Why do I want to help RefuSHE?
I want to help those in need through music.
The answer is quite simple. I have always wanted to do good things with my music. Yes, I want to spread a positive message and create something people relate to when they hear my music, but I have had a burning desire to do more than just spread good vibes. I have been very very fortunate in my life. My parents gave me money as a kid, paid for my school, and provided a roof for me to live under. All of these things, and more have provided me unlimited opportunities in this world. There are countless amounts of people in the world who couldn’t even imagine living the life I have been gifted with. Yea, I have had my ups and downs, but when you look at things in the big picture, everything has been just fine and dandy.
What is the Fair Trade Federation?
I was back home in St. Louis, Missouri shopping for a gift in the loop. I found a store called “Plowsharing”. From the outside I saw what looked to be an international vibe. I was quickly intrigued. When I entered, I saw many world flags, and a store that was filled with products from many countries. From earrings to instruments, they had it all. I talked with the owner and he explained the concept of “Fair Trade Federation” (FTF) to me. You can read more about the FTF HERE. They build equitable and sustainable trading partnerships and creating opportunities to alleviate poverty. After chatting with Richard about the FTF for a bit, the idea popped into my head to give back through music. The rest is history. The impact may be small or large, but I am going to try and connect the dots between those not as fortunate and the worlds music creators. Listen to my music and let’s help someone in need.
While in this shop, I learned about the organization RefuSHE. After doing a bit of reading on them and seeing what their mission is all about, I decided I wanted to help them. I came up with the idea to give through music and learned about RefuSHE in the exact same moment, so it was decided. I want to help this organization with my music.
Read more about RefuSHE and their mission below.
About RefuSHE –
“Founded in 2008, RefuSHE (formerly Heshima Kenya) is an award-winning global NGO and registered 501(c)3 organization specializing in identifying and protecting unaccompanied, orphaned, and separated refugee girls, young women and their children living in Nairobi, Kenya. Since our founding we have directly supported over 3,700 refugee women, girls, and their children.
Check out their website HERE and read more of their story 🙂
Their programs include a safe shelter, specialized primary and secondary education courses, psychosocial counselling, vocational training, a social enterprise program, legal and medical advocacy, case management, and a community outreach program. At the core of RefuSHE’s holistic model is the creation of a social network and resources for both short and long-term support that empowers girls and young women to strive for economic independence and become leaders in their communities.”
“We created RefuSHE to be a model for protection, empowerment, and peace-building in Kenya and beyond.” – Annie Sweeney (RefuSHE Co-Founder)
The children and youth RefuSHE serve today become tomorrow’s advocates, creating social change, individually and collectively.
RefuSHE 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.
OUR CORE VALUES
Heshima. (n). Swahili. respect, honor, dignity
Who We Serve
RefuSHE serves East Africa’s most vulnerable refugees – orphaned and separated refugee girls in Nairobi, Kenya. The young women in RefuSHE’s programs have been separated and orphaned due to war, conflict, violence, and terrorism.
“Many of these girls and young women lost their most basic human rights when they crossed Kenya’s border and became refugees. RefuSHE is a safe community for them and by them..and empowers every woman to negotiate their rights and to lead with a strong, confident voice.”
– Anne Sweeney, RefuSHE Co-founder
They have fled persecution in their home countries and have been torn from their families. While many have witnessed the death of their parents, others believe their families might be alive, but have no knowledge of where they are. With very limited access to formal assistance in Nairobi for shelter, education, and medical care, they often suffer extreme poverty, as well as cope with the physical and emotional scars from war and, in many cases, abuse and exploitation.
Unaccompanied refugee girls and young women face unique risk factors, including: sexualized violence and physical abuse, marginalization and living in transient and hostile environments, domestic servitude, higher risk of depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and stress-related conditions, higher rates of illiteracy and less avenues for achieving self-sufficiency, higher risk of forced marriage and early pregnancy, higher risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)/Female Genital Cutting (FGC) and complications as a result of surviving FGM/FGC, xenophobia, extortion, and persecution from host communities.