Heshima Kenya's mission is to advocate for awareness, rights, education and support for refugee girls. We participate in various panels and policy groups to advance dialogue and solutions about the neglect of Nairobi's urban refugees and the protection of unaccompanied refugee children and youth. This includes our work surrounding education and outreach to help refugee girls access protection and services.
Heshima Kenya conducts research to expose human rights violations experienced by unaccompanied refugee girls and young women in an effort to strengthen and reform policies and advance the quality of life for refugee youth around the world.
Community Outreach and Mobilization: We make active strides to strengthen local networks by promoting awareness and education about gender-based violence prevention through the following:
- Information campaigns about the critical need for refugees to obtain legal registration in Nairobi
- Women's groups, where participants and the community become empowered to support vulnerable girls and women, share information, and build safer communities
- Partnering with like-minded organizations
The Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Working Group: In 2009, Heshima Kenya established and began leading the SGBV Stakeholders Committee in Nairobi. There we created a framework that operates with UNHCR and our partner organizations to address referral strategies and effective dialogue among survivors of SGBV. Since its founding, Heshima Kenya has been better able to identify vulnerable women and children in Nairobi who have experienced SGBV and help them find shelter, education, and psychosocial counseling.
Understanding and Reporting Trends: Heshima Kenya’s outreach has enabled us to begin collecting data to understand trends within the Somali and growing urban Congolese community, especially in terms of migration patterns, risks and exploitation in transit, reproductive health needs, and barriers to livelihood assistance that result in higher rates of prostitution. For further information, please see our reports.