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New Sphere training pack now available in Arabic, French and Spanish

Participants in a training workshop organised by Community World Service Asia in Pakistan to learn about the Sphere standards. Photo: CWSA


The updated version of the Sphere training pack has been published in three additional languages, making the material available to an even broader group of humanitarian practitioners around the globe.

Released in English earlier this year, the pack integrates all of the updates contained in the 2018 Sphere Handbook, making it an essential companion for anyone wishing to learn more about the Sphere standards. Its 20 modules amount to five days’ worth of materials, which can be used in their entirety or broken up into shorter workshops.

The Arabic version was translated by volunteers at POINT, a humanitarian organisation with programmes in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), a Sphere focal point organisation, also contributed to the process. The exercise was made simpler by the fact that the pack was written in plain English, which makes it easier for non-native speakers to understand.

“In the areas where POINT works, there are many local NGOs and community-based organisations with a high level of commitment, but they lack experience in technical and humanitarian conduct. This makes Sphere their most important ally”, said POINT’s CEO, Rami Rajjoub.

Now that the Arabic version of the training pack is finalised, we’ll use it to promote the Sphere Handbook with our partners and teams. We’ll also participate in the development of a specific training package for Syria.”

“For the past 15 years, SARC has given special attention to training its staff and volunteers on standards to be applied during response operations”, also commented Khaled Rabeh, Coordinator of the SARC sub-branches. “Having the Sphere training materials available in Arabic will enable SARC to improve the quality of work and increase accountability in humanitarian programs. We have a team of 15 Sphere trainers across the Syrian governorates: our plan is to conduct Sphere trainings for all staff and volunteers working within the Red Crescent in all Syrian territories.”

The Spanish translation was overseen by CARE Ecuador. CARE and the Ecuadorian Red Cross tested the first draft of the package during two Sphere workshops in June and July.

“CARE is committed to making organisations better prepared to respond to different kinds of humanitarian crisis that may affect the most vulnerable people”, said CARE Ecuador’s Country Director, Alexandra Moncada.

“Now that the pack has been translated, we want to promote it and start training opportunities for humanitarian workers across the LAC region as soon as possible.”

The finalised Spanish training pack was used for the first time in September during a week-long training of trainers (ToT) event run by the ACT Alliance in El Varadero, Cuba. The Ecuadorian Red Cross is organising another ToT event in October. On the other side of the Atlantic, POINT will facilitate two training sessions in Syria using the Arabic version of the pack.