2020 Annual Report

Freely in Hope had great suffering and great celebration in 2020. This was our 10th Anniversary, and, though we couldn’t celebrate as wanted to, we spent much time in reflection to celebrate the successes of the year as a global community. We’ve done a lot this year, pivoting our outreach programs during a pandemic, ensuring safe housing and education for our scholars, advocating for our scholars, disseminating lifesaving materials on sexual violence prevention, and reporting to our communities in new ways. 

It’s been a difficult year for all of us on staff as we have experienced loss, grief, and anxiety on multiple levels. Our shared suffering has brought us closer together through weekly Global Staff Calls that have proved to be an inspiring, encouraging, and sustaining practice for our leadership. We’ve discussed topics on building trust, stability, compassion, and hope in light of the uncertainty of the season. 

Despite the many challenges of the pandemic, our teams across Kenya and Zambia dedicated their all in service to our community of survivors. They found ways to innovate our programs, continuing to pursue  our mission of ending sexual violence efficiently and effectively. We’ve even expanded our reach beyond anticipation through online competitions for International Day of the Girl, community distributions of our sexual violence prevention resource cards, and webinars and events which brought together our supporters from all around the world. We are so grateful for our global community who sustain, uphold, and believe in our mission. Together, we are building a world free of sexual violence!

Our dedication to raising up survivors to end sexual violence remains at our core. Thank you for being a part of this vision. We are seeing the dreams of survivors unfold in real time. We look forward to scaling impact by sharing lifesaving information with those who need it most. 

Toward liberation,

Nikole Lim
International Director



Equip survivors and advocates to lead in ending the cycle of sexual violence.

We are survivors, advocates, scholars, and leaders who live freely because we are no longer victimized by the pain of the past. Together, we work toward the day that the cycle of sexual violence will be but history – believing in an audacious dream and the possibility of hope in broken places.




With 16 scholars in Kenya and 11 scholars in Zambia, our scholars grew in leadership capacity to serve the community.



Our survivor-leaders were trained in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, storytelling, and women’s rights. These trainings equip survivors to become multi-faceted leaders that bring transformation to their communities.



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 believe that dignity is an inherent gift from God that cannot be taken away by poverty, violence, or oppression.


We believe that authenticity builds bridges of hope between our scholars, staff, and communities worldwide – allowing us to find collective healing through our shared stories.


We  believe that financial, relational, and programmatic transparency is essential to promoting social responsibility and ending systemic injustice.


We believe that restoration from unspeakable trauma is possible through a supportive community that provides quality care, compassionate action, and advocacy for justice.


We believe that transformation is a result of long-term, survivor-centered solutions that uplift survivors as community leaders who have the power to change systems toward good.


We believe that liberation is a holistic experience of mind, body, and soul that invites survivors and advocates, students and professionals, men and women, to work together in ending sexual violence.

our programs

Freely in Hope provides educational opportunities for young women affected by sexual violence. We fund high school and university scholarships, health care, safe housing, legal aid, counseling, and a community of belonging to equip each scholar for their dream vocation.

Malkia, meaning “Queen” in Swahili, provides a safe space for women in prostitution, to be equipped, educated, and strengthened as role models that restore hope to their workplaces.

Globally, 1 in 2 children have experienced violence in the past year. Linda Toto, meaning “protect a child” in Kiswahili, educates children on body autonomy. By educating children about sexual abuse, they will know how to speak out against it.

The Storytelling Fellowship equips university students to strengthen their professional skills and work toward their vocational goals. They are innovative and proficient leaders in the fight against sexual violence.

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.

In the communities where we work, 50% of students believe it’s a man’s right to have sex with women. Eneza, which means “make it known” in Kiswahili, is a ten-week curriculum that trains high school students about sexual violence prevention.


Uplifting academic excellence during the pandemic.

With all schools closed, the pandemic required us to fund additional support outside of our usual programming. Implementing solutions from our communities in Kenya and Zambia, Freely in Hope created an in-house community center that provides consistent support, professional mentoring, counseling, safe housing, and individualized tutoring.
As a result of our COVID-19 response, our high school scholars raised their grades by two levels. Those who were performing at D’s are now receiving B’s. 

27 Scholars provided with safe housing
193 Counseling sessions provided
1,465 Hours of individualized tutoring funded
20,160 Meals provided


Access to education can prevent sexual abuse and re-abuse.

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. 

