Life on the brink
Josephine Akinyi Otieno (33) had a tough childhood growing up in poverty. Her parents were unemployed and it was a home with violence. Her main role was to help graze the few cows the family had and fetch firewood. This situation forced her into marriage age 17. "This pressure is bad and exposes a lot of women to HIV/AIDS. I am HIV positive."
Life was hard before the pandemic. Without an education, and as a widowed mother of six children, Josephine would spend her days going around to small farms looking for work, as well as foraging for food. Josephine didn’t think things could get worse, they did.
"When the coronavirus pandemic started, people stopped giving jobs on their farms, so I lost my livelihood. Prices of goods started to rise, along with transport costs. Being able to afford food was very difficult. I struggled to pay school fees. Life was hard to bear."