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A podcast for people who’ve dedicated their careers to helping others – but eventually realise they need help, too. Conversations about promoting care and compassion in humanitarian and development settings and sharing what we are learning about promoting and supporting aid worker well-being and organisational culture.
 
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show series
 
In this episode Melissa speaks with Faye Ekong of RavelWorks Africa about common challenges in aid organisations, particularly as they relate to decolonising aid in a “post” COVID world. Faye Ekong is the Managing Director of RavelWorks Africa. She has been in Human Resources, Learning & Personal Development for over 10 years. She is an SHRM-Senior…
 
Melissa speaks with Oge Chukwudozie about the Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub’s exciting pilot project accompanying 10 local Nigerian organisations as they work to change their organisational cultures. Oge emphasizes the value of cultivating a safe and supportive workplace culture and the importance of leadership “walking the talk.” Organisat…
 
Melissa speaks with Dr. Gaya Gamhewage about her work in the world’s premier health organisation, the World Health Organisation (WHO), to prevent and response to sexual misconduct. They talk about the importance of leaders being vocal, explicit and sincere about their commitment to living the organisation’s values. They also surface a variety of ta…
 
Melissa speaks with Aseem Prakash and Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken about how governing boards of aid organisations can “govern well.” They discuss the power dynamics present in any group of humans, embracing difference and true diversity, prioritising lived experience, modelling behaviours, and asking smart questions. Professor Prakash studies NGOs a…
 
Accountability has been defined in the latest version of the CHS guidance note as "the process of using power responsibly, taking account of, and being held accountable by, different stakeholders, and primarily those who are affected by the exercise of such power.” Dr. Emilia Roig, author of “Why We Matter” explains in this Embodying Change episode…
 
Melissa talks about organisational culture with Umut Dilara Baycili, a child psychologist working for Mavi Kalem. This humanitarian NGO and CHS Alliance member supports women and children in Turkey with a team that includes doctors, psychologists, sociologists and social workers. It is not unusual for people working for NGOs like Mavi Kalem to expe…
 
Melissa speaks with Dr. Liza Jachens, an occupational health psychologist, lecturer and research associate who has partnered with six major humanitarian organisations looking at their staff’s experience of work-related stress and its effects on their mental health. Humanitarian work carries a “high emotional load” often exposed to trauma. Dr. Jache…
 
Shawna Wakefield, Kristen Zimmerman and Rufaro Gwarada tell the story of Root. Rise. Pollinate! - informed by their previous experiences in aid and development. They share learning from their ongoing experiment to shift culture through connecting inner and outer transformation. They discuss practicing new ways of being and doing the work, counter-b…
 
Melissa and Brian Stout of Building Belonging discuss how transformation happens – for individuals, groups, societies and the planet. This includes inviting others to co-create compelling visions, holding space in containers with maximal diversity, stepping into our power and agency, and embodying the change we want with accountability, compassion,…
 
This episode is dedicated to humanitarians around the world on World Humanitarian Day. Melissa and Torrey Peace of Aid for Aid Workers Leadership Podcast do a podcast exchange about people-centred leadership. In this conversation they cover: The importance of empowering the people closest to the problem, as they know best how to solve those problem…
 
Melissa talks with Paula Ramírez of Breathe International. In their conversation they cover: Her journey from focusing on peacebuilding for nations to peacebuilding from within. The political aspect of being mindful and aware The body as a source of learning How to be a living example of mindfulness in the workplace The irony that humanitarian work…
 
Melissa talks with Hope Chigudu, reflecting back on the 20-21 May Global Gathering entitled “Living our values: Care, culture and power in aid organisations” held by the CHS Alliance. In their conversation they cover: The connections between power, culture and care The importance of leadership, of using language that people can understand in differ…
 
In this conversation Mary Ann Clements explains the background and the hopes for the 20-21 May 2021 CHS Alliance virtual Global Gathering on Living our values: Care, culture and power in aid organisations. This free virtual gathering is the first of its kind in our sector which will bring together leaders and practitioners who are interested in the…
 
At the end of January 2021 Naser Haghamed completed his 5-year stint as the CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide. Melissa reflects back with him about leadership, staff well-being and organisational culture for the ICVA-CHS Alliance “Leading Well” project. In their conversation they consider What it’s like to be in constant “firefighting mode” as a CEO …
 
