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Atieno, a mother of three children and wife to an abusive husband, was living on a dumpsite in one of Nairobi’s largest slums. Facing extreme poverty, the family would spend every day on the dumpsite scavenging for food in dangerous conditions chemical waste, toxic fumes and used needles. One day, Atieno was severely attacked by her husband and had to be hospitalised. Thankfully, her husband was arrested and imprisoned for 12 years, but Atieno realised she had to become independent, and learn to survive without him.

Our local partner Pendekezo Letu (PKL) heard about Atieno’s situation through other families they were supporting. They made contact with Atieno and enrolled her daughters into their rehabilitation centre for 10 months where they received counselling, remedial education and life skills training. With its green spaces, nutritious meals and caring environment, it was a world away from the dangers of the dumpsite.

Whilst her children were in the centre, Atieno received regular counselling from PKL Social Workers to help her deal with the trauma she faced and was enrolled on a hair and beauty training course. Upon completion, Atieno quickly found employment and worked for a year improving her skills. Impressed with her progress, PKL supported Atieno with a business loan to start her own salon and paid for her daughters to be enrolled into mainstream education. Atieno has paid the loan back to PKL, her salon is thriving and she now earns enough money to pay school fees for all her children.

Before I was hopeless, now I am hopeful that I can provide a better life for my children.”- Atieno, Kenya

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