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To fulfil our mission of building a better future with vulnerable people, we have developed a specialty in counselling. Our expertise is in understanding and empowering people to identify and overcome personal or contextual barriers. We primarily apply this expertise in conflict-affected or marginalized populations, serving programs ranging from mental health to access to justice to countering violent extremism.

Our model is empathic engagement and we avoid techniques that do not cross cultures easily. Our value of humility is reflected in our approach: we listen and we adapt our expertise to the personal needs in front of us. Our counselling system focuses on identifying populations in need, scoping common patterns of problems and opportunities they face, training counsellors, and supporting the service through mentoring, professional supervision and rigorous monitoring and evaluation.

Donors tell us that our counselling system sits in a valuable niche of the international development and security sectors. The core system is adaptable to deliver our thematic and country priorities, with relevance to rule of law programs, migration, strategic communications planning, social inclusion and education. In humanitarian settings, we recognize the priority of keeping people fed and safe. After that, we engage to address the psychosocial problems and opportunities they face.

Here are some examples of how we deploy our counselling expertise:

  • Working with young people to analyze their options for economic advancement
  • Helping migrants returning home to reintegrate
  • Identifying paths to divert people from violent extremism
  • Helping people deal with traumatic experiences
  • Giving remote advice to people in remote areas with limited access to services
  • Reducing vulnerability to exploitation among populations that regularly suffer human trafficking and modern slavery