Staff, members, managers, and volunteers of civil society organisations often struggle to perform due to the stresses of their work and this stress is compounded by challenging contexts such as war, regulatory constraints, or climate change. Putting into practice systems and habits that help to manage this stress is more important than ever before. Thus, we are pleased to announce that the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility Project, in partnership with the Community Development Platform (CDP), will run an online course on ‘Stress Management for Civil Society’.
The course will run over several months and will include a mixture of ‘live’ workshops, video tutorials, individual coaching, and home assignments. The course has an element of ‘training of trainers’ so that participants are expected to use the course to roll-out their own support programme for stress management practice.
Civil society leaders, managers, project coordinators, and frontline volunteers working in civil society organisations from the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), as well as social start-up leaders, social entrepreneurs, and those working to promote civic engagement.
- Learn the rules of stress management and psychological first aid
- Understand stress-triggers, symptoms and coping strategies
- Learn tools for managing stress
- Learn how to handle stress through lifestyle changes
- Develop an effective workshop plan and practice facilitation skills
- Become confident providers of stress management support to a group of staff/volunteers/community members.
The course is delivered in English through a series of ‘live workshops’ on Zoom platform. The workshops are closed events for the 20 selected participants and will be delivered on a bi-weekly basis during July-November 2023. In addition to the workshops, participants will be expected to undertake offline exercises and assignments, and will receive one-to-one coaching to assist them with their stress management practice. Those participants that successfully complete the course will be awarded course participation certificates.
The course and the coaching is being delivered by the highly experienced experts of Community Development Platform (CDP):
Dr. Alexander Cheryomukhin has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology (Baku State University in Azerbaijan) and a PhD in Social Work from Rutgers University of New Jersey. He is co-founder of the Azerbaijani Psychological Association and a board member of the Institute for International Connections (an organization bringing Virginia Satir’s approach to Eastern Europe and Asia). Alexander worked as a psychotherapist and trainer and consultant in local and international projects, presented at conferences, and facilitated workshops in many countries including the USA, Bosnia, Georgia, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and others. From 2003 -2008 he studied Theater of the Oppressed at the Theater Laboratory in New York with its founder Augusto Boal, Julian Boal, Claire Pichet, and other distinguished trainers. Dr. Cheryomukhin is a leading consultant for the Community Development Platform.
Sophiko Gogochashvili has Master’s degree in Psychology from Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia, and Master’s in organizational psychology from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. She is the founder and Executive Director of civil society organization – Community Development Platform (CDP). The main focus of the organization is strengthening and the provision of psycho-social support to vulnerable communities, including women, youth, IDPs, and refugees, including refuges from Ukraine. Sophiko works with them as a therapist and also as a trainer to support them develop psycho-social skills required to adapt to challenges developed as a result of war in Ukraine. Sophiko has extensive experience working as an individual and group psychotherapist. While working with groups she is using Sociodrama method with adults and Mythodaram with children and youths. In individual psychotropic sessions, she is working using EMDR.
The course is free and open to all from civil society in the Eastern Partnership countries. However, due to the limited number of places on the course, applicants will be selected against a set of criteria, including the obligatory requirements of :
- Working knowledge of written and spoken English
- Member* of a civil society organisation or informal civic initiative (for countries such as Azerbaijan and Belarus), in one or more of the Eastern Partnership countries, that has more than 10 employees or members, or member of an organisation that has a proven track in service delivery or community development.
- Availability to attend all 8 bi-weekly training sessions during July-October.
- Plan for disseminating the acquired stress management knowledge and skills/tools with colleagues or peers and other community members.
- Some experience in leading presentations or workshops or other educational sessions / trainings.
- Access to personal laptop, with camera and stable internet connection
* ‘member’ = employed staff member, recognised volunteer, board member, or active association member
It will also be preferable for applicants to have: at least a Bachelor’s degree / university degree in social science is preferable, and a background in psychology or social work or mental health will be an asset. Successful applicants will also need to demonstrate capacity to organise and facilitate 2 short presentations / sessions on Stress Management at the end of the course within their own organisation/community (approximately in November 2023).
Applications must be made online using the Google Form at the link below. The deadline for submission is Monday, 12th June 2023.
Applicants selected to join the course will be informed in June or beginning of July, with the course expected to start in July 2023.