Heshima Kenya is the first and only organization of its kind.
Heshima Kenya is proud to have redefined models of refugee protection through our one-of-a-kind holistic programming. Since our founding in 2008, we have served thousands of women, girls, children, and infants, offering the gold-standard of care, protection, and empowerment for refugees.
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. Anne and Tayln understood that adolescent refugee girls are 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, and become leaders in their own right.
Heshima Kenya is the first organization in Kenya devoted to protecting unaccompanied minors and separated children and youth between the ages of 13 to 23 from Somalia, Ethiopia, DR Congo, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi. Nearly 70% of the young women supported by Heshima Kenya report having experienced some form of sexual and gender-based violence, though this percentage is believed to be much higher as most do not report these incidents.
We provide safety and shelter, deliver a multi-disciplinary education program for students of diverse levels, support economic empowerment through our scarf-making social enterprise, 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.