Vyona comes from Manyatta village in Kisumu county. Of the total number of people living with HIV in Kenya, 9.5 percent live in Kisumu county, which is also ranked the third highest nationally.
There is a need for the county government of Kisumu to invest in HIV prevention and stigma elimination, integrated with economic empowerment, and with a special focus on adolescents and young people.
Vyona, 24, has one child and together they live with her mother in Manyatta village in Kisumu.
Vyona was trained in refrigeration and electrical works through a DREAMS project in Kisumu.
She now works at Kisumu Refrigeration & Electrical Works as an electrician for electrical appliances.
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."
"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.”