Digital stories from Kibera and Majengo, Nairobi

As part of the research looking at the impact of consitutional change on access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls living in low-income urban settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, a number of innovative research methodologies were used, including digital storytelling. We worked with HIV-positive women, all young mothers, on digital storytelling to inform policy makers of the effects of these national policies on their health. One of the overarching themes that comes through when listening to their stories is the betrayal of their families, often by female family members, that exposed them to HIV, violence, and destitution. Researcher Pauline Oostehoff talks about this in more detail in her blog post – The paradoxical role of families in women and girls’ health in slums.

The women told their very personal and moving stories, striving to have their stories heard - particularly by policy makers - in order to create positive change. They have been shared with community-based organisations in Kibera, and we are arranging a screening of the videos with county-level policy makers. Researcher Emmy Kageha writes about the emotional and transformative process of creating these digital stories with the women in her blog post – Digital story telling: working with your own story.

Life on the Streets

This digital story is the story of a woman who is an escort worker in Nairobi and living with HIV. She discusses the ways in which constitutional change has impacted on her life.

River of life to Majengo

The story of a woman who is a sex worker in Majengo and who is living with HIV. In this video, she tells her story and explains the challenges she faces in accessing and adhering to ARV treatment.

Lost and Found in Kibera

This video tells the story of an HIV positive woman living in Kibera, and the challenges she faces in accessing family planning and ARVs. She appeals to her government to provide the people of Kibera with good and free health services in one place.

When dreams are crushed

This is the story of a woman who was a secretary who moved to Nairobi to look for work. She took a job in a bar and became a commercial sex worker, and then tested positive for HIV. In this video, she discusses the issues she faces in accessing treatment, including stigma and side-effects from the drugs.