She was out of breath as she flung open the door to her classroom—late as usual. Her legs were dusty and her braids were falling out. There was spinach stuck in her teeth. Determination brought here here—into a college classroom of psychology students at Kenya Polytechnic University. But the determination in her voice was more powerful than the spinach. This young, brilliant woman is an aspiring counselor, a mother, and an advocate. Her name is Eunice and she had a story to be told.
At 18, she had dreams of going to college, but being a woman, she was expected to sell donuts on the side of the road to earn a living for the family. So she pursued this dream alone, and on her way from the rural village to the universities in Nairobi she was drugged, raped, and impregnated. The stigma of rape left her abused, abandoned, and ostracized—she had nowhere to run. She was kicked out of her parents house, accused of being a promiscuous slut, and she nearly had an abortion when God stopped her saying, “This baby is going to be a blessing to you.” She raised her baby in the slums, washed peoples laundry, cleaned houses, and somehow saved her pennies to enroll herself at a local university in Nairobi. Her mother, a tea farmer in the village, invested her savings into Eunice’s dream. After Eunice completed her final exams, she rose to the top of her class.
Despite the oppressive stigmas surrounding survivors of sexual violence, young women like Eunice, embody a powerful sense of hope—the hope that transformation, restoration, and liberation is possible.
Eunice dreamed of a better future for other young women who are survivors of sexual violence. By learning from their stories, Freely in Hope began to take shape—equipping survivors to heal from past trauma, pursue their educational dreams, and make a transformative impact in their global community. Inspired by the audacious dreams of a community of survivors and advocates against sexual violence, Freely in Hope was born.
“I am a changed Eunice. I can stand tall in front of other people without feeling less of a person because of what Freely in Hope has done for me.”
In 2015, Eunice graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Counseling Psychology. Her dream is to counsel other girls who are also survivors of violence—helping them realize that they are no longer victims, but survivors. She now works with Freely in Hope as our Social Worker and Counselor to equip Freely in Hope scholars to thrive.