The Re-Ignite, Innovate, Sustain and Empower (RISE) project aims to reduce HIV risk among adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe using an effective approach from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) called DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe women).
Partnering with Zimbabwe Health Interventions (ZHI), FHI 360 supports RISE in three areas that are key to the DREAMS approach and to HIV risk reduction, including (1) gender, equity, safeguarding and social inclusion (GESSI); (2) economic strengthening; and (3) mentoring.
To address the gender dynamics of HIV prevention and acquisition, FHI 360 is conducting GESSI training for staff members and partners, developing data collection and analysis tools, supporting gender research, and developing a strategy for addressing insights gained from gender research.
In the area of economic strengthening, FHI 360 supports ZHI in connecting adolescent girls, young women and their caregivers to job and entrepreneurial opportunities by conducting market assessments, engaging with the private sector and continuing to develop strategies for economic strengthening.
Finally, to promote adolescent girls’ and young women’s agency, FHI 360 is carrying out the RISE mentoring program. FHI 360 is supporting RISE mentors, which include program staff and community members, to use effective mentoring tools and models in their work of supporting adolescent girls and young women to chart their own paths. The mentoring curriculum currently focuses on HIV prevention, so FHI 360 is working to improve the RISE mentoring program by incorporating content about sexual and reproductive health and life skills into the curriculum.
By addressing GESSI, promoting economic strengthening and delivering effective mentoring, FHI 360 and ZHI are working to reduce adolescent girls’ and young women’s risk of acquiring HIV —and support their determination and resilience.