Sheila comes from Tura Village in Ahero, Kisumu County.
Tura is a remote village in Kisumu County in western Kenya bordering Lake Victoria. The village has approximately 2600 residents whose main economic activities are subsistence farming and fishing.
Sheila’s father’s death dealt a heavy blow to the family, and her mother’s small shop could not generate enough income to cover her school fees.
Through a DREAMS program, she pursued a course in Mechanical and Motor Vehicle Engineering.
Sheila now works as a mechanic at a local garage located in the juakali (informal) sector of Kisumu city.
She makes enough money to support her sick mother and younger siblings and plans to sit for her Grade 3 certification exam soon.
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.
The photo exhibition, “Champions for change”, brings together personal stories showcasing how individual action can lead to a collective and forceful nationwide movement against gender-based violence.
Across Kenya, PEPFAR’s DREAMS partnership is supporting young women to lead safe and healthy lives free from HIV.
"I now live in my own house and my sisters are back at school. Thank you for giving me hope."
“I am now a rice farmer who is independent and can fight for my rights and those of others.”
“I am grateful to be able to afford to buy my medication and earn a living at the same time."
“If it weren’t for DREAMS I would be a drop out or a drug addict."
"DREAMS gave me a new lease of life – I have my confidence back, I’m independent, and can pay my siblings fees and house rent. I can now live AIDS-free.”
"When my dream of becoming a teacher came true, everyone in my community, including my husband, was very proud."
"I now make hair locks, get paid and save, and hope to have a salon of my own. Getting involved with DREAMS gave me hope and skills to become independent.”
“I now practice photography as a career and I get jobs and get paid for it."
"DREAMS has transformed me into a salaried, well-respected, and confident young woman.”
“I was able to sit for my national exams and proceed with my nursing course because of DREAMS support.”