Category: Blog, Events, Storytelling

Highlights from our #IDG2015 Summit

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Freely in Hope’s annual International Day of the Girl Summit #IDG2015 brought together students, survivors, and practitioners to talk about ways to end the cycle of sexual violence in our communities. In the afternoon after our launch, we hosted 70 people including high school students from Kibera (East Africa’s largest slum), survivors of sexual violence from partnering organizations, and practitioners working alongside of Freely in Hope to end sexual violence.

Our theme this year was Arising Above Trauma. Freely in Hope scholars led discussions on preventing sexual violence, overcoming trauma of poverty and thoughts of suicide, healing from sexual trauma, fighting for justice, and ways to pursue healing from the wounds of oppression.

Each attendee was given a resource card with phone numbers and partnering organizations information that provide support for survivors of sexual violence.

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The #IDG2015 Summit was led by Freely in Hope scholar, Lydia. She says, “It was amazing how the audience connected with the theme and the stories of the Freely in Hope scholars. I was so proud of how brave they were—their stories inspired many more to come out and share about the different wounds they were struggling with. Some were literally shaking when sharing but the drive to heal themselves and others too with their stories just kept them going. Through this event, God is calling us to reach out to many more through such gatherings!”

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Compelled and inspired by the stories of our scholars, one woman shared her story with us, “I was sexually abused for four years by my father. But God has given me strength—I realize how much he loves me. After 28 years, I’m finally able to talk about it and find healing. In sharing my story, I want to help someone who, like me, has had this open wound for a long time and is afraid of speaking out. If there’s no battle, you won’t come out as a winner. For those who are finding the courage to speak out today, you are all winners in this battle.”

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Thanks to all of our organizational partners who celebrated International Day of the Girl with us, including: Garden of Hope Foundation, International Justice Mission, I Can Fly International, Art & Abolition, Angaza Community Project. Special shout out to our generous photographers and filmmakers (images featured above): David Julias Photography, Amunga Escuchi (Enigma Images), and Radido Okech and Isaac Ogila (Tale Tell Films), thanks for your incredible work!