Travel to South Africa and become a certified Trauma Coach


  • Dates: October 12-19, 2024
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Program fees: US $3,370 + US $1,894 workshop fee
Program overview
Are you passionate about increasing support to people who suffer from trauma? Did you know that trauma coaching can support mental health treatment and assist survivors in their recovery process? Trauma coaches also play a role in the interruption of self-perpetuated intergenerational trauma through skill-based supports.
Have you dreamed of visiting South Africa to experience the richness of the country’s culture and wildlife; and to learn about the country’s ongoing efforts in building their nation?
We invite international professionals interested in becoming trauma coaches to travel to South Africa and join us in a trauma coaching training workshop to learn how to approach interactions through a trauma-informed lens and to develop new competencies in a unique multicultural environment.

  • Learn the principles of coaching within a multicultural context.
  • Experience a high-level, specialized training on trauma-informed interactions.
  • Gain invaluable competence to be a trauma coach.
  • Share your knowledge and gain new insight through a unique African perspective on mental health.
  • Explore an exciting destination and immerse yourself in the culture of your hosts.
  • Broaden your personal and professional network, and build lasting international friendships.
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South Africa has emerged from its troubled and turbulent past into a healthy democratic country and the economic powerhouse of the African continent. At the same time, it’s a great place to witness a society going through dynamic changes, as it can still be considered both a developed and an underdeveloped country. South Africans forge a new identity, strongly embracing their unique multicultural character.
Training objectives & core competencies
  • Participants will be able to identify the key principles of coaching.
  • Participants will gain a basic understanding of trauma and its effects.
  • Participants will understand the basics of trauma-informed interactions.
  • Participants will be able to learn about emotion regulation and trauma recovery skills.
  • Participants will understand the ethics of trauma coaching.
  • Participants will learn to apply self-reflection and regulation capacity.
  • Participants will understand coaching mindset (growth mindset, personal empowerment, strengths-based work, and person-centered work). 

Additionally, participants will interact and engage with local trauma-support organizations, allowing for rich conversations about local experiences, challenges, and approaches, and to discuss trauma-informed care in the South African context. Each participant is eligible to receive a Trauma Coach certificate from the Orenda Project and GEI after completing 10 practicum hours with clients that occurs after the initial training.

The Orenda Project’s Trauma Coaching certification offe
  • Total classroom hours: Approximately 50 hours (24 in-person & 26 asynchronous learning).
  • Asynchronous learning hours will vary depending upon individual learning styles + comfort with technology.
  • Access to our online student community throughout certification process.
  • Lifetime access to our Alumni online student community.
  • Access to our remote, monthly live meetings prior to and after the retreat-style training.

Application process:

Respond to initial questions on the form and submit a CV. The Orenda Project will inform you of admission acceptance or denial within 15 days of your application. We accept a maximum of 15 students per session.

Education requirements:

There are no educational requirements for this training. However in order to be successful, please take the following recommendations and considerations into account:
  • The course will be taught in English.
  • A high school degree or equivalent is recommended.
  • Proficiency and access to technology is required as this course is a hybrid of online independent learning as well as in-person.
Training workshop host institution: The Orenda Project
The program is based on a collaborative effort between GEI and the Orenda Project. The Orenda Project provides globally accessible courses on coaching or supporting trauma survivors through a lens of strength, goodness, and capacity in all people.

Dates and fees

Program dates

Application due date

October 12-19, 2024

September 12, 2024
US $3,370 program fee
US $1,894 workshop fee

We value full transparency and no hidden costs. As a result, you won’t have any disappointing surprises when you arrive. 

Included in your program fees
are accommodation (7 nights with breakfast and free WIFI), most meals (all breakfasts as well as 6 lunches and 5 dinners, each with 1 non-alcoholic drink), in-country transportation (including airport transfers), admission to all activities, mineral water on the vehicle, coordination/guiding, and 24/7 emergency support.

It is important that you take note of what is explicitly not included in the program fees. This helps you budget. Not included are the transportation to/from the program location airport (including international airfare and taxes), visas, travel and medical insurance, immunizations, some few meals, extra beverages and alcoholic drinks at the restaurants, potential COVID-19 requirements (such as RT PCR tests, self-isolation, etc), and personal expenses and other extras. Most importantly, the fee for the Trauma Coaching workshop itself is not included and needs to be paid directly to the Orenda Project, which can be completed, here. The regular fee for the workshop is US $2,300. For this program, however, the fee is discounted at US $1,894.

Program Leaders

Meet our core team

All of our instructors and coordinators are highly experienced and resourceful professionals.