Melissa talks with Julia Sánchez, Secretary General of ActionAid International. The conversation was part of an ICVA-CHS Alliance joint project engaging aid leaders on the issues of staff well-being and supportive organisational culture. ActionAid’s ten principles of feminist leadership include elements that explicitly link to staff well-being, lik…
 
Melissa talks with Gozel Baltaeva and Adrien Muratet about Commitment Eight of the Core Humanitarian Standard. What are the data and the practitioners saying about people management in the humanitarian sector, especially during COVID? Gozel Baltaeva is the People Management Adviser and point of contact for tailored support on all people management …
 
How can we know how staff are doing during these crazy times? Ask them. Melissa talks with Roger Parry, Director of Agenda Consulting. His organisation specialises in employee and volunteer engagement surveys for non-profits. He shares his insights on how staff engagement has increased in the turbulent year of 2020, on how people are experiencing s…
 
Melissa and Jules Frost talk with Rachel Coghlan about what humanitarians can learn from palliative care. Palliative care improves the quality of life of patients and their families who face problems associated with life-threatening illness. Like the topic of mental illness, the subject of death and dying can be difficult to discuss. Compassion is …
 
In this episode, Melissa talks with Brendan McDonald, co-founder and COO of Uncomfortable Revolution. They explore lessons learned from a big push to get the issue of aid worker well-being on the agenda in the run-up to the World Humanitarian Summit. To learn more about Brendan’s work, you can find him: · on Twitter at @7piliers · Uncomfortable Rev…
 
Melissa talks with Melly Preira, the Human Resources Director at the Jesuit Refugee Service about why she is passionate about employee well-being and how she went about introducing major changes her humanitarian organisation's staff support. Melly’s HR Department supports 56 countries in 10 regions and implements HR management practices, tailored t…
 
Dr. Gemma Houldey shares with Mary Ann her views on well-being in the aid sector, particularly the nuances that arise as a result of gender, race and professional status. She previews some of the concepts explored in her forthcoming book, including perfectionism, vulnerability and daring to have difficult conversations. During this period of COVID-…
 
Lana shares how International Rescue Committee (IRC) implement their Duty of Care programme, providing professional mental health support that covers all staff and their families. They provide comprehensive support in a number of different languages, offer virtual wellbeing support and are thinking about the cross-cultural issues that are important…
 
Imogen Wall is a former BBC journalist and UN spokesperson, now an independent communications trainer and advisor. She specialises in crisis response with a particular emphasis on mental health, peer support, critical incident management and safeguarding in humanitarian contexts. Her previous frontline humanitarian work includes field postings in I…
 
Dr. Mills trained in medicine at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London. He is an accredited specialist in respiratory diseases and still practices medicine on a part-time basis at the Whittington Hospital in London. In addition, he has a masters degree in Infectious diseases and a PhD in the field of cell biology. Peter has been at t…
 
Hitendra Solanki is a senior lecturer in development studies at London South Bank University. He’s been active in the development and humanitarian sector for over 16 years. Most recently, he worked as a Mindfulness and Wellbeing Adviser in Action Against Hunger UK. He also led the 3-year Mindfulness & Wellbeing project as part of the Start Network’…
 
In this show, you'll hear Melissa interview Don Bosch, Director of Risk Psychology and HEAT Training at the Headington Institute. Don is a licensed clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst with 35 years of experience and understands human behaviour and brain function. Outside of Pandemic, Don is often in the field doing debriefs, working with global…
 
In this show, you'll hear Melissa interview Kristin Duncombe a therapist and couples counsellor, life coach, and author. She’s based her career on working with international and expatriate individuals and families following her own experience of growing up across Africa and Asia as the child of a diplomat and having lived internationally most of he…
 
In this show, you'll hear Melissa interview Tanya Wood, Executive Director of CHS Alliance. You can find out more about CHS Alliance at https://www.chsalliance.org/ and about Tanya here. This podcast series is part of the CHS Alliance Initiative to Cultivate Caring, Compassionate aid organisations being led by Melissa Pitotti and Mary Ann Clements …
 
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