WEI/Bantwana and local affiliate Bantwana Zimbabwe are implementing the social protection component of the CDC DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) project in the Matabeleland North region.
With PEPFAR support through Zim-TTECH, and as part of the Zimbabwe Partnership to Accelerate AIDS Control (ZimPAAC) led by I-TECH, Bantwana works in four priority districts to reach 18,612 vulnerable adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) and their caregivers with comprehensive DREAMS programming.
While delivering key evidence-based curricula under the DREAMS primary package, Bantwana works from the ground up in communities. We build capacity to ensure that the most vulnerable young women are empowered with the social and economic assets to stay in school, safe from violence and HIV, delay pregnancy and marriage, and to earn sustainable livelihoods. Our core interventions comprise:
- The Health4Life social asset building package, which includes HIV prevention, GBV prevention, condom education/promotion, and basic financial literacy, layered with household economic strengthening and positive parenting interventions.
- Activities and services that target girls aged 9 – 14 years including sexual violence prevention; education subsidies to ensure that they transition to secondary school; non-formal education for girls who are out of school; positive parenting and savings groups for caregivers; and community gender norms change.
- Bantwana’s own Siyakha Girls Model, which builds the economic assets of young women and helps AGYW have a bridge from secondary school to employment
Community cadres and teachers play key roles in identifying and reaching the most at-risk AGYW at school and in community safe spaces. Community-based trainers support caregiver savings groups and local activists lead dialogues to shift harmful social norms around GBV (using the PEPFAR-approved SASA! materials). Bantwana also collaborates with DREAMS clinical partners and other ZimPAAC consortium partners (Zim-TECH, Africaid, and Pangaea Zimbabwe AIDS Trust) to ensure that DREAMS is reaching and linking highly vulnerable AGYW to age-appropriate and girl-friendly services for HIV prevention, care, and treatment, GBV, and sexual and reproductive health.