Athena Phillips, LCSW
Course Creator & Lead Instructor
Founder, The Orenda Project
Founder, Integrative Trauma Treatment Center

Cailin Human, MBA
Program Director, South Africa
CEO, mHub - The Mental Health Hub
Waleed Fatth, MPH
Program Coordinator
Director, Professional Development Programs, Global Engagement Institute
Kari Cousins, MA/MSc
Academic Director, Southern Africa

Program timeline

FAQs - General

Where are you located?
We are officially incorporated in New York and headquartered in Berlin. Our GEI Regional Study Centers are located in Kigali (Rwanda), Nairobi (Kenya), Cape Town (South Africa), and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).We are officially incorporated in New York and headquartered in Berlin. Our GEI Regional Study Centers are located in Kigali (Rwanda), Nairobi (Kenya), Cape Town (South Africa), and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
Where do you operate programs?
Our study abroad programs generally focus exclusively on our GEI Regional Study Centers in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and Vietnam. That said, institutional affiliate partners regularly request that we provide their faculty-led and custom programs also in neighboring countries. As such, we have the operational capacity and experience to provide programs across our three regions – in East Africa (Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda), Southern Africa (Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe), and Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam).

FAQs - Application

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to join your programs?
We welcome applicants from all nationalities in our programs. If you seek academic credits or continuing education credits, please make sure that your home institution will accept the (typically U.S.) credits that we offer. More details about credits can be found on our program pages.
Is a deposit required to apply?
Yes, your application is only complete with the payment of a non-refundable deposit payment of US $300 that goes towards your total program fee.
Before I apply, is it possible to contact an alumnus?
Sure, if you’re still looking for answers, we’ll be happy to connect you with one of our alumni.

FAQs - Health & Safety

How do you monitor safety and security at your program locations?
The continuous monitoring of safety and security at our program locations has been an intimate part of our daily work since the very beginning of our operations. All of our decisions are made after careful consideration of every resource at our fingertips – our GEI Regional Study Center staff, our diverse in-country institutional partners, contacts in the field, relevant local government and police sources, local diplomatic missions and a variety of news sources. Our program managers subscribe to various countries’ travel warnings and advisories, including those of the U.S. State Department. Resident managers make every reasonable effort to stay informed, and they disseminate updates to GEI staff and program participants about any changes that have implications on local safety, security and health risks. And, when necessary, we take immediate action, including program relocation or evacuation.
What does your response to crises look like?
Over the years of operating in Africa and Asia, we have unfortunately been forced to occasionally deal with diverse crises, ranging from civil unrest, terrorist attacks, politically motivated violence or street crimes to car accidents, public health and medical emergencies and natural disasters. As terrible and sad as every single one of these events has been, they have strengthened our ability to foresee and prevent many potential problems, and to respond swiftly and decisively to any crisis that really hits us. They have also helped us to develop the networks and relationships to those institutions and individuals who can make the difference in the event of an emergency.
Will you provide health insurance?
Yes. Unless you already have your own health insurance, participants of our professional development programs receive a comprehensive health insurance that includes evacuation coverage. This is part of the program fees and arranged by GEI.

FAQs - Trip arrangements

Do you help with flights?
No. We are not a travel agent and only provide in-country services. Our partners and clients regularly recommend StudentUniverse for affordable international options.
Can I arrive earlier or depart later?
No problem to arrive earlier or depart later. But you will be responsible for covering the added costs. If desirable, please contact us with your travel plans. If we’re able to assist with housing, transportation services, and excursions, we’ll gladly do so. Late arrivals are not permitted, unless previously discussed with GEI.
Do I need a power converter?
Most of the modern electronic devices no longer need power converters. Please check if all your devices can cover the current between 110–230 Volt.
Is there Wi-Fi available?
In gateway cities, we typically select hotels and guesthouses where Wi-Fi is relatively reliable, as long as you take into account that you’ll be staying in a developing country where internet speed can be slow and patchy. Homestay host families don’t always have an internet connection readily available. In such a case, we offer mobile hotspots that you can rent at an additional fee. At the host communities, we’ll make every effort to also provide internet access, even though speed and reliability are likely to be significantly poorer.
Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In the great majority of cases Yes! A lot of the participants we host have dietary restrictions or food allergies. Please make sure to let us know in advance – on your application form – precisely what restriction of allergy you have. We will then try our very best to accommodate for your needs, whether at a hotel or guesthouse or with a host family or serviced apartment.

FAQs - Finances

Does my deposit go towards the full price of the program?
Yes, the deposit counts toward your program balance and will hence be deducted from the final payment.
Is my deposit refundable?
No. Your deposit is not refundable. However, should you not be able to join a program, deposits can be stored for one year and used for another GEI program after discussion with your GEI coordinator. Please contact us immediately if you need to cancel your participation.
How can I finance my experience abroad?
Don’t wait until the last minute to take care of this important point. Various options are possible (scholarships, fellowships, financial aid, grants or loans) and seeking multiple resources, including from friends and family, may be a very good idea.