24/07/2018

Thriving humanitarians make a greater impact! - Coffee with Leanne Kennedy, Co-Founder and CEO of Thrive Worldwide


By Leanne Kennedy
Leanne, Co-Founder and CEO of Thrive Worldwide is working with organisations in the provision of staff care from HQ, regional and country perspectives. Prior to setting up Thrive, Leanne worked with InterHealth Worldwide.

Leanne Kennedy is Co-Founder and CEO of Thrive Worldwide. For the past 5 years Leanne has been based in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to setting up Thrive, Leanne worked with InterHealth Worldwide for nearly 8 years. Her role at InterHealth included relationship management for clients and then in 2013 Leanne relocated to Nairobi to set up a regional hub in Kenya. Today we are having a coffee with her to learn more about Thrive. 

Why did you set up Thrive? 

Following InterHealth’s sudden closure in August 2017, myself and a group of former colleagues mobilised to set up Thrive Worldwide. Our vision at Thrive is to continue InterHealth’s legacy of supporting humanitarian and development around the world to be healthy and resilient. 

Why are you called Thrive? 

The word Thrive means a lot to me. Why? Fundamentally because it is about transformation & growth. It is also about healing, development, depth, abundance, excellence & beauty. And the vision for those of us in Thrive is to be part of that transformation, to see people and communities transformed, living lives in joy and fullness.

What services do Thrive Worldwide offer and where?

What we do at Thrive can be captured in 3 pillars: Clinical, Learning & Consultancy.

Clinical - We offer medical, occupational health and psychosocial services. Our services can be offered face to face in London, Nairobi & Cox’s Bazar. We also offer services remotely online and we travel onsite to where teams are to provide direct support. We offer our psychosocial services in several languages including English, French, Arabic and Spanish. 

Learning - We develop training solutions for organisations and staff at all levels on topics such as Vicarious Trauma, Family Liaison to Stress Management and Resilience. We encourage organisations to consider long-term programmes and to avoid one-off fixes. Some of the exciting learning we are involved with includes a blended approach of resources, training and supervision. 

Consultancy - Our portfolio of consultancy support organisations from psychosocial risk, duty of care to building teams. We can provide organisations with audits, facilitation or provide advisory support in complex scenarios.

What are your priorities at the moment?

I am really excited about the various projects the team is currently working on, which also help to support the Core Humanitarian Standard, particularly Commitments 5, 7, 8 and 9. 

The first is launching a Wellbeing Survey, which will underpin the work agencies are doing to embed Committment 8 of the CHS, supporting staff to do their job effectively. The survey is being developed and validated. This wellbeing survey will inform organisations about strengths, weaknesses and gaps when it comes to staff wellbeing and make recommendations to boost thriving. 

The second organisational project we are getting ready to release is a Safeguarding Audit. We are particularly keen to support small and medium-sized organisations. The purpose of this audit is to strengthen the culture and practices of an organisation by assessing how prepared and informed an organisation with respect to protecting vulnerable adults, children and their own staff. We will take organisations through a rigorous assessment from looking at organisational culture, policies through to whistleblowing and investigation practices.

How do you see the links between what you offer and the Core Humanitarian Standard?

Each of the nine commitments and quality criteria of the CHS point towards how we work with “Communities and people affected by crisis…”.   For our humanitarian interventions to be high-quality and effective, our workforce must be healthy and well. Thrive focuses on just this, helping organisations to meet Commitment 8, ”Staff are supported to do their job effectively, and are treated fairly and equitably”.

For our workforce to be supported to do their job well, we need to continue to manage the physical and psychosocial risks of providing humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies, but more importantly, we need to look inward and create an organisational culture that promotes a steady, sustainable, and even thriving environment. 

Where can we find the details of Thrive Worldwide?

If you are interested in learning more about individual or organisational thriving, please get in touch! You can learn more about Thrive from our website (www.thrive-worldwide.org) or get connect with us on social media or email:

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