AMURTEL offers support for refugees and front-line workers at the border

12.03.2022

Your support is satisfying an urgent need at the border

Although there are many NGOs present at the border of Ukraine in Siret, Romania, in a truly remarkable showing of solidarity and goodwill, most are focused on ensuring basic physical needs, and there is very little training or specialisation in emergency psychological care, even amongst the professional emergency responders. There are many organisations offering warm drinks, soup, SIM cards, juridical help and even care for pets, but your support is bringing the unique service of emergency psychological care into the response effort for the first time. It is in fact, an unheard of professional specialisation here.

Your generous support is not only ensuring that Melinda Endrefy, AMURTEL’s emergency psychologist, can offer direct care to the many cases like Maya, as well as to others suffering from anxiety, confusion, depression, etc., but it is also bringing trainings that will improve the abilities of the other organisations to offer immediate aid themselves. When giving first aid courses, many people in the general public learn to perform life saving measures like CPR or basic wound care which can ensure that people get the crucial immediate help they need until the more specialised one is available. Likewise, these courses will really help all of the refugees to get sensitive, high quality care when they first enter the country. Indeed, the earlier someone receives a balanced, warm, connected response, the greater the chances are for recovery.

First training in psychological first aid

Yesterday, AMURTEL Romania organized its first training in psychological first aid for front line workers from the NGOs and government authorities present in Siret. Melinda led the session, which aimed to give basic skills in what to do and not to do when assisting people that have just been through a traumatizing experience.

Later on, Didi Ananda Devapriya led a second part of the session focused on self-care for front-line workers. She explained the high adrenaline stress response which can optimize performance on the short term, but can lead to burnout if maintained for too long. She then explained how to trigger the relaxation response in order to renew ones inner resources and other factors that build resiliency.

High demand for further sessions: AMURTEL requested to give regular sessions for first-responders

The participants were delighted with the training. Today, during a big coordinating meeting of all of the NGOs present in Siret, the Colonel of the Civil Protection and Emergency Response as well as the head of Emergency Services both encouraged everyone to take the training. We have also been requested to offer regular relaxation-recharge sessions, and plan to order debriefing sessions for the first responders.

AMURTEL Coordinating the whole NGO response

In addition, our AMURTEL Disaster Relief Coordonator, Karl Andersson (Dada Unmantrananda) who works for AMURT on the international level, has set up an office for the coordination of the NGO civil response. He has already launched a website to optimise the communication between different organisations – siret.help, post resources and work more effectively. The government officials heading the response are incredibly grateful that he just appeared with the right skills and experience to immediately take on leadership for the NGOs.

Onboarding new volunteers

We are now working on preparing an onboarding system for the volunteers and NGOs in Siret to ensure that basic principles of humanitarian aid are well-understood and put into practice so that the relief work as a whole will improve in quality.

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Thank you so much!