17 Scholars in Kenya
11 Scholars in Zambia
1 University Graduation
1 Diploma Graduation
3 High School Graduations


Providing a safe space for teenage girls to learn to bring light into the world.

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-ins, 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. 

8 Leaders trained in storytelling
85 COVID-19 care packages distributed
75 Christmas packages distributed
58 Girls participated in IDG competition


Empowering women in prostitution to achieve their vocational dreams.

Malkia, meaning “Queen” in Swahili, provides a safe space for women in prostitution to be equipped, educated, and strengthened as role models that 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!

2 Gatherings held
19 Women provided with food baskets
19 Women provided with clothing
510 Sexual Violence Prevention Cards distributed
5 Women participated in business sustainability project
15 Women participated in year-end meeting
8 Women shared their stories in year-end meeting

eneza clubs

Training high schools students to prevent sexual violence.

Eneza, meaning “make it known” in Kiswahili, is a curriculum developed by Freely in Hope alumni to teach coed high schools about sexual violence prevention. This program ran from January – March. When the pandemic affected Kenya, we involved students in our Eneza Clubs in the International Day of the Girl poetry competition to engage them in creative ways of advocating against sexual violence.

3 High Schools in Kibera Served
12 Student Leaders Trained
173 High School Students Trained

eneza clubs

These are the results of the baseline survey we conducted in high schools before our training. This shows that the need for sexual violence awareness is critical in Kibera, Kenya.
Baseline Study

Data collected from:
3 High Schools
173 Students


Art competitions to promote safe education for girls during the pandemic.

In Kenya and Zambia, we held virtual art competitions for the International Day of the Girl. Though we were unable to have in-person conferences, we reached more students by holding this virtual competition. See the winners announced here! We are so grateful to our corporate sponsors Kotex and P&G for providing care packages for our top 20!

44 Submissions from 11 Counties in Kenya
48 Submissions in Zambia
20 Care packages distributed to Top 10
1,151 Votes received

our impact

After being in our program for one year, our High School scholars from Zambia showed an increase in post-traumatic growth. The inventory tracks post-traumatic growth according to the following factors: Relating to Others, New Possibilities, Personal Strength, Spiritual Change, and Appreciation of Life.

our impact

Our newest scholars from Zambia shared about the impact of Freely in Hope’s programs since joining this year—from growth in education to leadership. During this pandemic, scholars felt more secure through the increased support provided. Donor funds ensure that our programs are holistically supporting their needs.

“Freely in Hope is important because they support girls like me to be heard. They created a safe place for me and their programs have made me realize my worth.” Esther, 16

“Education inspires me to be better and it gives me courage. Freely in Hope encourages me in my healing  journey.” Gertrude, 16

“Freely in Hope is doing well in such a way that is imparting knowledge in people’s lives not only academically, but also in many other parts of life emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.” Theresa, 19

“Freely in Hope is important because they are teaching people how to heal from sexual violence. As they are taking girls like me to school, it is helping me speak out for others.” Susan, 17

“Freely in Hope has made a good impact in my life because I am able to go to school and learn. I’ve learned about the importance of self love, self care, and self acceptance which is helping me be a leader.” Mary, 17

“I was rejected, abused, and I felt like I was not smart. Freely in Hope has brought joy in my life that I never felt before. They have taken me to school and have given me everything that I wanted in my life.” Elizabeth, 16

resources created

We created resources that are available to support other organizations in their survivor-advocacy efforts.

In partnership with the Forum for Theological Exploration, we created The Butterfly Effect Curriculum which aims to heal the trauma of sexual violence and ignite a vocation that transforms the world. Using storytelling, conversation, and visual poetry, the curriculum provides a deeply healing, empowering, and restorative experience for survivors to connect with themselves, each other, and their Creator. It will ignite an exploration of passion and purpose in an authentic and safe space. The curriculum was designed by survivors of sexual violence. View The Butterfly Effect Curriculum.

Liberation Is Here is a new book by Nikole Lim, founder of Freely in Hope. This book captures her journey as an idealistic freelance filmmaker. Her career allowed her to step in and out of the lives of people who had experienced oppression around the world. But when confronted with the prevalence of sexual violence in Kenyan and Zambian communities, she commited to advocating alongside the courageous survivors whose lives have intersected with her own. Purchase the book here and download the discussion guide.

our campaigns

Raised $16K in 16 days to fund our work of building a world free of sexual violence.



is an unshakable community of monthly givers that believe in our audacious vision of ending sexual violence.




donor spotlight

In 2020, we gained 200 new donors! Here’s why the work of Freely in Hope matters to them.

