Safe house for unaccompanied and separated refugee girls

  • Kenya


Heshima Kenya

Targeted population:

  • Unaccompanied and separated refugee girls under 18 and their children who have experienced, and are at continued risk of, homelessness, gender-based violence, and other protection issues (and, on an exceptional basis, women over 18 years old and boys under 10 years old)
  • Girls and young women who are not enrolled in Heshima Kenya’s programs but in need of short-term shelter, protection or temporary housing prior to seeking durable solutions.

Challenges addressed:

Ongoing physical and psychological insecurity of refugee girls who have experienced, and are at continued risk of, homelessness, gender-based violence, and other protection issues.

Program description:

Heshima Kenya’s Safe House Program is a transitional shelter that:

  • ProvidesProtection: Currently located in a safe suburb in Nairobi, The Safe House is managed by supportive staff 24 hours a day in order to care for the residents around the clock. The Safe House is also protected by 24-hour security guards onsite. The length of time in the Safe House depends on individual circumstances.
  • Supplies Support: All residents receive intensive case management support, including counseling, medical and legal support, family tracing, and life skill classes about HIV prevention, conflict prevention, child care, and other life-skills. Critical to their recovery and establishing trust and security, all residents attend daily classes at the Girls’ Empowerment Project program site.
  • Creates Community: The Safe House program works to promote psychosocial healing by structuring a daily routine of games, homework, sports competitions, movies, chores, and gardening.
  • Increases Independence: Heshima Kenya is developing positive exit strategies for girls and young women who reside at the Safe House long-term.  The ultimate goal is to link residents to alternative care arrangements within the community. The Girls’ Empowerment Project’s Maisha Collective serves as one exit strategy for residents, providing them with savings and income to establish independence. Many Heshima girls who have exited the Safe House and joined the Maisha Collective are now  living together in the community.

Our impact

  • 3700

    refugees have better access to education and livelihood opportunities

  • 40

    countries in which our partner NGOs are implementing solutions

  • 490

    refugee children benefit from mathematics, english, art and sports classes

  • 700

    women can now support their families

  • 650

    refugees have access to critical healthcare and safety information

Get Involved

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