Partner manual

Main guidelines

Dutch culture

Sometimes we Dutch people may seem a little different, weird or even rude to you. To tell you some more about the Dutch culture we have written this chapter. We will not ask you to adapt totally to our culture, but we hope it gives you an insight into our culture and to make you understand some different behaviour.

Please, know that we encourage our team leaders and volunteers to adapt to your culture and learn from one another! We invite you and your staff members to also learn from our team leaders and volunteers.

Meeting Dutch people

  • The Dutch speak directly (giving straight `yes` and `no` answers) and use a lot of eye contact.
  • The Dutch answer the telephone by saying their name.
  • Dutch shake hands with everyone present – men, women, and children – at business and social meetings. They shake hands again when leaving. They introduce themselves if no one is present to introduce them.
  • Also, they can kiss you 3 times, especially if they know you better.
  • Lateness, missed appointments, postponements, changing the time of an appointment or a late delivery deteriorates trust… Dutch people are asked to be flexible once they are in countries where people are less punctual in time

Dutch body language

  • The Dutch are reserved and don`t touch that much in public or display anger or extreme exuberance.
  • The Dutch value privacy and don`t speak (that much) to strangers. It is more likely that they will wait for the other to make the first move.
  • The Dutch expect eye contact while speaking with someone. If this is not the case in your culture, we tell them in our training to try not to do so.
  • Moving your index finger around your ear means you have a telephone call, not “You`re crazy.” The crazy sign is to tap the centre of your forehead with your index finger. This gesture is very rude.

Dutch clothing customs
The Dutch attire is generally casual and clothing varies per season and depends on the weather. Jeans, shorts, t-shirts and tank tops are commonly worn by young Dutch people. We ask our volunteers to dress appropriate and modestly when visiting projects. See our Code of Conduct for more information. Please inform the team when going out on excursion or beach what clothing to wear and or/bring.

Dutch food customs
Dutch people are used to have a light breakfast (with bread rolls) and light lunch and a warm dinner. We ask our volunteers to adapt to your customs. Still it`s possible that some adjustments might be needed, because our stomachs are used to different food. Dutch people don`t use much oil whilst preparing their food and in case they eat meet it`s well done.


Safety precautions in The Netherlands

Statement of health
Volunteers cannot sign up for a tour in case they are mentally or physically unwell. They need to state that they are healthy. In case they are not healthy they need to ask their doctor for permission.

Signing Code of Conduct
Volunteers cannot sign up for a tour in case they do not undersign our Code of Conduct.

Terms & Conditions
Volunteers cannot join our tour if they do not sign our terms & conditions. Hereby they sign that they can be send back during a tour:

  • in case they lied about their (mental) health
  • in case they disturb the Code of Conduct and create problems
  • when they use drugs
  • when they have sex
  • when they show unacceptable behaviour

Screening of team leaders
Livingstone screens team leaders through an application form and job interview on: motivation, travel and culture experience, leading (young)people and Christian faith. Once team leaders pass the interview, we request for a certificate of conduct from government side.

Training of team leaders
Team leaders will be instructed on different topics. To make sure they are very much aware of safety we also instruct them on:

  • team`s processes
  • how to deal in a crisis situation. Read more about our Crisis management over here.

First Aid
On each team at least one person has a First Aid certificate. In case nobody has a certificate, one of the volunteers will join a First Aid training. Each teams receives a first-aid kit that they will bring along.

Cultural training team
At the training of mission teams and volunteers are informed about the culture of your country / region. They will get explanation about the local do’s and don’ts. We depend on your information about culture and do’s and don’ts in order to make this training useful.

Safety training team
During the training for the volunteers we inform them about safety. We go through the Code of Conduct and we share your advices as shared at the safety sheet. We also inform the team about what our government says about the safety in your country and safety precautions they recommend.

