Mental Health


Trafficking, child marriage, or other severe gender-based violence has affected all of the women and girls we serve, either as survivors themselves, or through family members, or because they are living at imminent risk. All of the girls come to us have a trauma history of some kind, and the past 2 years have been especially challenging, as many have faced even more severe poverty and abuse or risk of abuse due to the pandemic. We have expanded our mental health programming to meet these needs.


HFC provides individual counseling, group therapy, peer support and team-building, therapeutic arts, life skills training, and mind-body healing tools to the women and children in our programs. We offer these services both through our own local staff and through our local operating partners.

We have recently created a comprehensive intake and assessment tool, which is given to girls when they first join the program, and again at 6 months and yearly intervals. Our assessment incorporates the World Health Organization Quality of Life measurement tool, which measures people’s ‘perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns’. We use the assessment tool to measure and better understand the individual needs of the girls, and over time, to create or adapt mental health services to best meet their needs. 

Our life skills programming, inspired by research from UNICEF and World Bank, focuses on self awareness, self-efficacy, and social awareness. Specific life skills include self-confidence, communication, empathy, conflict resolution, self-control, critical thinking, self-awareness, advocating for self and others, decision-making, personal boundaries, and building healthy relationships.

Love and respect are at the core of every one of our programs. We endeavor to be the nurturing family and community that girls have lost, or never had. This love and kinship – as much as any program service we offer – makes healing and transformation possible.