Stephanie Yousef serves as the Deputy MENA Regional Representative for ICVA, a member of the RSH consortium. She is based in Amman, Jordan and is supporting the RSH national hubs and regional hub in MENA in a communications role.
The RSH MENA Hub took civil society organisations on “A Safeguarding Journey” in three different locations, Syria, Yemen and Jordan, in March 2022. The purpose of the interactive training was to improve local actors’ safeguarding knowledge. Participants highlighted that the journey effectively clarified differences between safeguarding, protection and Gender-based Violence (GBV), and enhanced their understanding about safeguarding approaches.
Over the course of the three-day training, participants explored the meaning and definitions of safeguarding, the role and expectations of the local organisations, the approaches to safeguarding, as well as the role and responsibilities of the individuals within an organisation. The training was conducted in English in person in Jordan and in the Gaziantep hub for Syria, and online in Yemen, and tools were also provided in Arabic.
The training “contributed to clarifying many of the ambiguities between safeguarding, GBV and protection,” said a participant in Yemen. “It provided us with a lot of information that will be the first steps to apply in our organisation under the supervision and support of the RSH,” they added.
Haifa Alabdullah, president of the Mosanadah Association for Development and Empowerment in Jordan, talked about the holistic approach to safeguarding that she recognised after the training.
When she started planning training the staff and volunteers of her community-based organisation, Ms. Alabdullah realised that “even the community members need to be aware of the principles that we have in place at the organisation so they know how to complain and how to reach out.”
"I will be dedicating time to reviewing current policies and integrating the safeguarding policy into the organisation. For the first time, I realised safeguarding is separate from protection and it is time to ensure that we as an organisation protect our staff," she said.
During the three days, 15 local actors participated in the training in Syria, 13 in Jordan, and 20 in Yemen representing a total of 48 local organisations.
The training is only the first step.
After the completion of the training, coaching and mentoring for the individual organisations will take place and then specific needs will identified, and RSH will provide the necessary technical support to help the organisations meet safeguarding requirements.