Our safe house is a beacon of hope for many women and children who are survivors of various types of abuse and neglect.
Women are disproportionately affected by social injustices in Kenya. Gender-based violence/violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that affects 1 in 3 women in their lifetime. One key enabler of such actions is the lack of a proper safe or healing space for survivors of these atrocities. Most women find themselves trapped in environments that continue to expose them to all these risks. In Kenya according to a report by the Nairobi Women’s Hospital Gender Violence Recovery center 2019, as many as one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way – most often by someone she knows, including by her husband or another male family member; one woman in four has been abused during pregnancy.
Safe Shelters provide respite to persons that are at risk or have already suffered various social injustices. As a way of preventing and responding to GBV, safe shelters host survivors and people at risk of facing these evil vices. The onset of the covid pandemic so a sharp increase of GBV cases, with many women seeking shelter in safe houses. The period between 2020 – 2021 saw us take in the largest number of women and children our safe center has ever housed at a time.
At Hope Center, we focus on the holistic recovery of beneficiaries under our care. This is done through the provision of all basic amenities as well as skills and training. The women housed at our center are taken through professional counselling for their trauma and mental health. They are then trained on basic and hard skills that acts both as therapy and as a means to restart their lives afresh after the center, without having to rely on their abusers. We also train vulnerable women and girls (especially teen mums) from slums with skills that enable them to earn a living.
We currently work on a rented shelter whose bills are really high, meaning that whatever we raise goes primarily to pay rent and facility fees. However, we need more space to rescue survivors. The shelter provides security, belonging and identity which empowers survivors in order to help them prepare for life outside.
We have acquired a two-acre parcel of land in Kajiado with a good environment that will enable the survivors to heal and their children to get educated comfortably. We intend to build a shelter and relocate here to ease on the costs. The center will consist of a safe shelter and a vocational training center. The project is intended to be implemented in phases to ease the resource mobilization process.
The vocational training center is a key part of the exit strategy for survivors. We envision to fully equip women and girls at our centers with skills that can allow them to earn a decent living. These skills will include; tailoring, caregiving, hair dressing and beauty, soap making, weaving, farming and so on. We have already embarked on the caregiving skills training in partnership with the Lions Club of Denmark.
We intend to launch the ground breaking ceremony for the center in August 2022. We are still in need of more sponsors and well wishers to join us in building the center. It our aim to impact at least 1000 women and girls annually, providing them with a second chance at life.