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Brand New COVID-19 Training Courses Announced for Responders in the MENA Region

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Over the past three months we’ve seen this pandemic bring down the entire human race to its knees; lockdown measures, restricted movement, the temporary and permanent closing of businesses large and small, worldwide redundancies and halted production lines.

It’s needless to say, but the World is a very different place than it was pre-COVID-19 and the knock on effects are still unknown. We must take action and we must prepare ourselves and our communities. 

Are you an aid worker and responder in the Middle East, whose job it is to help people in desperate need of relief? Please, read on.

Despite the easing of lockdown, there are communities still being affected all over your country who need your help. That’s where we come in.

RedR UK is running its COVID-19 training courses for the next six months in the MENA region. Available for any aid worker, Government worker, Youth or Women’s Group Member, an International, National, Community-Based or Faith-Based Organisation, part of a mutual or anyone in the Humanitarian and Development sector. 

If that’s you, again, please read on.

A UK success story

In the UK we have just finished training 751 people to fight against COVID-19 in 6 weeks. Since the 16 April 2020 we have run 48 courses, trained over 750 individuals and 93% of participants rated the courses “excellent” or “good”. We also offered HPAss badges for each course and a Milestone Badge for those who completed all three courses. In six weeks we are delighted to have given 196 digital HPass badges.

Participants came from all professional backgrounds, including the NHS, the BBC, UK Mental Health, Cancer Research UK, Save the Children, The British Red Cross, Refugee Action, Saferworld, South London Refugee Association, UK Mental Health, Cancer Research UK, Church of England, Muslim Charities Forum, Water Aid, and local mutual aid group volunteers, just to name a few.

The training provided by RedR UK has been a real lifeline for many of our staff at Age UK – particularly those who are manning our helpline for older people. We have had so much positive feedback with staff saying that the training provided really helped give them some new coping strategies for dealing with stressful situations. We have really appreciated the support and flexibility offered by RedR UK in running the sessions – the opportunity to choose from a selection of times to join in has really helped our frontline staff access it at a time that doesn’t impact on their workload.

Tammy Palmer

Head of People Development, Age UK

Tammy Palmer

What are the MENA-based training courses all about?

Over the last two months we have developed three new courses, to help individuals at home in the UK to deal with some of the difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic has created.

The three original courses that were run in the UK will be joined by three more. Following, are the details of each course offered by RedR UK.

Culturally Appropriate Hygiene Promotion 

Helping people to adapt COVID-19 hygiene methodologies for different cultural and humanitarian contexts. 

Managing Stress During a Pandemic

I want to have a quiet word with the people who are like: “Now’s the time to learn a language or write a novel.” Because really, right now, just getting through the day is good enough.” This was said by Imogen Wall, humanitarian expert and trainer of this Mental Health Awareness course run by RedR UK and was our most attended session. 

This course smashes taboos and stereotypes about mental health, helps participants to recognise when someone is crying out for help and teaches you how to phrase and word your efforts to ensure maximum results and effectiveness for all.

COVID-19 Myth-Busting

The spread of misinformation can kill. This course is designed to take each participant through why misinformation, how to recognise fake news and decipher it for yourself and those around you.

Risk Communication and Community Engagement During COVID-19

This course teaches you how COVID-19 is impacting people of different gender, age and abilities across the country and gives you a toolkit to work with. 

You will learn: how to identify and describe key elements of community engagement and risk communications and why they matter; how to design ways to apply these key elements in practice in a MENA context; how to adapt your current community engagement programmes for a COVID-19 World; which specialist organisations provide technical services to support RCCE work.

Gender and Inclusion in a COVID-19 Response

This training provides practical actions that can be adapted to varying MENA contexts and implemented in a range of programmes to mainstream gender equality and inclusion in the COVID-19 response.

You will learn to: identify different impacts of COVID-19 on girls, women, boys and men with and without disabilities and of different ages; analyse the barriers and inequality that are creating an overburden of work, limiting access and increasing risks for women and girls in the MENA region; list practical actions to address barriers, risks and access; adapt key actions for the varying contexts and programmes in the MENA region, including sector-related gender aspects.

Training Essentials 

This course touches on all five steps in the training cycle from identifying needs of others through to evaluating training.

By the end you will be able to: list the steps in the training cycle and the key activities that need to happen at each stage; state key principles of adult learning and describe how these can be applied in both online and face-to-face training; write learner-centred training objectives that are based on identified needs; identify key learning points and ways in which these can be easily and effectively conveyed; demonstrate how training sessions can be made engaging, participatory and impactful.

The New Normal in RedR UK Training Courses

We’ve all been confounded at the ability for a World to take everything online in such a short amount of time. RedR UK is no different, we have had to adapt our training courses to deliver them online, in a fully virtual World. 

Face-to-face interaction is always the preferred format due to the scope for human connection, conducive for good learning environments. 

However, Zoom has unexpected advantages over face-to-face training, of which we encourage every participant to embrace and roll with. All of our courses are hosted on Zoom, which provides our participants with a safe and truly interactive experience. 

Zoom offers interactivity functions beyond compare such as breakout rooms, whiteboards, polls and the chat box. It also offers anonymity to those that need it most and participants can choose how much they want to get involved with other participants in the session. 

Please watch this interview between the RedR UK CEO and Imogen Wall, Mental Health course trainer for RedR UK, who eloquently outlines how and why the Zoom function has contributed positively to the format of the training sessions. (Skip to 15:30)

Please watch this interview between RedR UK CEO and Sidra Iftikhar, an active participant of all three RedR UK COVID-19 training courses, who explains the level of interactivity and benefits of the Zoom function. (Skip to 15:30)

A note from our CEO

Jo de Serrano, CEO of RedR UK and OBE Award Winner, has this to say to anyone thinking about training with RedR UK:

We always think of far flung places when we speak of emergencies. But a pandemic does not recognise borders. Our neighbours, colleagues, friends and families have been affected seeking accessible, digestible, accurate and up to date information to protect themselves and their loved ones. It has been both fascinating and rewarding to be able to bring our knowledge and experience to support affected and at-risk people, groups and communities here in the UK.

Jo de Serrano

CEO of RedR UK

Jo de Serrano

The H2H Network

This project is funded by the H2H Network, which is supported by UK aid from the UK government. The H2H Network, which stands for ‘humanitarian-to-humanitarian’ network, consists of approximately 60 organisations that provide high-quality and integrated services to support other humanitarian responders. The network supports members to apply cutting edge expertise, techniques and innovation to improve programming and outcomes. The H2H Fund is a network service that supports members to quickly provide their services in specific emergencies.