Tailor-Made Support

Case Study: Help Refugees

In 2016, we delivered three tailor-made training courses to staff and volunteers from Help Refugees.

Help Refugees is one of the most prolific grassroots voluntary groups responding to the European refugee crisis. Their volunteers are responsible for providing aid and vital services to displaced people in areas most affected by the crisis. Since their inception, the organisation has expanded its work from Greece and France, to areas outside Europe, providing assistance to displaced people in Lebanon.

Help Refugees requested this training as the majority of their volunteers, active in the field and working directly with beneficiaries, had not received any formal training in the standards, protocols or structures of the humanitarian industry. They therefore wanted to plan their daily operations according to these so that they could provide a better response to the crisis. For example, they wanted a formal safety and security system that would allow them to assess risk, which could be used across the organisation.

92% of trainees from Help Refugees

reported an improvement in their knowledge and skills after the training

The overarching objective that underpinned each training course was to ensure that Help Refugees volunteers were well equipped to respond to the needs of displaced people.

The first course, delivered in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, provided volunteers with practical skills and awareness in Child Safeguarding, Protection, Security and Distribution. The success of this tailor-made course led to requests by Help Refugees for another training course for their volunteers working in Calais. This course focused heavily on humanitarian frameworks and protocols, with a two-day course on people and project management, and a third day course on security, which trained volunteers in security strategies and structures. Following this, we delivered a course at the RedR offices in London, covering project and people management, as well as delivering a one day personal wellbeing workshop to a group of refugees. 

Feedback on each course was very positive. All participants reported an improvement in their knowledge and skills, as well as stating a satisfaction in the overall course delivery. The key learning points identified by the participants on the trainings were child safeguarding, security procedures, and project management frameworks such as the development of log frames.

Following the course in Calais, the organisation did make suggestions on how the course could be improved, stating that the trainers must be more aware of the unique situation that volunteers are facing on the ground and that courses must be more participatory, relatable, practical and free of jargon when targeted towards such audiences. RedR UK used this feedback when developing the London course for Help Refugees. The changes led to overwhelmingly positive feedback on the course with 94% of participants rating the course as 'good' or 'excellent' and 92% stating an improvement in their knowledge and skills.

"The training has had a significant impact on beneficiaries, because the beneficiaries have a set of volunteers who are aware of humanitarian frameworks and who have a better understanding of the more formal procedures of humanitarian practice."


Help Refugees

The trainings have been useful for Help Refugees and their volunteers working on the ground.

Since the courses, the organisation has used the systems and frameworks learnt for its programmes on the ground. For example, they now use Risk Assessments regularly for those going out to the field, and have developed Log Frames for planning and managing their projects. 

The workbooks and materials from the course have also been shared with other team members who were not able to attend the training, with the logframe and risk assessment templates being shared inside the organisation and with other partners.