DREAMS Initiative Project in Western Kenya
(2015 – 2019)
In 2015, adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) accounted for 74 percent of new HIV infections among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, with nearly 1,000 AGYW being infected daily. Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe accounted for half of all the new HIV infections that occurred among AGYW globally. That’s why these countries were selected for PEPFAR’s DREAMS Initiative — an ambitious partnership that aims to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in target countries by finding multiple solutions to a single, potentially devastating problem.
The goal of DREAMS is to help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women.
AIHA implemented a DREAMS Initiative project in Homa Bay, Migori, and Siaya counties in Western Kenya since 2015. With HIV prevalence rates as high as 26 percent, these are three of the highest HIV burden counties in the country.
AIHA delivered a multi-layered evidence-based package of services to adolescent girls and young women aged 10-24 in 21 wards in Siaya County and aged 10-17 in 6 wards in Migori County.
The holistic, comprehensive DREAMS services we provided were: Community Mobilization & Norm Change; Family Strengthening; School-based Interventions; Social Asset Building; Parenting & Caregiver Programming; and Socioeconomic Support & Protection.
One of the interventions, Social Asset Building, was implemented by trained mentors who worked with groups of up to 30 adolescent girls. Mentors met with girls once a week in a Safe Space, such as a school or community center. There, they were free to talk about health, peer pressure, economic hardships, and other challenges identified by the girls themselves. .
Here’s just some of what we’ve accomplished through September 2019
- 68,000+ Girls reached through Social Asset Building activities
- 39,700+ Girls received HIV counseling & testing
- 56,000+ Community members trained in gender norms through the SASA! Intervention
- 19,900+ Parents & caregivers trained in Families Matter!
- 26,100+ Girls received education subsidies and support
- 1,600+ Girls referred to follow up care for gender-based and/or sexual violence
- 19,500+ Girls received financial capability training
- 27,800+ Girls in target communities participated in HIV and GBV prevention interventions – 9,400+ boys participated as well!
Through DREAMS, AIHA delivered a package of evidence-informed interventions that target the most vulnerable adolescent girls and young women to ensure they could become determined, resilient, empowered, AIDS-free, mentored safe women.
Click here to read an overview of our DREAMS project in Kenya, including profiles of two mentors and the girls they work with.