Tribute to Svein Dagfinn Staff

Posted on Jul 4, 2018

Tribute to Svein Staff by Kristil Haraldstad, Country Director Lebanon

Dr. Svein Dagfinn Staff passed away on Tuesday 3rd of July 2018.

Dear Svein

On behalf of everyone in NORWAC, we would also like to express our immense admiration for your remarkable contribution in the field of Mental Health.

You spent twenty-one years of your spare time working for NORWAC, - in the Balkans, in Palestine and in Lebanon. Your amazing work started in Lebanon in 1997 when NORWAC received a letter with a request to support the Palestinian organization Beit Atfal Assamoud. NORWAC contacted you, and a meeting with the organization was held which was the start of a long-term collaboration. The results of this collaboration are numerous. You developed NORWAC’s work in the field of Mental Health and this is today one of the most important initiatives NORWAC has done in Lebanon. Later you initiated a Mental Health project involving our three different partners working together. You contributed greatly to the cooperation between them.

You were a part of establishing a Mental Health education in Lebanon, which was unique in Lebanon and you were further involved in establishing an international conference on Mental Health issues in Lebanon, now being held for the twelfth annual year. You were  involved in establishing five mental health centres for children, young people and their families and a two-year mental health education for teachers. Your work has been ground-breaking. What you achieved is unique in its kind and especially in terms of its context.

 To describe your work with NORWAC, I would like to use the words of a Lebanese poet, philosopher and artist, Kahlil Gibran.

 “Work is love made visible”

And what is it to work with love? 

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.”

From us in NORWAC you have been a wonderful colleague and for many a dear and treasured friend. You have always been a wise, critical and safe person to talk to and your contributions have been far beyond your own field of expertise. This has been very important for NORWAC.  You have inspired and enriched us through twenty-one years and we are full of appreciation and gratitude.  On behalf of NORWAC I would like to thank you: Thank you very, very much! You will be sadly missed.

 Kristil Haraldstad


Svein Staff visiting the Beit Atfal Assamoud centre at Rashidieh camp together colleagues and the Norwegian ambassador, Lene Lind