The course started off on Saturday with Arjan Erkel. The former MSF-worker elaborated on his hostage situation during twenty months in the Caucasus. This was supposed to be the surprise of the evening, but that was not the case. After the coffee break the participants were taken hostage by a group of rebels. The armed group intimidated and put a lot of pressure on them. After this simulation, they could reflect on the event. An experienced trainer from the Department of Justice supervised this group-session. The comments of the group were very positive and a lot was learned from this training.
On Wednesday the training consisted of Ammunition Awareness, Communications and Security and Dealing with aggression. These courses had both theoretical and practical elements.
In the evening Sheryl Haw, former head of operations of Medair, gave a lecture on Vehicle Procedures and Risk Assessment. She managed to keep the group, who already had a very intense week, focused on the topics.
On Thursday afternoon the participants experienced a carrousel of events. The group was confronted with minefields, a robbery, a session dealing with personal aggression and a roadblock. The theory and skills that had been learned had to be put into practice. The reactions after the course were very enthusiastic and even very experienced aid-workers appreciated the course.
The next War Child Safety Course will be in the autumn of 2005.