Meet Julia, one of our recent graduates.

For over two years now I have had to attend our graduations virtually. I’ve always said what a blessing our dedicated team in Kenya has been during these very trying times. I would like to introduce Antoinette, one of the newest members of our team along with Julia, (her name has been for her privacy), one of our recent graduates. Please read Antoinette’s full account of Julia’s accomplishments despite the many, many challenges Julia has overcome in her young life. It will bring some hope and joy during these very troubling times.Warmest regards,Jennifer Hughes-BystromFounder/CEOSprings of Hope Foundation

Hello Everyone,

My name is Antoinette. I joined the team at Kijiji Mission in Feb 2021, and I must say that I love being involved in this very special project and watching our girls blossom into competent, confident young women during the time they are with us. As a mother of adult sons, I must confess that I do become very attached to our beautiful girls. One of the greatest joys for me in my position as administrative manager is following up on the success of our graduates.Meet Julia, one of our recent graduates. Julia’s young life has been very challenging, to say the least, with very little hope for her future until she was admitted into Kijiji Missions’ one-year program. With the disruption of Covid Julia actually stayed with us for 18 months. Julia was born HIV Positive, is deaf, and mute. Her mother was a victim of the traditional custom of marrying off very young girls at age 12 or 13 yrs too much older men in exchange for a dowry of a dozen or so cattle. Julia’s mother died in childbirth, leaving her to be raised by an elderly father and extended family. Her father is now in his 80s, is in poor health, and is in no position to assist her. In fact, his solution for Julia’s future after graduation was to arrange a marriage to a much older man, repeating the cycle of abuse. Julia’s greatest strength is being able to sew pre-cut items with speed and accurate attention to detail. After graduation, she was offered a job and accommodation at a project we are closely associated with, Daraja 360As we all went our separate ways after graduation in December to enjoy a well-earned Christmas break, the first since the beginning of Covid, we were quite nervous and worried that Julia would not be permitted to report to her new job in January. Much to everyone’s relief, Julia reported to her new employer, has settled in very well, and is already earning bonuses on her production. We are all so very thankful to you for your support. Without you, girls like Julia would not have the future that women all over the world deserve.Asante Sana.Warmest blessings,Antoinette HoareauProject Administration Manager