This quarter we focused largely on monitoring and assessing client progress with an eye toward planning for 2016. Our staff in Nairobi conducted a comprehensive assessment of all RefugePoint clients. Through home visits, staff evaluated individuals’ and families’ living situations, health and wellness, education, and employment status. They looked at indicators around safety, security, and affordability. This marks the third round of biannual (twice yearly) assessments.
RefugePoint’s Livelihoods team was also hard at work visiting and monitoring 224 client-owned businesses that were all launched in 2015. From business training and best practices, to mentoring and monitoring, our clients received technical and financial support from trained staff to start small businesses in Nairobi. The aim of this program is to help refugees establish sustainable livelihoods in order to support themselves and their families. RefugePoint clients have successfully launched a variety of businesses, including selling traditional Congolese fabric, making and selling street-food, and selling second-hand clothes.
The counseling unit also wrapped up individual and group sessions for the year, collecting pre-and post-assessment information from individuals to determine the impact of therapeutic counseling. This was the first year that we conducted intensive therapy groups around single issues (for example, survivors of torture) and we are looking forward to learning from the information collected from clients.
These assessments are all a critical part of our model and help us determine when clients are ready to graduate from our services. We are happy to report that by the end of this year, 1,246 clients were able to sufficiently stabilize and graduate from our core program; they had secure households, stable livelihoods and a good path forward. This was nearly twice the number we had originally expected.