STAY & SERVE with HFI: HOW IT WORKS
ANSWERING WHY FIRST…
Although there is plenty of need in our own “back yards” to help those impacted by COVID-19 realities, the truth is that things are far worse in developing countries that have far less medical and financial resources to draw on in order to cope with and overcome the healthcare and economic impacts. In short, our delivery organizations need even more help and assistance because the numbers of the people they are trying to help have grown exponentially and their needs have become more complex. Your investment of time at this critical time in history can make a meaningful difference.
Many professionals already were comfortable with delivering their services and working with teams remotely, and for some having to work from home due to COVID-19 has been a new experience and one they are becoming much more effective with. Other’s get to the end of their work day “zoomed out”. We’re taking the assumption that if you’ve clicked through to this page, you’ve learned how to work effectively from home using the internet, using video conferencing tools, keeping connected with your leaders, team members and clients. We at HFI believe it’s a great time to leverage these same “new normal” work habits and redirect some of our time to help others who could greatly benefit from our expertise and knowledge.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about how you could take a stay-cation with a purpose? We have the perfect opportunity for you to consider!
For most of our partners, COVID-19 has increased the demand for their services as local beneficiaries struggle with the economic and health impacts of the Coronavirus. You can help make a difference! Due to unprecedented economic pressure on companies, significant numbers of retrenchments and furloughs, as well significant number of professionals have elected to take early retirement. Contract personnel have been rolled back to retain as many full-time staff. Regardless of how it’s come about, there are many more professionals at home during this season that have time available; and they have deep knowledge and skills within their profession or technical expertise that is often hard to find or too costly to source in developing nations. Getting access to these kinds of seasoned experts can be a godsend for delivery organizations struggling with closed borders and many local economic challenges. Its a well-known fact that giving oneself to service outside of one’s normal circle brings great fulfillment even during times of crisis at home.
Services that lend themselves well to being delivered remotely:
- Training content that doesn’t significant hands-on elements to catch the how-to
- Mentoring and coaching, either individually or across teams
- Specific Deliverables that have a clear scope of work, where once a definition of outcomes is agreed upon, the design and implementation work can proceed asynchronously with regular check-ins as each unit of work is delivered, reviewed and signed off.
- Advisory services where a seasoned expert in their field can be brought into a situational context and either in real-time or asynchronously, provide feedback, strategic guidance, or drive towards specific outcomes with a team.
When you cannot go to serve in person, the next best thing is to connect using available technology to deliver services to organizations and people that need them most. So why now and why offer this Stay & Serve channel at all?
- Some of you reading this have lost jobs, contracts and income and that you’re under tremendous pressure as a result. Others are working harder than ever and some at greater personal risk because of the coronavirus. At the same time, we’re all dealing with the uncertainty of what the future will look like. Without a doubt, this is a season like no other.
- There’s never been a better time to GROW & DEVELOP personally and professionally. Especially if you find yourself retired, furloughed or otherwise have extra time on your hands – why not use this time to develop yourself and at the same time volunteer your time to benefit others? Have you been asking yourself – who can I help? Where can I help? One of the best ways to learn is to TEACH or COACH someone else. We can all teach someone something, no matter how limited we may feel in our own abilities. As you build the lives of others, you will find your own life expanding at the same time. We can pretty much guarantee you will learn more in the process of serving others and be more fulfilled, not to mention how much those you’re training/coaching/mentoring/serving will benefit from your efforts. When you invest in others and build them up – in their capacity and capabilities, you’re the one who will ultimately become the bigger person.
- While most people held out hope that the impacts of COVID-19 would be short-lived and life would return to normal in a few months, the reality has been that the world continues to grapple with resurgence, or have yet to bring their infection rate down to manageable levels and hence, and with hopes for a widely available vaccine not until 2nd half of 2021, it is likely that international travel bans will remain in place for months to come in order to protect hard-won coronavirus containment. This means that it could be well into 2021 before people will be able to – and prepared to – fly from Canada to developing nations in order to deliver their volunteer services in person. HFI would like to capitalize on this extended season to provide ongoing opportunities to serve for our volunteers and to continue to find creative and effective ways for our partners to receive the help they need in order to continue to meet their mandate and grow, in a time when even greater demands are being placed on these organizations due to the extraordinary impact Covid has had on developing nations where health care systems cannot cope and governments do not have the financial means to help people who have lost jobs and been unable to provide the basic needs for themselves and their families.
- Internet services have greatly increased over the last several years in most developing nations with significant improvements in access, reliability and bandwidth. This means that audio and even video real-time communications between Canada and these nations can be relied upon to deliver services.
For VOLUNTEERS …
Here are the primary differences between how a Stay & Serve posting works and a normal overseas posting as an HFI volunteer:
- The role application and approval process remain the same.
- Once HFI approves you as a Stay & Serve remote volunteer, they will facilitate a planning meeting with the Partner’s role leader and the volunteer to draft out deliverables, timeframes, schedule and mode of communications, that meet both the needs of the Partner and the availability of the volunteer.
