Protecting Victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence and promoting Women's Empowerment at KAFA's Shelter

On 18 May 2018, the Rebecca Dykes Foundation announced the successful first round of applications for funding.

The winning project is a collaboration with Christian Aid and local women’s NGO KAFA and will work to protect victims of sexual and gender-based violence and to promote women’s empowerment at KAFA’s Shelter and Support Centre. The project will work with both Lebanese and Syrian women in the Lebanon.

The project will take place in Lebanon between June and December this year. The primary objective of the project is to ensure the long-term provision of protection services at KAFA’s safe Shelter in Mount Lebanon, a space dedicated to sexual and gender based violence survivors including victims of sex trafficking (the majority being Syrians and Lebanese), labour trafficking and emergency cases of domestic violence. This includes empowerment workshops, counselling for residents and improvements to facilities. The project will also secure women across Lebanon with access to a 24/7 emergency helpline.

Activities will also take place at KAFA’S Adolescent Friendly Space and Support Centre in the Bekaa region – a region hosting the biggest number of arriving refugees in the Lebanon since 2010. The collaborative project will include running group support activities and protection services for girls who are survivors or at high risk of sexual and gender based violence.

The Rebecca Dykes Foundation team have worked with Rebecca’s colleagues and project partners to identify where the funds raised can have the most impact, and best further the causes and values Rebecca held dear. A call for proposals was sent out to a number of potential project partners in April and the Foundation received a total of fifteen applications for funding.

Harriet Maes, Rebecca’s sister and founder of the Rebecca Dykes Foundation says

Rebecca was committed to humanitarian causes and she worked tirelessly to make the world a kinder, fairer, safer and more stable place. Her work in Lebanon was focused on improving the lives of refugees and impoverished Lebanese people, and helping these vulnerable communities to become more peaceful and resilient.  The Foundation team are committed to continuing that support and are hugely grateful for the donations which have allowed us to start this process in Rebecca’s honour.

On 16 August 2018, RDF hosted a webinar with Christian Aid and KAFA at which those working on the project on the ground explained the impact the project was having on women's lives. A podcast and slides can be found here.