“Through DREAMS, I can now stand for myself.”
Vanisha at Noree Fashions
My name is Vanisha. l am aged 21. l joined DREAMS in 2018. I am a survivor of gender-based violence who was physically and emotionally abused by a caregiver. l dropped out of school in 2018 while in Form 5 as my caregiver could not afford to keep me in school. I hoped to continue with my education, but it was all in vain a state of mind which prompted me to engage in risky activities to earn some money to further my Advanced Level studies and to take care of my sibling who was in form 3 by then. Sometimes we would go for piece jobs, fetching firewood and digging but it wasn’t enough for us. At times l would sleep on maputi and sadza with tomatoes and salt, without cooking oil.
With the help of Tafadzwa, a DREAMS Ambassador I was enrolled into the DREAMS program and was referred to Population Services lnternational now Population Solutions for Health for HIV testing services and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis as I was at high risk of contracting HIV. I was further referred for educational assistance at FACT Zimbabwe and psychosocial support offered by Childline Zimbabwe. In 2019 I was retained in school through the DREAMS program, to continue my studies at St Joseph’s High School. During the same year, I sat for my final examinations which I passed with 13 points. The DREAMS program changed my life and restored the lost hope.
After completing my secondary studies in 2019, l then joined Zimbabwe Health Interventions as a volunteer data entry clerk and was then employed as a part-time data entry clerk. In 2021 l was then selected by ZHI to become a DREAMS Ambassador and reach out to other adolescent girls and young women referring them for services and imparting health knowledge to them.
It was during my time as a DREAMS Ambassador I decided to start up a business with an interest in selling clothes. l opened a shop in town called NOREE fashions and to grow my business l am working on my designs.
Today, I continue reaching out to AGYWs as a mentor helping Adolescent Girls and Young Women to realise their full potential and fulfil their dreams as well as referring them for DREAMS services.