- One important difference is to recognize and accept that due to time zone differences, the volunteer will need to bring flexibility into portions of when they carry out real-tie communications. While delivery of work product and other follow-up communications can happen asynchronously (at any time), remote video/audio calls will require flexibility from both the Volunteer and the Partner in order to make a remote plan of communication work successfully.
- Many of our partners are situated on the continent of Africa which can mean between 4-10 hours of time difference depending on the home location of the Volunteer in Canada and the Partner’s offices.
- Rather than design a budget for travel and living expenses that would cover an overseas posting, the volunteer works with HFI to define a target fund raising amount that will be raised for a special project that the Partner has requested and HFI has approved, that is specially related to helping those in need in their local communities, especially due to the challenges caused and exasperated by COVID-19.
- We ask volunteers to commit to raise approximately 20% (as a general target) of the amount they would normally need to raise in order to fund the travel and living expenses budget for the duration of their overseas posting
- 100% of all funds raised by the volunteer for these special partner-selected projects (in lieu of travel & living expenses) flow to the Partner. Click here for more information about HFI’s donation policies.
- We are excited about this unique aspect of HFI’s Stay & Serve offering which allows the volunteer to not only bring value through their volunteered service in skills, expertise and mentoring, but it also allows them to redirect some of the energy they would normally have given toward raising funding from family and friends towards their overseas posting travel and living budget and in lieu of this redirect a portion of these funds to a critical area of need that the Partner has identified that helps them positively impact more people in the communities they serve. It’s a true all-around win!
- As the volunteer begins to fund raise using HFI’s easy to use donations platform, the drafted plan of deliverables, scheduling etc. goes through revision and is finally signed off by the Volunteer, the Partner and HFI.
- From this point nearly everything else in the usual life-cycle of an HFI posting continues as normal and the Volunteer commences serving per the agreed-to schedule. The big difference is that no one gets on a plane! Everything gets delivered remotely from the Volunteer’s home.
If you are one of our existing Delivery Partners, here’s what’s involved in creating a role opportunity that can be offered as a Stay & Serve approved role:
- You go through the usual New Opportunity application process with the difference being that you define and design the role outcomes to be delivered remotely. What this means is that you are prepared to:
- Appoint an individual from your organization to act as the role lead & point person to coordinate all remote communications, deliverables review and sign-off with the HFI volunteer; and be the conduit for all other communications with other stakeholders related to the role outcomes within your organization.
- Ensure the role you are requesting and the work product you are needing delivered by the volunteer can be clearly defined and specified in writing. Whether specialized skills are required or various skills transference / training outcomes, the Partner is prepared to be specific in detailing all these requirements in writing including clearly articulating factors that define successful delivery of services.
- You are prepared to identify an existing project that is active and related to your outreach to your target communities, is focused on bringing positive impact to people within the communities you serve, especially those affected and impacted by COVID-19. You will make application to HFI for this project to be sanctioned as an HFI Project so that Volunteers who are approved and assigned by HFO to a Stay & Serve role will be able to fund raise toward making a one-time donation to the sanctioned project. This project donation will be a pre-determined portion of what would normally be raised by the HFI posted volunteer to cover their travel and living expenses to fly overseas and live and serve on site at your organization. HFI brings this project donation as an added benefit to our Partners in addition to providing professional business/technical skills from our volunteers for free.
- All the other aspects of the role of the Partner in the process of receiving services from an HFI volunteer remain the same.
NOTE: If you’re not an HFI Delivery Partner but are very interested to become one so that your organization could benefit from receiving free help from an HFI Stay & Serve remote volunteer, please click on: understand the next steps to becoming an HFI Partner!
Our STAY & SERVE Goal:
More people’s lives positively impacted in the communities our
Delivery Partners serve
Interested VOLUNTEERS …
- Check out the Stay & Serve Prescreening Checklist below.
- Check out the Stay & Serve Process Lifecycle below
- Check out the Stay & Serve FAQ below. If you still have questions needing an answer please contact us.
- Confirm which Stay & Serve Approved Opportunity you want to apply for.
- Apply as a volunteer for the specific Opportunity Role
We’ll take it from there and be in touch!
- Select and define the role you need an HFI volunteer to fulfill, paying particular attention to the Stay & Serve nuances described above.
- Make application for the new Opportunity using the standard template in the Partner Resources area.
- Once role is approved for Stay & Serve volunteer searching, identify the special Project that a posted Stay & Serve Volunteer will fund raise for.
- Apply for your project to be sanctioned by HFI using the Project application template in the Partner Resources area.
Once we have a suitable volunteer candidate for the Stay & Serve role, we will bring them forward for your review and approval!
STAY & SERVE VOLUNTEER LIFECYCLE
- Volunteer sees HFI Stay & Serve opportunity on Social Media or hf-I.ca site
- Volunteer wishes to apply:
- agrees with Statement of Faith, Statement of Christian Conduct and Practice
- fills in on-line application form, or downloads application form and emails completed form back
- Application pre-screened by HFI Opportunity Coordinator (OC)
- Application approved/declined by HFI Opportunity Review Committee (ORC). Applicant is informed of outcome.
