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    New furniture breathes new life into one Nairobi organization

    Day 251

    Back to Business

    “How are you supposed to run an NGO without tables and chairs?” Craig, Executive Director of the Refugee Coalition of East Africa, asked us as we sat down in their new office space on the few plastic garden chairs. They had managed to rent them from another organization for our meeting. Good question, I thought, and we laughed about how hard it is to be taken seriously when you don’t even have a chair for your guests.

    The Refugee Coalition’s new office space is a beautiful house located in the suburbs of Nairobi, which doubles as a safe house for LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees. With a large garden (complete with a swing set!) surrounded by high walls and enough space to house 20 asylum seekers comfortably, it was easy to see why they had selected this house as their new base of operations – you could feel the safety and tranquility as you walked through the gate.

    The only problem was they were struggling to work without any office furniture, or an office space that felt like a business.

    Sometimes in life things just happen so serendipitously. Earlier that day, colleagues in the Alight Nairobi office had been discussing what they should do with the old tables and chairs which were going to be replaced in just a few days, so when Craig said they needed chairs and tables we knew exactly what to do.

    The next morning, we set to work loading up our rental truck with two tables, a conference room table, and ten chairs. An hour-long drive through the insanity of Nairobi traffic later and we were putting the finishing touches to their new office space – a space ready for business.

    The community are now able to hold meetings and conferences in their beautiful new office, no longer worried about not being taken seriously. A change in physical environment really can do wonders for your work!


    Meet Jamie! Jamie is Alight’s Global Inclusivity Advisor based out of London, UK, and works with our teams internationally to ensure marginalized communities are given the tools necessary to live lives filled with joy, meaning and purpose. He is particularly passionate about working with LGBTIQ asylum seekers and refugees in East Africa, who are some of the world’s most vulnerable. Need to contact Jamie? Feel free to reach out:


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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!


    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

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