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Adolescent wellbeing: supporting providers to act in times of crises

Supporting providers to care for the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of adolescents affected by conflict.

The course provides practical tools and resources aiming to help service providers address the mental health and psychosocial needs of adolescents in conflict-affected contexts. Download the flyer

The Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing of Adolescents Affected by Conflict course is designed to provide valuable knowledge on the risks and challenges faced by adolescents during times of peace and conflict. Practitioners, teachers, counsellors, and anyone who works with adolescents will find this course useful.

The course designed by The MHPSS Collaborative, Humanitarian Leadership Academy (HLA), and HIAS provides knowledge on the impact of conflict on adolescent mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, techniques for identifying specific groups with unique needs and challenges during conflict, and best practices in terms of tools and interventions.

Worldwide, half of the global displaced population are children and adolescents. Several studies demonstrate that individuals displaced by violence are at higher risk of mental health issues or diseases.

Adolescence is a period of great susceptibility due to the undergoing biological and social transitions. It is also a period of huge importance for physical and mental welfare; coupled with the distress of a conflict situation, it is important to equip care providers of adolescents with the best resources.

Kira Lomakina, Lead MHPSS Consultant at The MHPSS Collaborative / Save the Children Denmark and one of the authors said:

“Promoting peer networks and support is crucial to the well-being of adolescents affected by conflict. But in practice, how can we build supportive relationships and networks with parents, caregivers, teachers, and peers to protect children from the adverse impacts of conflict? This is the key question this new course sets out to respond to.”

Vikki Marmaras, Digital Learning Specialist at the Humanitarian Leadership Academy played a key role in the design and set up of this course which is hosted on HLA’s free learning platform Kaya. Speaking on the process and importance of the course, she said:

“This course is self-guided and can be completed in two to three hours, it is accessible in English, Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Polish and Hungarian.  Though it has been developed with Ukraine in mind, it is relevant to any context where adolescents are being affected by conflict.

Yenehun Ashagrie, MHPSS Regional Technical Advisor, Africa and Eurasia, HIAS, said:

“This course provides practical tools and resources aiming to help service providers address the MHPSS needs of adolescents in conflict-affected contexts.”

Alessandra Sacchetti, MHPSS Regional Technical Advisor, Ukraine Response, HIAS, said:

“This is a course developed and tailored for field practitioners to help them provide services to adolescents, by having a good understanding of adolescents’ MHPSS needs and interventions in order to practically offer support in a thoughtful way.”

Ashley Nemiro, Executive Director of the MHPSS Collaborative / Save the Children Denmark and one of the course authors said:

“The course is an excellent opportunity to gain more knowledge in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of adolescents affected by conflict. Upon completion of each of the six modules, participants will receive a certificate; and a digital badge at the end of the course, which is easy to access through New users of Kaya would need to register an email address to access the course.”

Take the course here.

Notes to editors

About The MHPSS Collaborative

The MHPSS Collaborative is a global platform for research, practice, learning and advocacy. We connect key academic and humanitarian actors with local civil society to give children and families in fragile circumstances the possibility to thrive.

About HIAS

HIAS is an international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital protection services, including mental health and psychosocial support, to forcibly displaced people in more than 20 countries. HIAS advocates for their fundamental rights so they can rebuild their lives and seeks to create a world in which they find welcome, safety, and opportunity.

About Humanitarian Leadership Academy (HLA)

HLA is a global learning initiative set up to facilitate partnerships and collaborative opportunities to enable people to prepare for and respond to humanitarian crises and development challenges in their own countries. The Academy aims to support the needs of individuals and organisations by facilitating access to learning resources, platforms and tools. This enables locally relevant capacity-sharing and mutual learning. 

Kaya is the Academy’s online learning platform, designed specifically for humanitarian and development professionals and volunteers to access relevant, up-to-date learning content covering a broad range of general and technical subjects. Kaya is accessed by over 530,000 registered users from over 190 countries and offers over 450 courses in up to 12 languages. The Kaya interface itself is available in Arabic, French, English and Spanish. 

