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    A workout room helps the ARC Mahama team decompress

    Day 219

    A Little Gym

    Today, we’re visiting another place where ARC works in Rwanda, the newest refugee camp in the country – Mahama Refugee Camp. More than 50,000 Burundian refugees live in the camp where ARC provides health care and other services.

    When we asked our Mahama team – what would you do with $500 to take better care of yourselves and your fellow team members – they were excited. It was something they had actually been thinking about but didn’t have the resources to make happen.

    Mahama Camp was setup in 2015 but is still considered an emergency situation. With a semi-arid climate, permanent hot weather and a very stressful context, staff need to decompress. And the Mahama team had hoped to do so together every Thursday at a sports facility. But they quickly learned the distance from Mahama to a sports facility was too long – they ended up spending all their time in transit and no time working out, playing sports together and destressing.

    So when they heard they might have $500 to use for staff well-being, they thought this could be the perfect opportunity to create a sport space near the work place. All staff could benefit from it – the construction team, health and nutrition team, community engagement team…

    So, they got together and decided what to do. They purchased affordable sports equipment like mats for stretching, free weights, an ab rocket twister and a basketball. And they installed a small sound system (that was already on-hand).

    In addition to the physical items, they decided to introduce classes like Zumba on a regular basis – and invite teammates from other partner organizations working in Mahama to join them.

    “This is great because it will help strengthen the Mahama team and make an impact on their health and fitness,” said Site Manager Jacques Prévert Rumanyika. “As a team, we had already decided this would help them deal with stress and be more effective in their work. It’s great we were able to make it happen.”

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