On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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An unsafe program can destroy the trust parents have placed in GLA. If GLA loses the trust of its parents, the organization could have a severe impact for the future.
However, while safety is critically important, students’ should not be sheltered from the communities or prevented from experiencing local culture in the name of being over-protective.
Safety is Priority#1
Safety ALWAYS comes first at GLA!!!
Safety is paramount. It is woven throughout every aspect of programming.
Because GLA works exclusively with high school age students, minors, we all need to be aware of the unique safety issues and concerns of this age group
Program specific safety plan and on-site training
3 days prior to start date of program
Safety will be reviewed before each excursion and activity at “all staff” meetings
Director and Mentors
In the GLA experience, bright students connect with accomplished mentors
This is because You are not chaperones; You are experts.
All GLA international staff have at a minimum a Bachelor’s Degree
All GLA international staff have completed and provided documentation to GLA HQ current certification in First Aid/CPR
All GLA international staff have passed extensive background checks
Majority of staff have specific experience in the country or region of operation
Majority of program staff have direct and extensive experience with teens
Minimum of half of staff on each program speak local language
All staff have read and signed off on GLA Operating Manual
5 Point Safety System
Safety is our # 1 priority. That’s why GLA has implemented the GLA Five-Point Safety System™ to help ensure students’ safety and health, and parent’s peace of mind.
1. Safe and Secure Lodging .
Each program has a GLA Home Base, a place for GLA students only. It’s their home away from home – to relax, enjoy meals with GLA staff and other volunteers, and to reflect and bond.
Students room together in gender-segregated group lodging
Males/Females are NOT permitted in each other’s rooms
Male and Female staff are not permitted in each other’s rooms
Staff must always speak to student’s in groups of (2) staff members
5 Point Safety System
2. Caring Supervision .
GLA policy is for no student to ever be by themselves at any point in time.
Students should be either with staff members, in groups, or assigned to a buddy.
The only times students will be unsupervised are:
In their rooms
On site of an enclosed homebase during free time
In rare situations i.e. shopping at a local market in groups/buddy system
One staff always does a count off before leaving any site to ensure all student’s are accounted for
Our student-staff ratio is 10:1.
Lights out/Room checks
5 Point Safety System
3. Healthy Meals and Bottled Water .
Meals are prepared fresh daily, with a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, and bread.
Students may sample local cuisine, but Western-style are also available.
We can accommodate vegetarians in all programs
Students and staff will also have access to unlimited safe drinking water.
We acquire all known allergies to staff for each student – all staff need to review prior to program and be aware for all meals, times we eat out, etc.
5 Point Safety System
4. Safe and Comfortable Transportation, Arrival/Departure
Students are transported in GLA-approved vehicles, transported by experienced, licensed drivers
At time of arrival, GLA staff will be at the airport to meet and greet students. If the plane is delayed, they will wait until students arrive
All GLA staff will be wearing their red GLA T-shirt for arrival and departure days
Students have all been encouraged to wear red GLA or any red T-shirt for arrival day
Staff need to provide identification for pick-ups in case of unaccompanied minor sign off and/or student request
All students must complete a MANDATORY CALL HOME upon arrival
Must speak to actual family member
Staff must check off that they have reached parent/guardian
At airport drop-off, GLA staff will help students check in and make sure students know how to find their flight prior to leaving students at the airport
5 Point Safety System
5. Expert Local Knowledge
Our in-country staff members have intimate knowledge of the host community.
They have established relationships with medical professionals in the area:
Closest local clinic 24/7 accessibility
Closest full-service hospital 24/7 accessibility
They have connections with all of the local organizations where students do community service, visit NGO’s, partake in cultural activities etc.
Director’s Report - Checklist
Completed by both Local Director & International Director (s) upon arrival to program country (first task)
Site specific (homebase, service sites, excursions sites)
detailed plans for medical emergency and evacuation plans
open ended section for each set of directors to input the 3 greatest risks for their particular country
complete/update contact information for the closest medical clinic, full service hospital, ambulance, police, fire (if applicable) and USA Embassy
Card or document with all staff phone numbers (one copy to be given to each student at orientation and kept on them)
Report/Checklist must be emailed to GLA HQ and approved prior to start of program and team review
Review must be delivered by Director’s as part of the training to all hired staff in-country prior to arrival of the students
Director’s must formally check-in with HQ after each session to discuss the program and specifically revisit safety
Code of Conduct
Students in our program are representatives of their home nations and schools. As such, they are expected to be respectful of all the other students on the program, the staff, and the public.
