Magdaline is 25 years old and lives in Mathare informal settlement with her husband and their two children aged 6 and 1 and 1/2 years old. She comes from a polygamous family. Her father had 7 wives with about 50 children. She underwent a harsh upbringing and ran away to live with her grandmother. She had to work in the neighborhood to raise her school fees to get through high school. When she met her husband, she thought she would get the love and attention she didn’t get from her parents. He was soon abusive but she had nowhere to go.
She was enrolled in the DREAMS project in 2018 at a time when she was experiencing gender based violence from her husband but she didn’t consider it as such. After she attended a few SAB sessions and was trained in life skills, she realized that she was in an abusive marriage and sought help from a counsellor. She and her husband attended several counselling sessions and the abuse stopped.
She was supported with a startup capital for her salon business in order to enhance her skills in hair dressing, a service that she was providing within the settlement.
“I have always desired to be a fashion designer and when an opportunity in Fashion and Design training was presented, I did not waste any time” she says.
She coupled her studies with the hair dressing business where she makes KES 300 per day. She wants to be independent and be able to provide for her family. She would also like to become a lawyer and she is determined to go back to school and repeat the final high school examination to improve her grades and enroll for the course. She wants her children to have a better life.
Magdaline Auma in her Salon at Mathare
She is a mentor and an EBIs facilitator earning an average salary of KES 12,000. She enjoys role plays as she speaks to the girls. She openly shares about her gender based violence experience and encourages the girls to be open about similar cases and seek help. She sites that most women blame themselves for gender based violence cases and recommends for male engagement to end GBV.
She is grateful for the support provided by the DREAMS project including business start-up kits which was previously provided and school fee subsidies which she says has protected many one her mentees from sex work and drug abuse.