By Helen Ferguson
Last year we heard about the Homes of Hope in Fiji, who have an amazing safe home for at risk pregnant girls and new mums where they live for 3 years and receive counselling, parenting skills and learn a new business to support themselves. In March, 3 of us attended a one week summit in Fiji on ‘Creating Safety Nets to combat Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children’.
We returned to the Solomons determined to set up a similar trust here and start work on breaking the culture of silence around abuse and violence towards girls and women in out communities. We have set up a Board and want to do education and awareness about breaking the culture of silence using drama. In the future we want to build a safe house similar to Homes of Hope in Fiji for at risk girls under 18 years of age.
We want to work with the active stakeholders to bring peace into all homes and empower girls to break free from abuse. A long-term safe house for at risk girls who are pregnant or have babies is one aim of the HOPE trust in the future.
If you want to join us in this mission, membership is free and we can send you a form. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 7723934. We want to work with the stakeholders already involved in this area and also find trustworthy people (‘Gatekeepers’) in every community who will speak up to protect these girls and help them out of the abuse and exploitation. We would love to hear from you if want to volunteer to be a gatekeeper in your community.