About Girls Hope Rescue Mission

Gladwell Wachira, a Kenyan woman of tremendous courage and strength, founded Hope Center for Girls in 2012 (registered as a Kenyan CBO in 2020).  After experiencing sexual assault and child marriage herself at the age of sixteen, Gladwell’s ambition is to build a society where all young women can have access to safety and education without restrictions. She has worked relentlessly to extend these rights to them. Her advocacy is an inspiration that motivates us all towards creating a world with greater opportunities for female empowerment.  In 2023 she hopes to expand her reach as Director and Chairwoman of the women board at Girls Hope Rescue Mission in the USA.

Our Mission

By providing a safe and secure environment, we will rescue, empower, and educate young girls and women in Kenya to give them the skills they need for success. We believe that through education these individuals can gain knowledge that is vital for their development both now and into the future.

Let us strive to build a peaceful world where all women and girls are liberated from Gender-Based Violence.

The Story Behind The Name


We chose to name our company Girls Hope Rescue Mission, as we are dedicated to granting young women hope for their futures through education and training.

Girls Hope Rescue Mission

As a registered non-profit organization in the USA under 501(c)(3) regulations, and also in Kenya as a Community Based Organization (CBO), we are dedicated to ending child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), sex trafficking, and sexual abuse that girls and young women face. Our mission is to create a safe space for those affected by these issues while providing three meals a day, health services, and education with access to the resources they need.

Our Team

Gladwell, founder of Girls Hope

Gladwell Wachira

Founder and Director – Hope Center for Girls in Kenya

Chairwomen – Womens Board Girls Hope Rescue Mission in the USA

She has dedicated herself to making a difference in the lives of young girls since her own childhood.  With passion and bravery, she has continued fighting for justice against issues such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child brides, sex trafficking, and rape. Through her tireless efforts, she has managed to save over 400 girls between 4 and 17 from these horrible injustices. Now with more than 100 girls at her center who are safe under her wings, Gladwell is devotedly focused on providing them with protection while also giving them a chance at pursuing brighter futures.

Gladwell is devoted to offering support and care for these vulnerable children through shelter, education, medical attention, and emotional healing. In addition, she strives to build a bridge of understanding in the community toward addressing the core issues that plague this population. Ultimately, her objective is to manifest a society free from violence or exploitation against women and children so everyone can thrive peacefully with harmony at its heart.

Dee G. Atkin

President – Girls Hope Rescue Mission in the USA

Dee is an entrepreneur who came to Kenya and had his life transformed by the work Gladwell was doing in rescuing young girls.  Dee has spent years working to create vocational training opportunities for at risk young men in the USA.   As President his focus is to reproduce Gladwell’s successful approach to protecting and empowering female youth across many more regions within Kenya, and creating systems to prepare young men to be good husbands to all our Butterflies (that is what  Gladwell calls her girls – they all call her mum)!

Dee and Gladwell

Please welcome Audrey George as our new Volunteers program manager

Also welcome Edmira Andrade McGhie as our new Education Development manager

Womens Board

Trudy Tyler Barnes
Development Officer
Born in Walla Walla, Washington, USA
  • Church Organist from age 16 to the present.
  • Sang Alto for five years with the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah
  •  Music BA, Brigham Young University
  • Taught Suzuki Method Piano lessons, private studio. 
  • Retired Licensed Massage Therapist, Cranial Sacral Therapist, and Abuse Trauma/ Emotion Processing Therapist
  • Studied the Dream Interview Method, Delaney-Flowers Dream Center, San Francisco, Calif.
Trudy loves hiking and camping in nature, and lives near the canyons and mountains of American Fork, Utah, with her husband, Gary. Together they have 7 children and 19 grandchildren. Trudy’s desire is to bring her training and gifts to support the education, development and safety of the beautiful young women in Gladwell’s Girls Hope Rescue Mission.

