"The most significant thing I learned from this training is how much I missed and needed this sense of community and connection. I really do think the isolating/lonely aspects of this line of work are the most difficult and draining parts of it for me. There is simply no room to stand and say ‘I’m overwhelmed and need a break’ during an emergency. And it’s always an emergency."
As well as providing practical support to aid workers in the field today through our programs, the CBR Project is also focused on creating change at scale across the aid industry. To achieve this we are engaged in advocacy for an evolution in staff welfare and support structures in NGOs across the world. We do this through one-on-one meetings with leadership and HR departments of individual agencies, as well as through participation in global events including:
- The World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul;
- Organizational Resilience: HR at the Frontline in Barcelona;
- Conference on Staff Care in Fragile Contexts in Jordan (Upcoming, October 2017).
Increasingly, in the latter half of 2017 and into 2018, our approach to Advocacy will be taking an increasingly prominent role in our work. This will focus around a testimonial gathering project, interviewing current and former aid workers in what will be an exciting attempt to harness the power of narrative and story telling.
Understanding that the most effective advocacy combines personal stories with data-rich evidence, the CBR Project engages in research partnership to estbalish proof of concept for the effectiveness of our approach.
There is already a great deal of evidence for the effectiveness of individual elements of our combined curriculum of psychological education and support, mindfulness meditaion and mindful movement. However, we are interested to further demonstrate the value of our approach to combining these elements, along with a supportive peer environment which addresses stigma head on.
To achieve this, we are working on data collection and analysis both with partner NGOs and with Anthony King, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Research, Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Michigan University.