Women in informal settlements are predisposed to HIV, un-planned pregnancies, drug abuse and sex work due to poverty. HOPE worldwide Kenya through the DREAMS* project has contributed to improving the social economic status of women like Sinfrosa and reducing their vulnerability to HIV.
In 2015 when she was 23 years old, Sinfrosa came across a DREAMS enrollment that was being carried out by HOPE worldwide Kenya and she remembered her dreams of becoming a fashion designer. She enrolled for the fashion and design course offered at the Mukuru Center of HOPE. Soon she realized that there may be, after all, some light at the end of the tunnel.
“As I began the fashion and design classes, I also found that I could access counseling and there was a clinic where I could check my HIV status, get a health check-up and treatment for free. I was reluctant at first, but because HOPE worldwide Kenya staff and mentors were friendly and open and there was no stigmatization, I was able to open up and get much needed support. I can now confidently say that my life has turned completely around. I completed my fashion and design class and I was blessed to receive a sewing machine from HOPE worldwide Kenya through the DREAMS Project to start my own business . I am now a mentor at the Mukuru Center of HOPE and I help other young girls who are facing the same struggles as I did in this slum. I encourage them using my story and using the mentorship skills I have learnt during the mentorship trainings given by HOPE worldwide Kenya. I am determined to raise and provide for my son because I have been empowered to see that I can accomplish more in life using my newly acquired entrepreneurial skills. I am also reaching out to my community and sensitizing them about HIV prevention in the hope that I will help people shun risky behavior,” concludes a determined Sinfrosa.
*DREAMS means Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS – free, Mentored and Safe. It is an HIV prevention project that combines evidence-based approaches that go beyond the health sector, addressing the structural drivers that directly and indirectly increase HIV risk among adolescent girls and young women, including poverty, gender inequality, sexual violence, and a lack of education. The project is funded by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) which comprises of funding from the US government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare, through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Through the DREAMS project, HOPE worldwide Kenya continues to reach out to adolescents and young women in Nairobi's informal settlements. You too can change the life of girls like Sinfrosa by providing start-up kits and subsidized vocational training at our Mukuru Center of HOPE. Interested in knowing how? Please see our Empower Youth Through Vocational Training page to read more and donate.