In 2011 I started Mindfulness for NGOs in partnership with The Oxford Mindfulness Centre led by Prof. Mark Williams to bring the art of mindfulness-based stress reduction and burnout prevention training to aid workers and NGOs back home and in the field.
In this way I was able combine my profession as a clinical psychologist, with my political passion and my experience in mindfulness meditation. This was the first ever project to bring mindfulness-based interventions to humanitarian professionals.
Having been a humanitarian worker myself with Médecins Sans Frontières in Israel/Palestine and in China I knew very well how difficult life in the field can be. Aid workers are often expected to put up a brave face in the face of their own difficulties and suffering. A way to reduce stress and prevent burnout is much needed: mindfulness can help.
With Mindfulness for NGOs I started teaching mindfulness in Palestine and raising awareness on the disastrous consequences of burnout. My vision is that to change the world out there we need to start from ourselves.
While others have started to disseminate mindfulness among aid workers, I now run Mindfulnext.org, a lab to rethink the way we work in a world that is in rapid and constant change. Because if we want to transform the world, we have to change the way we work, being mindful of relations and power, to create more humane, caring and learning work environments.
All the best wherever you may be in the world!