Girls with DREAMS_Lavender
Lavender, Kenya. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.
Lavender, Kenya. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.

Girls with DREAMS: Lavender

20th October 2020


Lavender lives in Korogocho with her mother and siblings. Korogocho is a slum located in the densely populated Eastland’s area of Nairobi, the fourth largest slum after Kibera and Mathare.

Lavender Girls with DREAMS
Lavender makes tea in the morning for her younger brothers before they go to school. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.

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.

Lavender Girls with DREAMS
Lavender in the classroom with her students. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.

Lavender’s parents separated when she was very young because of her father’s drinking.

She completed her secondary education and later joined a vocational institution to pursue a diploma in social work and community development. Due to increasing family demands, she dropped out to wash clothes with her mother for cash.

Through a DREAMS program, she was trained on how to save and use money wisely. She was selected to mentor other young girls to form saving groups to help them reach their short term and long term financial goals.

From her monthly stipend, she pays for her course and will graduate in December 2018.

“With the skills taught in DREAMS, I will never allow a man like my father in my life or even depend on men for money since I am working. If it weren’t for DREAMS, I would be in an abusive marriage like my mother.”

Lavender Girls with DREAMS
Enjoying some free time in between class and studies. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.
Lavender Girls with DREAMS
Lavender delivers a session to young girls on how to manage and save money. Photo courtesy of PEPFAR Kenya.
Lavender Girls with DREAMS
Lavender waits for customers as she helps with her mother’s bread business. 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.