DuHope: The Circle Breakers


The DuHope logo was designed with purpose and meaning. The circle demonstrates the life transformation journey the Artisans are on once they arrive at DuHope. The lines don’t line up to make a perfect circle. Sometimes the journey goes up and sometimes down. The beginning line starts black and then the influence of the turquoise demonstrates the impact of DuHope. But on each loop around, there is a color transition back to the original color. When a journey is started, it is not without its starts and stops. Life transformation is not a clean line that once it’s started, you are on a straight path; it’s messy.
At DuHope, we have always said that we walk alongside these women as they are leaving survival sex work. There is a pathway DuHope has developed after working six years with our first cohort.

1. We find Rwandan women trapped in survival sex work and build trust with them to join the DuHope program.

2. The women receive counseling and support to help them heal from their trauma. 

3. As they learn to read, write, and count, the women become artisans and make jewelry to provide for their families.

The map is there, but some days it is one step forward and two steps back. Our DuHope women have complex trauma, many layers of different types of major trauma, and they have developed survival coping mechanisms. Those mechanisms were developed over their entire lifetime, we don’t expect them to retrain their brain and patterns in one day, month, or even one year. It takes repeated work to break old habits, develop healthy strategies, and retrain their brain. But we are here, walking alongside them. Not doing it for them but picking them back up and dusting them off on days they have fallen and celebrating with them when they stand strong.  
“DuHope” is a made-up word. The first program Belay Global started in Rwanda was called Duhugurane, which means “Let us learn from each other” in Kinyarwanda.  Shortened to Duhu, the program trained 190 young women in work readiness and micro business development. When DuHope was started, the team knew they were going to need some of the training from Duhu and a whole lot of hope; out of this idea, DuHope was born.  
One of our DuHope goals is to interrupt the cycle, or circle, of trauma. We want to break the circle.