HPass is a digital platform for humanitarians to showcase their skills and expertise. Badges awarded can be shared online or printed as with normal paper certificates.   The initiative promotes transparent and efficient recruitment, by enabling humanitarians to quickly provide verifiable evidence of their skills as they transition between organisations and locations.

We are currently supporting humanitarian responses in multiple locations - Find out more

Experiential learning and expanding network: updates from the Eastern Europe Regional Centre 

As Poland plays a massive role in Ukraine response, our Eastern Europe Regional Centre team has been actively working in the country for more than a year, supporting the localisation agenda. In April, they engaged in exciting events and provided training activities, in line with our Engine 2 approach. 

The Art of Repair 

The HLA Regional Centre in Eastern Europe supported the organisation of the International Group Relations Conference ‘The Art of Repair: Leadership, Culture, Change’, which took place on the 20-23 April in Krakow, Poland. Kamila Wujec, the regional lead, was one of the consultants, while Gladys Mutuku, HLA Strategic Lead, Nancy Mureti, HLA Head of Regional Centres, and Fiona Tan, Programme Officer, participated in the event.  

The conference was based on the traditional Tavistock learning methodology and was devoted to systemic leadership. The event aimed to discover how humanitarians might take up working and social roles more creatively and effectively, to better deal with the concept of authority, and to study leadership and followership preferences and patterns. Experiential learning and consultancy were conducted through work in small groups, large groups, and inter-groups. 

Gladys Mutuku, HLA Strategic Lead, Nancy Mureti, HLA Head of Regional Centres, and Fiona Tan, Programme Officer attended the Art of Repair Conference in Krakow, Poland

W4UA report presentation 

On 19 April, Kasia Bryczkowska, HLA Learning solutions specialist in Poland, and Karolina Mackiewicz from HLA’s partner Safeguarding Hub Polska attended the press conference by World for Ukraine Foundation (W4UA).  

The World for Ukraine (W4UA) Foundation is a non-governmental organization supported by the Ukrainian Embassy in Poland. Its primary goals are to integrate and support the efforts of NGOs, central and local government institutions, businesses, media, think tanks and private individuals to respond to the crisis in Ukraine. 

The W4UA Foundation’s report on humanitarian crisis in Ukraine was officially presented during the conference. The report includes recommendations after the W4UA Summit, which took place in Rzeszów in December 2022. Pawel Mania, HLA Deputy Director for Transformational Response, was a panelist at the summit. The second edition of the W4UA Summit is planned for the 28-29 September in Rzeszów. 

The World for Ukraine (W4UA) Foundation press conference, 19 April 2023, Poland

Sphere standards 

We’re pleased to announce that the HLA Regional Centre in Eastern Europe has become the Sphere standards‘ focal point in the region. For more than two decades, the Sphere standards have been a primary reference tool for national and international NGOs, volunteers, UN agencies, governments, donors, and the private sector. 

Together, our team and Sphere are organising a face-to-face workshop on Sphere standards in May in Przemyśl. Continuing our cooperation, the HLA is going to provide a Train of Trainers workshop for Sphere in June.    


Kasia Bryczkowska, HLA Learning solutions specialist, conducted regular coaching sessions for managers of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland. Expanding our activities in the country, the team plans to work with the Humanitarian Aid Center “My z Wami” in Wrocław. The team also continues to conduct Humanitarian Operations Programme (HOP) training sessions. The next ones are planned to be held in Lublin and Białystok. 

We are currently supporting humanitarian responses in multiple locations - Find out more

The ripple effect of learning: HOP Training cycle in Eastern Europe

As digital learning becomes more predominant in the modern world, some programs achieve the best results when delivered in combination with face-to-face sessions.


Save the Children and the Humanitarian Leadership Academy conducted the Humanitarian Operations Programme (HOP) Core Training in Warsaw, Poland this March. 31 participants from Poland and Ukraine took part in three distinct parts of the multilevel program aimed at raising an understanding of the fundamental principles of humanitarian action and strengthening the capacity and capability of regional and national humanitarian response actors.

