Vivian lives in Mutumbu village in Siaya county. Siaya county is in western Kenya with a population of 963,007.
Children below 15 years constitute 44 percent of the population, while youth aged 15-24 years make up 20 percent of the population (2015 KNBS Population Projections).
The area's main economic activities are subsistence farming, livestock keeping, fishing, rice farming, and small-scale trading.
HIV prevalence is 24.8 percent and youth aged 15-24 have a prevalence of 6.2 percent which is three times higher than the national youth HIV prevalence (Kenya HIV Estimates 2015). Women are at higher risk of HIV infection than men.
Vivian did not receive a formal education when she was young, but when she joined DREAMS she was able to enroll with the Mutumbu Special Unit, which offers programming and education for people living with learning disabilities.
Vivian is talented in beadwork. After entrepreneurship training, she began making beadwork with zeal. Vivian and her colleagues specialize in making key holders from beads and sell their products in the local markets in Siaya and Kisumu.
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.
"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.”
“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.”
“I was able to sit for my national exams and proceed with my nursing course because of DREAMS support.”