Homes of Hope operates a 40-acre campus twenty minutes from the Fijian capital city and regional hub, Suva. In the two dormitories and five independent ‘bures’, the campus supports a capacity of 45 girls, young mothers, and their children. We offer many services to the girls: residential dormitories, kitchen & dining hall, library, trauma informed counselling, transportation, legal help, medical care, and even an early childhood school for their children.
Each girl and young mother is empowered and equipped so that they may find financial independence. To achieve this, we have labs for computer learning, sewing, cooking, and baking. Our farm lab teaches the girls about livestock, vegetable gardening, and orchards as well as supplying food to our campus.
The campus also has accommodation to host in-house replication training for regional participants.
Young single mothers and girls who are surviving victims of forced sex, especially those who are severely abused, are rescued and placed in a safe, comforting shelter at our long-term residential campus.
The girls come to Homes of Hope through placement by the Fiji Department of Social Welfare, referrals by networked stakeholders, or word-of-mouth. A typical length of stay is 21 months, but can extend as long as 3 years. Most girls are between 15-17 years old; our target ages are 13-24 years old; yet, our youngest victim was 18 months.
Through holistic interventions, shame and low self-esteem are addressed in each girl. Young mothers, teenagers, and young woman are approached as individuals with trauma-informed therapy and healing. To help every girl and child become free, Homes of Hope has three threads of learning: mothering, inner life, and financial independence.
Through direct care, which includes guidance counselling, trauma counselling, peer support, focus groups, teaching and training at our residential campus, girls and young mothers are empowered to make their own future and fresh start. The Social Service Team does case management in consultation with each girl to determine her pathway and training interests. Her daily routine entails: chores, training programs, counselling, medical help, legal assistance and support for her child at the early education centre.
From the first day a girl enters the HoH campus, reintegration begins as our Social Service Team develops a relationship with the girl’s family and community. From there, Homes of Hope takes a collaborative approach involving families, community leadership, civil society, and government agencies to create a paradigm of freedom and a life of safety from forced sex.
A Safety Net is made through awareness, education, ownership, and action. Homes of Hope works with communities to take preventative and corrective action by strengthening community leadership to break the culture of silence. Community leaders learn to respond to sexual exploitation through sensitizing family members to gender equality and by providing parenting support to families.