Lydia: Coaching Girls in Leadership

Since graduating from university, what are you doing now?


After graduating, I was hired as the Sexual Violence Prevention Coordiantor and that position grew into becoming their current Program Manager. I work with an incredible team to design, create, implement, monitor, and evaluate programs that work toward ending sexual violence. My current position with FIH was once a farfetched dream that I thought would never come true, but their scholarship program led to endless opportunities that have shaped me into the woman I am today.

How have you transformed since being with FIH?


Before FIH, I was just an ordinary girl from the informal settlement of Kibera. I was saddened by what was happening in my community and wished I could do something about it. But now, I like to think of myself as a masterpiece who is passionately living out all of her dreams; finding joy in helping other survivors and advocates experience the same. FIH has invested in every step of my leadership journey, from the time I was in school until now in my role as Program Manager. Everytime I consider myself unqualified for a leadership platform, FIH reminds me that God does not call the qualified, God calls the people you would least expect and makes them qualified.

Freely In Hope

What was your most favorite moment at FIH?


The work of FIH is important because it is teaching survivors and advocates to use their powerful stories and strengths to build a violence free world. My favorite moment will always be the retreats. We are all able to be together for a couple of days, sharing the same space and experiencing transformation in ourselves and each other.

What is your future vision for yourself and community?


I hope to pursue my master’s degree in organizational leadership, so that I can coach other girls in our community and teach them to use their strengths to fight against sexual violence. So many young women remain in cycles of abuse because they have nowhere else to go. The economic dominance of the abusers forces girls to stay in these households, because they may end up in the streets if they report the abuse. One day, I would like to build a rescue center for survivors of sexual and domestic violence—a home where they can find healing and empowerment by exploring their creativity and learning new skills.

I hope that other girls will realize how powerful they are, and use this power to bring change to their communities and the world.

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Mental Healing, a photo series

I was that sad girl because of the rape and trauma that had impacted me. I felt so hopeless. I even altered my name to pretend to be someone else. I had lost trust in everyone and thought that they were going to harm me just like the perpetrator did, I knew him well too.

Mental Health Practices for Survivors by Survivors

As a survivor, we often feel alone in our pain and suffering. This sense of loneliness may lead to depression, withdrawal, or self-harm. It’s important to remember that we are not alone and that there are systems of support available to help us heal.

Nurturing Your Child’s Mental Health

When it comes to children, you as the parent are the first level of support and that sometimes can feel like a daunting task. Beginning to care for your child’s mental health begins with knowing your child and what their “normal” looks like. Use that as a basis to understand and appreciate their uniqueness.

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