This article considers what social workers may have to contribute in a training role in situations of refugee crises overseas. It is in the form of an open letter to a British social worker who was preparing to work in Croatia. It explores the possibilities of combining Western therapeutic techniques with local and culturally appropriate approaches to community development. The article stresses the need to acknowledge and address the emotional impact of the work and the workers' own concerns, and discusses the kind of on-going support needed by workers. Teaching methods and course content are considered, with a view to creating a safe atmosphere and an interesting programme, taking into account cultural considerations. The article is of relevance to social workers in a variety of roles in the UK which might broadly be termed training, as well as to the more specific circumstances which form its focus.