1 Day workshop on Psychological First Aid Training for Women Peace Builders in Bamenda

The Center for Advocacy, Gender Equality and Action in Gender for Development (CAGEAD) in collaboration with the South West North West Women Task Force (SNWOT) organized a workshop on psychosocial first aid for women peace builders in Bamenda, North West Region of Cameroon.

This workshop is part of an advocacy campaign organized by SNWOT on fostering social cohesion amidst COVID -19 In Cameroon. This workshop brought together 10 women peace builders, SNWOT members working in Bamenda. The workshop was facilitated by a Clinical Psychologist working with the World Health Organization(WHO) and it was aimed at developing a network of  highly trained  and confident trainers  who will be equipped to collaborate extensively, fully able to establish and deliver  further  training of Psychological First Aid (PFA) to the wider local community. PFA involves, humane, supportive and practical help offered to fellow human beings suffering from serious crises events. Everyone may at some point in time be in a position to help others who have experienced an extremely stressful event. PFA is therefore a method to support people in ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities. This workshop was indeed very timely for these peace actors who are living, working and facing double emergencies of the socio-political crises and the COVID -19 pandemic, disruptive and destructive  events  causing loss of life, property and livelihoods, injury and damage  to communities,

The goals of the workshop were to provide a comprehensive knowledge on PFA, learn how to facilitate a training on PFA and enhance the capacities of these women  as trainers on PFA. Participants were drilled on topics like what psychological first aid is  and what it is not, who benefits from PFA, the aims of PFA, who delivers PFA, when and where PFA is provided. The five elements of PFA were also explained being to promote safety, promote calm, promote connectedness, promote self -efficiency and promote hope in people suffering from distress. The action principles in the delivery of PFA were explored; LOOK- to view and safely enter an emergency situation, LISTEN- to understand the needs of the affected person  and LINK- to link distressed  and affected  people with the information and practical support that they need. The workshop methodology were very practical including discussions, questions and answers, case scenarios and demonstrations. Outdoor simulation exercises where done to enable participants practice what they have learnt.