Nokuthula Nyamhanza, a DREAMS SMART Girls participant from Chipinge receiving her certificate in Cosmetology from FACT Zimbabwe DREAMS
SMART Girls Chief of Party, Bertha Mukome.
Chipinge district has for years been on record for having high cases of child marriages with poverty and some cultural practices being mentioned as part of the key drivers, which is a catalyst for the spread of HIV and AIDS.
In a bid sustain the gains of keeping adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) HIV-free, AGYW are encouraged to participate in economic strengthening empowerment programs such as Vocational Skills training through the Siyakha model.
To this effect 209 AGYW were screened and enrolled for Vocational Skills training in various trades including Cosmetology, Motor Mechanics, Welding, Tiling, Brick Layering, Commercial Agriculture, Garment making, and Tourism and Hospitality from different Training Centres in and around Chipinge.
In September 2023 a total of 190 AGYW graduated from Vheneko Vocational Centre, Chipinge College of Horticulture, and Chipinge Vocational Training Centre in September. Eighteen AGYW are earmarked to graduate from Manica Skyview School of Hospitality and Tourism in FY24.
With support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)/USAID, Family AIDS Caring Trust- FACT Zimbabwe is implementing the DREAMS SMART Girls program which is taking an empowerment approach to contribute to a reduction in new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in three high HIV and sexual violence-burdened districts of Chipinge, Makoni, and Mutare.