The first five-day session of the HOP Core training was aimed at humanitarians with little to no experience in the sector. Some of the participants have been working in related fields and recently got involved in humanitarian response work but have not yet received formal training. Thus, the HOP workshops focus on softer skills and cross-cutting themes crucial to effective and quality humanitarian response.

HOP training helps newcomers who are interested in being a part or playing a role in humanitarian response to learn more about humanitarian programming, safeguarding, wellbeing, and many other topics. HOP can help them to learn about the basics of humanitarian activities and programming, so they can really make a difference in the humanitarian crisis.”
Amr Kamel, Learning Solutions Specialist, Humanitarian Leadership Academy

16 participants joined the first session to learn from the expertise and experience of humanitarian practitioners, covering the essential aspects of emergency response required for humanitarian personnel. Such topics as wellbeing in emergencies, rapid needs assessments, proposal writing, conflict sensitivity programming, safeguarding in emergencies, and gender equality were covered in interactive face-to-face workshops and desk-based scenario parts of the training. A three-day desk-based scenario provides an experience of what working in an early response in an aid organisation could be like.

Leaving the comfort zone of what we already know well was the biggest challenge for me. I realised that all the topics that came up during HOP are something I am working with daily e.g., cultural differences, moral dilemmas, conflict-sensitive programming, safeguarding, and more. It is important for me to be able to name it and be aware of it. Now I know how to start to deal with it better than ever.”
Katarzyna Fesnak, Coordinator of Volunteer Center at The Association of Ukrainians in Poland, Przemyśl Branch, Participant in the HOP Core Training

Six participants continued their learning experience with HOP Train the Trainer (TtT) Programme and are now able to support localisation by providing learning for fellow humanitarians in the region in native languages. The aim of the further training is to introduce humanitarian sector technical areas and support functions and help develop the behaviors, knowledge, and skills required to operate effectively in a breaking emergency as part of a first phase response to local actors. 

I have decided to go through TtT and become a trainer because I am motivated to share all that I’ve learned about humanitarian operations with others in the sector. For me, the most interesting part was learning how to teach others about practical topics, that might sometimes seem dry, in an engaging way. I feel very excited to go through this experience with the new group of learners as a trainer now!”
Jessica Anderson, newly trained HOP Core training facilitator

The second session of the HOP Core training was attended by 15 new learners from Poland and Ukraine. An important outcome of the HOP is participants’ understanding of the humanitarian eco-system (including technical sectors, operations, and support functions), as well as the ability to recognise the key responsibilities, activities, and roles of organisations operating within the humanitarian eco-system.

If I could share one thing learned during this training that would be to remember the RACI model: always know who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. In this sector, it is vital to have a shared understanding of this model.”
Piotr Toczyski, M.Psych., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology. M. Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw

While the program of the second session of the HOP training was the same as for the first one, the experience was different, as newly trained co-facilitators joined the HLA trainers.

This training shows the power of the ripple effect of learning and how quickly it creates impact. With the start of HOP Core 2, we not only continue providing learning to humanitarians but also see its result in action. Last week six participants continued their HOP Core training with TtT (Train the Trainers). This week they are already part of the team of facilitators here in Poland with the perspective to provide HOP training in Ukraine – in Ukrainian language.”
Kamila Wujec, HLA Eastern Europe Regional Centre Lead

Designed to create a new generation of humanitarians by empowering local and national response actors, HOP is part of our Engine 2 approach and Ukraine response work, which catalyses progressive localisation and transformational change.

We are currently supporting humanitarian responses in multiple locations - Find out more

A successful Sphere standards training

Our colleagues in the Eastern Europe Regional Centre recently held a three-day training on Sphere standards.


Sphere Standards Training in Poland

The workshop drew Polish and Ukrainian participants from Save the Children International and representatives from humanitarian sector NGOs.

Preparations are underway for the next training, as well as a Transformation of Training (ToT) session which will lead to a team of Polish and Ukrainian language-speaking trainers.

These activities form part of our Ukraine response work – named Engine 2 – which champions progressive localisation and supports local solutions, including capacity strengthening through training.

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