Heshima Kenya

Heshima Kenya is a 501(c)(3) US nonprofit and registered Kenyan charity based in Nairobi, Kenya. Heshima is the Swahili word for "respect" and we specialize in identifying and protecting separated and orphaned refugee children and youth living in Nairobi. Our innovative shelter, education and community outreach services enable and empower unaccompanied refugee children, especially adolescent girls, to live healthy lives.
Aug 10, 2011

Finding Strength Through Community

Girls of the Safe House and children
Girls of the Safe House and children

When 16-year-old Sandrine and her two daughters were referred to Heshima Kenya’s Safe House, they had just arrived in Kenya from Congo. Sandrine was identified through Heshima Kenya’s Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Outreach program, as Sandrine and her children were experiencing homelessness and were in dire need of shelter and safety. When she first arrived at the Safe House with her daughters, Sandrine was traumatized and overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for her children in a foreign country without any means of support or income. After settling in, Sandrine received support to not only meet her basic needs, but also received counseling and emotional support, and was welcomed by a community of staff and girls who continue to provide her with encouragement.

The Safe House also welcomed a 13-year-old Somali girl who was rescued from the street after being sexually and physically abused. She is epileptic and mentally disabled, and had been disowned by her mother. She is now receiving medical care and tremendous physical and emotional support from the other Safe House girls, who are always ready to help her care for herself, prepare for field trips, and communicate with others. When she first came to the Safe House, she was withdrawn, hostile, and feared any girl who came near her. Now, she knows that this community of girls with similar and shared experiences will protect and support her.

Heshima Kenya’s Safe House would not be able to offer this vital protection and support without your generous contributions. We thank you for continuing to invest in the future of these young refugee women and girls, allowing them to seek lives of peace and dignity.

Links:

Jun 8, 2011

Creative Expression: A Field Trip to the GoDown

Field trip to the GoDown Arts Centre
Field trip to the GoDown Arts Centre

The past few months have been filled with engaging and educational activities for the girls in our Girl’s Empowerment Project. In April, Heshima Kenya staff and volunteers led 42 girls on a field trip to the GoDown Arts Centre in Nairobi, which is home to art workshops, performances, exhibitions and discussion forums. The purpose of the trip was to expose the girls to a variety of artists and artwork in Nairobi and educate them about opportunities for creative expression.

During their field trip, the girls were divided into two groups and given tours by GoDown Centre employees. The tour included a look at painters’ and sculptors’ studios, a music recording studio, an art exhibit of Somali cartoons, and the dance studio of Karuka Maisha’s street performers. Each of the girls took particular interest in a different type of art. Some enjoyed the recording studio and took turns singing into the microphone in the recording booth, while others loved the dance studio and had the chance to dance with the Karuka Maisha performers.

The girls used what they learned during their field trip to create their own art back at Heshima Kenya. They made their own cartoons, complete with their own messages, written or implicit. They enjoyed the activities so much that they postponed lunch to continue working on their projects. Today, the girls’ cartoons are hanging all around the walls of Heshima Kenya’s classroom.

Other recent Girl’s Empowerment Project activities included two Life-Skills trainings in May about nutrition and reproductive health. The girls also produced a newsletter in May about the impact of HIV/AIDS on refugee communities.

To learn more about the Girl’s Empowerment Project, visit Heshima Kenya’s blog and follow us on Facebook. Your generous contributions allow Heshima Kenya to continue to offer creative and educational opportunities to refugee girls and young women in our Girl’s Empowerment Project. Thank you so much for your support, and we look forward to sharing more stories with you!

May 19, 2011

Rebuilding and Reuniting

Thanks to your generous support, Heshima Kenya continues to offer safety and shelter to vulnerable refugee children and youth in Nairobi, Kenya. In March 2011, 35 refugee women, girls, and their children received protection and care through the Safe House program, which provides residents with counseling, medical care, and education through Heshima Kenya’s Girl’s Empowerment Project.

In April, the Safe House welcomed Asho, a 16-year-old Somali girl. Asho was referred to Heshima Kenya because was unsafe in her living situation, where she had been abused and threatened by her host. After speaking with a case worker, Asho was enrolled in Heshima Kenya’s Safe House program, where she is now safe and happy.

The Safe House also saw a departure in April, when a resident named May was reunited with her elder sister. May was pregnant when she arrived at the Safe House, and during her stay gave birth to her son, David. May was initially anxious about leaving the Safe House, due to the high level of emotional and physical trauma she had faced in the past. But after receiving counseling from UNHCR and Heshima Kenya’s counseling staff, May and David exited the Safe House program and were reunited with May’s sister.

Your investment in the Safe House allows Heshima Kenya to continue to care for girls like Asho and May, giving them the tools they need to be self-sufficient and confident once they are ready to exit the program. Thank you for your incredible support!

donate now:

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $25
    give
  • $30
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $60
    give
  • $75
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $200
    give
  • $350
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $30
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $60
    each month
    give
  • $75
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $200
    each month
    give
  • $350
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Heshima Kenya

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Heshima Kenya on GreatNonProfits.org.