Medical training team
During the training for the volunteers we inform them about the health advice for your country according to the information shared by our National Travel Advice Coordination Centre. This information is about vaccinations and precautions, e.g. mosquito nets, tablets etc. Check their advice for your country at Also we share your health advices as written at the safety sheet. And we give advice about food – what to eat (not).

24-7 training team
We inform all volunteers about our 24-7 emergency line. In case their parents or legal guardians ar not present at our training, we emphasize on sharing the information to them. In case something happens in the Netherlands whilst volunteers are at your project, parents/ family of the volunteers can reach our 24-7 line. Also we instruct our team to strictly obey the team leaders during a crisis. W have a crisis protocol for this situations.

Safety precautions at your place

Team`s transport

  • Make sure you arrange good, well-maintained travel transport; in line with local rules and with insurance
  • Traveling in a taxi (bus) with more than the legally permitted amount of people is not permitted
  • Wear seatbelts at all times
  • Drivers need to have a license and are only permitted to drive without alcohol
  • Drivers have proper knowledge of routes, traffic and safety precautions
  • Drivers have a proper driving attitude; keeping the speed limit and courtesy is important
  • We expect a well-balanced schedule of driving and taking time to pause (e.g.: 3 hours driving, 30 minutes break)
  • In case of emergency, there must be additional transport available within 5 minutes
  • Locations for rest and sanitation stops should be provided for long trips. We expect these places to be safe and properly accessible
  • It`s not allowed to drive in a pick-up, in case that is legally not permitted in your country
  • It`s not allowed to travel by motors (Uganda: boda boda`s) in the city and its surroundings
  • Team members are not allowed to drive themselves, since they are not used to the traffic of your country
  • If your team is travelling by boat, ensure that safety jackets are on board

Team`s accommodation

  • Teams are accommodated in a safe building with enough rooms
  • Men and women have separated rooms in case they are not married
  • The area of the accommodation is safe, if necessary surrounded by a wall or fence. If necessary there will be guards 24/7 or during the night
  • Necessary precautions for fire safety should be taken, at least at the minimum level of the local regulations
  • A place for gathering after a possible calamity should be make known to the team. There should be a plan for evacuation out of the building and/ or
  • compound shared to the team
  • The rooms have locks and only the project leader and the team leader carry the keys. Other people than team members or the leader can only have entrance after permission of the project leaders.
  • A suitable place should be provided to keep valuables (like passports, money, etc.) safe

Team`s meals
In order to prevent sickness please make sure the team members:

  • Don’t buy meat from the market
  • Don’t eat raw vegetables
  • Don’t drink water from the tap
  • Don’t eat local ice cream
  • Only eat well-baked fish, meat and eggs

Team at project site

  • Team members are not allowed to use electric tools for building activities, only when they have permission by the team leader and yourself (e.g. when they are professionals)
  • Make sure that our team members are not involved in dangerous (building) tasks or need to work at dangerous places. They are e.g. not permitted to work on the roof, in water pits and at unstable places
  • Reconfirm that you inform our team members about taking care of themselves; think about getting enough rest, water, warry caps/ hats/ good shoes/ cloves, etc.

Medical care

  • There must be medical services near the accommodation(s). A clinic nearby and a hospital with a distance of maximum 1 hour drive. Please indicate the nearest hospital at our Safety Sheet.

Team`s specifications

  • Before the team arrives, Livingstone will send you a list of all the names of the team members and some remarks. Please go carefully through this information to make sure you are updated about allergic, specific medications etc.

Guiding a team

  • Make sure you instruct a team upon their arrival and at the project site
  • Also when rules are violated, directly communicate with team leaders. In case this doesn`t help, contact your relations manager
  • Ensures there is always a local team member to assist the teams by any means.
  • The team leaders need to know whom to go to if they have questions (also when you are not around)

Crisis management

A crisis is any event that is going (or is expected) to lead to an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual or a (part of the) team or community.