Des Schaefer 

Partnership Officer

Our daughter lives in Kenya so we love the people of Africa.  I have started clinics for health care for Indigenous women here and in the Marshall Islands.

The stories of women who have been treated as property or abused have touched my heart. We are Happy and GLAD to help Gladwell with her mission, which will help not only her girls but her entire society.

Debbie Augustine

Social Media Officer

I am a preschool teacher who is passionate about many things. I find joy in my family, my work in education, my love of music, my gardening, and my creativity.  From a young age, I have had the opportunity to travel and live in different countries, which has broadened my perspective on life and has helped me become a more empathetic teacher.

As a mother of seven children and grandmother of seven grandchildren, I have experienced the joys and challenges of raising a family firsthand. I bring this wealth of knowledge and experience to my work as a preschool teacher, where I am dedicated to creating a fun and engaging learning environment where children can explore and develop a love of learning. My experiences living in different cultures have taught me the importance of diversity and the value of inclusivity in the classroom. I believe that every child has the potential to achieve greatness and I strive to provide them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.

Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family and nurturing my passions for music and gardening. I find that these hobbies help me relax and recharge, which in turn makes me a better teacher. I am also a creative person who enjoys exploring new mediums and expressing myself through art.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little better through my bio!

Jaimi Augustine

Social Media Officer

Jami received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Utah Valley University. She spent over 4 years understanding social media trends, competitor analysis, and marketing strategies. She is passionate about using her knowledge to contribute and bring awareness to such a wonderful cause. Her love for traveling, other cultures, and people makes her excited to be a part of Girls Hope Rescue Mission. Outside of work, she loves dancing, yoga, and snowboarding!

Mary Ann Strong


Deputy Chairperson / Fund Raising Officer

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. A.  I came from a family of 6 children.  My mother had polio and raised us all from a wheelchair.  I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Child Development and Family Relations and worked on a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling.  I am married and my husband, Brian and I have a blended family with 11 children, our last two adopted from Kazakhstan.  We have 26 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

I have been active in education, overseeing the arts and music program in elementary schools, teaching piano, then executive director for Art Works for Kids, getting funding from the legislature and establishing the arts back in the elementary schools for the state of Utah. I have been politically active working for the incorporation of Millcreek City and helping good candidates get elected.  I have helped obtain funding for various projects including suicide prevention, wholesome family films, and am excited to be a part of Gladwell and the Girls Hope Rescue Mission.

Daniela Izatt
 Program Health Advocate
Hello, my name is Daniela Izatt. I was born 40 years ago in Italy. I come from a heritage where both grandparents and parents were raised in an impoverished Italian cittadina, affected by WWI and WWII. Looking back, I can see how the consequences of war, poverty, and insecurities that accompanied my unique upbringing permeated my life but also how overcoming these obstacles instilled in me a love of learning and a passion for helping other families face their own challenges. With the desire to build upon the strengths that were passed down to me I pursued further knowledge and education. I have gratitude for how greatly life-long learning has improved the quality of my life.
After moving to the United States, I obtained a bachelor degree in the School of Family Life and then a master’s degree in the field of Social Work from Brigham Young University. My studies have allowed me to assist individuals and families going through a variety of very difficult circumstances, including:
– Addiction recovery
– Healing from trauma
– Facing mental health illness
– Affected by loss and grief
– Military veterans suffering from PTSD and other trauma related mental injuries.
Presently I strengthen youth at our local public middle school in Cedar City. My greatest aim.is to assist others in learning what they can do to heal, change their life trajectories, and influence and nourish their families.
I have learned that the most beneficial way to help others is through collaborative efforts and teamwork. When we work together in any field, we can achieve so much more than any one of us can do on their own. It is for this reason that I am grateful to be a part of Girls Hope Rescue Mission and to be able to contribute to this wonderful cause moving forward.
Outside of work, I enjoy an adventurous homesteading life with my husband, daughter and affectionate dogs, spending time with friends, being in nature, and taking impromptu family road trips whenever possible.

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