After the storm
“There’s no way the Logistics Response Team training can be described in just one word – it’s too much” says Khaula, a facilitator at the recent Southern African LRT edition.
Intense, overwhelming, rewarding, enlightening. Accomplishment, relief, exhaustion. Stress, shiver, and sweat. This is the Logistics Response Team Training – or LRT as it’s known among the humanitarian logistics community. A training exercise facilitated by the Logistics Cluster that triggers a medley of emotions driven by one common feeling: that LRT adrenaline.
On the road
At the round-out of 2019 our training team took the road to deliver an ambitious task: 4 LRTs in 4 countries in 44 days. From the German forest, to the Jordanian desert; the Italian coastline, to the South African bush, 90 participants from 31 different countries working across a massive 42 different organisations came together to experience the world of the LRT. And what a world it is.
‘It truly is an alternative universe designed for you’. Fran, ShelterBox, Gear Up – Germany
Let’s rewind: what’s this training all about?
“It’s about bringing humanitarian logistics people from different background and gathering them as a Logistics Response Team’’ explains Malik from Oxfam, a participant of the Yemen Edition. “I felt the result of teamwork, which is the most important part,” he adds. Though this may be easier said than done.
“Individuals in each team are all professionals in their job areas. The objective is to come together as a team” says Milos from IOM who attended the Brindisi LRT.
You said you like challenges?
The LRT is defined by its learning by doing (and failing!) methodology.
One of the most demanding elements of the training is the stress, heightened by long working hours comparable only to a real-life emergency context. This is something that caught Waleed from Médecins du Monde by surprise during his experience in Amman.
“It really was a new experience,” he said. ”It’s different than any course I had taken previously.”
Fran from ShelterBox, who joined the LRT in Germany relates: “I was not expecting the level of detail and complexity that the scenario goes in to. It truly is an alternative universe designed for you’’ she explains. “Managing large volumes of constantly changing information, pressing deadlines, working in field conditions - not to mention the late nights and early starts!”
‘You feel empowered and limitless – the LRT does that to you.’ Khaula, WFP, Southern Africa LRT
Once in lifetime
For Milos, the experience in Brindisi will always remain.
“It’s a place where you can have real quality time and interact with a group of facilitators with impressive acting skills!”
Same for Khaula, who returns to the WFP operation in South Sudan exhausted but happy: “You feel empowered and limitless – the LRT does that to you”
Any words of advice?
“The course is totally immersive. Be prepared to suspend reality for a few days and get completely stuck in with the scenario. The more you contribute, the more you will get out of it’ – Fran responds – ‘But be warned, there will be consequences.”