Jacinta Kenya DREAMS project
Jacinta, Kenya. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.
Jacinta, Kenya. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.

Girls with DREAMS: Jacinta

19th October 2020


Jacinta grew up in Korogocho, where she still lives with her children. Korogocho is a slum located in the densely populated Eastland’s area of Nairobi, the fourth largest slum after Kibera and Mathare.

Most of the structures are made of old ‘mabati’ (iron sheets) and other recycled materials. The slum is densely packed with narrow footpaths that also serve as a playground, sewer, and drainage.

Poverty and unemployment are high as many depend on small informal trades. Crime, alcohol, drugs, substance use and abuse, and sex work are prevalent.

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Jacinta sits at home after a long day. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.

Jacinta dropped out of school at class 4 because her parents could no longer afford the fees.

Married at 16 to an alcoholic husband, and with two young children, Jacinta did odd jobs including working at a construction site to support her family.

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Jacinta prepares some cuts of meat. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.

Jacinta enrolled in a DREAMS project and received training on business and entrepreneurship.

Through a business start-up kit she was able to open her butchery in Grogon A, a village at the heart of Korogocho.

“I started my business the moment I met DREAMS. If it were not for DREAMS, I could have committed suicide due to the hardship I went through.”

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Jacinta helps her daughter with her homework. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.
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Negotiating for a fair price with a bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) operator to take her to Kiamakio where she gets her meat supplies. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.
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Jacinta makes ugali (maizemeal) and roasted meat for customers at her roadside stall outside her butchery. 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.