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    Giving the renovated safe house back to the community

    DAY 12

    The Big Reveal

    Now that the Safe House renovation is complete, it’s time for one last step – revealing the transformation to the community and those who helped make it happen. We took a moment to celebrate everyone’s commitment to improving the lives of women in Nakivale – the refugee community, ARC staff, and our most important partners at Nakivale who were there to cut the ribbon.



    Harriet Adong, ARC’s Protection Manager, was one of the first to see the new Safe House. Her reaction said it all – she was awestruck, covering her face with her hands and testing out the bed, as if to see if it was real. “It’s incredible,” she said. “Just incredible.”


    Other stakeholders had similar reactions. Aba Opokum-Mensah, Team Leader at Nakivale for the UN Refugee Agency, said, “when I first saw the house I was so surprised. This is not what I expected. It’s so good that we don’t have to struggle to get someone a place to sleep. We just have to say, this is the lady and we will take her. I wish we could do this everywhere.”

    “The houses are very nice! They’re like out of a movie,” said Sharon, from the Office of the Prime Minister, “it’s VIP. It’s good that refugees will be treated this way.”


    Crowds gathered to see the new rooms for the first time, opening drawers and examining each item. Eager children curiously peaked through the doors. Community members pointed to the beds and blankets, remarking at their comfort and practicality. It was as if a new page was turning, eyes opened to the possibilities for change.

    After the reveal, everyone was invited to a community dinner in celebration of everything achieved, together. Community leaders spoke about how the newly renovated Safe Houses represented the pride of Nakivale – they were setting the standard for how things should be in the rest of the settlement, and in the whole of Uganda. Now, they feel like they’re models for the entire community.


    “This is one of the most important missions we’ve ever had at Nakivale,” said Deus, ARC’s Gender-Based Violence Technical Coordinator at dinner. “We’ve been wanting something like this for a long time. It’s one step, but this represents real change. There will be so many people excited about this.”

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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


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