Becky Otieno’s Story

Becky Otieno is a paralegal and a very dedicated member of Survivors organization. Here is her story.

“I am Becky Otieno, single with two children, a boy and a girl. I have passed through ups and downs of difficulty with my children to an extent of spending a night on a verandah, that’s when I met a friend of mine who picked me and took me to her place. I stayed there for a period of time, where she introduced me to sex work which I did in a span of one month then got my own place.

Valarie who is the friend am talking about used to tell me about an Organization called Survivors which she was in but by then I had no interest. One night my son got sick and I did not have any cash with me. I woke up and decided to go out and look for money. At the entrance to the club, I met a young man of about 27 years of age who told me that he was a track driver, we went to the club and we started negotiating, we got to an agreement of him giving me 1500ksh for the night. We left after some time and went to a guest house called Alfa house where I did my business. Very early in the morning I asked for the money, he dipped his hands into his pockets and brought out 300ksh,I was very surprised and felt like dying because I had left a sick child at home, when I tried to ask him what happened with our agreement, he said to me ‘Do you think I can give you all that amount of money just because I had sex with you?”,I told him it was okay and I pretended to walk away picked the rooms padlock which was just next to where I was standing and quickly locked him up in the room. I didn’t know what to do by that time and, after some 10 minutes I remembered about survivors and it was just opposite where i was, I ran to the office and mate a lady who really showed me hospitality, she made a call, I dint know who she was calling, it was the co coordinator and an advocate that she was calling, we went with the office secretary to the hotel while waiting for the advocate. Finally she {advocate} and the co coordinator arrived plus a young man with them, they really handled the matter very well that surprised me, the man paid the money in full with no compromise.

I came to note that I should take money before doing anything. I had no knowledge about condom use, there is nothing else that scares me like HIV/AIDS in my life though that night I used condom, I didn’t check the expiry date or anything, thanks to survivors that at this moment I can proudly say that no one can challenge me on condom use. On that day I automatically joined survivors.

My family was not aware that I had joined a sex worker group I was very scared, I didn’t want my mother to know about it, because of the stigma I was already getting from my community. Before I was given a brochure by the co coordinator which I kept very far and dint want my mum to see it, one morning by mistake my mother came across it, and she never asked me about it, two days after she had gathered some information from an outsider that really annoyed her. She decided to go to our office they discussed with members who were at the office and she left, she had made a conclusion that I quit the group which I stood and said I will never live survivors for anything. I tried my best to talk to my mother which took a very long period of time for her to accept. The training and workshops that I attend and the training manuals I had at home convinced her and now she even encourages me to go to the office.

Survivors helped me 70% basically in my life together with my family. I have continued to attend meetings seminars, workshops and trainings which I never imagined that I would with my level of education and also as a sex worker. I always sit with teachers, people with degrees and can explain or express my self and answer question they ask me.

One day we were arguing about condom expiry date with a client, he was saying that condoms do not expire! With the knowledge I had about condoms from Survivors as a peer educator, I had to go and buy a pair of condom and show the expiry date written on it. This client did not have knowledge about that, I was very proud of myself that I had taught the client something about condom!

Two months after joining the group I was taking my friends through what I had just learnt in the work shop, I didn’t make it I was very shy and scared because I had no experience in peer education, and never knew that I had to go for a peer education training before that, this came to pass this year in march when I was taken through peer education training and now am very good facilitator in disseminating information about reproductive health and Human Rights after going through a paralegal training! I can hold a meeting with more than 10 peers in my community and open up to them in everything they should know and also help them with the questions they ask. Fear, shyness and the stigma that I once had have varnished.

One day on my way to club Changes I dropped in a hotel called international, I met this man who demanded that I share with him what I had learnt in Survivors, I had no option but to do what he asked for because at the same time I was doing risk assessment. I talked to him about condom demonstration, HIV/AIDS, about how married couples are at high risk of being infected with HIV and STIs since most of them lack knowledge on condom use and they have a perception that condoms are for sex workers! The man was so impressed that he took me to a place called holiday inn, where I was to meet his friends and talk to them of which I did. All that happened because I was trained on leadership and full peer education training for 5 days and this made me strong, confident and courageous to carryout the task

I attended training on documentation and life skills empowerment which was conducted by Mr. Tomato who was sent by Jessica Kilonzo our consultant, and after getting the knowledge on how to set up other business to earn income when sex work is down, I started poultry farming which am hopping to benefit from in December by selling them.

I used to get very upset often before I was taught on behavior change. I was not taught this in a seminar or training but my second mother the (coordinator). She said to me “Becky try and cool down your temper always be humble and focus in everything you do”.

“If I can express myself and share the knowledge that I got from survivors with more than 50 people, then I hope that the benefits yet to come will even lead me to foreign countries and that will happen because of my hard work and as long as I am with the Survivors group!

Am really grateful for Miss Caroline Kemunto the coordinator for her support and also how she cares and gives us support.

Without survivors I don’t know where I would be today, I know that God will help us reach and achieve our goals!!!!!



Sex workers’ rights are just workers’ rights

Sex workers’ rights are workers’ rights and human rights — because sex workers are human beings doing work. That’s why the debate over sex work shouldn’t focus, as it usually does, on whether sex workers are “criminals” or “victims.” Instead, sex workers themselves should have agency and a say in the policies that govern their practices.


