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.
Mar 13, 2014

Overcoming Tribulations - Habiba's Story

Habiba carrying Annan after her nap
Habiba carrying Annan after her nap

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.

Habiba showing an art piece she created
Habiba showing an art piece she created
Annan and other children playing with toys
Annan and other children playing with toys
Dec 12, 2013

Thank you and Happy Holidays from Heshima Kenya!

Dear Supporter, 

2013 was such a wonderful year for us at Heshima Kenya! Because of your support, over 100 girls, young women and their children, were able to begin rebuilding their lives with dignity and hope through the Girls' Empowerment Project, our program that offers a safe community for girls and young women to learn about their human rights and how to access them while addressing avenues for self-sufficiency and leadership-building. By providing resources for long-term support, these girls and young women become catalysts for strengthening networks creating sustainable change within the local and global communities. Please follow the link to view a special thank you from our girls. 

Happy Holidays!

Heshima Kenya 

Links:

Dec 12, 2013

Thank you from Heshima Kenya!

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!

Happy Holidays, 

Heshima Kenya

Links:

 
   

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