The IFRC Psychosocial Centre is now launching "Caring for Volunteers, a Psychosocial Support Toolkit," which will help National Societies not only prepare volunteers but also support them during and after disasters, conflicts and other dramatic events.
The toolkit contains practical tools for preparing for and handling crises, as well as for peer support and communication. In addition, there is a chapter on how to monitor and evaluate volunteers' efforts. Some of the tools can be printed out for managers in the field and for volunteers.
“As psychosocial support has become an integrated activity in many National Societies, we have experienced an increasing number of requests for guidelines and tools on how to help our own volunteers and staff. In other words, how we should put on our own oxygen masks before helping others, as they say on the planes,” says Nana Wiedemann, director of the IFRC Psychosocial Centre.
“This new toolkit will help you do exactly that. It can help you prepare, but it also assists volunteers in the field as well as measures the impact and improves efforts next time around,” she adds.
The toolkit includes quotes from volunteers around the world, and their experiences reflect what has worked and was can be improved.