They are also expected to demonstrate open mindedness and enthusiasm for learning.
Finally, students must obey Global Leadership Adventures’ Code of Conduct. Any violation of the Code of Conduct will result in the student’s immediate removal from the program. The student will be sent home on the next available flight - at the parents’ expense, even if there is one day remaining on the program.
1. Stay on campus/GLA Homebase. Students are required to remain on the program campus/homebase site at all times except when accompanied by a staff member or unless granted permission in advance.
2. Have a buddy. On trips, students are committed to a strict adherence to a buddy system. A student is never at any time permitted to go off on his or her own.
3. Don’t catch a ride. Students are only permitted to travel in motorized vehicles with program staff. Any instances of riding in an unauthorized vehicle, including taxis or buses, will result in expulsion.
4. No alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. The use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or any other controlled substances are strictly prohibited during the student’s time in the program. Use of these products will result in immediate expulsion. Nicotine patches or gum are acceptable.
5. Water safety. Students are not allowed to swim on trips except with the permission and under the supervision of one of the program’s trained lifeguards. Students are to obey all rules laid out by the lifeguards under any swimming excursion.
6. Ask for permission. Students are required to ask for permission to take part in activities not specifically authorized or supervised by the program staff.
7. Commitment to program. Students must be committed to the program, from beginning to end. This means students will approach all GLA activities with an open mind and will commit to participating in all aspects of the program.
Code of Conduct
Each staff member will carry the following on them at all times
First Aid Kit on them at all times
Insurance / World Wide Assistance Card
One page local emergency contacts page i.e. clinic, hospital, ambulance, police, fire, embassy, all staff numbers
Program specific enrolled student info form, which includes:
Medical Issues & Special Notes
GLA Mobile Phone: given to any staff who will independently be with students at any time, used only for GLA in-country communication, emergency and communication with HQ (not personal calls). Save all staff contacts in phone.
On and off site, remain vigilant for things that might compromise student safety, such as unfamiliar individuals or unlocked doors
During an activity if you feel that an aspect is NOT safe or that security is compromised immediately stop and have a staff meeting to share concerns
You may deem an activity unsafe because of weather, vehicles, personnel etc.,
If you believe additional safety precautions should be taken, discuss immediately with the program directors
Incident vs. Emergency
An incident does not require you to contact the embassy for the affected participants home country
An emergency requires that you contact and gain assistance from the embassy
The following require emergency protocols and establishment of the Crisis Response Team
Communicating with GLA HQ, parents, embassy, local authorities (police, coroner, etc.)
Acquiring all paper documents from local authorities
Informing and calming other students
Determining next steps
Any incident that occurs on a program should be transmitted in writing to GLA HQ in the form of a simple email sent to: [email_address]
What qualifies as an incident?
Student checked in to an emergency room
Visit to a doctor’s office
Visit to an outpatient care center
Student drinking of alcohol or drug use
Any interaction with law authority beyond simple questioning
Theft of valuables
Fist fight between students
Information Required in Incident Report
Name of GLA Program:
Name of person(s) involved:
Date of incident:
Type of Incident: Emergency or Non-Emergency
Name of person filing report:
Sponsorship: Self-funded or on Scholarship (who is sponsor organization?)
Describe incident or situation:
Summarize condition of affected participants (physical and psychological condition):
Summary of action taken (response by local authorities, medical attention provided, plan in the event the situation gets worse)
If medication was prescribed – what is the name of the medication and how much dosage was prescribed? Please make a copy of the prescription for our records.
