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Nikole Lim

Freely in Hope

United States

Nikole Lim is the International Director of Freely in Hope, a nonprofit organization that equips survivors to lead in ending sexual violence in Kenya and Zambia. Freely in Hope supports survivors through holistic education, leadership development, and storytelling platforms.
Nikole’s goal is to expand her reach to serve community leaders worldwide with best practices in survivor care, violence prevention, and survivor-informed organizational development. After 14 years, Nikole is excited to transition executive leadership to African survivors and grow the consulting arm to promote safe, compassionate, and equitable communities that alleviate trauma worldwide.

Nikole Lim

About
Me.

What is your story?

What drives your work?

As a third-generation Chinese-American and descendent of immigrants, I have lived in this world fully aware of how I do not fit common cultural expectations—as a woman, as Chinese, as an American. Prior to leading Freely in Hope, I was an international documentary filmmaker capturing stories of unlikely heroes around the world. This work put me face-to-face with survivors of sexual abuse. I learned how lack of access to education, oppressive cultural barriers, and patriarchal mindsets limit the ability for girls to lead—making sexual violence a rampant crime. I partnered with survivors in Kenya and Zambia to establish Freely in Hope to uplift the perspectives, voices, and insight of survivors of sexual abuse. The more I engaged in this work, the more I realized I had so much to learn from a community that has experienced unspeakable trauma. In it, I have found my own sense of purpose, calling, and freedom to pursue what seems impossible. Survivors of sexual abuse inspire me daily to overcome cultural barriers, and fight for our collective dreams that make our world a better place.

Describe your biggest strength as a leader

One of my biggest strengths is that I am a connector. I love connecting people to other people that can spark common good in the world.

Describe your biggest challenge as a leader

My biggest challenge has been to build financial sustainability for the organization. I am eager to learn of ways I can develop this muscle to build greater support for the next generation of leaders at Freely in Hope

About the
Organization
and the Project.

Sector

Not-for-profit

Vision & Mission

Equipping survivors to lead in ending sexual violence.

Year Founded

2010

No. of Employees

15

Years in the Organization

14 years

Annual Budget (USD)

$460,000

Geographical Area Served

Kenya
Zambia
US

Organizational /

Project Description

Why is this project important and timely?

What is the target population of your project? 

Every year, our team directly impacts over 6,000 people across Kenya, Zambia, and the US.

How will you know that you have achieved that impact? What data will you use to assess your impact?

1. Two years of funding secured to provide financial sustainability for the next leaders.

2. All staff are equipped and trained to bridge consulting work with other organizations.

3. Our brand voice is strong, consistent, and supportive of a survivor-centered perspective.

How do you anticipate this unique leadership education impacting you personally? What new skills are you hoping too develop & grow through this experience?

I'm excited to learn from other leaders about cross-cultural leadership dynamics, succession planning, and building financial sustainability.

Where would you like to see yourself professionally in the next 3 years?

Over the next three years, I will have provided ample resourcing to the next generation of survivor-leaders at Freely in Hope so that they can carry the vision forward. I hope to continue in my survivor-advocacy work as an educator and consultant to help other organizational leaders implement best practices in survivor care and sexual violence prevention.

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