11 February, 2016
From the 25th to the 28th of January 2016 there was a training workshop on the Teaching Recovery Techniques manual, which was developed by the Children and War Foundation. The workshop was organised by the Social Support Society (SSS), a Lebanese organisation providing mainstream education to Syrian children refugees in Lebanon. The training was delivered by Dr. Masa Al-kurdi, a trainer from the Foundation, and her co-trainer Ms. Lamia Al Gorra, who was previously trained on the TRT manual in Jordan, 2012. The training was held in Beqaa, Lebanon where later implementations of the program would take place.
A total of 23 trainees were trained on the TRT manual. Twenty of the trainees are Syrian and working for the SSS organisation. A total of 18 trainees were school teachers, one was a general practionner and the last was the organisation’s administrative co-ordinator. The three remainder trainees were professionals visiting from Saudi Arabia to provide financial, moral and professional support to the implementing team on the ground. One of these visitors is a psychotherapist in Saudi Arabia, Dr Madeha, and will provide mental health support to the implementing team online and through routine visits to Beqaa every 6-weeks.
The first three days of the training were spent on the TRT manual. The trainees grasped the concepts extremely well, and were tasked with many practical exercises to practise the techniques on one another and to demonstrate their skills in front of the trainers. The final training day was spent on training the team on the implementation plan, pre-post survey assessment tools and data analyses and they were given further time to practice the techniques with comprehensive feedback.
The SSS organisation with the help of FarikBeirut organisation, appointed a project manager for the Beqaa team through their implementation of the TRT program. Together with Dr. Masa, the project manager put in place and trained the trainees on the implementation plan. The project manager is tasked to follow-up with the team in the first two cycles of the implementation on a weekly basis. He is also tasked to report back to Dr. Masa the project progress, feedback and queries. There is a planned delivery of a report at the end of the two-cycle period. This will include feedback on the program implementation, pre-post data analyses and success stories.
Children requiring further specialist mental health treatment will be referred to mental health specialists. Dr. Masa located several local mental health specialists who will treat referred cases from the SSS organisation pro bono. Mental health support will be offered to trainees as part of a ‘helping the helpers’ approach by Dr Madeha.
Implementation of the TRT program commences on the 14th February 2016, and the first cycle is estimated to take 8-weeks. Trainees will work in teams of two to deliver the TRT, and pre and post surveys will be assessed by the project manager. The program will run on a weekend, preventing any disruption to the school day for children and the teachers. Funding was allocated to cover the time of trainees to run the TRT program, and all transport for children, parents and trainees is included in the project budget.