Education and Empowerment for Refugee Girls

by Heshima Kenya
May 23, 2009

Learning Independence

We are so grateful for your support in helping Heshima Kenya win Global Giving’s Womenx2 Challenge! Because of your efforts, we also won the $5,000 prize for generating the highest number of donors!

We are proud to announce Heshima Kenya's first graduates from the Children's Empowerment Project's vocational training programs! The girls completed a certificate course in either cooking or basic tailoring. Dahabo, one graduate who learned tie-and-die, a popular fabric worn by Somali women said, "It is knowledge I will have for a lifetime. Discovering my creative talent means a lot to me; my self-confidence has grown and I believe in myself more now…My knowledge will take me far because people will come to me and I will make them clothes and earn money."

In the coming month, Heshima Kenya will also establish an in-house tailoring program. Dahabo will assistant teach the course.

We have also been busy expanding our curriculum. One of the goals of the Children's Empowerment Project is to inspire a renewed sense of purpose for our graduates with the hope that they will share their new and growing knowledge with their peers. To foster this confidence and skill development, we have begun forming small girl groups. We currently established groups in art, poetry, and drama and plan to eventually go into the community to initiate social change projects.

Other life-skills speakers and activities over the past months include inviting an HIV positive activist speak to the girls about living with HIV, working with I’m Worth Defending, a women’s advocacy group based in Nairobi, to lead a series of discussions on rape as well as demonstrating self-defense maneuvers, and taking a field trip to Kitengela Glass, a stained glass studio situated in Nairobi’s National Park, to inspire creative ideas for upcoming art projects. Heshima Kenya is also leading the formation of a girl’s volleyball league with other girl based organization in Nairobi.

Thank you again for your support and helping Heshima Kenya create a safe space where girls can heal and find a sense of common ground. We look forward to sharing more stories with you!

Anne and Talyn


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Organization Information

Heshima Kenya

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Alisa Roadcup
Executive Director
Chicago, IL United States
$63,013 raised of $95,000 goal
870 donations
$31,987 to go
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