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    Creating room for sharing and healing

    DAY 14

    Counseling Space Spruce Up

    On Changemakers 365’s last day (for now) in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, we had one more mini renovation that needed to be completed – the counseling room.


    One of ARC’s most important services in Nakivale Refugee Settlement is support counseling for women who are facing domestic abuse, violence, or discrimination in their communities. Despite their significance to the survivors that ARC serves, there simply hasn’t been the budget or the time to prioritize the atmosphere of the counseling rooms. The rooms were cramped, furnished with whatever large office desks and chairs were available. The walls were stark and roughly painted, the lighting dim. It felt formal instead of calming and healing – neither counselor nor guest found the space comforting or reassuring.

    So on Day 13 of this project, the counseling spaces got a complete makeover to be the spaces that women who’ve suffered abuse and violence really need to begin healing – spaces our staff could be proud of.


    Step 1 was identifying a new space, bigger and with more windows than the previous building – and with a fresh coat of paint. The open windows of the new room let in a refreshing breeze, filling it with fresh air and sunshine.

    Step 2 was new furniture – light and welcoming wicker chairs, a coffee table, and a table with drawers to keep counseling resources for women.


    Next, the décor – a light gray rug, a soft blue batik, and a green plant to incorporate the calmness of nature. And the practicalities – a water cooler with glasses, tea, and coffee.

    With the chairs placed next to each other, gently slanted inward, the space now reflects a more informal, conversational atmosphere. The water, tea, and coffee available suggest that women are guests in ARC’s home.


    “The way the room is now takes away that seniority,” says Deus, ARC’s Gender-Based Violence Technical Coordinator. “It’s much more conversational when you can sit next to someone in a less formal way. It’s the little things like this that will help them [those being counseled] so much.”

    With just a few simple changes, the counseling room was completely transformed. Now ARC staff are excited and proud to welcome women into this bright and airy space, to work together on recovery and charting a new path for their future.


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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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