Himalayan Health & Hearing Inc Association Rules
(Version 5 – Amended AGM 11th May 2014)

The Association rules can be downloaded as a pdf below.

click onHimalayan Health & Hearing Inc. Association Rules 2014

Himalayan Health & Hearing Inc.
Field Tripper Policy
Version 4 Date amended 4th April 2016

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1. Introduction

This policy has been developed to protect the interests of Himalayan Health & Hearing Inc., its volunteers and most importantly, the beneficiaries of the Association. It also aims to assist those applying to volunteer within Himalayan Health & Hearing Inc. by:

  • Clearly defining the goals of the Association to prospective volunteers.
  • Providing guidance and information to people who are considering applying to be a volunteer.
  • Managing the expectations of volunteers and the Association.

2. Suitability Criteria

The policy also has been developed to assist the Association and prospective volunteers to clarify the suitability criteria for applicants for volunteer work within the Association in terms of their

  • health and well-being
  • motivation
  • skills and experience
  • flexibility
  • ability to work as part of a team
  • intention to enhance the Association ie. “to bring something to the table”
  • self-reliance

3. Volunteering with Himalayan Health & Hearing Inc.

  • The Association values all contributions, big and small, made by volunteers.
  • The Association aims to benefit as many people as possible with the resources available to it, including its volunteers.
  • The efforts of volunteers will be used to assist the Association to achieve its object of the provision of primary ear care and rehabilitation of hearing impaired persons (as well as enabling the provision of other health services in conjunction with the ear and hearing services) in Developing Countries. Service delivery will target those people who would otherwise have no access to these services.

4. The Role of Volunteers

Volunteers can assist the Association in many ways including:

  1. Fundraising, either individual pursuits or by joining a larger event.
  2. Seeking donations of hearing aids, cochlear implant parts and accessories (new and used) and other hearing equipment to be used in Nepal and elsewhere in the Himalayan region.
  3. Promoting the Himalayan Health & Hearing Program and its objectives, through word of mouth, talks to community groups, and through social media.

5. Volunteers on Field Trips – Being a Field Tripper

From time to time, volunteers may apply to be a “Field Tripper” on one of the projects of the HH&H Program in Nepal or other Himalayan country.
This may include:

  1. Assisting our partner organisation at NAHOH or in Ear camps within the Kathmandu Valley.
  2. Accompanying one of the teams on a remote Health and Hearing Camp to one of the less-accessible regions of Nepal or neighbouring countries.

NOTE: These opportunities are very limited in number due to logistics and the long-range planning required for these Camps, and would be offered only where the volunteer had shown prior commitment to giving something to the Program either in donation of time, funds, or through fundraising efforts. (See the website for more information)

6. Responsibilities of Volunteers

  • Volunteers must observe the rules and policies of the Association as well as the relevant laws, regulations and policies of the jurisdiction in which the volunteer work is being undertaken at all times. It will be the volunteer’s responsibility to familiarise themselves with the relevant rules, policies, laws and regulations. Volunteers should contact the Association if they require further information in this regard.
  • Any task carried out by a volunteer is strictly at the volunteer’s own risk. The Association will not be held liable for the actions of volunteers.

7. How to Become a Volunteer

  • Prospective volunteers must complete and submit an application form, which is available by contacting the Secretary of the Association or from the website www.himalayanhealthandhearing.org/volunteers.
    Application forms are to be submitted online or by post to:-

Himalayan Health & Hearing Inc.
c/- PO Box 599
Cannonvale
QLD 4802
AUSTRALIA

  • Each application must be approved by the Management Committee before a person can become a volunteer of the Association. The Management Committee may at its sole discretion approve or decline an application.
  • An applicant must be given written notice of the Management Committee’s decision within 14 days of the decision.
  • The Management Committee may impose reasonable restrictions on a volunteer’s participation within the Association provided that the volunteer is given written notice of those restrictions within 14 days of the Management Committee’s decision.
  • Volunteers will not be permitted to undertake volunteer work that would place them in contact with children until such time as the volunteer has undergone a satisfactory police check. The applicant must undertake the police check at the applicant’s cost. In the event that the applicant does not pass a police check, the Management Committee must either reject the applicant’s application or impose restrictions on the volunteer which prohibits the applicant from coming into contact with children. It is the policy of the Association that unsupervised contact between a child and a volunteer of the Association is prohibited.

8. Timing for Volunteer Applications

At present, while the Association’s activities are focused mainly in Nepal, projects in other areas of the Himalayan region are also being undertaken.
Travel in this region involves significant forward planning and, for this reason, any volunteer offered the opportunity to travel with the Association for an overseas Ear Camp must submit an application at least six (6) months prior to the departure date.
The prospective volunteer’s application must be accepted prior to departure.

