Oyster Worldwide is passionate about the importance of responsible travel. We want our projects to fit in with the local way of life, without having a negative impact on the environment, culture or economy.
This means that we will only send participants to places where there is a real need and where we have been asked to work. Once there, they should fit in with the community, respecting their way of life and supporting, rather than taking, local jobs. We achieve this through the following policies:
Projects should involve and benefit local people
- Projects should employ local people and not replace full-time jobs with volunteers.
- Projects should benefit the local community, meeting a genuine social need or protecting their environment. We seek regular feedback from our participants, representatives and project partners to make sure this is the case.
- There should be an emphasis on sourcing local food and supplies.
- Volunteers working with children are expected to stay for a minimum amount of time, to avoid disruption.
Our volunteers should be a benefit, rather than a burden to the project
- Participants are interviewed before booking to make sure they have the right skills and interests for the project. Where they are not suitable for their desired project, a better alternative will be suggested.
- All the costs associated with hosting volunteers will be paid to the project. Oyster also makes occasional additional donations to help the work of the projects.
- Oyster participants are expected to adhere to a detailed code of conduct, given to them before departure.
Respecting the local way of life
- Participants are briefed before departure on environmental considerations, local customs, laws and social norms. They receive further briefing on arrival.
- We make sure that our representatives speak the local language (where relevant) and encourage our participants to learn some of the language too.
Oyster’s business ethos
- Oyster promotes fair-trade, environmental responsibility and respect for others in all its dealings.