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Category: Blog

My Story of Transformation

I wake up every morning feeling incredibly happy to be living in this beautiful life. But I wasn’t always like this. Ten years ago, I was completely hopeless. Every dream that I ever had seemed to vanish into thin air.

I never imagined that one day,
my life would be beautiful.

 

In Kenya, I was raised in a slum community where I was exposed to violence at a very young age. Here, small children are forced into prostitution, innocent people are shot by stray bullets, young girls are betrayed and raped, and women are trafficked in the guise of “getting a better paying job.” Growing up in this community, my story was no different. Being a survivor of rape, I thought that this was my destiny.

 

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In this first picture of me, taken six years ago, I believed the lie—that nothing beautiful would ever come out of me. Yet amidst the violence, all I wanted was to achieve an education. I had high hopes that education was my way out of the slum. To achieve this goal, I worked in prostitution to pay for my high school education. I was 14.

 

I thought that prostitution was my only option
but I didn’t realize that it was crushing my soul.

 

With a wounded heart, I met Freely in Hope and my story transformed into something beautiful. Six years later, I have accomplished far more than I could have ever imagined. Not only did I graduate from high school, but last June, I also graduated with my Bachelors Degree in Electronic Media.

 

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My university graduation.

 

Today, I am working with Freely in Hope as the Program Designer and Storyteller. My role is to design programs where survivors of sexual violence can share their beautiful stories with dignity.

 

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Working with Freely in Hope at an outreach event with survivors of female genital mutilation.

I have witnessed these beautiful stories not only in Nairobi, but around the world. Recently, I went with Freely in Hope to teach on “Art and Healing” in  Spain. I met very young girls from Africa who had been trafficked for sex. I couldn’t help but think that it could have been me. There, I realized that there are still so many little girls just waiting and wanting to be free.

 

They need to know that
their lives can be made beautiful too. 

 

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Teaching on “Art + Healing” in Spain.

 

With your support, we will be able to expand our programs and reach out to more girls who were like me—hoping that one day, someone will hear their voices and transform their stories into something beautiful. As a survivor of rape, gang rape, and prostitution, I know that Freely in Hope’s holistic programs will transform the lives of many more survivors.
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Ministering with women on the streets in Spain. 

 

In 2017, Freely in Hope will continue providing academic scholarships, leadership development, and outreach platforms for survivors of sexual violence. In addition, I am excited to announce that we will be expanding our outreach platforms to serve more women and girls working in prostitution. This has always been a dream for me—to see freedom come for my community of girls who feel as if they have no options but prostitution. Will you join us in helping us reach our $40,000 goal?

 

In 2017, here’s how you can help transform the lives of survivors: 

 

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Join us by giving to Freely in Hope today!

All donations are tax-deductible and be sure to get your 2016 donations in before December 31!

Thank you for being a witness to the beauty of our transformation,

maryclare-sig
Program Designer & Storyteller
BA in Electronic Media, Class of 2016