We’re pleased to announce that some of our services will soon be delivered from Nigeria. Thrive psychotherapist and trainer LIZ PYCROFT is moving to the country’s capital city Abuja, and she’s been explaining how the move will help us serve more people working in West Africa…

Tell people about your role with Thrive. I’m a counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor, and to date I’ve been part of Thrive’s psychosocial services team. I also provide staff care training and consultancy for organisations we work with. This means providing remote one-on-one support to professional humanitarian staff deploying to fragile and conflict affected regions. This support could be in the form of pre-deployment resilience screening, psychological first aid following a traumatic incident or individual counselling.

Why are you moving to Nigeria? The primary reason is that my partner is being relocated with his employer in the International Development sector; but it’s a great opportunity for me to help Thrive to begin to build networks and partnerships in the country, so that client services can be delivered both in Nigeria and regionally quickly, appropriately and flexibly.

What’s exciting you about the move? I am so excited to return to Nigeria! I spent 3 years there almost 20 years ago. It’s a lively and dynamic place with a fascinating history and a proud culture. I am looking forward to meeting fellow professionals - international and Nigerians - who are providing psychosocial services to develop both personal and organisational wellbeing. I’m interested to see how Thrive’s specialist services can fit into this web of providers and how we work alongside  and support fellow professionals to provide these essential services.

What's the plan for Thrive once you're there? I hope I can support Thrive to deliver services directly to client organisations and individual people working in the sector. This is an exciting opportunity to provide face-to-face (rather than remote) support, training and counselling to organisations working in a complex setting and who provide essential humanitarian support to a vulnerable population. This kind of work has its unique challenges and I feel that at Thrive we have a deep insight into this as many of us have worked in the sector – being closer to our colleagues and clients is a very important element of Thrive’s plan in Nigeria.

Can you describe Nigeria's regional significance in West Africa? I think that Nigeria, specifically Abuja, is a regional hub for international development and humanitarian organisations. Unfortunately, the situation in the north of Nigeria means that there are serious security issues and very vulnerable populations of people who need support. Being available in-country to support humanitarian staff as they respond to the needs of these populations, is critical. I think that having a physical presence in Nigeria will enable Thrive to gather appropriate local information, develop partnerships and have a personal understanding of the context. A better understanding of the environment can help us to build closer relationships with our clients and partners. Having this involvement in Nigeria may also mean that we can respond swiftly to regional requests in a cost-effective way.

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