OctoBER's Impact Report:
Thank you for encircling our scholars with holistic support during this pandemic. Your donations are helping us respond to the ever evolving needs in our community.
With the transition to online education, proficiency in computer expertise is a much needed skill. We are excited for our scholars to learn about the basics and advances in computer!
For the International Day of the Girl, Freely in Hope launched an arts competition to invite communities to be a part of reimagining a safer Kenya for teenage girls. We received 44 submissions from 12 counties across Kenya. See the winners here!
scholar highlight of the month
My first highlight of the month is, meeting my former students again after many years of separation. I was happy to see them and I am glad to know that they haven’t given up despite the challenges that come after completing primary school in the village. Being with my family during the pandemic has really improved my interaction skills. We have built a new friendship with each other because we’ve learned a lot from each other.
Schools were opened for some students, but not for all of us. I have hopes that soon they will open all so that I can be able to pursue my course of interest which is Land Surveying.
I have also been having sessions with our counsellor. I am happy that she has called me weekly to check in on my well-being. She has been encouraging me to keep focused and to not give up despite what is going on in our country.
Freely in Hope Scholar
Aspiring Land Surveyor
Class of 2026
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 applaud 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 the male folk 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.
Thank you for supporting my journey as a Hope Circle member. You have helped me not only graduate, but to pursue my dream of leading and implementing programs that help girls in my community.
Program Coordinator, Zambia
Michelle, San Francisco
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. I am reminded that God loves those who give cheerfully, for “God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” -2 Corinthians 9:8. 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 FIH does.