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Lydia Matioli

Programs Manager, Freely In Hope

Path to Metis: Lydia is passionate about building platforms for survivors and advocates of sexual violence to be leaders in their communities. Sexual violence became a reality to her when at 5 years old she was touched inappropriately by a neighbor whose intention was to defile her. At 16 years old, her best friend in high school was gang-raped at an alley they used every day to school. This birthed a fire in her to try and put an end to the issue of sexual abuse. As the school captain, she formed a club where 100 girls could meet weekly to share their survivor stories and encourage each other in a safe space. This is where her advocacy journey began.

After high school, she worked with two other organizations that focused on women empowerment then later applied for a scholarship at Freely in Hope, an organization that exists to end the cycle of sexual violence in Kenya and Zambia, through holistic education, leadership development, and storytelling platforms. Lydia pursued a degree in Gender, Women, and Development studies at Egerton University where she graduated with first-class honors. She then became a fellow at the same organization where she was given access to resources that enabled her to actualize program ideas geared towards educating communities on matters sexual violence.

Now as Freely in Hope’s program manager, she coordinates leadership programs and outreach activities at partnering schools, churches, and local communities in urban slums and rural villages. Lydia has 6 years of vast experience in program design, implementation, and community outreach. She designed Eneza, which is swahili for ‘Make it Known’. A program that teaches high school students and communities on sexual violence prevention. She has reached over 3000 students through Eneza and in 2018, got an opportunity to share about the program at a fundraising event in San Francisco, California.

Lydia is driven by the belief that survivors can be the most powerful leaders once given a platform to unlock their leadership potential. That is why she designs programs with survivors, for survivors and vulnerable persons.

She loves music—creating it, singing it, and dancing to it. Nothing can stop her.

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Lydia Matioli
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