Fecha Taleso

Co-founder, Karana Rising 

 Washington, DC 

Photo from EpoqueEvolution.com

“i dare to dream.”

things happen for a reason. like how Fecha Taleso won our recent giveaway — and then, once we met her, our hearts. born in Kenya and based in DC, Fecha is warm, wise and wildly passionate about the work she does with Karana Rising, the survivor non-profit she founded with two other women last year. “we are by survivors, for survivors,” she says. here, Fecha on creativity as a means to heal, WhatsApp-ing with friends and the importance of long walks.


tell us about the work Karana Rising does.

Karana Rising is an innovation space where survivors lead, create and support other survivors in their own journey to heal and thrive. we are an all-survivor team whose lived-experiences with human trafficking, sexual exploitation and assault and intimate partner violence give us unique insights in both what survivors need today and how we can support our communities.

there are hard times and hard conversations, but there is so much joy when we see survivors come together, create change and then go on to help other survivors. we actually have a lot of fun! we are a real family here at Karana Rising and all survivors are welcome. 


how did the organization begin?

Karana Rising began with three women — Andrea, Liz and myself — whose lived-experiences and past work with survivors inspired us to want to have a space where there is community that supports survivors in their growth and healing. we soon brought together other survivors to create our innovation labs; we received our 501c3 in fall 2019.


how is Karana Rising continuing or adapting efforts during this time?

we are on fire! virtual meet ups, supportive counseling, creating art and jewelry, launching Surviving Now, our first podcast series! we have virtual sales events, too! our daily content focuses on wellness, advocacy, inspiration and connection. Check us out at @wearekaranarising on Instagram and @karanarising on Facebook.


what is your role?

i help create content that is survivor-inspired and survivor-led, and help lift the work of emerging survivor artists and wellness creators within the community.


what path led you here?

longing for a day when justice is perfect — as well as my personal life experiences as a sexual assault survivor — has continually reenergized the urge to change the world in my own little ways. i dare to dream and passionately fight criminal and social injustices, as well as retrogressive practices that marginalize vulnerable groups like women and children.  


what inspires and drives you?

i’m constantly inspired by the bravery and determination of the women and girls we serve at Karana Rising. it’s a great privilege to work with women who I admire and inspire me everyday.


what do your days look like now?

my routine has radically changed in quarantine — i’ve found it really hard to stick to a routine, actually — but lots of Zoom calls, coffee, WhatsApp texts, jewelry making and Instagram Stories. 


self-care is more important than ever. how do you practice self care?

talking to my dad (he’s my go-to person whenever i need someone to talk tough things with or just rant). also: early morning personal devotion and meditation, practicing gratitude, journaling, treating myself to a bath with homemade CBD bathbombs. 


in the same vein: what are you wearing while sheltering in place?

époque’s the one crop top and skirt, and the one two dress. also a dera (an oversized African maxi dress) my niece got me two years ago when she came to visit from Kenya.


how are you staying fit?

going for long walks at least once a day. a slow carb diet.


how are you connecting with others?

i spend lots of my time with family on WhatsApp. i’m in a couple of group messages with close friends from childhood, high school, college and former coworkers.


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