The pandemic has been difficult for us all. Overall, it has challenged us to innovate and find unique ways of serving our communities in Kenya and Zambia. Together, we reached over 13,172 people this year! Programs provided critical resources for survivors, engaging programs for our global audience, and important education on ending sexual violence. We reached thousands more than we would have before!
see what we did together in 2020!
Our holistic approach supports survivors of sexual violence beyond traditional education. For a survivor to excel academically, she also needs a community that supports her physical, psychological, and spiritual health. With all schools closed, the pandemic has required us to fund additional support outside of our usual programming.Freely in Hope has transitioned to an in-house community center that provides consistent support, professional mentoring, counseling, safe housing, and individualized tutoring.
Super Girls Revolution is a weekly program for teens and young women that provides a safe space to discuss topics including trauma healing, women’s rights, sexual violence prevention, spiritual formation, anti-trafficking, substance abuse, career development, and leadership. Since the pandemic restricted us from meeting weekly, we provided phone check-in’s, held an arts competition, and distributed essentials and food to 85 girls in our community in Zambia. We also held educational forums on COVID-19 and sexual violence prevention.
Against all odds, your support has allowed us to accomplish so much—such as Magdalene’s graduation!
“I finally wore a graduation gown! My long-awaited, big dream has finally come true. But wait, I also remember the many nights and days when graduating seemed impossible due to poverty, lack of opportunity, and sexual trauma. I woke up to a world that showed me I was nothing because I lived in a community I was not safe in. I feared for myself and other girls like me. When Freely in Hope sent me to school, I had an opportunity to receive holistic education. I studied not with an empty stomach, I slept not from fear of traumas. I met survivors that told their story and then, I dared to dream again, I dared to be different and I dared to stand out. With my degree in community development, I will scale up programs that establish safe spaces for survivors to share our stories. I will equip girls to take up space and shine brighter than diamonds! This is a plea to protect me and other girls. Now, as Freely in Hope’s Program Coordinator in Zambia, I will lead programs that will bring light and sustainably break the cycle of sexual violence.”
Magdalene Chikanya, Freely in Hope Alumni and Program Coordinator
We were a part of so many incredible events this year! From in-person house concerts in San Francisco, to speaking at the UN Commission on the Status of Women to Instagram lives, podcasts, and webinars, we are so grateful for the support we’ve felt both in-person and online! Thanks to all the hosts who helped us share our message!
Malkia, meaning “Queen” in Swahili, provides a safe space for women in prostitution to restore hope to their work places. Because we could not run our monthly meetings during the pandemic, we found other ways to engage by providing essentials and supporting their business ideas to make and sell soap for the community!
Scholars put their leadership skills to work by advocating for women’s rights in their communities!
“As a young and determined lawyer from a rural area, I realize how people are exploited due to lack of knowledge about the law of Kenya. During the pandemic, I launched a website in Teso Land, Busia county, to help the community be informed about their rights. This will act like a pro-bono service to help any person who needs legal help. I have also had a chance to talk with girls in my community about early pregnancies since there has been an uprising of teenage pregnancies since closed have been closed. As an aspiring lawyer, I am doing my best to advocate for the rights of girls in my community. Next year, I am looking forward to joining the Kenya School of Law through the support of Freely in Hope! This will enable me to become an advocate in the High Courts of Kenya.”
Osikol, Freely in Hope Scholar
This year, 193 sessions for survivors were funded this year to support their journey toward healing. All of our scholars receive trauma-focused counseling as part of their holistic education. Counseling was increased during the pandemic and we’re so grateful for those who supported our efforts to bring mental health services to survivors of sexual violence.
Through all of our Storytelling Platforms both in-person and online, we had an incredible reach across the globe! Over 3,671 were reached through outreach programs in Kenya and Zambia and we had over 9,500 live viewers for our virtual events in the US.
We collaborated with local communities to disseminate life-saving resources!
“Though 2020 was a tough year, I am happy that despite the ongoing condition worldwide concerning COVID-19, I have been able to take my licensing exams and graduate with my diploma! All this was made possible through the holistic education Freely in Hope has provided for me. They have given me continuous psychological and financial support throughout my education. Upon graduation, I hope that I transition well as a qualified nurse and use my skills and knowledge to help the community and the world at large to attain good health and end the cycle of sexual violence. I am certain that through Freely in Hope, I will be able to go further in my education and fulfill my dreams.”
Ursullah, Freely in Hope Scholar
Thank you for choosing to build a world free of sexual violence with Freely in Hope.
Our dedication to raising up survivors to end sexual violence remains at our core. We are so grateful for you, our global community, who sustain, uphold, and believe in our mission. Accomplishing this innovative work of preventing sexual violence during this pandemic came at a cost this year. Your donation today will help survivors of sexual violence thrive in 2021.