SHLS (Safe Healing and Learning Spaces) Facilitator At International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

The Ukraine crisis could become the worst humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in decades. More than 5.3 million people have fled across borders to seek safety in the 1st month since the escalation of conflict in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and over 6.5 million people are reported to be displaced. Reports indicate almost all arrivals in Poland are women and children, including those that are unaccompanied and separated, as well as older persons.

Between February 7-23, 2022, an IRC team undertook a scoping mission covering Poland and Ukraine to better understand the context, humanitarian and civil society landscape, and anticipated service gaps in the event of an escalation of conflict in Ukraine and consequent displacement into neighboring Poland. As of February 24th, the IRC has pivoted to emergency response, and has identified partner agencies in Ukraine and Poland to facilitate immediate assistance that can be used where it is most needed. Simultaneously, the IRC has established operations across Ukraine and Poland offering a robust humanitarian response to complement partner response services either in breadth or scale.

Poland is hosting the largest number of refugees from Ukraine; more than 1.5 mil. have registered for Temporary Protection (70% females and 40% children)1. In the second year of the crisis, more refugees are expected in Poland as the frontlines change and Russia intensifies attacks. The new arrivals are expected to be more vulnerable with increased protection concerns and basic needs. As the needs continue to evolve, the IRC proactively adapts its programming to the context to ensure efficient delivery of assistance. The IRC Poland currently provides Protection, cash, education, and livelihood support to the affected population in Poland.

Job Overview/Summary: The SHLS Facilitator will be responsible for leading guided activities for children and youth enrolled in the SHLS and other administrative activities, while also monitoring the impact of activities and collecting feedback from participants.

Major Responsibilities: Main responsibility is to develop activity material and facilitate group activities ensuring they are inclusive and tailored to context, age and vulnerability type.

Specific Responsibilities:

Facilitate group activities in the SHLS, including SAFE (Supporting Adolescents and their Families in Emergencies).

  • Co-facilitate WGSS activities when WGSS facilitators require support or are on leave.
  • Collaborate in the development of curricula, tools and other resources for SHLS activities.
  • Design and implement activities tailored to age and vulnerability type.
  • Identify delivery methods and languages that make activity content accessible to all members.
  • Identify strategies to ensure that (as much as possible) activities are tailored to the context and promote inclusion of different population groups (ethnicities, religious, minorities, vulnerabilities, LGBTIQ+, etc.).
  • Gather children’s and youth’s feedback on activities, schedule and methodologies used.
  • Monitor the quality and impact of activities.
  • Draft the SHLS workplan on a regular basis.
  • Keep the SHLS workplan relevant, up-to-date and innovative.
  • Identify and implement strategies to promote inclusion and solidarity among children and youth.
  • Support IEC material development.
  • Review and incorporate activity feedback received by children and youth.
  • Guarantee fairness of selection criteria and access to group activities.
  • Refer Child Protection survivors to specialized services and or through the Child Protection caseworkers,
  • Follow mandatory reporting.
  • Ensure there is an updated service mapping.
  • Follow Child Protection guiding principles of respect, confidentiality, and safety/security and non- discrimination while providing services to women and girls.


· Closely coordinate with the SHLS and WGSS (Women’s and Girls’ Safe Space) staff on trends, community dynamics, community acceptance, to modify activities and material accordingly.

· Collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure fruitful and smooth field-level coordination.

· Identify strategic collaboration and implement activities in collaboration with other service providers.

Other duties:

· Ensure supplies/resources for the SHLS and other program activities are requested on a timely manner and are efficiently utilized.

· Other duties as assigned by the supervisor to enable and develop IRC programmes.

Key Working Relationships:

· Position Reports to: Integrated Protection Manager

· Other Internal and/or external contacts:

· Internal: Regular relationships with IRC WPE (Women’s Protection and Empowerment), Child Protection, Protection Monitoring, and Livelihoods teams.

· External: Collaboration with IRC partners and donors including other non-governmental organizations, and inter-agency groups.


Requirements – Education:

· Higher education in social work/psychology or related fields preferred.

Requirements – Previous experience:

· 1-2 years’ experience in the humanitarian sector, particularly in Protection and specifically in the Child Protection sector.

· Experience in facilitating psychosocial group support activities with children and youth.

· Demonstrated experience working directly with refugees.

Requirements – Skills, knowledge, and interests:

· Demonstrates sensitivity to gender equality and GBV issues.

· Demonstrates ability and commitment toward diversity and inclusion.

· Commitment toward a healthy and supportive working environment.

· Personal qualities: good listener, team player, flexible, network-builder, able to handle pressure well and work in cross-cultural setting.

· Communication skills, with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural and sensitive issues.

· Flexibility and openness to undertake other tasks.

Requirements – Language skills:

· Fluency in Ukrainian and English. Polish and Russian language skills are an asset.

Requirements – Compliance:

· Strict adherence to humanitarian, protection and Child Protection principles and standards, as well as organizational policies including Code of Conduct and Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).

Standards of Professional Conduct: The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and makes sure policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Harassment-Free Workplace, Fiscal Integrity, Anti-Retaliation, Combating Trafficking in Persons, and several others.

Gender Equality: The IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols, and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Diversity and Inclusion: At the IRC, our diverse clients, partners, and staff have the power, voice, and agency to shape programs and operations. We actively work to end all forms of systemic discrimination and foster an inclusive working environment where everyone feels respected, heard, valued, and supported. The IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and considers all applicants based on merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability. The IRC encourages women to apply and work with us to reach the people most in need of humanitarian assistance, such as women, widows, and children. The IRC is committed to providing a decent and safe work environment that considers needs of women in the workplace, including through maternity leave and safety protocols.


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