The Registrar of the ICTR on 29 September presided over a colourful launch ceremony of the Staff Outreach Support (SOS) Programme in Arusha which was transmitted via video link to Kigali.
The Staff Outreach Support Programme (SOS) trains UN staff to be a source of confidential help for their colleagues in order to address personal or professional problems before they become acute. During the launch 50 staff members were awarded with certificates for successfully participating in a five day workshop during which they were trained to listen carefully, clarify issues, provide feedback, and assist in identifying options for resolving colleagues’ problems.
The training was conducted by Ms Ruth Sembajwe, Staff Counsellor, in the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) at the UN Headquarters and Ms. Judy Tindall, a consulting psychologist based in New York.
In his speech, Registrar Adama Dieng noted that the SOS programme was more relevant today than ever before particularly due to the current emphasis on staff security and welfare, and the current global caution on security. He also urged all Programme Managers to give their full support to this initiative and to promote its awareness by inviting the focal points and the SOS providers in their respective divisions and sections occasionally for briefs. He also thanked the SOS providers for volunteering to undertake the task of helping others.
The Registrar added that the Staff Outreach Support (SOS) program is part of the Secretary-General’s human resources management reform initiative. The Staff Outreach Support Programme at the UN Headquarters was launched on 12 February 2004 by Ms. Rosemary McCreery the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources.
The Registrar also launched the SOS database. While launching the database, the Registrar said this database will be used by SOS providers and programme managers in planning for SOS activities, including providing feedback on monthly meetings and training. In addition, it will be a useful tool for monitoring expenditure, reporting and in analysing lessons learned in order to identify best practices for this programme.
The ICTR SOS programme in ICTR will be coordinated by three focal points in Arusha i.e. Mr. Jean-Pelé Fomété, Ms. Annabelle Borg and Mr. Jovenales Njuguna, while in Kigali the focal point is Ms. Ingrid Phillip-Bristol.