Survivors organization busia Community Organizationon facebook

Knowing Your Status And Advocating For Behaviour Change Keeps You At A Better Chance In Helping Our Community And Socierty Impliment And Reduce New Hiv/Aids Infections , Reduction Of Stigma& Discrimination Also Minimising New Hiv Relatade Deaths. Be A Hero By Sharering This Information With our Friends.


The Msm, s monthly P/E meeting is always held at Busia survivor’s office through the collaboration of survivor and APHIAplus western. The peer educators bring their reports and share the challenges they faced in the field during the month.

The 29th of October meeting we had visitors from NASCOP and OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE OF EAST AFRICA, thus we did not have the normal meeting procedure


The visitor from NASCOP introduced herself and shared with us new tools which were introduced in the new project in which reporting will be conduced monthly. Also Msm, s shared their challenges, achievements faced during the month.


Also at our meeting, Msm, s shared their challenges with the team from OSIEA who have been in the office from Monday 27th The visitors introduced themselves and said that they came to our organization so as to build and help on what we have to make our work easy. They have much to share with us until on Friday 31st. October.


Report submission was done as usual where by the entire peer educators submitted their report in which it was rectified by the programs manager who is also the supervisor. The meeting ended with the word of prayer from one of the peer educators

The P/E monthly report submission

The monthly P/E meeting is always held at Busia survivor’s office through the collaboration of survivor and APHIAplus western . The peer educators bring their reports and share the challenges they faced in the field during the month.

The 28 th of October meeting started by a word of prayer from one of the P/E, the minutes were not read because the P/E didn’t have their September monthly meeting because they were having a training ,they went straight to the agendas of the day , we had visitors from NASCOP and OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE OF EAST AFRICA, thus we did not have the normal procedure

The visitor from NASCOP introduced herself and  wanted to know if the P/E report she had left are helping them, some said yes , some said the writing was small and they were promised that it will be enlarged , generally she thanked the ladies for the good work.


The visitors introduced themselves and said that they are here to build and help on what we have to make our work easy  . the challenges were put on hold till Thur because of time , the meeting ended with a word of prayer from one P/E.

Sex workers children forum

It was a very happy day for the sex workers children who gathered at survivor’s office to discuss ways to be good role models in the society.

The inaugural forum was meant to bring together children of sex workers to educate them on how to address the challenges they undergo and also to become good role models, it organized by the Survivor’s organization in collaboration with APHIAplus the facilitators were Bramwell Siku from APHIAplus and Joseph Arango L.V.C.T. It was a new beginning where they learnt new skills on how to become role models in the future community. There were two sessions, morning and afternoon session.

The day began by a self introduction from the children then the facilitators introduced themselves, the facilitators took through life skills and also the challenges that the children of sex workers go through below are some of the challenges the children go though

i)                   Abuse from the community

ii)                 Abuse from fellow children

iii)               Isolation by neighbors

iv)               Church leaders

v)                 Lack of school fees

vi)               Low self esteem


After they shared their challenges, they were told to write what they could like to be in future, majority were for being teachers, some wanted to be doctors, judges, nurses ,pastors, lawyers, police, president, mps, pilots, governors,senetors, ward representatives and also prominent business people.

This was conducted during the first session where by they went for lunch which was organized at the office.

After lunch the young ones were dismissed paving way for counseling session for the older ones who were at the age of puberty. This session helped the organization to know some of the challenges that the adolescent face due to their mothers being sex workers. After the session, they dispersed with a promise from the counselors to do a follow up session with the children.


survivors conduct htc outreach in busia town


On 27/9/ 2014, survivors’ organization conducted HTC services in Busia town at Holiday Inn, in partnership with APHIA PLUS WESTERN KENYA. The aim of the HTC service was to test both the MSMs and FSWs so that they may know their status.

The activity started at 6pm where by the 8 mobilizes went round giving information on the importance of knowing one’s status. We managed to provide services to 113 (female 34 then male 79). We also managed to distribute 353 condoms. Surprisingly the majority of those who came for the test were MSMs; this means that the MSMs are out to know their status which is very good.
Mobilization team did their best to ensure the right and positive information was well facilitated.

.We managed to reach a quite number of people
. Right and clear positive information on correct and consistent condom use was well spread.

Having 10 counselors’ our target was 150 clients in which we were unable to reach .

It started raining early thus lead to low turn up of clients.



The survivors organization have been holding sensitization meeting with the police and sex workers on a quarterly basis to air out the challenges that sex workers face while at work from the police officers .
Before this sensitization meetings , the sex workers could run whenever they saw the police officers even if they were not on the wrong , this always provoked the police officers to chase and arrest them.

The police officers have been arresting sex workers, take them to the police station ,then at night the police officers come and take the sex workers to their rooms, abuse them sexually without paying , then in the morning they return them to the cells. Sometimes when sex workers were arrested , the police officers used to ask for bribes, but due to the sensitization meeting the sex workers now know that they are not supposed to bribe the police ,but they would rather agree to go to court to get justice .

This meetings have helped the sex workers address their challenges with the police and it has resulted in the police working hand in hand with the sex workers .

This meetings with the police have helped the sex workers to know that they have rights and that this rights was being violated by the police officers , the police also came to know that they are not supposed to be arresting sex workers without a proper reason, the police also learnt that the sex workers can help them to arrest criminals because some of this criminals are the clients of sex workers.

This have resulted in the police putting a customer care desk where the sex workers can go and report any violation done to them.

Whenever a sex worker is arrested ,the police calls the organization that one of the members has been arrested ,this makes it easy for the organization to make follow ups even if the member is taken to court so that the fines can be paid.