24-7 number
You, our team leaders, volunteers and their family members can contact our Livingstone emergency number 24-7 during a team`s stay at your project. This number is only available for emergency cases.
The 24-7 service assist you, our team leaders by making sure you do the right thing in order to bring safety back to a volunteer/ team. The telephone number is: +31 (0) 335100016

Crisis Management Team
In serious cases Livingstone rises it`s Crisis Management Team (CMT) within several minutes time. The team exists of:

  • the leader; our director (replaced by our chairman of board)
  • contact person for the project leader; relations manager (replaced by a board member)
  • contact person for the family members of a volunteer; office manager
  • contact person for the partner of volunteer; relations manager
  • publicity manager; relations manager (replaced by office manager)
  • assistance; office manager (replaced by relation manager)

CMT: When?
During a serious crisis, like:

  • rape of volunteer
  • serious sickness or death of volunteer
  • serious accident
  • plane crash
  • negative travel advice of Dutch government
  • serious robbery
  • missing persons
  • hijacking / hostage taking / kidnapping
  • natural disaster / epidemic
  • attack
  • accusation and imprisonment
  • expulsion from country


Each of our volunteers have a travel insurance. The travel insurance has a SOS- telephone service. Our team leaders or the 24-7 calls the SOS-service in case of an emergency. In case it`s needed the SOS-service takes care of repatriation, medical help (financial support), and mental help.

Your role
1. Please make sure your team is in a safe place. Or, in case of an accident, that people will be brought to the hospital directly.
2. Our team leaders contact the SOS-number of their insurance and our 24-7 emergency number. In case our team leaders cannot call; please call our 24-7 number (+31 (0) 335100016).
3. Assist our team leaders when additional support is needed.

Volunteer`s role
1. They strictly follow the instruction of the team leaders.
2. They are not allowed to call their family/friends and put information on Social Media. Only after they got permission of their team leaders.

Team leader`s role
1. They make sure the team is and stays in a safe place. Or, in case of an accident, that people will be brought to the hospital directly
2. They contact our 24-7 number and after the SOS-number of their insurance. In case they cannot, our 24-7line calls the SOS-number.
3. They make sure to follow instructions of the 24-7 and SOS, stay in close contact with you and to instruct the team.

Unacceptable behaviour

Behaviour that has created or has the potential to create a risk to a volunteer`s or staff member`s health and safety. Examples of unacceptable behaviour include, but are not limited to:

  • Personal neglect. E.g. you are not well looked after (you don`t get enough food, your aren`t heard)
  • Emotional abuse. E.g. you are bullied, frightened, abused
  • Physical abuse. E.g. you are kicked, beaten, locked up
  • Sexual abuse. E.g. you are touched, undressed unwantedly, sexual acts are being performed against you unwantedly
  • Discrimination. E.g. you are treated unequally because of origin, gender, religion, disability
  • Violation of rights. E.g. your privacy is not respected, you are not allowed to participate in discussions that you should discuss
  • Exploitation. E.g. an excessive call is made on you to work harder, contribute money

For volunteers
In case volunteers experience unacceptable behaviour they:

  • Talk with the person involved. You can ask a team leader or project leader to help them out. Make an agreement about the solution.
  • In case this doesn`t help, or you don`t dare to talk to the person involved, then you need to make a notification of unacceptable behaviour to the team leader or relations manager.
  • In case you don`t want to make a notification of unacceptable behaviour to the team leader or relations manager than you need to make a notification of unacceptable behaviour to the 24-7 service.

Notification at police
In case somebody shows legal punishable behaviour, the volunteer can make a declaration at the police in The Netherlands and in the other country in case it`s in the European Union. If this is the case, the volunteer also needs to inform Livingstone.

Notification at Livingstone
Our contacts person makes a report, makes sure that the unaccepted behaviour cannot be repeated and the volunteer is safe. (S)He informs the director of Livingstone. Within a day 2 persons of Livingstone (a man and woman) have contact with the volunteer, inform those who need to be informed and in case needed make sure the volunteer gets in contact with the police, a doctor or the insurance.

