Staff training’s are an important part of CRP’s work ethic. They are held every couple of months with different topics including culture and education. A good way to address the whole of CRP’s staff all at once—to underline the importance of the topic—these trainings are conducted bilingually if needed. “As CRP grows, it’s important that we grow in a consistent way where people are learning as we are implementing new things. Old staff learns that we’re doing things differently, new staff gets to know our philosophy that goes to the core of what we do,” Judy, our Director of Grant’s & Communications explains. This month, she conducted a CRP-wide training on how we can protect beneficiaries and our local volunteers while also sharing their stories. This is especially important when visitors come to CRP.
The training about beneficiaries’ safety was held by Judy herself, with translation into Arabic by our volunteer Salem. Over the course of one afternoon, she introduced different scenarios and staff members then acted them out to create a feeling of empowerment during uncomfortable or unsafe situations. At times, it may not be obvious to all people present in a situation that someone feels uncomfortable, and many such situations arise without any bad intentions. In these cases, it is a matter of cultural sensitivity and human empathy.
For example, a person of Western background may ask a Muslim woman seemingly innocent questions about her hijab or hair. The woman may respond in a composed manner but still feel uncomfortable, which is why such questions are generally discouraged. In other situations, a staff member or beneficiary who depends on CRP may not feel entitled to step in if a big donor makes them uncomfortable during a visit. While this might be only mildly upsetting, other scenarios looked at what to do if a journalist pressured someone into revealing identifying information or a visitor wanted to give gifts or cash to a beneficiary directly. In the training, Judy emphasized that anyone, at all times, should feel entitled to speak up in a dicey situation.
CRP was founded to undo some of the damage done to innocent people in wars and conflicts. It remains our main goal to help our beneficiaries to heal and find a safe space in our centers in Amman.
Judy first got the idea to conduct the training after attending a training herself at one of the UN Working Groups. But before that could happen, she realized that CRP needed more processes in place. If you come to visit CRP now, Judy or another staff member will give you the rundown of our policies, including sending a list of guidelines in advance and discussing them when you get here.
We value our donors’ support so much and are so proud that we can sometimes share what we do in person. We want it to be the best experience possible for everyone involved.