Project: Global Fund

I am the first born in a family of five, am married and blessed with one child. I was raised by a single mum who worked hard to ensure we fed and went to school. My mum worked at the famous Dandora dumpsite where she collected plastics and metal for sale. I attended Tom Mboya primary school just like any child I loved to play and I was very social and cheeky, I got involved with older group of boys in class seven and eight who were in to the habit of partying and taking drugs(alcohol & bhang). I needed money to buy drugs to satisfy my craving, so while in class 7 I got into stealing and pick pocketing. This later graduated into a gang and we carried out a series of robberies in nearby estates and we even acquired a toy gun.

It was during one of these robberies that the property owner raised alarm and I was cornered by a mob and handed over to the police the rest of the gang members managed to escape. I was arrested and remanded for two years in industrial area prison. The two years in prison were very difficult, no one came to visit me in prison not my family, and not my friends even those who managed to escape arrest on that fateful day. Being young and in prison was very hard I missed home I missed playing with my friends I was filled with regrets, what if I kept away from bad company? What if I worked a little harder in my studies? What it I listened to mum and my teachers? Life could be very different, but it was too late and I decided all my energy should be directed to what happens after my sentence. Looking forward to a better life after prison kept me sane. Two years later I was released from prison and life became even harder, I was on my own I did not have a job, my friends and family treated me differently, the stigma and loneliness was overwhelming, I realized I had to fend for myself. An Angle came to me in form of Dandora Youth Multi-purpose self help group (DYMs). The youth group is comprised of ex-convicts and young people who have reformed and I totally fit in because they understood me.

I was involved in various income generating activities that gave me some income. I bought some rabbits which I sell, I also earn some money from performances and other group activities. I am now able to at least feed my family.

DYMS is a youth group based in Dandora and a partner of YIKE. The youth group was involved in YIKEs Global Fund round 7 outreach activities that focused on prevention of new HIV infections among the youth by influencing positive behaviour change in urban informal settlements of Mukuru, Kariobangi and Dandora.

This was accomplished through four main activities namely; Community Outreach Events (COE), Peer Education Training (PET), Sporting Activities and outreaches for Most at Risk Populations (MARPS).

Under the Community Outreach Events (COE), YIKE works with community based organizations and Youth Groups that incorporate art (theatre, traditional song and dance, and acrobatics, poems, skits, puppetry and role plays) in their activities to pass messages on different reproductive health issues as well as HIV/AIDS. YIKE then gave participating groups a group facilitation fee of Ksh 6,000 to support the group in its endeavors.



At 19 years, Peter Gachuhi has seen it all. We meet him at a construction site, a place he has been commuting to and from, on a daily basis for just over a week, from his brothers place in Mathare North. Young, a bit shy and working with people almost double his age, he looks determined to make a difference in his life. “I never knew my dad, my mum was burdened with raising us (my brother, sister and I). Being the last born I didn’t really see how she struggled until after she died,” he narrates. “I was in class four.....(Continue reading