Freedom House, Kisumu, Kenya
Sex trafficking is silently practiced in Kenya, effecting poor and disadvantaged girls. In response to these girls’ suffering, Give Way to Freedom partnered with Kisumu Medical Education Trust (KMET) to build Freedom House. Freedom House is a shelter that accommodates six girls at a time and offers them twenty–four hour security where they receive respite, emotional support, food, clothes and medical care. The construction of the shelter began on September 18th, 2011 and was completed in November 2012. Freedom House is now officially open and in use.
Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (K-MET) based in Kisumu, Kenya, is a non–governmental organization registered in the Republic of Kenya that was founded by a group of visionary professionals from diverse backgrounds. With the leadership of director Monica Oguttu, these professionals conceptualized and organized improvements in health and education, as well as addressed development issues in the rural areas of Western Kenya.
KMET’s Safe Space project was created to keep adolescent girls safe, learn their rights, and empower them to be change agents. Through running this program and seeing other indicators, KMET discovered that many young women and adolescent girls suffer physical, sexual, and emotional abuse from family members, partners, parents, and others with whom they might be living. Often, these young victims are forced to resort to living on the street because they cannot return to where they had been living. As a result, often they are further abused and sometimes forced into prostitution. Freedom House was created to address the need for secure and safe accommodation for the most vulnerable of these girls and curb sex trafficking.
The Freedom House accommodates six girls at a time and offers them twenty–four hour security where they will be given respite, emotional support, food, clothes and medical care. Freedom House’s location is strategically positioned to enable the girls to have easy access to the health clinic within which a social worker/counselor is available for both individual and group counseling. Most of the girls will also be enrolled in KMET’s Sisterhood for Change on–site program where they receive life skills training, vocational training, counseling and if needed, day care for their babies.
The International Day of the African Child was celebrated on June 16th. This year KMET raised awareness of the continuing need for improvement of the education provided to African children and to combating the trafficking of poor girls from Nyanza and sexually exploited in Mombasa.