9. Costs Involved

9.1 Travel as a volunteer with Himalayan Health & Hearing Inc. is at the volunteer’s sole cost and expense. Travel costs generally include but are not limited to:

  • return airfares
  • travel insurance
  • clothing and equipment, and
  • accommodation costs, (at the time of writing were approx. AU$60.00 per day for remote ear camps, including food and accommodation, and AU $15-40 per day for accommodation in Kathmandu)

9.2 Depending on the location and work to be undertaken by a volunteer, the Association may require a volunteer to contribute a one-off payment (varies) to cover expenses including:

  • incidental damage to equipment used on Camps
  • consumables including batteries, tips, impression material, repairs and calibration costs
  • wages, gratuities to local assistants working with the Association

10. Other Information

10.1 About the programs
Typically, volunteer work is undertaken in conjunction with Nepal Association of the Hard of Hearing (NAHOH), Nepal Australia Friendship Association (NAFA) and Kopan Monastery in ear camps throughout various regions in Nepal and nearby countries. Many of the locations of the remote ear camps are extremely remote. Depending on the location of the ear camps, travel may be by airplane, vehicle, trekking on foot, or by other means.

10.2 Visa requirements
Volunteers entering Nepal on a Tourist Visa are not permitted to work within Nepal and this extends to activities such as a volunteer testing an ear camp patient.
“In Nepal the rules have been much stricter now and one cannot get involved in any activities even like teaching, nursing and organising other activities with a tourist visa. Any such activities would need to possess working visa and it is not easy to obtain either.” Advice from Nepali official
For audiology professionals, there is some scope for volunteers in a training role. The Nepali government does monitor the work of tourists and prosecution may result. It is essential that volunteers respect the laws and policies of Nepal and follow the directions given whilst carrying out volunteer work.

11. Types of Assistance Provided / Not Provided to Volunteers

11.1 The Association will assist volunteers by providing:
• fundraising ideas to assist with travel costs
• an introduction to a reliable trekking agency, if required
• moral support when things get difficult
• recommendations on hotels and restaurants, and
• introductions to affiliated organisations

11.2 The Association cannot provide volunteers with:-
• payment for any work undertaken by volunteers
• bookings for hotels or travel

Nor can the Association:-
• act as a travel guide;
• or take responsibility for any problems or issues faced when in Nepal.

12. Preparation by Volunteers in Overseas Projects

12.1 External Conditions
Travel to Nepal by a volunteer is strictly at the volunteer’s own risk and the Association can not guarantee the volunteers safety whilst in Nepal.
The following are some of the current issues faced by people visiting Nepal

  • electricity load shedding / blackouts;
  • strikes;
  • lack of hot water in hotel
  • lack of decent toilets in village areas
  • food different to what you are used to; and
  • language barriers, especially in rural areas.

12.2 Requirements of Volunteers on Location

  • obey all applicable local laws, regulations and policies at all times;
  • respect the local people and listen to what they say;
  • when wanting to help, find out what people need – don’t tell or give them what you think they need or should have;
  • respect the cultural differences and ways of life;
  • be prepared to take only what is required on remote trips and assume responsibility for
  • your belongings;
  • remember, your personal life needs to be kept separate to your role as a volunteer; observe ethical discipline – keep your relationships with other team members on a professional footing – friendly but respectful.

12.3 Useful Information for Volunteers Prior to Embarking

  • Read some information on Nepal. Good sources of information are the Lonely Planet guides and on-line resources on Nepal’s culture and way of life, though the Association does not guarantee the accuracy of any information.
  • Talk to others who have travelled to Nepal on previous occasions.
  • Seek the advice of your health professional and consider any precautions you may need to take including vaccinations.
  • Seek the advice of government advisory services such as “Smart Traveller”.
  • Think seriously about your motivation for volunteering and what you are hoping to gain on a personal level.

Download our General Tips for Volunteers

Himalayan Health & Hearing Inc.
Policy on terrorism, and protection of children from sex abuse and tourism including harm minimization practices

Version 3
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1 Awareness of issues related to terrorism, child abuse and sex tourism in Nepal and Himalayan region.

1.1 The Association is aware that program funds may be used for illegitimate purposes including support of terrorism. While Nepal is not considered a safe haven for international terrorists or an international money laundering centre, politically and religiously motivated violence does occur as do illegal activities related to smuggling, extortion and protection demands (Dunham, M. 2010 US Department of State Office of the Coordinator for Counter Terrorism, Country Reports on Terrorism, 2009). NGOs operating in Nepal need to be vigilant to ensure that funds only go to support the intended beneficiaries of their programs.

