Twenty-three-year-old Getrude Adhiambo was raised in Tudor Slums in Mombasa County. She vividly recalls how she was enrolled to the project in November 2020 and the excitement that came with it. Coming from a family of six and unemployed parents, Getrude says they often went to bed on empty stomachs and it was difficult to make ends meet. To the family, the future was bleak.
A passionate and hardworking young woman, Getrude was enrolled in Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) program.
Getrude was facilitated to pursue a short vocational training course on baking as a bridge to employment. She was equipped with financial capability and entrepreneurship skills to enable her grow and manage her own business. “My life transformed the moment I was enrolled as a DREAM girl. I gained a lot from the interventions that the project provided. Thanks to the American people for bringing a new hope to us.” She said.
Upon completing her training, the project bought her an Oven cooker, as a business startup kit. This enabled her to start baking cakes and pastries. Getrude is now a self-reliant DREAM girl earning a profit of over Ksh. 500 daily from the sale of cakes. She is now able to cater for her personal needs, and support her family.
“Baking has changed my life. It has become my hobby. I am now empowered to rely on myself, and support my family to lead a decent life. My desire is to enroll in baking Diploma course that will sharpen my skills in creaming and cake design. I also want to become the most successful social entrepreneur, to continue uplifting the vulnerable in the community”, She affirmed.
Her determination and resilience has inspired her peers, and increased the demand for the training by adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in her safe space. “I thank USAID Tujitegemee for always accompanying us, making sure no DREAM girl is lost. This has made us responsible AGYW, and enabled us to avoid risky sexual behavior to prevent HIV and STIs.” She concluded.
Currently, Getrude has volunteered to be a DREAMS ambassador and she continues to mobilize her peers to join the project so that their lives can change too. She plans to diversify her trade to include baking and beauty so as to increase her income.