Community Psycho-Social Supporters (CPS) Training Workshop for Refugees

Good Practices

Community Psycho-Social Supporters (CPS) Training Workshop for Refugees

People in a workshop, some standing, others sitting

The project in brief

The project is implemented by Homointer in the Republic of Korea. It began in May 2023 and is currently ongoing.

The need for mental health support for refugees is a widely accepted imperative, yet in South Korea few attempts were made to train refugees in providing psychosocial resources for other refugees. With refugees from diverse countries of origin, South Korea’s refugee demographic is heterogenous and dispersed throughout different cities. Therefore, the Community Psycho-Social Supporters Training Workshop is a pioneer in MHPSS capacity building that trains refugees of different ethno-language backgrounds in an urbanized context.

The project aims:

  • to enable refugee community leaders to provide psychosocial support for their community members.
  • to ultimately strengthen mental health and psychosocial support system within the refugee communities in the South Korea.

Main activities of the Good Practice

The Community Psycho-Social Supporters Training Workshop for Refugees was consisted of three sessions. The title of each training session is as follows: Stress management, Psychological First Aid (PFA), Special issues often faced by refugees in the South Korean context: depression, anxiety, and suicide, etc.

One person is standing in front of a projector screen another is crouching

Elements which helped facilitate the implementation of the good practice

  • Understanding of the target population and its need in advance.
  • Internal preparation committee consists of relevant professionals such as a psychologist, an expressive arts therapist and an intercultural studies specialist, etc.
  • Network with local refugee supporting organizations.
  • Funded by the UNHCR.

Partners involved

What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?


  • Imbalance in the gender composition of participants: 11 men and 2 women.
  • Insufficient accessibility to the training for refugees living outside metropolitan Seoul.
  • Lack of gender sensitivity shown throughout the workshop.
  • Absence of financial resources.

How they were overcome

  • We identified the reason for this skewed proportion of men to women ratio as the lack of childcare support during the workshop, which we responded to flexibly by opening an online session. In addition, the preparation committee is planning to offer a childcare option during the workshop and to conduct workshops more locally in the coming years.
  • The preparation committee reserved some time to go over the ground rules repeatedly with a particular emphasis on respecting gender issues, giving specific examples of what is unacceptable behaviour.
  • Financial support
People sitting in a circle. One person is standing with their arms crossed on their chest and their eyes closed.

Results of the Good Practice

  • We conducted three sessions of the training for refugee community leaders, with 13 refugee participants highly engaged with the content and showing enthusiasm by sharing the acquired mental health resources with other community members through SNS platforms such as Facebook.
  • Indeed, all the respondents who took part in the post-questionnaire (9 respondents) expressed satisfaction with the training and 8 respondents consented to becoming the first group of refugee community psychosocial supporters (CPS).
  • Most importantly, through this training, the participants themselves felt connected and psychosocially supported. They also gained knowledge and confidence in their ability to contribute to the mental health and psychosocial support for their communities and, by extension, all refugees.
A group posing for the photo, some holding up folders

In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?

Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance

Refugee community leaders can be empowered through this training to take MHPSS preventive and responsive actions for their community members, in turn helping them be more self reliant in their host country.

Next steps

We plan to continuously provide the training in other regions than metropolitan Seoul to expand the pool of community leaders in preparation for the further scalable psychosocial intervention.

Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?

  • Fund for the project.
  • Partnership with other refugee support organizations and collaboration with a variety of relevant professionals to conduct the training.

Submitted by

  • Yulii KIM, Project Coordinator, Homointer
  • Jaeyoon PARK, Co-Representative, intercultural education specialist & expressive arts therapist, Homointer
  • Yoohyun OH, Co-Representative, intercultural psychologist, Homointer
  • Eunice Baek, Researcher, counseling specialist, Homointer

Contact the project