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Holistic Sustainability – 2015 NCB Institute

Original Publication Date: August 5, 2015
Last Updated: February 9, 2023
Estimated Read Time: 2 minutes

NCB’s annual training institute for 2015 was on the topic of “Holistic Sustainability”, and was held July 28 – 30 in St. Paul, MN.

The term Holistic Sustainability was first used in the context of environmentalism and sustainable living. In the context of Survivors of Torture (SoT) Programs, we define holistic sustainability as an approach that encompasses the whole body of the organization, promoting the synergistic understanding of the financial, cultural, local, and political factors of a certain organization and how each of these factors leads to a more sustainable, healthy, vibrant organization. A holistically sustainable SoT program is able to develop a diverse revenue base and meet the needs of the current and future client population; able to recruit, retain, and support high quality staff; and has policies and procedures in place that allow leadership and staff to respond effectively to new opportunities or challenging situations.

Strong community partnerships are vital to the holistic nature of care that torture survivors require, and good partnerships can sometimes lead to additional funding as well as those key services. A diverse, financially sustainable program will be able to attract higher quality staff, afford better facilities, and weather funding changes. A commitment to staff retention will reduce turnover and burnout, improve performance, reduce gaps in staffing, and improve overall morale.

Here are a few highlights along with selected resources.
Day 1: Strategic Partnerships for Sustainability:

Day 2: Financial Sustainability:

Day 3: Sustaining our Staff:
Throughout the institute, presenters offered different approaches to self-care including meditation and acupressure.

Additional Resources