As a Schoolbox Project Volunteer, I am committed to promoting the key principles of trauma-informed care: Safety, Trust, Collaboration, Choice, and Empowerment.   


To support these principles, I will:  

  • Create a safe, clean, predictable environment with at least three volunteers present in the Schoolbox during open hours  

  • Practice universal health and safety precautions (such as washing hands and wearing hair back) 

  • Maintain a child-centered and community-focused approach by:  

  • Practicing non-violence by keeping a calm verbal and nonverbal demeanor in all interactions with children, families, and the community  

  • Educating myself on the general cultural context of the current situation, including understanding the impact of adversity on physical, mental, and emotional health  

  • Whenever possible, including children and families in the development of programs 

  • Encouraging family-oriented activities that generate safe community interaction  

  • Allowing children to have freedom of movement and choice in their level of participation   

  • Drawing on each individual’s strengths and unique abilities to inspire healing   

  • Paying attention to children’s cues (verbal and nonverbal) to best meet their needs 

  • Taking a non-reactive approach to challenging behaviors  

  • Reporting any suspicious activity or concerns about unaccompanied minors or people at risk of trafficking or abuse  

  • Take care of myself! This includes:  

  • Being aware of the real effects of secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout 

  • Getting plenty of food, water, and rest  

  • Maintaining self-awareness so I know when I’m getting overwhelmed or need a break  

  • Creating peace in my own mind and body so I can best facilitate healing for others  

  • Reaching out when I need help  

  • Take care of the team! This includes:  

  • Being dependable and on time, recognizing my commitments and responsibilities  

  • Arriving each day with an open mind and heart and a willingness to learn from others  

  • Accepting feedback from coordinators, fellow volunteers, and refugees 

  • Bringing joy, laughter, insight, and my own unique gifts and ideas to the Project  


I Will NOT:

  • Use physical force for any purpose, including breaking up fights   
  • Get involved in fights between adults  

  • Use aggression, punishment, restriction, restraint, shaming or seclusion in response to behavior  

  • Initiate unsolicited physical affection with children  

  • Allow children to leave the area with me or get separated from their families  

  • Participate in any unplanned giving or distributions from the Schoolbox 

  • Take any photos or videos without approval, informed consent, and sensitivity. All media inquiries should be directed to Belle Sweeney at


The singular motivation of humanitarian action is to save lives and alleviate suffering in a manner that respects and restores personal dignity.

Humanitarian action is based solely on need, with priority given to the most urgent cases irrespective of race, nationality, gender, religious belief, political opinion or class.

Humanitarian actors refrain from taking sides in hostilities or engaging in political, racial, religious or ideological controversies.

Requires autonomy on the part of humanitarian actors, who are not to be subject to control or subordination by political, economic, military or other non-humanitarian objectives.

Source: UNHCR, Emergency Handbook