Co-founders Anne Sweeney and Talyn Good established Heshima Kenya to address a crucial gap in care for unaccompanied and separated refugee girls and young women in Nairobi, Kenya. Through their years of work with refugees, Anne and Tayln understood that adolescent refugee girls were particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, especially sexual and gender-based violence. They set out to provide a safe community for these young women to learn, grow, feel protected and become leaders.
Heshima Kenya specializes in identifying and protecting unaccompanied and separated refugee children and youth, especially girls, young women, and their children living in Kenya. Our shelter, education, and community outreach services, coupled with local resources and the refugee community, empower this population to live healthy lives. By providing resources for long-term support, refugee girls and young women become catalysts for strengthening networks creating sustainable change within the local and global communities.
We provide safety and shelter for our most vulnerable participants, deliver a multi-disciplinary education program for students of diverse levels, support economic empowerment through our scarf-making social enterprise, The Maisha Collective https://heshima-kenya.myshopify.com,
provide childcare, accompany our participants to legal and medical appointments, and work within the refugee community in Kenya to identify, protect and fight for the rights of the most vulnerable.
After nearly 25 years of protracted refugee crisis in Kenya, Heshima Kenya is proud to have redefined how models of protection best work for this population. Our award-winning holistic model provides short and long-term support through opportunities for refugee girls to access their human rights, experience economic success and skill development, and become leaders in their own communities. Under an umbrella of intensive case management, participants receive wrap-around services including critical medical care, shelter, education, and counseling services required to foster healing and empowerment.
Since 2008, Heshima Kenya has directly supported over 3,000 refugee children and youth through our award-winning holistic model of case management, specialized secondary education, entrepreneurship, child protection and social enterprise programs.
Our Vision: The children and youth Heshima Kenya serves today become tomorrow’s advocates creating social change, individually and collectively.
Content & Images: Heshima Kenya Website