Date: 18-07-2022

Training of Trainers: Foundational training on psychological first aid and trauma-informed practices

Foundational training on psychological first aid (PFA) and trauma-informed practices for young children and their caregivers

As part of ISSA's Ukraine Response, the Secretariat held  two  Training of Trainers (ToT) online events for trainers and resource persons from ISSA Member organizations in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, and Slovakia. The first cohort, which was supported by War Child, took place between June 27 - June 29, 2022 and involved trainers from Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, and Romania. The second cohort with participants from Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, and Bulgaria was held between July 11 - 13, and was supported by UNICEF.  

The ToT provided a foundational training on PFA and trauma informed-practices for caregivers and practitioners working with children and families in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries receiving refugees. During the sessions, the master trainers from ISSA, Amna and War Child Holland provided information and support to the participating trainers about working with children and caregivers in distressing situtations, identifying signs of stress and trauma, administering psychological first aid (PFA), building safe environments and overcoming language barriers. They also emphasized the importance of selfcare to help professionals working with children manage their own stress. 

Training in six languages with simultaneous translation 

Despite the fact that the trainings were carried out in multiple languages with simultaneous translation — the second cohort involved six languages — this did not diminish the discussion. The participants benefitted from the broad range of experiences shared by their colleagues. These sessions lay a foundation for a cross border learning community that ISSA will facilitate to support further sharing. 

Feeling connected despite the language barrier  
The feedback on the training was very positive, with many of the participants remarking on the value of the practical tools, tips and examples shared by the master trainers for implementing the strategies in practice. They also highlighted that in spite of the language barrier, they felt connected, informed, and inspired. 
The training materials will be translated into Ukrainian, Polish, Bulgarian, Slovak, Romanian and Russian. Other languages will follow, along with more ToT events.

This project is being implemented in partnership with UNICEF and with support from the U. S. Government.

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