English translation of the preceding article:

Building a Co-Counseling Community in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast, a charming country of twenty-two million people, experienced war following a post-election crisis in 2011. I came to Togo as a refugee that April. Two weeks after I arrived, I met Missigbe1 and RC Togo.

I understood immediately that this Community could help me as well as my country. I decided to join the RC Community in Togo. Missigbe and the other members “adopted” me. During the same year, I participated in a workshop led by Marion and Ellie.2 What an opportunity!

In May 2013 I had another opportunity to participate in a workshop to reinforce our skills, with the same U.S. leaders. How our lives are connected!

After two years of apprenticeship, Missigbe, in agreement with the International RC leadership, granted me a certificate to teach a fundamentals class.

A few days later I returned to Ivory Coast. I discovered a country in the process of reconstruction, without a trace of war but with much heartbreak. I told myself, “I need to act quickly; people need me and need Co-Counseling.”

Several days later I held my first fundamentals class, with eight students. Everyone was in awe of the theory of RC. Therefore, a whole series of fundamentals classes followed. The Fundamentals Teaching Guide, in French translation, was useful. This well-thought-out document made my task easier.

People began to appreciate the discharge sessions, and a passionate core of Co-Counselors started to emerge. They got used to the vocabulary—distress patterns, contradictions,3 and so on—and adopted the rules of the Community.

I phoned people in the class regularly and visited each one of them for a session as soon as I had time. A leader must be an example!

In October, school started up again. Because we held our RC classes in a primary school, we had a few problems with the location and schedule for our regular large-group meetings. So we met as pairs, and sometimes I visited each member for sessions.

Following a report to RCCR,4 Ellie interceded with the Foundation5 so that we could get a furnished room for our meetings. Everyone’s faith in RC has further deepened. People no longer feel alone. They now know the Community of Co-Counseling is a large, well-connected human family.

In Ivory Coast it is hard to have credibility if your organization doesn’t have a location. That is why we are grateful for the spontaneous intervention on our behalf. 

We are continuing our activities by reviewing the fundamentals theory and discharging a lot on various topics. With the problem of a location resolved, we are in the process of forming a support group.

I’m already thinking about starting another group in another town, and I’m bringing people together for that purpose. My goal is to establish a Co-Counseling Community.

I thank my friends who trusted me, and all the leaders who continue to support me. We are forming a human family.

I remain hopeful.

Cyrille Zounon
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Translated by Ellie Putnam and Régis Courtin

1 Missigbe Hokameto, an RC leader in Lome, Togo
2 Marion Ouphouet and Ellie Putnam, RC leaders in Seattle, Washington, USA
3 Contradictions to distress
4 Re-evaluation Counseling Community Resources, in Seattle, Washington, USA
5 The Re-evaluation Foundation, which provides resources to help disseminate RC ideas, skills, and leadership training to people whose low income, geographic location, or other restrictive circumstances limit access to RC

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00