In 2019, Hope Shelter in Sierra Leone gave hope to 39 abused girls

Our HOPE project is about giving girls who have suffered sexual abuse a way back to a normal life as well as giving their babies a fair start in life. The hope shelter equipped with several beds offers refuge and a safe environment. Several social workers and medical personnel, as well as financial and administrative staff, take care of the girls from the moment they arrive at the shelter. They give these young women a chance to talk, inform them about their rights and help them in dealing with the authorities. Above all, they offer them support. Viktor, our medical assistant, looks after the young mother and coordinates any required medical treatment during her pregnancy and in preparation for the birth, and subsequently looks after the newborn child as well. After the birth mother and child have the opportunity to connect with each other while our social workers help with this process.

When both mother and child are ready, they are returned to a safe environment within their community. Social workers support this so-called reunification process. The community makes a commitment to take care of both mother and child. In the following months the mother receives weekly visits to provide ongoing care and to assist her on her path back into education and work.

Last year, the project helped 39 young women to return to their communities and helped their babies to a fair start in life.