Elizabeth Openshaw

Elizabeth holds an MA in Human Rights, a degree in modern languages and is a qualified therapist under the  British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.  She has worked for 20 years in various capacities in the field of education, human rights, development and humanitarian sectors as a teacher, education advisor, training specialist in Europe, Asia and Africa.   Whilst working at the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, she trained over 1000 human rights defenders from across the globe on effective engagement with the United Nations human rights mechanisms.  During this time, her work with human rights defenders led her to the conviction that a more holistic approach, which explores ways to cope with stress, trauma and avoid burn-out, is needed to ensure an integrated protection strategy for those working in hostile environments.  

Elizabeth began working with RedR UK as the training manager in 2013 and has continued her work as an Associate Trainer.  She has worked on a variety of RedR training courses including Developing Effective Aid Programmes for DFID officers around the world and training humanitarian medical workers responding to the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014-15.  She recently returned from Sierra Leone working in collaboration with the IRC Women’s Protection and Empowerment team.  As a psychosocial support specialist, she provided technical guidance and training on managing trauma to women-only community groups who are survivors of Ebola and gender based violence.  Elizabeth is passionate about promoting mental health and resilience for human rights defenders and aid workers.