Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC)

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Monday, April 25, 2011

What to do if robbed while volunteering abroad

Being a victim of a robbery can be very traumatising to anyone, the situation can be made worse if you are in a foreign country. Many people get caught off guard in such a situation, and in most cases you don’t know what to do first. If you are in shock, you may find yourself not knowing who to turn to or where to go, so the first thing you should try to remember is to take some deep breaths and try to get a good bearing of where you are, this may be use full to you, later on when dealing with the police, because petty thugs and gangs tend to be territorial. Also try your best not to get in a tussle with the robbers; this may be a sure way of provoking them to harm you

When it comes to robbery especially in a foreign country, then what your motto should be to take at most precaution before it happens. You therefore need to remember a few things, first and most obvious is clothing, do not walk around with flashy clothing or jewellery in your day to day volunteer work or while walking around, this will make you a target of opportunity criminals. Never leave any luggage you may have unattended or in the company of strangers, again you never know who May be watching.

Just in case of anything, before you leave home, make a copy of your passport and visa and leave it with your emergency contact. Also make a copy of your itinerary and leave it with your emergency contact. Always have 2 copies of your emergency contacts number with you, and the numbers of your embassy or high commission office.

First thing you need to do if robbed while in a foreign country is to find the nearest police station. You also need to get an affidavit of all the items you lost during the robbery, either in case your items are found or just in case there may arise a need for its use if you lose any important documents.

Once you have reported the crime to the police, then the next thing you should do is contact your embassy or high commission office. You may do so by phone or go directly too their offices, it is however most advisable to visit their offices in person. Once you visit the offices then the officers of tour embassy or high commission can assist you in a number of ways.

Embassy or high commission officers may help you to get a new passport if you lost yours in the robbery, and in some cases they may send you some emergency cash if you lost your money as well. While doing this, they will also help you to process or cancel any credit cards that you may have lost in the ordeal.

After going through such an ordeal, then you may need to talk to some family or friends to help you to get over what has happened, you can also seek local counsellors who speak your language to help you come to terms with things. Time however is the best healer for such things so give yourself some time and you are likely to get back to your volunteering, and feeling like your old self again.

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