Jenipher's Dream Book
Charity stood in front of the group of young refugee leaders, both boys and girls, and (Think Humanity) volunteers from the United States. She held a notebook close to her chest. Inside the notebook: Jenipher’s dreams.
Jenipher Barega was Charity’s 17-year-old sister, the leader of the girls’ hostel and the key African female leader with Think Humanity. Jenipher was always smiling, selflessly helping others, full of confidence and huge dreams and the kind of charisma you only see once in a lifetime.
Last fall, Jenipher contracted malaria and typhoid, and she died. After her memorial service, her sister Charity found a notebook in her room at the hostel. Inside the notebook, Jenipher had outlined her plans for leadership classes for the other girls at the hostel. Dreams of educating more refugee orphan girls, teaching girls about health and healthy relationships and how to keep girls in school. Seminars that would train the girls on leadership. On other pages, ideas for self-sustainable businesses for women.
Although Jenipher died, we are committed to keeping her dreams alive. All of Think Humanity’s projects are driven and executed by refugees, and our expansion of the girls’ hostel is no exception. Led by Jenipher’s dream book, and executed by her sister Charity, Think Humanity hopes to accomplish the following:
1. Improve living conditions for the girls by finding a better building with functioning latrines, more reliable electricity, safe drinking water, desks for studying.
2. Providing safety for the girls by hiring a security guard and a cook to make healthy and safe meals twice a day.
3. Keeping the girls safe and healthy by improving medical access and treatment and continuing to pay the local on-site nurse.
4. Teaching and inspiring the girls through leadership seminars.
5. Eventually expanding the hostel to support more girls.
6. Helping the girls implement their leadership and business knowledge into self-sustainable jobs, such as jewelry-making and starting a bakery.
All of these facets go together to provide a rounded educational experience for the girls. As Jenipher understood, you cannot separate one from the other. Without health, security and shelter, the girls cannot focus on studying. Leadership training helps them run a successful business, which teaches them how to contribute, preparing women to make an even bigger difference in society, breaking down gender barriers one girl at a time, even among the neediest girls in the world. Especially among the neediest girls in the world.