Hekima Place was founded in 2005 by Kate Fletcher after she uprooted her life and relocated to Kenya to become a full-time volunteer for a local orphanage who specialized in caring for children who were HIV/AIDS positive. While living in Kenya, she
quickly learned some children were more likely to fall through the cracks of the overburdened social services system, especially young girls.
In Kenya, young girls are commonly raised to become wives and mothers. They are not afforded the same opportunities as their brothers such as attending school but are rather taught to keep house, care for their siblings, cook for their families, or tend to livestock. Many families in Kenya live in extreme poverty and due to this many families prioritize education for the young boys in the home leaving the girls without a pathway for their future. In addition to this, young girls are commonly seen as property and, in some cases, are sold as child brides.
As Kate learned more about the inequality the young girls face every day, she came up with a plan to create a safe, loving home where vulnerable girls could come to live and receive the care, support, and encouragement needed to become empowered individuals.
The girls who come to Hekima Place have experienced profound hardships, traumas, or losses in their young lives. From abuse, neglect, or abandonment to malnutrition or the need of critical medical care, Hekima Place meets every girl where they are and provides them with the love, support, and education they need to flourish.
After learning about Hekima Place and seeing Kate’s vision in person, I quickly learned how important the work we are doing across the globe truly is. While visiting Hekima Place in April 2022, I had the pleasure of meeting June. June came to live at Hekima Place at just 1 year old. When any woman entered the same room she was in, she would start to cry. I learned that the start of her life was difficult and her experiences with women in particular created distrust and fear for any new woman she met. I still remember the first time she felt safe enough for me to hold her. It took several days of careful observation from June and plenty of love and support from myself, but when she opened her arms and “asked” me to pick her up, I was able to live our mission first hand.
Hekima Place is a safe haven for every girl who comes through the gates and from there so many opportunities unfold at their feet. The girls have the chance to be kids, to learn and play and laugh. Their imaginations are full of potential. Teaching them they are worthy of love and support makes a difference as they grow.