Participants during the Changing the Rivers Flow training in Masvingo.

Traditional and religious leaders are influencers and play a pivotal role in sustaining the gains achieved in HIV epidemic control. Through PEPFAR/USAID Zimbabwe supported DREAMS SMART girls’ program, FACT Zimbabwe hosted Chiefs and church leaders from Gutu, Chivi and Zaka districts of Masvingo province for the Changing the Rivers Flow training.

Harmful socio-cultural norms remain a challenge in preventing new HIV infections and Gender-Based Violence. With communities at the center of interventions, they can craft lasting solutions. After the training, the traditional leader pledged to end HIV and AIDS in their communities by addressing Gender Based Violence, Child marriages, and teenage pregnancies by ensuring girls and young women of school going age remain and are retained in school.

FACT Zimbabwe in partnership with Bantwana Zimbabwe and Population Solutions for Health is implementing the DREAMS Next Generation (2023-2027) program in Gutu, Chivi, and Zaka districts of Masvingo Province. The program is targeting adolescent girls and young women aged 10-24 with comprehensive HIV prevention and economic strengthening activities.