Rotarys Youth Protection Program
TheftIllness or InjuryAccidentTravel difficultiesHarassmentNatural disasterPolitical UnrestDrug/alcohol abusePhysical/sexual/emotional abuseWhat risks might you face while studying abroad?
You have these risks, in varying degrees when you are at home
As a foreigner you might look different from the local population and might be a seen as vulnerable and a possible target for theft or violenceHow are these risks different from risks at home?
Because you are unfamiliar with your environment, you might not be able to assess risks as well as you might at home, and you may find it more challenging to get help when necessary
As a confident young adult, you may be more prone to putting yourself in riskier situations because you think you can handle it
How are these risks different from risks at home?
Typically, Youth Exchange Students are successful young people who may experience feelings of failure if they need to seek help for problems such as illness or abuse.
How are these risks different from risks at home?
Statement of Conduct for Working with YouthRotary International is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for all participants in Rotary activities. It is the duty of all Rotarians, Rotarians spouses, partners, and other volunteers to safeguard to the best of their ability the welfare of and to prevent the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of children and young people with whom they come into contact.
Youth Exchange Support System(Club Level)
Club President Club Youth Exchange Officer Club Youth Exchange Counselor Host familiesParentsStudentsWho shares the responsibility for keeping Youth Exchange students safe?
Youth Exchange Support System(District Level)
District GovernorTom Robitaille ([email protected] )District Governor ElectDon Moore ([email protected])District Youth Exchange ChairClaire Sherwin ([email protected] ).District Youth Protection OfficerMichele Parkin ([email protected] ) District CounselorDr. Rosanne Field ([email protected] )Who shares the responsibility for keeping Youth Exchange students safe?
Host Family ApplicationHost Family InterviewHost Home Visit (initial and random)Host Family ReferencesHost Family Police Checks (everyone over 18)Hosting is not mandatory or paidYouth Exchange Officer/CounselorDistrict Committee members
How Rotary selects your host family and keeps in touch
Behave more cautiously than at homeAlways be aware of your surroundingsLearn about the host culture to better understand how young people are expected to behaveRecognize that adjusting to life in a new country has its ups and downsHow can you contribute to your safety while studying abroad?
Make an effort to learn the language of the host country early on. (A good phrase to know is I need help)Choose friends wisely, who enjoy safe, positive activitiesJoin school or community groupsMeet regularly with Rotary Counselors to discuss all concernsMake sure someone responsible knows where you are at all times!How can you contribute to your safety while studying abroad?
Whether you are at home or abroad, young people are always at risk for incidents of abuse and harassment
Abuse and harassment prevention is based on awarenesswhich is why talking about it today is a good idea.Why do Youth Exchange Students need specialized training in abuse and harassment?
General Abuse or HarassmentUnwelcome or degrading remarks or jokesDiscriminatory (racist, sexist, demeaning or offensive material)Verbal abuse or threatsOffensive gesturesPhysical assaultSexual Abuse or Harassment sexual advances or requests for sexual favoursverbal or physical conduct of a sexual natureSexist jokes, pornographic or sexist materialsUnwanted touching / sexual assault
What types of behaviour do you consider to be abuse or harassment?
Scenario 1Selenas host father often comes up behind her and rubs her shoulders when she is watching tv or working on the computer. This makes her uncomfortable. Should she tell her youth exchange counselor?
Scenario 2When ever Jamal meets his host mothers sister, she hugs him tightly and touches him on the arms. It makes him uncomfortable. Should he tell his host mother or father?
Scenario 3Claudette is shy and doesnt like to dress in front of the other girls after gym class. All the other girls walk around with no clothes on and some have started teasing Claudette about being a prude. Claudette feels bad when this happens. Is this abuse or harassment?
Values and norms differ country to countryappropriate dresshow people interact in a relationshippersonal spaceeye contactWhistlingAcceptable gestures (pointing, crossing legs, winking)
Do cultural differences need to be considered in assessing whether a behaviour is harassing or abusive?
So you dont offend othersSo you dont get offended by the actions of othersSo you can distinguish between a normal behaviour in the culture and inappropriate behaviourStillif something someone is doing is making you feel uncomfortable discuss it with someone in your Rotary Support Network.Why is it important to understand the cultural values and norms in your host country?
Write down contact info for people in your District and Club Support Systems and ensure you know where to find it. Be sure to meet these people so you know who they are.Talk with your host parents about concerns you or they may have. Learn to be comfortable talking about your worries.Study the language, culture and community of your host country and be prepared to avoid risks and seek assistance as needed.
Homework(dont forget to pick up your copy of this presentation)
Participating Rotary clubs and districts are committed to helping safeguard Youth Exchange Students.
Adults involved in the Youth Exchange program are thoroughly screened through applications, background and reference checks, and interviews.
Host families are volunteers with an interest in learning about other cultures and a desire to host a student.
No family is required to host as a condition of their sons or daughters participation as a Youth Exchange student. Host families are not paid.
Rotary volunteers visit and interview host families before a student is placed.
Host counselors and Host Youth Exchange Officers serve as liaisons between students and their host Rotary Clubs. They help students adjust to their new environment and provide support during the exchange.
Rotary clubs and districts provide guidance and support to all Youth Exchange students before, during, and after their exchange to help ensure a positive exchange experience.
Students and parents receive contact information for several Rotarians at the club and district levels to ensure that someone is always available to help in an emergency.
Each district provides incoming students with a list of local support services.*Here are the people responsible to support your safe exchange at the club level. Homework: Under each of these people in your support system, write down the individuals name and contact information. Take this with you when you go on exchange.
*Youth Exchange is a district run program meaning that each Rotary district develops its own policies based on guidelines established by Rotary International. Included in your package is the current youth protection policy for District 6330.
Rotary clubs and districts assume a significant degree of responsibility for the well-being of the students they host and have many safeguards in place.
Each Rotary district has a Youth Exchange support system led by a district chair. Your district also has a Youth Protection Officer (me). Here is the contact information for district level contacts if you need any help or need to report an incident.
*The support system for students includes a set of program rules for student behaviour (including the 4 Ds which are?....No drinking, driving, dating or drugs!
These program rules are designed to protect students by helping them adjust to their host family and country, providing guidelines for appropriate behaviour, and protecting them from potentially risky activities.*Acid test Does it make you uncomfortable?*