Within a week they receive a declaration of the volunteer and the accused person. Within a month they share their reports and judgement with the director of Livingstone. They will make sure the incident will never happen again and that the volunteer, the accused person and others involved will get proper after care. They will evaluate with the volunteer and the accused person. These evaluation need to sign and will stay in our archive.

For you and staff

  • In case a volunteer/ team leader harms a staff member, please talk with the person involved. Ask a team leader to help you out. Make an agreement about the solution.
  • In case this doesn`t help, make a notification of unacceptable behaviour to the relations manager.
  • In case a volunteer/ team leader harms you, please directly call our relations manager or 24-7 landline number to make a notification.
  • In case a volunteer/ team leader violates the Code of Conduct, call our relations manager or 24-7 landline number.


Finances linked with a team

No costs for you
There are no extra costs for the partner organizations. Livingstone will make sure that teams pay for all the costs that their visit brings along. The teams bring along a small contribution as agreed upon towards the project; for social and/or building activities.

Teams pay money
All of our volunteers pay for a mission tour/ volunteering period themselves; they pay for organization costs, flight, accommodation, project money etc. In order to raise this money, volunteers spent a lot a lot of time to mobilise their network in order to gather the required funds. Please know that the youngsters work hard for it and inform your staff about this.

Calculating costs
Before a teams come, we will ask you to calculate the costs you’ll have to make for hosting the team. Think about accommodation, meals, transport, but also (social) activities. For this Livingstone uses the costs sheet.
Make sure to update Livingstone about the amount of money needed for the practical activities (the building project). You can use our breakdown, or make your own calculation.

The team that will visit you and you receive a budget sheet two months prior to a team`s visit of your project. At least a month prior to the arrival of the team, Livingstone will transfer agreed budgets to the partners’ and team leaders’ bank account.

Budget A
This is the budget available for practical (building) and social activities in order to reach our goals. It`s the amount per person as agreed upon in the contract and – in case a team raised extra funds – extra money. This budget is also used for costs that come from practical activities (paying local workers, paying transport of materials).

Budget B
This is the budget available for the accommodation. E.g. to pay a mattress, water tank, rental of a small building etc.

Budget C
This is the budget available for meals. E.g. to pay groceries, but also to buy coals/ gas, etc.

Budget D
This is the budget available for transport during the teams’ stay at your project. E.g. for petrol, in case you need to use a car to get some groceries, or for daily transport to and from the project.
Budget E
This is the budget available for various things, as sim cards, security etc.

Budget F
This is the budget available for transport from and to the airport for the day of arrival and departure (total).

Budget G
In case Livingstone arranged an excursion, there will be budget available for the excursion. It`s not our custom.

Accountability of the budget
The team leaders and you are responsible to give proper accountability for the expenditure of the budget. The team leaders will take care of the financial administration of the whole budget by using our excel document called `cashbook`. You have the responsibility to give team leaders an insight in the budget finances spend and to spend and to give them receipts. On the first day of the teams’ arrival please give the receipts for all items bought with the budget send in advance by Livingstone to the team leaders and continue by doing so on the days to follow.

Approved budget
You cannot use money of one of the budget items for another reason before asking approval of Livingstone.. So f.e., you cannot use the money of budget B. (accommodation) for budget F. (transport to airport), only if Livingstone approves.

Remaining budget
Once the team will go home and their budget has not completely been used, please discuss with the team about how to spend the funds. E.g. to finish a building. Make an underwritten agreement about how you will use this certain amount of money.

Donations and sponsorship

Asking for sponsorship
Livingstone does not have the funds for sponsorships.
We do like to stress to not ask for any financial support from former team members and volunteers. This will harm the relationship between Livingstone and the volunteers. For any requests about finances/budgets, please contact Livingstone directly.