“In such an unprecedented time with so much uncertainty and need during COVID-19, I acknowledge how much I have and want to support those in need as much as I can. Our blessings are meant to be shared and we are given to give, so this becomes an investment into God’s Kingdom because of the good work that Freely in Hope does.” Michelle, San Francisco

“The pandemic has encouraged me to give because I believe that it is already hard enough without a global pandemic for the people that Freely in Hope supports. Survivors have already had to go through very hard times, so I want to help them as much as I can. Every progress and success, as small as it may be, makes it worth it!” Christelle, Luxembourg

“I hope my advocacy will show Freely in Hope scholars that they are valuable and important. There are people on the other side of the world who care for them. What happens to them, matters to me. I am thankful I can play a small role in this organization that is bringing hope to the formerly hopeless.” Kay, Long Beach






liberation is here launch party

On September 26 we held a virtual launch party for Liberation is Here, by Nikole Lim, Founder of Freely in Hope. The online event featured performances by Propaganda, Melissa Polinar, Kevin Olusola, and Freely in Hope alumni, Jean Nangwala. Freely in Hope staff from Kenya and Zambia led dynamic conversations with donors. Watch the full event here!


staff spotlight

Program Coordinator

Magdalene became a Freely in Hope fellow in 2016. Growing up in Lusaka, Zambia, she was surrounded with a lack of opportunities to pursue her dreams. As a survivor of sexual violence, Magdalene fought to pursue her studies against all odds. In 2020, she was hired as our Program Coordinator to support the development, strategy, and growth of all of our programs in Zambia.

“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 and sexual trauma. As I sat to study before, I was reminded that my stomach was empty and I relived trauma from abuse I endured. I found myself holding my head in my arms as I had dozed off—trying to keep myself safe from men who saw me as an object to be misused as a child.”

“I woke up to a world that showed me I was nothing—living in a community I was not safe in. I feared for myself and other girls like me. My dreams blurred until I could not dream. How can a broken girl like me ever dream of wearing a graduation gown? I was meant to be used and trashed. These shadows grew so thick they became think clouds of darkness never to Illuminate light as the sun, moon and starts hid far away. But the cloud was not thick enough to cover my dream for a better education. Voices of my trauma became louder. But not enough that I could not hear the applause as my name was being called at my graduation ceremony.”

“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 studied smart and hard and I made it through to receive my bachelors degree—the first in my entire family. I met survivors that told their story, mentors that walked with me and Freely in Hope that loved me despite my lack of self love. And then, I dared to dream again, I dared to be different and I dared to stand out.”

“With my degree, I will scale up programs that establish safe spaces to share our stories, equip girls to take up space, and shine brighter that diamond. Programs that will educate older men to see that they culture of kneeling does not make me believe that I’m weak as a girl. This is a plea to protect me. Programs to educate men that wearing an off shoulder top is not an invitation to rape but pride in being in my skin. My programs will bring light by being a sustainable way to break the cycle of sexual violence.”

Magdalene Chikanya
Class of 2020


our gratitude


One Day’s Wages
The International Foundation
First Fruit., Inc
JC Gemmer Family Foundation

Anchor City Church
Christian Layman Church

Prince of Peace

The Gates Foundation
Chan Zuckerberg Foundation

“My education through Freely in Hope has empowered me. I am now a leader and I give back to my community by providing legal assistance to the poor and vulnerable. Because Freely in Hope equipped me with an education, I am able to stand up for the rights of the girl child, promote fair labor for women, and end sexual violence in my vocation.”

Pursuing BA in Law

thank you

We are so grateful for our global community who supports our programs that end sexual violence. With you, we can build a world free of sexual violence. Learn more by visiting our website.

2550 Ninth St. #206M
Berkeley, CA 94710


download our 2020 annual report

Share with your friends

Magdalene: Equipping Girls to Shine

My ultimate dream is to open a safe home for girls who have been rescued from prostitution, are at risk of being sexually abused, and have no one to fight for them. This home will be filled with hope, faith, and love for dreams to be restored so that they are able to go to school, just as I have.

2023 Highlights

thank you! Because of your support, we’ve been able to achieve incredible dreams this year!

Highlights From Our Scholars Retreat

Every year, Freely In Hope hosts a four-day retreat for the scholars in Kenya and Zambia. Get a sneak peek into what we learned with each other!

Download a FREE Chapter from Liberation is Here

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