1.2 The Association is aware that the Australian Federal Government maintains a list of terrorist organisations in accordance with its Listing Protocols. The list of terrorist organisations is published on the Federal Government’s National Security Website http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/agd/www/nationalsecurity.nsf/alldocs/95fb057ca3decf30ca256fab001f7fbd?opendocument. At the date of the publication of this policy 17 organisations were listed:-
(1) Abu Sayyaf Group – Listed 14 November 2002, re-listed 5 November 2004, 3 November 2006, 1 November 2008 and 29 October 2010
(2) Al-Qa’ida (AQ) – Listed 21 October 2002, re-listed 1 September 2004, 26 August 2006, 8 August 2008 and 22 July 2010
(3) Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – Listed 26 November 2010
(4) Al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) (formerly listed as Al-Zarqawi and TQJBR) – Listed 2 March 2005, re-listed 17 February 2007, 1 November 2008 and 29 October 2010
(5) Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) – Listed 14 November 2002, re-listed 5 November 2004, 3 November 2006, 9 August 2008 and 22 July 2010
(6) Al-Shabaab – Listed 22 August 2009 and 18 August 2012
(7) Ansar al-Islam (formerly known as Ansar al-Sunna) – Listed 27 March 2003, re-listed 27 March 2005, 24 March 2007, 14 March 2009 and 9 March 2012
(8) Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades – Listed in Australia 9 November 2003, re-listed 5 June 2005, 7 October 2005, 10 September 2007, 8 September 2009 and 18 August 2012
(9) Hizballah External Security Organisation – Listed 5 June 2003 and re-listed 5 June 2005, 25 May 2007, 16 May 2009 and 10 May 2012
(10) Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan – Listed 11 April 2003, re-listed 11 April 2005, re-listed 31 March 2007, 14 March 2009 and 9 March 2012
(11) Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) – Listed 11 April 2003, re-listed 11 April 2005, 31 March 2007, 14 March 2009 and 9 March 2012
Version 2 Date created: 30/05/2013 Review date: 30/05/2014
(12) Jamiat ul-Ansar (formerly known as Harakat Ul-Mujahideen) – Listed 14 November 2002, re-listed 5 November 2004, 3 November 2006, 1 November 2008 and 29 October 2010
(13) Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) – Listed 27 October 2002, re-listed 1 September 2004, 26 August 2006, 9 August 2008 and 22 July 2010
(14) Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) – Listed 17 December 2005, re-listed 28 September 2007, 8 September 2009 and 18 August 2012
(15) Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ) – Listed 11 April 2003, re-listed 11 April 2005, 31 March 2007, 14 March 2009 and 9 March 2012
(16) Lashkar-e-Tayyiba – Listed 9 November 2003, re-listed 5 June 2005, 7 October 2005, 8 September 2007, 8 September 2009 and 18 August 2012
(17) Palestinian Islamic Jihad – Listed 3 May 2004, re-listed 5 June 2005, 7 October 2005, 8 September 2007, 8 September 2009 and 18 August 2012

1.3 The Association is fully aware of the extent of the problem of sex tourism and child abuse in Nepal. It is familiar with the 2005-2015 National Plan of Action for Children developed by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Nepal, which focuses on general issues of health and protection of children against abuse, exploitation, violence and combating HIV/AIDS. The Association is aware that Nepal has ratified almost all international instruments regarding child rights and has been submitting its periodic reports to the UNCRC (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). The Association is aware of the legislative framework surrounding child abuse of all kinds in Nepal enshrined in the Children’s Act 1992 of Nepal which prohibits a range of abuses against children and provides for punishment of offences under the Act (see: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/CRC/docs/study/responses/Nepal.pdf).

1.4 While the professional practices related to primary ear care, hearing assessment, and treatment do not involve the higher risk factors often associated with sex tourism/child abuse (eg adults being alone with a child, direct physical care and contact – bathing, live-in supervision etc), the Association recognises that sex tourism/child abuse can and does occur under diverse conditions. The Association recognises its obligations to protect children from such abuse. The Association has in place strategies set out in this Policy to ensure that its funds do not go to any individual or group associated with terrorism and utilises practices designed to minimise the risk of abuse and sex tourism in relation to children as set out below:

2 Strategies to minimise the possibility of funds providing direct or indirect support or resources to organisations and individuals associated with terrorism.

2.1 The level of need of any group requiring hearing services is assessed by the Association’s staff in Nepal in collaboration with volunteer professional hearing experts who assist with delivery of services. Only groups who exhibit high need and who demonstrate a legitimate purpose (for example, schools in remote areas, schools which include low caste children, disadvantaged children, carpet factory workers, elderly in care centres, children in homes, individuals with disabilities, individuals in monasteries etc) are provided with hearing services.

