“I would see some of my volunteers breaking down and crying, completely, for three or four days not coming from their houses, we come and talk to them, like that. But after that – after some two, three months or so there’s another operation, the same volunteers are saying, we must be on that operation; we have to be on that operation and it’s not because of money. We start telling them that the situation is not very good, you will not be happy there, you may not have the guts to do this and they say: no, we have to be there”. (Male Staff)
- Volunteers exposed to stress and trauma when working in complex environments are often affected in more severe ways than their paid staff counterparts.
- Volunteers often confront situations that are extremely distressing, made worse when their family and own communities are affected.
- The emotional impacts of volunteering can live on, but volunteers rarely have access to the pscyhosocial support and counselling that paid and particularly international aid workers can access.