How to prepare

What to consider before you start.

04.01 2019

Invitation – make sure the invitation contains key information on what the objectives and content of the training will be.  Otherwise, the participants will attend a training they are not prepared for or interested in. It should also contain practical information regarding, the lodging (if applicable), meals, venue, etc. this will prevent lots of questions, misunderstandings or disappointments.

Collaboration with local organization/s – it is always useful to collaborate with a local organisation, they have the network, see what the needs are. Is better to be invited, or at least to persuade a collaboration than to push yourself on the organisation. This will ensure that you meet their actual needs, and not your perceived needs.


Local knowledge – regarding culture, law enforcement, gender norms, tradition, common ways of dealing with issues etc., is always a good contribution to the training. Sometimes we have also asked partners or participants to introduce specific topics that they are experts on. E.g. in Romania, we had a person who usually accompanied the survivor to the police station to report the incident. In that way, he could explain the how the process worked and how it could be improved with the knowledge they got from the manual.

The venue – should allow sub-group sessions, roleplay, and exercises. It should have good ventilation or the possibility to air out, 3 full days inside a closed room could be quite exhausting.

Size of room big enough to have the participants sitting in large circle for activities in plenary. Alternatively, they can sit around tables in order to write. Space should be allowing to walk around and form small groups.

Participants to be invited to attend this training should either work with survivors in one way or the other, or have experience in dealing with survivors.

The combination of participants, it works well that the group consists of participants working in the same or similar field or types of situations. It is advisable to invite two representatives/member from the same organisation to share knowledge and experience.

Interpretation/translation consecutive vs simultaneous.

It is advised to brief the translator regarding the form and content of the training. Facilitators should use their judgment on the advantages or disadvantages –it takes more time to use consecutive, but it gives you more time to think when needed, and get a closer connection to the audience. If you opt for this option, you may want to consider an extra day, so you can cover all the training.

Also, as translation can be exhausting, if you can afford it, have two translators, to take turns. For simultaneous translation, you need someone to translate while you are speaking with headphones and microphones.

It is usually expensive and requires a room where the interpreter can sit. Make sure that the interpreter has read though the manual and knows the terminology. Preferably meet the translator a day before to discuss different subjects or difficulties., E.g. In one of our trainings we had a male interpreter that could not talk about subjects related to sexuality while there were women in the room. This was sorted out by having a second female translator. In that way the topics were divided accordingly.

Prepare yourself with regards to the local laws regulating reporting; possibilities for reporting; safe haven; crisis centres; shelters. Ask the local organisation, if they do not know, ask them to help you find out. Sometimes, among the participants there is some who knows or are even experts on the issue.

Back up – If possible, professional health personnel should be available for consultation during or after the training, to respond to very specific questions or situations that may arise.

Prepare practical equipment – flip chart, sheets of paper, post-its, markers, scarfs, scotch tape. The training does not necessarily require computer or projector. Although, some groups find it more interesting if you have short videos or other internet material to support the training. On our youtube channel you can find relevant videos.

What to consider during the training 

Review the agenda, reach an agreement with the participants on breaks, beginning & end and other norms such as having the cell phones on silence, respect for the others, particularly if they share something personal or sensitive, etc.

At the beginning of each day go through the activities for the day once again to remind yourself of all that you have to do and say. Go through the schedule for the day and check that you have all the materials required. Get to the venue at least 15 minutes before the workshop is due to begin. Arrange the chairs – a semi-circular seating arrangement might be a good idea.

What to consider for the closing  

Have the diplomas ready and signed by, preferably, the director of hosting Institution/collaborating organization and the leading facilitator.

Closing ceremony. After three days of training , talking and getting to know each other, it is important to have a closing with a positive note, close any pending issue of the training, allow final remarks. Make a closing speech to thank everyone for participating and for sharing their knowledge and experience. Hand out diplomas.

Suggestion for a Closing speech template

Dear friends

In behalf of my colleagues, we would like to complement the host organizations. The xxxx for the wonderful training and for the freedom of suggestions wherein everyone had been given the opportunity to participate and to convey their experiences and viewpoints on this difficult issue. Indeed, this has been a great learning and knowledge sharing experience that has enhanced everyone’s knowledge.

In light of the specific theme of this three-day training, I am happy for each and every one of you and for the way you have participated in this training. Without your enthusiasm and ability to actively participate in discussions, role play and grounding exercises we would not be able to make this such a wonderful learning experience.

The objective of the course was for you helpers or trainer to be trained in how to recognize the signs of trauma and how to efficiently and sympathetically handle triggers and trauma reactions, and to help through the process of reporting and eventually make a good closing of the Butterfly woman story

May this training be useful in your daily work, and the knowledge and the friends you have made be an inspiration for you relation with the survivor you are working with.

Keep in touch with your group, draw on the common experience that you have, strengthen and help each other through the daily strife.


To end these three days, we would like to give you this diploma as a sign of the accomplishment you have made in completing this training.

Thank you for participating!

Not everyone can make a closing as good as Héctor Aristizábal but it can be an inspiration on how to close your training.