International NGO Safety Organisation



Function: Training Manager
Location: Cameroon
Nationality: French

Géraud, INSO Training Manager in Cameroon, enjoys seeing participants discovering new concepts and tools in the training sessions he runs.

Let’s start with the big picture: In your own words, why is what you do in training so valuable?

Our trainings are constantly being refined and improved; they are the fruit of experts’ labour and their relevance continues to impress me. These training courses are delivered as close as possible to our partners to help and strengthen the capacities of those on the front line of humanitarian work. This is INSO’s great strength: being able to strengthen our partners’ capacities at the very heart of their working environment.

Can you share how you came to join INSO?

I began my career in education. I taught in the suburbs and centre of Paris, France. Before that, I had studied economics and qualified as a primary school teacher. At the same time, I also worked a lot with young people in the after-school sector. I also co-founded a parenting support organisation. But after the various pandemic episodes, my family and I decided to leave Paris and go abroad and spent a year in the Middle East. It was then that I heard about INSO.

What drew you to the Training Manager role, and what are your favourite parts of it?

I had been eager to work with INSO for several months, since I first heard about the organisation and understood the quality of its work – and especially the opportunity in training and teaching. Running the actual training sessions is probably my favorite part of the job, for the simple reason that they are of such high quality and have a direct impact on our partners. The pride and joy felt by our participants at the end of the session is a constant reminder of this. Finally, it must be said that the very small training team in Cameroon (the Training Officer and I) get on wonderfully, which makes the work really enjoyable.

What are the unique challenges of being a Training Manager with INSO and what skills do you feel it draws on?

This job was a real challenge for me. Firstly, because it’s the first time I’ve been to Africa, but also because being a Training Manager with INSO is both fascinating and demanding. A Training Manager needs to be fairly versatile. Of course, you must enjoy passing on knowledge and be a skilled facilitator. Depending on the context, you also need to be flexible and adapt to any unknowns that may arise along the way.

Our role is to offer a quality service to people who have dedicated their careers to helping vulnerable people, and we are fortunate to work alongside staff who are often very experienced in humanitarian work. It is, therefore, imperative that we constantly strive to improve and work as a team to serve them to the best of our ability. Fortunately, each Training Manager can rely on the support of technical referents and fellow Training Managers, all of whom are both extremely friendly and superbly competent. So, I can honestly say that I feel proud and privileged to take on this role.

What are the top three things you’ve learnt in this role?

I can’t even begin to describe how much I’m learning as a Training Manager at INSO. But if there’s one thing I’m learning to cultivate and that I particularly appreciate here, it’s to go further and constantly improve. In my opinion, this is the predominant characteristic of INSO training teams: constant improvement.

The second thing I’ve learned here is very broad: discovering the country, or rather of Africa in this case, since Cameroon is aptly nicknamed by Cameroonians as ‘All of Africa in miniature’.

Thirdly: All the experiences of the colleagues I meet every day, whether they’re from INSO or colleagues I’ve met on training sessions. The backgrounds, stories and personal anecdotes are so many that they’re impossible to list, but they’re extremely enriching.

If I was with you for a whole work day, what would we do, who would we meet, what challenges would we face?

The days are very different depending on the period we’re in. There are periods when we spend a lot of time planning our training courses, others when we’re talking about the annual plan, others again when we must meet and question our partners about their needs. If it were a training day, the whole team would have to leave in advance to prepare the room and ensure everything was ready for training (down to the smallest detail), welcome participants as best they could, and then get down to the nitty-gritty of the training. So we’d be meeting a dozen partners and humanitarian colleagues.

If it wasn’t a training session, we’d probably be in the Country Office, discussing upcoming training sessions, developing or refining certain parts of a training course, or dealing with the logistics of future sessions.

Tell me about one of the most memorable moments you’ve had with INSO so far.

My colleague, the Training Officer, shared with me this really wonderful anecdote: A partner NGO had sent a young intern to a training session. Clearly, this young woman had learned a lot that day, as she had just entered the world of humanitarian aid and never had the opportunity to have the fundamental concepts of this environment explained to her. As she received her certificate, she wept with emotion and gratitude for all she had discovered that day.