Any other pertinent data of more detailed descriptions continued from above
Typical Behavioral Issues
The following types of runs are NOT necessary to report:
Name calling and cursing between students
The best way to handle an emergency is to Prevent it from happening. By adhering to some simple guidelines the likelihood of any serious incident can be dramatically reduced. These measures SHOULD be included in the safety orientation with all students (Code of Conduct Review)
Stay at the Home Base/Site. Students are required to remain on the grounds of the Home Base/Service Site/Excursion at all times except when accompanied by a staff member.
Have a buddy. On trips, students are committed to a strict adherence to a buddy system. A student is never at any time permitted to go off on his or her own.
Be a Water Maniac. The most common reason students fall ill on a program is because of dehydration. Students do not realize that the sun is often hotter in many of our locations and forget about drinking water to stay hydrated. Staff must become “water maniacs” and make sure students are drinking sufficient water – and filling their bottles before departing for community service and excursions.
Be a Medication/Sunscreen/Insect Repellant/Appropriate Dress/Gear Maniac . It is advised to remind students daily about required medications, sunscreen, Insect Repellant and appropriate dress for both cultural norms and safety. Prior to excursions/activities remind students about appropriate gear i.e. hiking shoes, water bottle, etc.
Define a meeting place. Before your group exits the vehicle on any field trip or excursion you should define a meeting point with students to which they can return if they get lost.
Count all students before leaving any site, double count!!!
Be aware. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Be inconspicuous. Students should keep a low profile and try not to make themselves conspicuous by dress, speech, or behavior in ways that might identify them as potential targets. Students will not know this unless the staff instructs them prior to the visit.
Be discrete. Do not carry valuables (cash, personal documents, jewelry, etc.) in such a way that they are clearly visible to others. Do, however, carry a wallet with some cash, but no other documents, in it. In the extremely unlikely event of a robbery, it is best to have something to offer.
Be cautious. Be wary of people who seem over friendly or overly interested in the group. Be cautious when you meet new people, and do not give out your address or phone number. Be careful with information about students or group events. Be alert to anyone who might appear to be following you, and to any unusual activity around your place of residence or classroom. Report any unusual people or activities to on-site staff immediately.
Don’t catch a ride. Students are only permitted to travel in motorized vehicles with program staff. Any instances of hitchhiking or riding in an unauthorized vehicle, including taxis or buses, will result in expulsion.
No alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. The use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or any other controlled substances is strictly prohibited during the student’s time in the program.
Water safety. Students are not allowed to swim on trips except with the permission and under the supervision of one of the program’s trained lifeguards. Students are to obey all rules laid out by the lifeguards under any swimming excursion. Students are not to participate in any unauthorized water sport or to swim alone.
CRT: Crisis Reaction Team
The CRT consists of the International Director and the Local Director.
The other staff members should focus on keeping the students calm and informed.
The purpose of the CRT is to determine the next course of action in the event of an emergency or disciplinary matter.
For example, in the event of a flood, the CRT would determine if it is safe to continue with the program or if further actions must be taken to ensure the safety of the students and the staff.
CRT: Issues to Consider
Whether or not to begin evacuation procedures
Whether or not to suspend or cancel activities for a period or indefinitely
What disciplinary measures are necessary in the event of a transgression
How to handle communication with parents, participants, staff and media
Any other issues that effect the continuing operation of the program or the participation of one or more individuals
Any other issues where the counselor is uncertain about how to proceed
In general it is a requirement that any program staff member contact the CRT members in the event of any emergency or disciplinary situation.
Please see GLA Operating Manual pages 10 -19
Student Crisis Management
In general, whenever an emergency or an issue with a student or staff member occurs, the Directors should assemble all staff and students on the GLA program as soon as possible.
While respecting individual privacy, the Directors should describe the confirmed facts of the situation an answer any questions as well as possible.
GLA HQ Support & Assistance
In-country program staff have direct access to a 24/7 GLA headquarters support staff who will be on-call for any question, issue or crisis
HQ staff will serve as the liaison between program staff, students, families and the press (if necessary)
GLA provides secondary travel, medical and evacuation insurance for all students and staff
If you do not have primary, GLA’s serves as
Student’s/Staff are responsible for paying up front for medical fees and posting a claim later using receipts for reimbursements
If student/staff is not able to pay GLA will cover
24/7 Worldwide Assistance for staff
Refer to card, print out and carry with you at all times