2.2 A detailed record is kept of all hearing devices given to an individual. A list of equipment held at NAHOH is kept and audited regularly. When the Association’s personnel travel to a clinic (either in remote areas or in Kathmandu) hearing assessment and treatment equipment is protected in secure, locked cases and is kept under the personal control of personnel.

2.3 All funds for the Association’s projects in Nepal are either taken to Nepal by Australian hearing professionals or transferred directly to NAHOH. Both organisations funds are fully audited and records of transactions are accessible to the Association’s executive officers who visit Nepal at least four times per year. This strategy provides strict control of funds and enables the prompt detection of anomalies in transactions, should such occur.

3 Himalayan Health & Hearing Inc. abides by the Australian Audiology Professional Code of Conduct and harm minimisation practices in all aspects of its services in Nepal

3.1 The Association believes that the quality of service and ethical standards operating in a developed country should apply equally in developing countries. Hence, for example, the quality of the Association’s equipment and listening devices are the same as would be offered in Australia. Similarly, the highest standards of professional behaviour apply equally in Australia and Nepal. Thus the Association’s personnel, both Australian volunteers and Nepali staff, abide by the Audiological Society of Australia (ASA) Ethical Code of Conduct.

3.2 Of particular relevance is the ethical principle: “Members shall not engage in sexual activities with clients or students over whom they exercise professional authority” (ASA Code of Ethics http://www.audiology.asn.au/ethics.htm#a)

3.3 The Association is well aware that although ethical principles provide a solid foundation for practice, good intentions are not enough to protect children, and accordingly has in place harm minimisation strategies.

4 Harm minimisation: service delivery is organised so that assessment and treatment takes place in the presence of parents/guardians or teachers

4.1 With hearing assessment and treatment, physical contact with a child is limited to the head region. Hearing clinics are organised so that while each child has his/her hearing assessed individually, the assessment and treatment (application of ear drops etc) takes place in a public space, such as a classroom, where other children and adults (parents/guardians and/or teachers) are present. Those children requiring a more extensive hearing test are seen in the presence of more than one professional and with a parent observing. In Kathmandu, children assessed at NAHOH are accompanied by a parent. This strategy minimises the opportunity for child abuse and sex tourism to occur.

5 Declarations from all personnel involved in The Association services that they do not have any criminal record in relation to child abuse, neglect or exploitation.

5.1 All personnel involved in the delivery of services facilitated by the Association, including hearing specialists from Australia, volunteers (Nepali and Australian) and Nepali staff at NAHOH will be obliged to sign a declaration that they do not have any criminal record in relation to child abuse, neglect or exploitation.

5.2 In accordance with the Association’s Volunteer Policy, volunteers of the Association will not be permitted to undertake volunteer work that would place them in contact with children until such time as the volunteer has undergone a satisfactory police check. It is also the policy of the Association that there will be no one-on-one contact between a child and a member or volunteer of the Association.

6 Obligation to report abuse: Immediately report concerns or allegations of child abuse and sex tourism in accordance with appropriate procedures.

6.1 The Association is aware that it has an obligation to report incidents of abuse and suspected sex tourism involving children. It is the Association’s policy that should one of its workers witness an incident of child abuse or suspect child sex tourism is occurring, that person must immediately report the incident to the nearest police.

6.2 A written report must be submitted to the Association’s Management Committee and the police and must include details such as the date of the incident, nature of the incident, location of the incident, contact details for the victim and contact details of the witnessing member/staff/volunteer/professional.

6.3 The Association recognises the right to privacy of the victims and the details of any written report will be kept confidential by the Management Committee in accordance with the requirements of applicable legislation.

7 Protection of the rights of children to access services and principle of client respect

7.1 A final consideration in terms of preventing abuse of children and promoting the well being of children is the principle of equality of access to hearing services and client respect. The Association’s services are open to all children irrespective of gender, caste, ethnicity, disability, and location (as far as resources allow). Children are treated with utmost respect, for example, explanations of procedures (such as ear cleaning, treatment with drops) are explained to them in their own language. Public radio is used to advertise the rural primary ear care clinics ahead of time in Nepali and local languages, providing background information and the nature of the hearing assessment. Parents or guardians and/or teachers accompany children to and from the clinics and are present during assessment.

7.2 The program seeks to provide services in hard to reach, remote areas where few if any services are available, making the service accessible to children and adults in subsistence farming families, in poor rural areas.

7.3 As an overall strategy to promote the best interests of, and minimise harm to children and adults involved in The Association’s services, all of the Association’s practices conform to the following standards of the Professional Standards of Practice for Audiologists (http://www.audiology.asn.au/standards.htm)
1. Keep paramount the welfare of clients/patients served in all practice decisions and actions.
2. Identify the procedures performed by Audiologists.
3. Address the clinical indicatio