Agnes Nariaka is a 13 years old girl, born in a family of 5 siblings. The youngest is 3 Years old and the oldest is 19 years old attending Secondary School. Agnes is a daughter to Stella Awuor, a casual laborer who earns less than a dollar a day far less than what she needs to feed her family. They live in Rhonda estate, a village in which majority of the habitats there are jobless. . Stella and her family,frequently have to go without meals. Many times their house is locked up due to the couple not having the money to pay their rent. Crime, including defilement's, drug abuse, illicit brewing and commercial sex work and theft are a common vice in the village.
In the plot where Agnes lives, a 35-year-old man lives next door. His whereabouts are not blur to the neighbors; they only know him as a tenant just like them. Little did they know that a child abuser was among them.
One evening, Nariaka and her brother left school for home, reaching home they found no one but only herself and younger brother who attend the same school. They drop their bags at their door step and proceed to play as it is normal with school going children. A few minutes later a man is seen advancing towards where Nariaka was playing and calls Nariaka. ‘Kuja nikutume’, (translating to come I send you) he says in a low tone.(What does he say) Nariaka being the obedient child listens and innocently proceeds to the man’s house whose door was ajar. Her brother continues to play not knowing what awaited his sister. The man follows to his house and locks the door, locking Nariaka and himself inside. On noticing that his sister had been locked in the man’s house, Naraka’s brother runs to alert their neighbors. One woman runs towards the house shouting ‘Fungua hii mlango, ni nini unafanyia mtoto wa wenyewe’ (Translate- open the door what are you doing to that child). The man refuses to open the door but upon noticing that the crowd outside was swelling, he opened and Nariaka was found stacked under the bed. She was pulled out and the neighbors called the Police and rescued the Girl. The man was taken to police and prosecution began.
He was found guilty of the offense of attempted defilement and had a history of being a runaway serial offender with pending court cases in Nairobi. He was Jailed for 40 years.
Stella cries: ‘Hii kesi ingepotea kwa sababu sikua na pesa za kufuatilia…. Sina kazi ya kutegemea, hii safari ya kuja kotini inahitaji pesa,watoto wangu wanahitaji kula…Nilikua nimeamua ipotelee tuu….Lakini Love and Hope wakakuja,wakanilipia pesa za kuja kotini kila nilipohitajika, wakalipia ushauri nasaha yangu na Nariaka… .Nimepata haki kwa mtoto wangu…’(Translate-This case would have been lost because I did not have money……the frequent trips to attend court proceedings require money ..my family needs to feed..But Love and Hope supported my transport when I was required to attend. I also received counseling for me and my daughter …..I have gotten Justice for my daughter ….)
Roselida 25 years old is a mother of two children (4 and 2 year old) and married to a casual labourer and lives in Bondeni slums of Nakuru East, Sub-County. Her active participation in trainings at Love and Hope Centre enabled her gain new knowledge and skills in Business, Entrepreneurship, Savings and Lending. ‘‘I used to stay at home and depend on my husband which was very difficult, sometimes he would come home with something small and sometimes he would come empty handed which created conflict in the house, I would also look for casual jobs which were rarely found to enable me feed my family’’, she said!.
‘‘Part of the transport refund I got during the training's I saved and started a small JIK solution making business. I would go round the estate selling to my friends, neighbors and other customers who were interested’, I was taught on how to save and how to talk to my customers when am selling my products to them’’, She says!. She saved the money made during the JIK selling business, and together with income earned through other casual jobs was able to rent a premises and open a shop. ‘‘My business is now worth 5,000 Ksh, Sales are good and I am able to contribute to household expenses, pay the rent and save some for the future’’. She continues to say ‘‘With the skills I got, I hope one day to expand my business adding more products including cereals and increase more JIK stocks because it was my initial business.’’.
Her neighbors are very supportive and see Roselida as a role model – they want her to refer them to Love and Hope.
The soft spoken Roselida closes by saying “Love and Hope takes care of people and they treat people well. What they are doing is helping people like me in society. I will be forever grateful”.
“Judith is a mother of six and a house wife. She was introduced to me by a friend who is a Community Health Volunteer. Since then we became friends.
Before we met she lived in bitterness and very confused after realizing that her husband was HIV positive and on ART .I advised her to go for Testing and after the test she turned negative. She was extremely happy. I talked to the husband and he accepted to disclose to his wife which he did.
I later introduced them to Love and Hope Centre and they joined discordant couples support group. In the support group they learnt how to live together as discordant and supporting each other to live together positively in their status. They also went through economic empowerment training where they were taught on Self reliance and saving.
Judith learnt how to identify business opportunities and, in the process, met another lady with whom they made an agreement that Judith would be given clothes on hire purchase and after selling at an agreed price deduct her Sh. 50 per clothe that she would sell.
Today she has been able to expand her venture since she has a good variety of stock and plenty of beneficial customers. She even supplies beyond her point of sale. She is doing very well with reduced financial related stress and no longer sits back waiting for her husband to provide’’ Veronica Ngugi-A CHV giving an account of one of her clients she visits.
Teresia is 16 years old. Living with an uncle following the death of her mother when she was 10 years. She was born HIV positive and at the time of the death of her mother disclosure had not been carried out with any relative, She was then left in the hands of her uncle. Opportunistic infections befell her because she had defaulted since the death of her mother. That is when her uncle realized her status when they visited the hospital.
She later joined Love and Hope Centre through a Community Health Volunteer in 2018, The process of supportive disclosure started as a result of not wanting to begin Anti Retroviral Treatment. . Two years later the process of disclosure was complete and Teresia had known why she was on ART, she has steadily improved in health and attends her clinics on appointments without fail. She is now able to make healthy decisions concerning her own health and life.
Teresia is among the 100 Adolescents between 15-24 years living with HIV who have been receiving support from Love and Hope Centre for the last one year.