Most international relief organizations work in countries either in the midst of conflict or where conflict has just occurred. It is their mission to aid the suffering, provide food and shelter, and as much as is humanly, politically, and culturally possible, transform the conflict in some way so that those whom they are there to help can look forward to a better future once relief and development organizations have moved on. CRS is no exception to this and has worked in conflict prone areas of the world since the organization was founded in 1943 to aid victims of World War II. In order for CRS to be a more effective change agent in relief and development work, especially in war-torn countries, its staff needs the proper training in basic conflict transformation skills if they are to handle, on a daily basis, not only their own issues around conflict but also the problems of the people they serve, many of whom are recently emerged from or still caught up in religious and ethnic violence. This paper explores the conception, design and delivery of training in conflict transformation skills to CRS staff in Europe. The main questions I pose are: what was necessary to make this training a reality, and, how did the participants respond to the training, given that many of them were from countries recently at war with each other? I used the CRS/Europe regional strategy, the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, and the Caritas International Peace building Training Manual as my primary source material. I describe the rationale for the training, how it was developed, and who the primary and secondary training beneficiaries were. I also make recommendations as to how this kind of training can and should be used by other organizations who work in the field, regardless of whether they are working in peace building programs or not.
Byrne, John P., "Designing and delivering conflict transformation trainings to staff of Catholic Relief Services/ Europe" (2004). Capstone Collection. 101.