror Foundation's Terms and Conditions carefully before submitting your online booking form. By applying for a placement, you have agreed to the following Terms and Conditions.

You will be required to sign a waiver form, and our Child Protection Policy document, at orientation. A copy of each document is attached to the end of this article, for reference only.

The terms and conditions below are mainly common sense, but have been created so that there is no ambiguity about our policies regarding pickups, requirements, refund policy, dismissal policy, and rules. It also covers insurance liability and visas.

Click on the link below for full details

Attachments:
Download this file (Mirror Foundation Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct.pdf)Child Protection Policy[This is the full policy - the document that will be signed at orientation is on page 9]205 kB
Download this file (Volunteer_WAIVER.pdf)Volunteer Waiver Form[For your reference only. A witnessed copy must be signed on arrival at the foundation.]505 kB

Read more: Terms and Conditions

code conductHow you act, at Mirror, in the villages, at school, and in town during your days off... affects our work directly. Please act accordingly, and think first, while you are a part of our programme.

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, creeds, colours and both genders. Each one has their own moral and ethical code, beliefs and lifestyle. Mirror has many volunteers passing through its doors, and we must run a tight, albeit relaxed and happy, ship - to make sure that OUR moral and ethical code, beliefs and lifestyle are maintained. After all, you are visiting us to learn as well as help. Thos that cannot do this are not helping, and are quite possibly causing more problems than their stay merits.

Click on the link below for full details

Read more: Code of Conduct

backgroundcheckWith the volume of volunteers coming through our gates, which continues to rise, and our commitment to helping the communities of Mae Yao and further afield, The Mirror Foundation requests that all volunteers submit a national Criminal Record check*, applied through the relevant national police service or government department.

We do not accept applications from those with unspent convictions relating to drugs, violent behaviour, or sexual related offences. Click below for details.

We want to ensure the children and vulnerable adults connected with our programmes are as safe as reasonably possible. This does not mean that anyone with a criminal conviction is ruled out of joining us - a parking ticket, or speeding fine is obviously not indicative of what we are worried about, so do not necessarily be put off from enquiring. Criminal Record checks are one method to filter out undesirables trying to use our programmes for their own purposes. Whilst this is not foolproof, it certainly helps.

Read more: National Criminal Record Check

basic rulesAlthough there are many things to be aware of, which can be found in other parts of the information section on this website, if you can read, understand and abide by the following, we shouldn't have too many problems.

We want to make sure that volunteers are aware of the following points before they arrive:

  • Mirror is a long established, and well known, Thai Non-Governmental Organisation, which works very hard to help ethnic minorities in Thailand.
  • It is most definitely not a holiday destination - volunteers are here to work.
  • If you are with us for 45 days or more, we ask you to obtain a visa before you leave home - please note, we provide no assistance with this.
  • Work hours are 8.30am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday. (New volunteers are picked up on a Monday)
  • The main gate is shut at 10pm, and everyone is expected to be in their dorms by this time - a rural community goes to bed early, and rises early.
  • Drinking alcohol is not permitted during the working week, on or offsite - only on Saturday or Sunday evenings, in moderation
  • Whatever you have come to do, be it teaching or construction, please realise that we will ask you to take on other tasks as well - volunteering is all about helping each other.
  • The way we would like you to dress begins from the moment we pick you up, to when we drop you off at the end of your stay. It is important that you are dressed suitably, so that you do not offend the local cultures.
    • For the girls, this means
      • shorts below the knee
      • skirts show be lower, preferably ankle length
      • no leggings
      • cover your shoulders
      • no cleavage shown
      • wear a bra at all times
      • tops must cover your belly
      • Boys: tops to be worn at all times, even on Outdoor work
    • Not only at Mirror, but during your entire time in Southeast Asia - it is not only offensive to dress inappropriately, and you will be looked down on, but it can also be potentially dangerous.
    • If we consider a volunteer to be inappropriately dressed, we will ask you to change. Repeat offenders may be asked to leave the programme.
  • We ask you to not take days off, apart from Sundays or Mondays, while you are with us. If you wish to have time to travel, then please do it before you arrive or after you leave - anyone that leaves during their programme without prior agreement will not be accepted back. For this reason, it is very important to factor time to travel into your arrangements.
  • Don't be late for appointments. We work to a timetable and with many volunteers, staff, schools, agencies etc. So, we cannot wait for someone who isn't ready when they should be.

We must organise and look after many volunteers - if you cannot agree to follow our rules, act in a way detrimental to our work, or disrupt the group harmony, then we may ask you to leave. The priority of the organisation, and your priority as well, is the wellbeing of the tribal people we are working with, and we can achieve this much better with your help and cooperation.

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@MirrorChiangRai

MirrorChiangRai Oh! We're upgrading our booking system, to incorporate a channel manager... technology is double-edged sword! ;)
Thailand Volunteer! - by The Mirror Foundation