By Joelle Wyser-Pratte
Recently I read a story about Consoler Eliya, founder and CEO of the New Hope for Girls Organization (NHGO), which operates out of Tanzania.
Consoler Eliya had a tragic story of child abuse as a young girl. She lived with an abusive aunt growing up. She was tortured and forced to sleep in a cupboard. The aunt would throw cold water in her face to wake her every morning. She was beaten with broomsticks and forced to eat rotten food.
Consoler wasn’t allowed to go to school for more than two hours because she had to walk her cousin to school. Her aunt refused her the other six hours of learning. In fact, her aunt didn’t want her in school and when she found out she beat her severely, along with three teachers. Her aunt told her she was going to be married off, and Consoler knew the only hope was an escape. She knew she had to find her way back to her parents.
She managed to escape and reach her parents, but not without suffering an attempted rape from what she believed a trustworthy man. Consoler did eventually reach her parents. Today she still suffers from the injuries inflicted upon her by her aunt.
Consoler turned her tragedy into something positive. She wants to help girls facing the same issues she did as a child. She does this by providing school fees and facilities. She’s dedicated her life and energy to vulnerable girls and those who have suffered child abuse.
New Hope for Girls Organization (NHGO) is a non-governmental organization established in 2005, in the United Republic of Tanzania. The team works in the development sector of the community by implementing projects promoting economic well-being and human rights to the underprivileged girls and young women in Tanzania.
The New Hope for Girls core operating values is to influence the culture and public image of NHGO as an effective community-based organization serving a broad variety of individuals.
Caring Attitude the organization demonstrates compassionate support for underprivileged girls and marginalized young women together with girls with disabilities
Through respectfulness, the organization honors the choices of girls and people with disabilities. The encourage everyone to take control over his or her life. They do this based on what is important to their future. The organization respects the role that families have in helping to shape these choices as well.
The organizations values are based on the fact that the women’s needs vary significantly and can and will change over time. They seek to understand the individual need and create the proper support for the individual.
Diversity is another core value of the organization because they understand that people with disabilities are part of all races, ethnicities and religions. Their goal is to assist as many people as their resources allow.
NHGO strives for the highest level of integrity in its service and outreach activities. They bond these activities directly to their mission. The organization partners with a variety of advocates for quality service.
Membership to New Hope for Girls Organization (NHGO) is open to anyone who meets their stated conditions. The different membership status’ are Co-opted, Associate, Honorary, or Friends of NHGO. You can apply for membership on the website.
Associate Members represent other NGOs having the same goal as of NHGO. Co-opted Members are persons who share the vision and mission of NHGO. They willingly want to join the Organization. Honorary Members are respected individuals in the society whose ideas support the positive changes in the society.
“Friends of NHGO” are local and international people who’ve made a tremendous contribution in supporting vulnerable girls and are making the world a better place for girls and women to live equally. These people may be asked to be advisors of NHGO.
Advocacy of the organization is to educate the public and advocate for the long-term support of underprivileged girls.
NHGO believes its work as a defender and service provider will be needed for many years into the future. They strive to ensure they have sufficient and strong finance team.
Consoler Eliya’s vision for New Hope for Girls Organization was for girls to find their voice to speak up for themselves. She hoped they’d realize their full potential. Her lifelong vision is for these girls to become decision makers and to change the vicious cycles forever.
Along with her team, Consoler tries to meet women’s immediate needs, like food, clothing and a bed to sleep on. After they provide comfort, they teach the women empowerment. They offer the support they need to break free permanently. They also provide trauma counseling to help them ease their way out of the thinking it’s the norm to be abused. Finally, they offer vocational training for the women to move on with skills to succeed in the world.
Today Consoler is a social worker who holds a Master’s Degree in Social work and bachelor’s in sociology. She formerly resided in the Kilimanjaro region and is married with two kids.
Consoler’s story is very inspirational. Consoler shows us there’s hope even in the worst case scenarios, and she’s living proof that anything is possible.
Joelle Wyser-Pratte is a philanthropist who supports women’s education and gender equality. She is a board member in several non-profit organizations and involved regularly in fundraising activities. Follow her on Twitter: @joellewyser