Catherine Girls with DREAMS
Catherine, Kenya. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.
Catherine, Kenya. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.

Girls with DREAMS: Catherine

9th July 2021


Catherine lives with her grandmother and brother in Eastleigh where the majority of residents are Somalis.

Eastleigh is a densely populated area with high-rise buildings. There are high levels of crime, drug abuse, and violence, as well as high rates of illiteracy and school drop out among adolescent girls and young women.

The majority of residents are casual laborers or own small businesses, while others work in the informal small scale ‘jua kali’ sector.

Catherine: Girls who DREAM
Getting ready to go on set in KBC studios to film a scene for Strings. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.

Catherine grew up in a home with a parent struggling with substance abuse. Catherine became withdrawn and seldom left the house due to fear of violence, stigma, and discrimination. She dropped out of school due to a lack of school fees.

Catherine Girls with DREAMS
Catherine at the KBC studios. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.

The DREAMS project paid her school fees, ensuring she completed high school. She is now a radio presenter at Milele FM, a local radio station in Nairobi Kenya, and currently appears in two local television series.

“Being mixed race in a place like Eastleigh is very difficult, especially when your parent is also a drug addict and you can’t afford school fees. If it weren’t for DREAMS I would be a drop out or a drug addict. I now act and get paid at KTN and KBC (local TV stations).”"

Catherine Girls with DREAMS
Catherine shops for groceries from the local vegetable kiosk. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.

Girls with DREAMS

This profile is taken from the PEPFAR Kenya “Our Lens Sauti Zetu (Our Voices)” photo book — a compilation of images captured by DREAMS girls highlighting their own stories.

The following DREAMS girls were the eyes behind the lens and beautifully captured the stories of the young women featured in the project: Dorcas Akinyi Onyango, Agnes Wanjiru Mugure, Flovian Atieno, Faith Akumu, Francisca Ndinda, Effie Awino, Fatuma Lando, Dorothy Oyuga, Linet Odira, Hellen Atieno.

Text and images from “Our Lens Sauti Zetu (Our Voices)” are used with permission from PEPFAR Kenya. Learn more about Girls with DREAMS.