“We cannot prevent disasters, nor can we remove all threats and hazards from our lives. But we can increase our resilience to them – our capacity to absorb, mitigate, adjust to and recover from adverse events and circumstances” – Dr Janice Proud, Anglican Alliance Disaster Response and Resilience Manager.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and in other emergency situations, we have seen that the more resilient a community is and the better prepared it is for a disaster, the better able it is to respond, cope and survive when a crisis hits. We have also seen the power of accompaniers – people who have themselves come through a disaster and offer to walk alongside a community going through one” – Nagulan Nesiah, Senior Programme Officer in Disaster Response and Risk Reduction at Episcopal Relief & Development.
The Anglican Alliance has launched a new course to increase the resilience of churches and communities across the Anglican Communion.
The Resilience course shares learning, skills and best practice to build both a church and community’s resilience and their capacity to respond to a disaster. It is the result of three years of collaboration, exploration and sharing between the Anglican Alliance and Anglican churches and agencies across the Communion – especially Episcopal Relief & Development – an initiative called Partners in Resilience and Response (PiRR). PiRR grew out of the recognition that, as the number of disasters increases across the globe, building resilience and the ability to respond will be ever more vital. PiRR is a Communion-wide programme to do just that. After pilots in different regions we are now keen to build on these experiences with the roll out of the Resilience course, in the form of an online, global learning exchange.
Dr Janice Proud, the Anglican Alliance’s Disaster Response and Resilience Manager, played a key role in the course’s development, working alongside Nagulan Nesiah, the Senior Programme Officer in Disaster Response and Risk Reduction at Episcopal Relief & Development. Janice says, “Anglicans are an integral part of their communities and are there when disasters strike. They are there before, during and long after other agencies have left. It is important to build resilience and response-capacity ahead of a disaster. This course provides a space for church leaders – clergy, lay, practitioners – to explore how this can be done.”
How does the course work?
Watch this short introductory video.
The Resilience course will take the form of an online ‘learning exchange’ of 10 sessions, aimed at building a network of Anglican leaders with greater capacity for response and resilience and with better understanding of basic humanitarian concepts. The course will be facilitated by a team of 15 Anglicans representing the breadth and diversity of the Anglican Communion. Around half are women and half are young.
There will be one 2-hour session per month. Each session will have a particular theme and consist of a Bible reflection and a recorded thought piece followed by live discussion, in which participants will reflect together and learn from one another in order to to build their capacity and improve their community engagement. There will also be a homework assignment each month (up to 1 hour/month). There will be a maximum of 25 participants per course and those who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate.
Further details of the topics covered, and a course timetable, can be found on this page of practical information about the Resilience course.
The same course will be delivered four times in a choice of eight languages, to allow as wide a reach as possible across the Communion. In addition to English, the languages being offered are Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Burmese, Arabic and Portuguese. We will try to accommodate additional language options on request.
Details about the time for each language version of the course can be found here.
We invite you to consider prayerfully if you could play a role in building Anglican Resilience and Response capacity in your church. We also invite you to identify others who might benefit from this course and encourage you to share this information with them.
To help people decide if they would like to join the Resilience course, we held a series of 30 minute Course Introduction calls on Tuesday 29th September and Thursday 1st October. Each session comprised a short introduction to the course followed by questions and answers. You might therefore find it helpful to watch more than one of the recordings.
Recordings of these calls can be viewed on this link: Introductory calls – video recordings.
How do I apply?
If you are interested, please complete the Resilience course registration form, available in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. It can be downloaded from the Resilience course page of our website.
Please return it to your Anglican Alliance regional facilitator or Janice Proud by Friday 9th October 2020: firstname.lastname@example.org
A further level of engagement
Some of the participants on the Resilience course will be PiRR ‘resource persons’ or ‘accompaniers’. They will be sharing from their own experience of resilience and response and learning from the various perspectives and experiences offered by all participants on the course. In addition to taking part in the sessions of the Resilience course, these participants will undertake five supplementary sessions of scenario-based experiential learning. The aim is to develop a pool of 10 -15 resource persons for the Anglican Communion who are trained, equipped and confident to serve as accompaniers to communities going through a disaster or build a church’s capacities and resilience ahead of a disaster.
What is a resource person?
When a disaster hits, local capacity can be overwhelmed. When this happens, accompaniment by an experienced resource person from the region can help the local church as they navigate through uncharted waters.
Accompaniment is about working and walking alongside the church or community, providing empowering support and encouragement. An accompanier is not a consultant coming to do things for a church or community, or telling them what to do.
The resource persons will be Anglicans who provide support through in-person visits and from a distance. They will have a role to play before and/or after an emergency. Before: to build a church’s capacities and resilience. After: to help a local church determine and implement the distinctive role it can play in the response.
Participants who train as resource persons commit to serve as mentors and accompaniers on an invitation from a local church for either disaster preparedness or response.
Relief and Resilience are one of the Anglican Alliance’s key pillars, with an increasing emphasis on resilience as it becomes ever more apparent how critical resilience is in a world experiencing increasing numbers of disasters. You can read more about our work in this area here.