- OC confirms Opportunity Filled with Partner
- OC facilitates Introduction and planning meeting (remote) between HFI Volunteer and the leader giving oversight to the role with the Partner. Specific role outcomes and timelines for delivery are drafted. Frequency, mode and scheduling of remote communications are also drafted.
- OC works with Volunteer to confirm a fund raising budget for funds be raised in lieu of travel & living expenses for the posting. These funds raised are directed towards the Partner’s designated special project.
- Posting Special Project Budget Sanctioned, Fund Raising Account Opened and Donation Page created for use by Volunteer (OC)
- Volunteer Raises Funds for Partner’s Designated Project via HFI’s online donation facility per budget target.
- Upon review and revision by the Volunteer and Partner Role Lead, the draft plan of deliverables, schedule and remote communications is approved as final (OC)
- Volunteer Stay & Serve Posting Agreement signed
- Volunteer begins remote Stay & Serve Posting
- Once fund raising budget for the designated Partner project is attained, all monies are forwarded to the Partner to be applied to the Special Project (OC)
- Volunteer submits deliverables progress update reports (per month) to OC
- Volunteer submits bi-weekly update posts (narrative & media) to OC
- OC reviews reports, actions any issues and posts narrative & media updates to HFI On-post Updates blog pages
- Partner check-ins with OC monthly to ensure volunteer service delivery on-track
- Volunteer completes all deliverables from Posting, is debriefed, and project funding account closed out.
- Sponsoring Partner is debriefed
- Volunteer writes their Story of their experience as an HFI volunteer and OC posts to HFI Story Wall
- Stay & Serve Posting Lessons Learned from Volunteer & Partner reviewed & actioned by ORC
Note: HFI reserves the right to accept or decline any application according to its specific needs and mandates. All decisions of HFI are final. You will be kept informed appropriately and in a timely manner throughout the application process. We will review your information per the application form and consider you for the applied opportunity posting and inform of any appropriate next steps during our applicant / opportunity review cycle.
STAY & SERVE PRE-SCREEN CHECKLIST
Business/Technical Professionals interested in a remote, home-based volunteer assignment through Hands and Feet International – do you check these boxes?
- Canadian, English or French speaking
- Christian-based values and worldview
- Business/Technical Professional
- Accomplished and seasoned in field of expertise, skills, know-how
- Able to take time away from job, or retired
- Willing to mentor and coach leaders
- Service mindset, mature, solid track record
- Looking for sense of fulfillment, giving back
- Wanting to leave legacy through contribution of talents, skills and abilities
- Willing to fund raise for Partner’s Special Project (in lieu of travel & living expenses)
If you can say “yes” to all the above statements, then you should be a great candidate to serve in one of our Stay & Serve opportunities!
STAY & SERVE FAQ (frequently asked questions)
- Timing of Application process:
- should take from 2-3 weeks to move through candidate review & approval, finalize the role deliverables, remote communication schedule and other elements of the role definition to be delivered remotely with the partner, followed by a finalized Special Project fund raising plan.
- What should I be prepared for as far as the remote work experience as an HFI volunteer:
- the opportunity to be part of a diverse and multicultural team, may be intense and very demanding at times, will always be a dynamic working environment;
- communicating via audio and video calls, across varying time zones and delivering work asynchronously;
- note: To learn more about HFI volunteer experiences directly – see our Story Wall from past posted volunteers.
- Working hours:
- Working hours are yours to determine per the deliverables schedule you agree to with the Partner before starting the posting. The work can carry on asynchronously when it best suits you. There will be specific times that have been agreed upon where you will connect in real time with your Role Lead at the Partner.
- Situations can change quickly in the field, and role descriptions may need to change accordingly. Team composition and working environments may also change during postings. Flexibility and adaptability are critical to one’s success on an HFI volunteer posting.
- Acting as trainer, mentor and coach:
- The willingness and ability to train, coach and mentor others is a core expectation of HFI volunteers. Although one key aspect of HFI volunteer postings is to provide partner organizations technical/business resources where such skills and experience are scarce, building the capacity of national staff to become less dependent on outside intervention is an important goal in all HFI postings. In particular, growing leadership competencies with other nationals within the partner’s team is the second key expectation for all HFI volunteers. This means that the focus is on both delivering excellent service in the role through application of skills and knowhow, and teaching others how to do the same role while developing in their leadership capabilities.
- Personal Reflection and Expectation Setting:
- As you consider your suitability to undertake an HFI volunteer posting, it is critical that you bring a well-informed and realistic understanding to your decision
- Do you have the patience to work with national coworkers and other leaders that may lack the deep experience and business maturity that you’ve attained to? Are you prepared to accept that there may be frustrating communication breakdowns that occur during cross cultural interactions?
- Are you open-minded and creative when facing unexpected problems?
- Do you have constructive and readily available means of coping with stress, anxiety and frustration?
- Are you honest about your own motivation for seeking to volunteer and serve on an HFI posting and realistic in your expectations of what it will be like?
- Are you prepared to overcome such challenges in order to experience a posting that is deeply rewarding, even life-changing? Are you prepared to be the practical hands and feet of Jesus Christ extended, to serve an organization who is serving people in need through acts of Christian compassion?