Caring for Staff

© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-1216/Kate Holt
A16-year-old boy sits in a UNICEF-assisted child reunification centre set up by Save the Children UK in Goma, capital of North Kivu Province, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The adolescent was abducted by rebel soldiers on his way back from school with a friend, in the town of Mashake. They were taken to a training area and beaten, but escaped after two days.


  • To raise awareness of the need to care for staff who work within MRM
  • To identify ways in which as institutions we can improve the support provided to staff
  • To provide an opportunity to share difficult issues and the impact this has on us as individuals
Participants MRM Staff
Session Interactive presentation
Small group discussions
Time required 75 minutes (minimum but more time can be used if available)
Venue requirements Main training room
Equipment Flipchart paper and markers
Resource person(s) 1 person with experience of supporting field staff who work directly with victims, families, communities and/or witnesses
Training materials - Caring for Staff [PPT]
Documents for participants
Access to materials Training materials are included in Folder Module 17: Caring for Staff

Session Sequence

  1. Participatory Presentation (45 minutes)

    This presentation should raise some of the issues on how working in MRM impacts on staff and begin to enable the participants to discuss what can at times be difficult things to voice.

    Slide 2: Ask participants to consider why they do this work? Why is it important to them? Discuss in pairs what they feel comfortable to share.

    After the discussion in pairs:
    Brainstorm: List different the different types of reasons we do this work.

    Slides 3 - 6: Highlights the need to have something to give and the different ways this impacts upon us.

    Slide 7: This poses the question on how we can ensure we have enough to give and how we re-energise.

    After the discussion in pairs:
    Brainstorm: List the different ways people find to care for themselves.

    Slides 8 - 10: Look at the ways we can promote self-care. Slide 8 highlights that this falls into four main categories.

    Slide 11: At the title slide ask participants how they cope with workplace stress - what has helped them. Show the list of examples.

  2. Small Group discussion (15 minutes minimum)

    Either in pairs on in small groups. For this exercise it may be advantageous to ask people to pair up with people whom they feel most comfortable but this will depend on the group.

    Slide 12: Show the first part of the slide and emphasise this is not about the theory but about what they actually feel; what they personally have to deal with in their work.

    Show the second part of the slide and ask them to discuss in pairs or in small groups (4 maximum).

  3. Plenary discussion (30 minutes minimum)

    Based on the discussions we have had, ask the participants what can we do to enhance the care we give each other and enables us to sustain us in our work - in the difficult area of MRM.

    Slide 13: The slide shows some suggestions if needed.

    Tip: Some people may find this session difficult. It is a good idea to have a break after this module; and to ensure you are around for anyone who wants to talk to you. And try to be aware of anyone who struggled during this session.

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