The screening of “While Women Weep” discussed the dark reality of sexual abuse and lack of opportunities many Kenyan women face and filmmaker Nikole Lim discussed what inspired her to make the film.
The film was screened on March 27 to a group of about 30 viewers.
In the film you are introduced to three Kenyan women: Grace, Gene and Eunice who share stories of their struggles. Many of these women were victims of sexual abuse. They share the stories of their horrific past of alcohol abuse, prostitution and rape.
The woman who made the strongest impression with the viewers was Eunice. Eunice was raped at the age of 22 and became pregnant as a result. She was later disowned by her family due to the negative stigma of rape. She paid to have an illegal abortion but at the last moment she could not find it within her to abort her baby.
After giving birth to the baby, she was still determined to pursue a college education. Despite the horrible way that her baby was conceived, she said that the baby was the best blessing she has ever received.
Eunice’s story is a strong example of the stigma of sexual violence. Women in Africa don’t usually want to seek out the help because they fear retaliation. Even with many organizations like Freely In Hope and the other charities that they partner with, women who have been sexually abused do not want to seek help.
“The guessing rate is that every half hour a women is raped in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. That is the guessing rate because those are the only rapes that go reported,” Lim said.
After the film, Lim asked everyone who watched to discuss among themselves about how they felt about the film. Later she asked every to share their thoughts. The viewers mutually agreed that the joy and hope that these women had despite their dark past was truly inspiring.
Lim shared the story of the first time she met Eunice. She described to the group that Eunice gave up everything to pursue her dreams of high education.
“Eunice was always dirty coming to class and she was always late. Despite that she always had good grades. We found out she needed $500 to finish her semester of college,” Lim said.
“I felt God really challenging me asking me ‘what are you going to do now that you have been around the world and met many people and learned their stories? What are you going to do now?’,” Lim said.
Lim wondered how many other girls were like Eunice; who were giving up a lot to pursue a college education. She knew that making films was not going to be enough. Through this process she was inspired to start the organization, Freely In Hope.
Freely In Hope provides women who are survivors of rape and poverty with educational scholarships and counseling. As of now they have 18 women who are in school through the organization.
“My hope is that when other people watch the film is that they will be inspired to do good in the world and to see that their is hope in the world despite situations of brokenness,” Lim said.
For more information about Freely In Hope visit www.freelyinhope.org