Just like team-building and staff-training sessions you might find in any office in America, our recent Arabic-language-staff training started with an ice breaker: two truths and a lie.
Once everyone felt more comfortable, training moved onto more serious topics. How do we, when under stress, make sure that we treat everyone with respect, that everyone who comes through our doors is met with a smile and a welcome?
We conducted this recent staff training all in Arabic, for our Iraqi, Syrian, and Jordanian volunteer staff every afternoon for a week. CRP values these members of our team, but also acknowledges that as refugees themselves, they may struggle with their own issues. As an organization, it’s important that we revisit our values and goals periodically. We’ve also recently brought on some new people and it’s good for them to talk about these things too.
“If we did not understand the philosophy of the organization, we cannot do it in the work,” Hesham, one of our new volunteers said.
Staff worked through different scenarios, including acting them out and brainstorming on paper. “We had to discuss the policies of the organization, our role here, and how to facilitate the volunteers working with us,” said Emad, who joined CRP in the fall to help with youth activities. “We discussed also the registration process and how to be kind with refugees.”
Our Deputy Director, Zayneb, organized and facilitated the training. “We talked a lot about our values as an organization and how that translates in day to day actions, management of our work, etc.,” Zayneb explains.
The staff found it to be so helpful that they’ve asked us to do shorter, more frequent refreshers.