We must be aware that positions of responsibility and power can lead staff and volunteers in our youth organisations to take advantage of their roles. Let’s imagine the case of a woman who begins to volunteer for a project in her community. She might be given the opportunity of distributing goods to those in need or determining who is eligible to attend an education programme. We know that sometimes people can let this power go to their heads.

Staff and volunteers may prioritise their friends or family members, or trade access for money or other forms of compensation. Or they might simply begin to see themselves as superior, and poorly treat others. 

This can lead to injustice in many ways, including in ways that relate to safeguarding. It could lead to taking sides with someone because their support or influence is important to us, or they are a donor. It could be that they are from our extended family or went to our school or church. We must be aware of biases and the trading of favours and ensure we do not compromise our dedication to the most vulnerable. 

Reflection Questions:

  • Has an incident like this ever happened in your organisation?
  • How have/ would you deal with it?
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