This package pulls together a new People In Aid workshop: exploring the topics of kidnap and ransom from both the perspective of HR and management staff and those directly involved in the incident, as well as our popular Debriefing Staff worksop, offering an opportunity to learn how to effectively debrief those returning from relief, development or missionary assignments, both short or long-term.
Day One: Kidnap & Ransom workshop
A staff member has just been abducted, what is the first thing you do?
You have just been abducted, what is the first thing you do?
Part one of the People In Aid Staff Care double-workshop, this Kidnap and Ransom workshop will explore answers to the above, both from the perspective of aid workers as well advice on what HR and management staff should do in the immediate aftermath of an incident and from then on.
Supported by specialist insurance company VanBreda International and leading security experts Drum Cussac, this event offers practical examples of security issues and how they have been dealt with effectively by others, as well as touching on issues like family liaison, preparing staff and colleagues and more.
As well as the external management issues, Camilla Carr and Jon James, victims of kidnap themselves, will be offering an illustrated account of their time in captivity, discussing the mental, emotional and physical effects of their incident. Followed by an experiential workshop exploring coping strategies. Previous participants at workshops facilitated by Camilla and Jon have complimented their presentation of ‘coping skills’ and the simple way in which their information is presented, ensuring information and advice can be shared with colleagues easily.
Jon James and Camilla Carr.
In April 1997 Jon James and Camilla Carr drove to Chechnya to help set up a centre for war- traumatised children in the capital Grozny. Most Western aid workers had pulled out of the region the previous year due to the massacre of six Red Cross workers six months prior to the ceasefire in August 1996.
On July 2nd they were kidnapped at gunpoint from the house they were staying in inspite of having armed security protection. They were held for over 14 months in various locations including an underground concrete room, cellars and a sauna, with no natural light or fresh air and only able to talk in whispers.
They experienced everything from threat of execution, rape and mental torture to moments of compassion and kindness. They survived by creating a dialogue with their captors and using tools such as Tai Chi, Yoga, meditation and humour. Through the nightmare months, living in a pressure cooker of constant fear and continual disappointments when they were told they were going to be released, they grew stronger as a partnership.
The pair were released on 20th September 1998 following the intervention of Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky. He told Camilla and Jon that no ransom was paid, they just used a ‘series of argument and methodology’ although in 2011 Roman Abramovich said he had paid their ransom.
Camilla and Jon tell the story of how they survived in their book ‘The Sky is Always There’. They used the writing of the book as part of their healing process.
Jon - ‘We used softness to overcome hardness’
Camilla - ‘The captors could never touch my essence, my body is only part of who I am. My spirit will always be free.’
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Day Two: Debriefing Staff workshop
Part two of the People In Aid Staff Care double-workshop, this event is one of People In Aid's longest running and most popular workshops, given the paramount importance of it's subject matter.
The Debriefing Staff workshop is an opportunity for participants to learn how to offer effective debriefing and support those returning from relief, development or missionary assignments, whether short- or long-term. Following the Kidnap and Ransom workshop, the event will use examples from the previous day to touch on how those returning from difficult incidents should be debriefed effectively. Aimed at HR practitioners, line managers and other potential debriefers, this interactive workshop is facilitated by Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Dr Debbie Lovell-Hawker.
- Practical steps on how to carry out a personal debriefing
- The opportunity for discussions and questions
- Role-play debriefing followed by feedback
- A copy of the up-to-date comprehensive Handbook on Debriefing Staff, developed and updated over the last 10 years
By the end of the workshop participants will:
- Have developed skills in debriefing staff who have returned home from assignments
- Be able to differentiate between different types of debriefing
- Know the steps of critical incident debriefing and routine personal debriefing, for individuals and groups
- Be aware of the effectiveness of debriefing, and of what to avoid to ensure that it does not have a negative effect
- Be able to recognise signs of stress and trauma and know when, how and where to refer personnel for further help
- Have increased their knowledge of stress management strategies and of how to help people identify the strategies which work for them
- Be aware of cross-cultural issues which should be considered in relation to debriefing
- Know how to take care of themselves and deal with their own stress.
Dr Debbie Lovell-Hawker is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist working with InterHealth, specialised in working with aid and mission agencies. Prior to this, she worked for the Oxford University Psychiatry Department for nine years. She has also acted as a consultant for several INGOs and faith-based organisations. This work has taken her to many parts of Asia, Africa, Central and South America and Eastern Europe, including recent work in Egypt, Jordan, Burundi, DR Congo, Darfur, Nicaragua, Nepal, Pakistan and South Africa, and with evacuees from Lebanon.
Part two of the People In Aid Staff Care double-workshop, this workshop can be book separately at the above price or click here to attend both this workshop and the previous day’s Kidnap and Ransom workshop for a discounted price.
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