Project Kick off meeting held in Vienna 3-4 April 2017
The PFA-CE kick- off meeting was organized by the AutRC for all 6 project partners in view of gaining deepened understanding of the project and agreeing on what has to be done throughout the project by each partner. Further the meeting provided room for getting to know each other and to address organizational, financial and administrative questions relevant for the PFA-CE project. In his opening remarks, Walter Hajek, Head of International Cooperation in the AutRC welcomed participants and highlighted the possibility of mutual learning and experience exchange between RC NS in the field of PSS/PFA, which the AutRC international cooperation department is encouraging through its programs. Subsequently participants introduced themselves, their experience in the field of PSS and PFA, and their project and meeting expectations. As for the project expectations, many participants said that sharing of experiences and learning from each other is an important aspect, as well as capacity building in order to better embed PSS/PFA in the organizational structure. Further participants highlighted that they would appreciate having a useful and structured ToT package for bringing PFA to beneficiaries and to update their knowledge. Regarding the meeting expectations participants expressed their wish to get to know each other, to get a clear picture on the project, timeline and exact dates of activities, tasks and responsibilities and to agree on the evaluation process.
During the kick-off meeting the partners talked about the project contents and the concrete activities, discussed their expectations but also the actual value of project such as this in the context of the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe. They agreed on the initial activities related to the desk research and review of the existing materials on psychological first aid and psychosocial support in the partner National Societies, as well as to developing training curriculum for volunteers and staff and the training of trainers in each of the project countries. In this process, the University of Innsbruck will provide expertise as well as deliver the training. Starting in May 2017 the first workshops in the project will be taking place where the relevant national actors in crisis management in each of the project countries will be exchanging their experiences in a structured way as well as strive to improve coordination and build capacity to provide psychological first aid and psychosocial support. Later in the year a transnational workshop will be organised so that national partners will have opportunity to exchange their experiences from their national context in a structured way and discuss optimum solutions that can be replicated across the region.