Lead Counsellor At RefuSHE

Organization Profile

RefuSHE protects, educates, and empowers young refugee women and girls in Nairobi, Kenya through a unique holistic model that provides shelter, education, case management, counseling, childcare, legal advocacy, and vocational training. RefuSHE’s holistic program meets the immediate and longer-term needs of unaccompanied, separated and orphaned refugee girls, young women, and their children.

Founded in 2008, RefuSHE is a U.S. nonprofit with headquarters in Chicago and operations in Nairobi, Kenya. It is the first and only organization dedicated to refugee girls in Kenya. Over the past twelve years, RefuSHE has grown to become a leading institution and global thought-leader in the field of refugee protection.

Position Title: Lead Counsellor (This is a national position)

Department: Programs-Mental Health

Supervisor: Chief Programs Officer

Direct Reports: Psychosocial Counsellors


RefuSHE’s Mental Health team is responsible for advancing the integration of neuroscience-backed mental health services throughout the organization’s holistic model, providing mental health services to beneficiaries, and ensuring the organization’s operations and programs are trauma-informed. The Lead Counsellor is expected to oversee these activities and advance the objectives of the Mental Health Department, strengthen the capacity of the team of counsellors, and strengthen the capacity of other departments to support the mental well-being of urban refugee girls and women. S/he will join the organization at an exciting time to advance the mental health component of RefuSHE’s work, which will include:

  • Transition the organization’s mental health services to a virtual format on a unique wellness platform for urban refugees and support the design of virtual psychoeducation courses.
  • Undertake a robust community-level training to build the capacity of urban refugee women to provide layperson mental health services
  • Build out the organization’s psychoeducation on trauma for refugee girls and young women
  • Oversee the advancement of somatic healing therapies available on campus to girls

Thus, the Lead Counselor will need to not only have extensive counseling experience, but also be experienced in and excited to advance mental health services within RefuSHE’s model. We are looking for a skilled counseling professional as well as a strategic thinker and builder.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Provide leadership and strategic development to enable the counselling team to offer high quality counselling services to the beneficiaries.
  2. Improve the team’s competency in handling young people who have undergone traumatic situations in their country of origin as well as the host country including: war, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), loss of family, discrimination, and poverty.
  3. Review and develop strategies, Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) and technical guidelines within the counselling unit. Advise on policy and procedure within counselling services within the organization, update and audit as required; if needed audit and research as appropriate.
  4. Support the team to effectively identify and deal with burn out and vicarious trauma, and effectively utilize organizational funding to address these.
  5. Carry caseloads and provide trauma-informed counselling services within an ethical framework; organize caseloads and maintain records using the available effective record keeping system.
  6. Identify effective counseling services to be delivered over RefuSHE’s new e-learning and wellness platform and support the platform team to identify appropriate mental health educational content for urban refugee women and girls. Demonstrate eagerness to advance virtual mental health services and creativity toward that end.
  7. Train and educate staff on counselling and trauma-related topics by identifying learning need and developing unique educational content. Also lead the roll out of RefuSHE’s Science of Trauma workshop for refugee girls, which educates girls on the impact of trauma on the mind and body. The Lead Counselor will be expected to master this content after being trained on it and deliver the training to others.
  8. Develop and deliver a long-term capacity building approach to strengthen existing mental health services and develop new services in line with RefuSHE’s Mental Health Renaissance.
  9. Supervise other Counsellors by ensuring regular appraisals and provide mentoring to encourage individual development; assess/analyze the suitability of Counsellors technical performance, including the needs for further capacity development.
  10. Manage caseloads as appropriate, assess referrals and place caseloads appropriately with Counsellors or alternative resources.
  11. Enhance the Mental Health Department’s services by ensuring that they are based on the latest neuroscience on trauma recovery and that counsellors maintain their own personal professional development in line with professional guidelines and ethics.
  12. Participate in business planning and setting objectives for the counselling services.
  13. Contribute and take part in any program monitoring and measuring systems that may be put in place regarding the area of expertise. Support the M&E Manager to collect data on impact of counseling services and report this to donors
  14. Comply and adhere to organization’s policies and procedures as well as confidentiality policy.
  15. Identify trends in conditions/standards and donor priorities relevant to counselling services outcomes and objectives.
  16. Strengthen effective communication, problem solving skills and conflict resolution.
  17. Provide extensive and comprehensive programmes and assessments for stress management, depression, anxiety, bipolar management, and other mental illnesses.
  18. Perform any other lawful duties as assigned by the supervisor.


· Master’s degree in counselling/clinical psychology from a recognized and leading institution.

· At least 8 years’ experience in counselling, training, and counseling supervision.

· Experience in working with refugees, conflict and post-conflict communities is an added advantage.

· Must have several years of experience leading the development of mental health programming within an organization

· Demonstrated ability to lead, motivate and develop high performing counselling teams including fostering a positive team environment and the ability to support teams through change.

· Experience in providing professional supervision to a team of experienced counsellors and social workers.

· Experience providing counselling services, including intake and assessment, crisis intervention, solution focused therapy, reality therapy and case management support, to a diverse group.

· Demonstrated ability to develop, deliver, and evaluate effective services and programs that address beneficiaries’ wellbeing

· Active member of a recognized professional body is a requirement

· Must be highly knowledgeable in the neuroscience of trauma, how it impacts the mind and body, and aware of the latest therapies to specifically address trauma beyond talk therapy

· Ability to remain flexible in a dynamic environment.

How to apply

Your application should be sent to hr@refushe.org indicating the position title in the email subject as “Lead Counsellor” by close of business 17th September 2021. It should include a cover letter, CV and relevant credentials. Kindly indicate your current and expected remuneration. Please note, shortlisting shall be done on a rolling basis.

HR & Administration Manager


P.O. Box 63192-00619, Nairobi

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted

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