Bantwana DREAMS Programming

The Bantwana Initiative is currently implementing DREAMS Innovation Challenge funds in Mozambique, Swaziland, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The DREAMS Innovation Challenge (DREAMS-IC) is a joint initiative between PEPFAR, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences, and Viiv Healthcare with the goal of helping adolescent girls and young women become Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe Women.

As recipient of DREAMS-IC funds, Bantwana incorporates DREAMS objectives with existing programming for orphans and vulnerable children. Bantwana will focus on strengthening comprehensive services to reduce the risk of HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women in these four DREAMS-IC priority countries.

Uganda

In Uganda, Bantwana provides adolescent girls and young women an array of life skills (HIV prevention, adolescent reproductive and sexual health, child protection) and economic strengthening interventions. Bantwana’s DREAMS interventions will help adolescent girls protect themselves from HIV and abuse while offering career guidance and building their financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills. Bantwana will:

  • Implement parenting groups for caregivers and teens to strengthen intergenerational communication to help participants discuss sensitive topics like reproductive health and HIV prevention
  • Use parasocial workers who are trained in community case management to help link girls and caregivers to critical services along the HIV continuum as well as other important socio-economic services
  • Encourage caregivers and girls to enroll in financial savings groups to build household resiliency to crisis

Mozambique

In Mozambique, the DREAMS program will target more than 158,850 adolescent girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 24 in three provinces, including girls who are in- and out-of-school, pregnant, and or postpartum and breastfeeding. Key interventions include sexual and reproductive health radio listening programs, school and community girls’ clubs, and sporting events with on-site gender-based violence (GBV) prevention outreach services and HIV service providers. Bantwana will:

  • Encourage caregivers to participate in financial savings groups to increase economic resilience and help keep girls in school
  • Establish parenting groups to help participants overcome barriers around sexuality and sexual health risk conversations with their children
  • Launch a case management referral system to help the most vulnerable girls and their families through home visits and will strengthen coordinated service providers

Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, the Bantwana DREAMS project is offering 3,000 young women a comprehensive package of services to improve their health and well-being. Among the many efforts, Bantwana will:

  • Establish  internal savings and lending (ISAL) clubs to build members’ financial skills
  • Provide entrepreneurial skills training to help participants start small businesses
  • Link work readiness model with internships in private and public sector companies to prepare girls for employment
  • Train all girls with a GBV prevention curriculum that emphasizes adolescent sexual reproductive health education and HIV prevention

Swaziland

In Swaziland, Bantwana supports DREAMS programming as a sub-grantee to PACT, reaching 2,550 girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 24 with life skills and health education services in the Lubombo region. Key DREAMS platforms for Swaziland include:

  • Volunteer-run clubs for in-and-out of school adolescent girls
  • Health clubs attached to local clinics for HIV-positive adolescent boys and girls
  • Referrals for testing, treatment, and support for HIV-positive adolescents
  • Tracking treatment and adherence for HIV-positive adolescents
  • School grants to cover school fees for at-risk girls