The Connected Hearts Inc was founded in March 2013 in New York. The founder, Nelly Niyonzima, was concerned about the existing contemporary discourse and lack of activism around the abuse of women and children. From a Human Rights perspective, the organization was born from ground work studies to understand the elements that catalyse abuse, and eventually find ways to protect vulnerable women and children.
The passion for this initiative came from the founder's different sets of experiences. For many years, Nelly has followed fake recruitments of “job hunting” youth by foreign and local agencies. Working in the Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration of Ex-Combatants (DDR) program in Burundi, a post conflict country, and observing how domestic and industrial workers are being treated by their employees, Nelly has gathered a vast knowledge on the inadequacies of capacity-building strategies which helped to fuel her fight against the exploitation of women and children.
The founding of TCH lay in the acknowledgement of the naivety in communities. There is a need to engage political, cultural and religious spheres in this issue that is holding back many communities and keeping untold millions from reaching their potential. Exploitation takes many forms and denies the vulnerable of their most basic freedoms, deprives them of their health, keeps them from the education they need and warrant, and condemns them to lives without economic opportunity.
Today, The Connected Hearts Inc advocates Zero-Exploitation of Women and Children.
TCH has grown into a worldwide network of over 80 dedicated volunteers, and has gradually garnered collaboration from community partners and allies.