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1,400 girls enrolled in HIV prevention initiative

1,400 girls enrolled in HIV prevention initiative

By Linda Machinga

The United States Embassy together with the office of the First Lady will celebrate the enrolment of 1,400 girls into the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) programme.

DREAMS Namibia is an initiative that empowers adolescent girls and young women to remain HIV-free and to fully achieve their potential.

Communication officer at US Embassy, Jaques du Toit told the Economist that the target population for the DREAMS programme are girls and young women aged 9-24, divided into targeted support for three age groups: 9-14; 15-19 and 20-24.

The US Embassy said that the DREAMS initiative goes beyond the health sector, addressing the structural drivers that directly and indirectly increase girls’ HIV risk, including poverty, gender inequality, sexual violence, and a lack of education.

To date, DREAMS Namibia has received US$10 million and a further US$10 million will be available as of October.

The official celebrations will take place at the Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School in Katutura next week, and will be graced by the U.S. Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson, and Technical Advisor to the Office of the First Lady, Dr. Veronica Theron.

According the Embassy more than 200 secondary school learners are also expected to be in attend, and will be entertained by local dancer Tuli Shityuwete.

Furthermore at the official event the U.S Embassy in Namibia together with its partners, PEPFAR Namibia and the Office of the First Lady will also expand the programme to three regions in the districts of Windhoek, Katima Mulilo, Omuthiya, Onandjokwe, and Tsumeb.

Caption: Local dancer Tuli Shityuwete will perform at the official celebrations of the enrolment of 1,400 girls into the DREAMS programme.

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