Vidah is from Homa Bay county, Kenya. Homa Bay county has an HIV prevalence of about 27.1 percent compared to the national average of about 6.3 percent.
The main spread factors are retrogressive cultural practices of wife inheritance, commercial and fish-for-sex exchanges especially around the beaches and bars, multiplicity of partners, alcohol, and drug abuse.
HIV has affected all groups in the population, but the most affected have been those between the ages of 15-45 years who are considered to be sexually active.
After Vidah’s mother died, she dropped out of school. When she got pregnant, her aunts forced her to marry an older man, and she had two more children.
She left her husband and went back home to sit her fourth form exams, but the results were cancelled by the exam council due to technical anomalies. Vidah’s father could not afford to pay her fees for the second time and she was in danger of dropping out of school.
Vidah joined a DREAMS project which paid her school fees.
After completing high school, the same project sponsored her for a degree course in nursing at a university in Nairobi where she is currently a student.
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 World AIDS Day 2021 theme is “End Inequality. End AIDS. End Pandemics.” By ending gender inequality and the silent pandemic of sexual violence against children and adolescents, we can create a safer, AIDS-free future.
Every October 11, we celebrate International Day of the Girl to recognize the achievements, opportunities and challenges impacting girls and young women everywhere.
Six ways to celebrate 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
To commemorate International Day of the Girl, Together for Girls co-hosted a high-level event at the Embassy of Canada, “Data to Action: Breaking the Cycle of Violence Against Girls”.
"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 was in a place where I could not be seen but I am now visible."
"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.”