Building a Healthy Work Environment at CRP

Last week, a group of psychologists from Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Society for International Cooperation, commonly known as GIZ). set up a three-day training program at CRP that focuses on ways to support staff members and build a healthier work environment. This training consisted of many different sections such as discussing challenges that CRP’s staff members in their work and creating action plans and ideas to deal with these challenges.

This three-day training is only the first part of the program. The group of psychologists will come back after six months to follow up on this training and help CRP further progress as a healthy work environment. “Staff care should be something that’s contextualized; it’s not the same thing in every single organization and in every country. But you need to understand what the challenges that you face are, as a team and as a group or an organization with the specific population that you work with in order to design practices that support those challenges,” says Kate, one of the psychologists GIZ sent to us.

Due to the fact that most of CRP’s implementing staff members are refugees themselves, they are under a lot of pressure in their lives as refugees as well as work pressure. This enables CRP to build close ties to our community and promote leadership, but it can also be hard on our staff who have their own struggles. “I’m proud to be working with an organization that considers the amount of pressure its staff members go through and actively work on creating a healthy environment for us,” says Sara, youth program coordinator.

This training seeks to create day-to-day practices and gestures that positively affect CRP’s staff, such as relationship building among staff members and acknowledging and confronting the difficult emotions and feelings that come up in conflict and crisis, all things that can be integrated into the everyday work.
“When you’re working in a really difficult context of crisis or conflict that it’s an organizational responsibility not just to protect the physical integrity of people who are working within the organization, but also the psychological and emotional integrity of people working in difficult conditions with difficult situations and in the midst of severe suffering,” says Kate.

“As refugees who work with refugees, we are exposed to more trauma as well as the trauma that we have been through when we hear these stories it can trigger us. So if we don’t take care of ourselves first we won’t be able to take care of the people we are trying to help,” says Aseel, ready to get back to work.

Thanks GIZ for providing this training to our staff!