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Mental health - a priority

Despair among refugees

Being a refugee alone is a traumatizing experience. Refugees had to run away from a life they had known for years, to a life of uncertainty and extreme poverty. Many refugees live with memories of their loved ones getting killed. As a child, Rebecca witnessed the killing of her brother by rebels.

In Uganda, refugees struggle with many challenges including limited or no access to basic needs, such as food, illnesses, and loss of personal property, resulting in mental health issues.

 

Refugee women go through additional traumatizing experiences like physical body injury, gender-based violence (especially rape cases among refugees), and forms of affliction including workload. Many women have been pushed is demeaning situations like prostitution, and theft leaving many with feelings of guilt, and worthlessness.

A 2018 joint assessment by UNHCR and partner organizations found that 19 percent of refugee households in northern Uganda reported at least one family member suffered psychological distress or felt afraid.

Fewer than half of the respondents said the affected family member had access to psychosocial care, such as individual counseling, group therapy, and meditation. 

and because there are no avenues to express the built-up frustrations, many refugees opt for suicide.

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We believe that a good mental standing is the beginning of a prosperous household

Our goal is to provide a safe space, where refugee women can let go and can rebuild better mental health

We believe that mental healing starts with being able to bring out and share the traumatizing experiences that are hidden within.

We provide a platform where women can share their experiences without judgment and with the utmost confidentiality. We have already created business families with each cohort, consisting of up to 10 women who become guarantors for each other for our business financing. We, therefore, use these groups 

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The group coaching sessions are held once a month and are facilitated by a certified life coach.

The women share their experiences as openly as they can be and others who have had similar experiences share too and how they managed that situation, being prompted by the group facilitator. Through the experience sharing, the women are even able to get advice based on the experiences of others in the group and how they delt with similar situations. Discussions often span around household management, domestic violence and other experiences.

We know that there are some experiences that are hard to share in a group. This is why we incorporated one-one coaching.

The women who have extreme cases which they are unable to share in the big group schedule an appointment with the coach, who supports the woman to share and/or create strategies on how to get better.

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