Receiving donations
In exceptional occasions, there is the possibility of receiving extra donations for your project when a team is not around. This is not common. If there is an donation we agree on how to spend it and how to give proper accountability before what deadline.

Money Transfer
In case we send you a donation we use our Money Transfer form. In this we state what accountability is expected before what deadline. Please sign this document once you received the money and send it back to your relations manager of Livingstone and mention how much money you`ve received.
Proper accountability

  • Less than 200 euro`s: Confirmation receiving gift, picture of receipt, picture of achieved purpose gift
  • Between 200 and 2000 euro`s: Report about expenditure gift, picture of receipts, pictures of achieved purpose gift
  • More than 2000 euro`s: Report about expenditure gift, picture of receipts, pictures of achieved purpose gift, word of thanks to sponsor

Different expenditure
In case you use money differently than we have agreed on, we consider ending our cooperation. Please ensure to settle the matter; make sure that you will accomplish the donor goal and send us accountability. In case this is not possible, we need to end our cooperation.

Colour system donations
For the accountability we use different colours: Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. Per amount (less than 200 euro`s or more than 200 euro`s) we have different explanations:

Passing deadlines accountability 0 - 200 euro`s

You`ve given proper accountability before the agreed upon deadline. Livingstone thanks and informs that donor.

You did not give proper accountability 3 days after the agreed upon deadline. Livingstone will give you a reminder by a phone call and mail and agree upon a new deadline.

You did not give proper accountability 3 days after the agreed upon second deadline. Livingstone will give you a warning by a phone call and mail and agree upon a new deadline. Livingstone informs the donor.

In case you do not send in proper accountability before deadline 3 you will never receive donations again. Livingstone will inform the donor about this as well.

Passing deadline accountability 200 euro`s +

You`ve given proper accountability and before the agreed upon deadline. Livingstone thanks and informs that donor.

You did not give proper accountability 3 days after the agreed upon deadline. Livingstone will give you a reminder by a phone call and mail and agree upon a new deadline.

You did not give proper accountability 3 days after the agreed upon second deadline. Livingstone will give you a warning by a phone call and mail and agree upon a new deadline. Livingstone informs the donor.

In case you do not send proper accountability before deadline 3, Livingstone will stop sending donations, teams and volunteers; we end our cooperation. We`ll confirm this by mail and phone call of our director. We inform the donor.


Privacy policy
In our country we stick to rules of the `General Data Protection Regulation`. This is why we cannot forward you all details of our volunteers. Once a team will come your way, we will send you their names and ages and specific details concerning allergic. We ask you to not share this information with others, but only to your staff members. In Holland we are asked to delete the information of the volunteers after 7 years, we ask you to do the same.

Keeping in touch
After a team`s stay at your project you and your staff members can stay in touch with volunteers. Please make sure that everybody wants to (the volunteer/ you). In case former volunteers do not reply to mails or messages, please stop mail/ messaging. Never ask for financial help. Please instruct your staff members about this as well.

No other contacts
We tell our volunteers to not exchange telephone numbers, social media accounts etc. with people they do not know so well (e.g. local people they met during a family visit). They can only stay in touch with you and your staff members. We ask you and your staff members to do the same.

Return to project

Not allowed
It`s not allowed for team members to visit you in advance/ after a tour. The reason is that in the past too many volunteers went back to our partner organizations, which became a burden to our project leaders. Also we have negative experiences with former volunteers that started to cooperate with partner organizations, whilst not informing Livingstone and finally destroying the cooperation between the partner organization and Livingstone and even a project.

There is an exception for team leaders and individual volunteers, they need to ask Livingstone for permission and after we will ask you also for permission. They need to undersign our Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions and we ask for a Police Clearance.

Also, in case they haven’t had a training, Livingstone will give them a briefing about your culture, your project. The visitor can only visit you for one day and will take care of their own accommodation and transport.

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