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Back to Heshima Kenya

Thank you! & Update

Hello! Thank you all for joining this cause. As of Friday, we moved our first child to the Heshima Safe Home (her story is below; her name and identifying details have been changed for her protection). We have since placed three other children in this home, and this week anticipate placing 3 more. While we are doing the best we can, we urgently need assistance, and anything you feel you may be able to do (even if it’s just to invite more friends to the cause) will be greatly appreciated.

Nine months ago, Fatuma fled from Somalia and arrived to Kenya as an unaccompanied refugee child. She ran from a country’s ongoing civil war, from the death of her grandmother during a bombing raid, and her father who was trying to force her to marry and become the second wife to an elderly man. Since her arrival in Nairobi, she has been living and sleeping in the kitchen of a two bedroom apartment; five adult men lived in one room, and her “host” and the host’s children stayed in the other. Three months ago, during the day, she was raped by one of the men. Her host knew; some of the neighbors listened as it happened, but no one helped her. Afterward, when she talked to the host she was told to be quiet about it; these men were renting the room and they could do as they pleased. Later, a neighbor, who had been made aware of the situation, also went to talk to the host and asked “but you have a daughter, how can you allow them to do this?” The host told the neighbor that she was not her child, and thus it was not her problem. Fatuma had nowhere to go, and continued to live in this same kitchen for three months afterward. Last week, the neighbor took her to the hospital to get tested and then to the police station to make a report. The police said without a photograph of the man they could do nothing. The man who raped her has left and not returned and the other men won’t divulge his whereabouts. She came to HK on Friday and we moved her into our Safe Home that day. Yesterday she received a call from her former neighbor who said that her rapist has threatened to find and kill her. The reality is that she is not isolated in terms of her urgent need for safe shelter. HK is seeking support to continue our Safe Home, and hopefully to find a larger one in the near future. Please spread the word about HK's mission and activities to anyone you know who may be interested in donating or becoming involved.

Thank you so much again.

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