Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in Zimbabwe are disproportionately affected by HIV due to socio-economic vulnerability, poor access of sexual and reproductive health services, harmful traditional practices, sexual and gender-based violence among other factors.
It is against this background that DAPP Zimbabwe through its HOPE Bindura project is implementing the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, Aids-Free, Mentored And Safe Adolescent Girls And Young Women (AGYW) Program targeting 25 girls aged 9-24 years from Bindura Rural District. The program seeks to empower the AGYW and young women with HIV and sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) information and services to reduce the number of new HIV infections.
Through the establishment of an Adolescent SRHR club at Wayerera Secondary School the program allows girls get correct and accurate information around sexual and reproductive health, life skills and economic-strengthening issues. Armed with knowledge and skills the girls are able to seek out health services and combination HIV prevention options. The girls are also provide with sanitary wear to allow them to remain in school
Economic empowerment is also a pillar of the program where mentors empower girls through trainings in financial literacy, Internal Savings and Lending (ISALs) and small business management with support from various stakeholders such as the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Small and Medium Enterprises and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
The program also aims to break the barriers to communication between adolescent girls and parents by engaging them to encourage primary sexual health lessons and increase awareness against child sexual abuse and harmful gender norms.
The program is made possible with the financial support from UFF HUMANA