Nyamuhure has seen much trauma in her life. She was captured by rebels in her home country, the Congo, and held captive for 12 months, during which time she became pregnant due to assault. The same rebels killed her parents and siblings when attacking her village.
After finally fleeing to Kenya, she found a generous individual who offered her assistance and then referred her to Heshima Kenya for further care and supporrt. Nyamuhure came to the Safe House in September 2013. During her stay, she received counseling and attended life-skills sessions, which enabled her regain psychological stability and prepared her for the delivery and care of her new baby. Through courses and living in a supportive community, Nyamuhure gained confidence; initially shy and introverted, she soon began taking on leadership responsibilities within the Safe House, assiting as a resident mentor for any emerging issues with the residents. This has helped her grow her courage and self-esteem and today she reaches out to the young children who reside in the community, organizing games and events to build skills among the children.
With financial assistance and medical support from Heshima Kenya, Nyahumure gave birth to a health baby boy, Cleva, in November 2013. Nyamuhure and Cleva exited the Safe House in May and she now lives with a guardian in the community. Nyamuhure reports that being in the Safe House nourished her confidence and prompted her to believe that her dream of becoming a confident, educated and independent young woman can actually be a reality despite her misfortunes. She hopes to become a counselor so that she can help other young women in her community. She plans to give the best care possible to her son so he grows up to become a healthy, condfident child.
Your thoughtful support helps young women like Nyamuhure to become leaders– we thank you for investing in our young women!
Habiba Hamdi is a 17-year-old young Somali refugee mother. She was born in the Dadaab refugee camp, a camp that hosts many refugees fleeing the Somali civil war.When she was just nine years old, her father went to fetch firewood for the family and was killed by hostile Somali tribesmen. Though devastated by this loss, Habiba, her mother and two siblings were able to continue their lives with a great amount of support from each other. However, one day tragedy struck again when Habiba was sexually assaulted by a young man while on her way to school.
Due to shame, she tried to hide the incident from her family and friends, however she realized 5 months later that she was pregnant. Once her mother realized Habiba was pregnant, she forced her to leave the only home she had ever known. Furthermore, the perpetrator threatened to kill her if she disclosed his identity. Habiba’s world felt apart, she was devastated and alone; her personal identity was deeply shaken. Habiba received help from well-wishers who lived near the camp, though her mother and tribesmen rejected her. After she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Annan Abdi, she received a referral to our Safe House where she was sure she and her daughter would be cared for and protected.
When Habiba first entered the Safe House, she was terribly depressed, blaming herself for her mother’s anger regarding her pregnancy. Through the support, hard work and care of the staff and counselors, young Habiba came to terms with the circumstances under which she became pregnant and realized that she could not continue to carry the burden of her clansmen’s’ rejection any longer. She bravely learned to forgive her mother and committed herself to taking good care of her baby and to exceling in her education and improving her personal life. The strength and resolve Habiba acquired over the next six months opened doors to incredible opportunities. She is now rated one of the best students in her class and, remembering her firm commitment to excel in all areas of her life, she strives to be a better person each and every day. She has overcome her past fears and moved beyond self-doubt. She is now working on her exit plan with all the skills and support she acquired from Heshima Kenya. With the income-generating opportunities offered by Heshima Kenya’s programming she is working toward an independent and self-sufficient life for she and Annan. Even with all the challenges that life threw her way, Habiba is living her dream! She enjoys living in a safe community that provides education and exemplary care for her 1-year-old daughter.
Thank you to our supporters like you who enable us to provide a safe home for Habiba and Annan! Your generous contributions helps to ensure that we are able to not only meet their basic needs, but also to encourage them to work hard and dream.
Dear Supporter -
2013 was such a wonderful year for us at Heshima Kenya. Because of your support, we were able to safeguard the human rights of girls and young women who have experienced, and are at continued risk of homelessness, gender-based violence, and other protection issues. Nearly 100 girls, young women and their children, were provided with safe shelter in a unique environment where they began to regain their physical and mental health, built important life values, created a network of peer support, and built self -sustaining skills through life-skills training and support through Heshima Kenya’s other programs. Please follow the link to let our girls thank you themselves!
