Making dreams a reality: The DREAMS/Pathways Project

By Tariro Mhute and Vincent Mpamhadzi Looking back Virgina Tshuma (34) from Mambo – Gweru, never imaged that one day she would own a thriving poultry business. With the prevailing economic crisis, making ends meet was only a dream as she and her husband only managed to provide one meal per day for their three children, let alone pay their school fees. Her husband is an artisanal miner and without a steady income – life wasn’t always rosy. This posed great tension in their home, which sometimes led to verbal…

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DREAMS Program Reignites Hope In Rushinga Girls

AT the age of 11, Patience Chikozomba from Mukwatsa village and a primary school pupil at Magaranhewe Primary school in Rushinga  was already thinking of dropping out of school since her parents couldn’t  afford school fees for her and her siblings. Other girls her age or slightly older have already eloped or been married off due to the biting poverty obtaining in the area despite it being a resource rich community. By Michael Gwarisa in Rushinga According to the National Aids Council (NAC), even though there are starting to witness…

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Bridging The ART Access Gap During A Pandemic, CATS Hold The Fort In Zimbabwe

WHEN the COVID-19 was reported in Zimbabwe in 2020, government announced a national lockdown with the view of curbing the spread of the virus and limiting community transmissions. In the process other essential health services were also locked down, leaving People Living with HIV (PLHIV) especially young people living with HIV and on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) at a disadvantage. By Michael Gwarisa recently in Mashonaland East With tight restrictions, fears of young people on ART falling by the wayside were rife as in most cases, young people would shun visiting…

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Reintegrating Young Sex Workers Into Academic and Skills Training

DETERMINED, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS), “that’s exactly how I feel right now as a young sex worker,” said Rosaline a 19 year old sex worker from Sakubva in Mutare. By Michael Gwarisa in Mutare Rosaline is amongst some of the many beneficiaries of the DREAMS initiative which is being implemented by the Family Aids Caring Trust (FACT) through support  from USAID and PEPFAR in three districts in Manicaland province namely Mutare, Makoni and Chipinge. Having been raised by a single mother in a family of four and with her…

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PEPFAR To Invest $2 Billion For Women and Girls Empowerment

THE United States Government (USG) announced that it will invest nearly $2 billion this year to advance gender equality by supporting millions of women and girls through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). “Through PEPFAR, the U.S. government is deeply committed to gender equality,” said Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. “We are putting resources and actions behind our words by investing nearly $2 billion this year to save and improve the lives of millions of women…

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Keeping Girls Safe and in School in Chipinge

In a region characterized by poverty, child marriages, school dropouts and child abuse, adolescent girls are taking action to stay healthy and protect themselves from HIV. By Family AIDS Caring Trust Orphans and Vulnerable Children Team In eastern Zimbabwe, near the border with Mozambique, a school and the surrounding community are dramatically changing attitudes and social norms through the DREAMS initiative, which is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through USAID. There, DREAMS is reaching thousands of parents, caregivers and students and making their dreams come…

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Universities Ignoring Students Health Needs- NAC

By Michael Gwarisa in Kadoma  THE National Aids Council (NAC), has castigated local Universities for  embarking on expansion projects without considering issues of complimentary health care services for students. Zimbabwe has over the years seen a number of Universities expanding their operations into other localities owing to increased demand of tertiary education amongst Zimbabweans. The Midlands State University (MSU) opened a new campus in Zvishavane in 2015 and recently another one in Harare as it aims to take its services to various parts of the country. Addressing Journalists, NAC, DREAMS Director,…

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