We have exciting news - this Tuesday, October 8th, starting at 11pm CST throughout October 9th, GlobalGiving will match each donation made to Heshima Kenya!
Your support has already helped so many of our women and girls in Nairobi. Girls like Angie.
Angie’s story began in DR Congo where her grandmother raised her after her parents and brothers were killed when she was just 2 years old. In 2010, rebels raided her village again; they killed her grandmother and held Angie captive for two harrowing years. During this time, Angie became pregnant from assault and gave birth to her daughter, Faith.
One early morning in 2012, Angie managed to escape to Nairobi where she finally found Heshima Kenya. Angie lived in the Safe House for a year before she exited to live with other girls in the Girls’ Empowerment Program. She recently graduated her tailoring course and will be joining the Maisha Collective this fall.
Angie is becoming more and more confident each day as she achieves new milestones. With your support, more young mothers like Angie are able to reach financial independence for themselves and their families.
Will you consider a donation this matching day to help our girls achieve their goals? There is a limited amount of matching funds available so please donate early to ensure Heshima Kenya benefits from this opportunity!
We are so grateful for your generous contributions to help us engage, support, and encourage Angie, Faith, and so many more. Thank you for your support and commitment to empowering the young women and girls of Heshima Kenya, we couldn’t do it without you.
This summer, our Safe House residents had the opporuntity to participate in several programs to aid their healing and help them succeed in life:
1.) Jounrnaling at the Safe House
Our Safe house residents have been working diligently on their writing skills as a method to assist with the healing process after experiencing trauma. They have become accustomed to writing personal stories in their journal each evening. After working hard, the majority of the girls report they are able to reflect and write out what is going on in their minds, and express their hopes and future desires. The girls were excited to discuss their thoughts, plans, challenges, successes and goals in life. Jennifer, 16 years old from the Congo, shared that she loves going to school. She wrote that she works hard in school so that she could attain the highest grade to be admitted into a University. Jennifer plans to become a pilot; she dreams of flying airplanes all over the world. Writing has served as a great motivator to help girls look forward to brighter futures; helping the girls believe in their capabilities and set goals for their lives. Alsongside of the journal writing, Heshima Kenya staff provided a number of counseling sessions to uncover the tramas faced and ulimately work to improve their emotional well-being. The individual counsleing plans, coupled with the journal writing, has helped the residents reduce their levels of anxiety and fear. The girls very much enjoy the writing exercises and appreciated thinking through and sharing their future goals.
2.) Life skills Courses
Parenting can be very challenging for teenage mothers, especially for teenage mothers missing their own families who have undergone significant trauma, such as our girls at Heshima Kenya. Simply understanding on how to take good care of a baby is an incredible task for all mothers. This past month, 10 life skills sessions were held to equip the young mothers with baby-care skills. At the course’s completion, 95% of the residents demonstrated improvement in taking care of their babies. The Life Skills program has recorded less medical referrals this month and shown that residents have gained healthy eating habits. The residents were also taken through transformational breathing techniques facilitated by “TIBA Africa” as a method of stress and tension relief . They were encouraged to continue with the breathing exercises at home and after the course’s completion to remain mentally healthy and strong. Adele, who is a survivor of sexual gender based violence (SGBV) also gave a session on “getting through trauma”. Five years ago, Adele was gang raped on her way home from the market; her perpretrators are unkown. She received counselling and proper care that to help her heal and work past the assualt the best she could. She shared her personal experience with residents and encouraged them to seek help and support to aid their healing. Currently, Adele works as a radio presenter at a popular radio station in Nairobi.; she is also the founder of an organization called NO Means NO which advocates for the rights of children and women. Adele serves as a strong, brave role model for our women and girls.
Your support makes it possible for our Safe House residents to receive such specialized care, including the counseling and courses they need. Thank you again for your generosity.
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