DREAMS is an acronym for: Determined, Resilient. Empowered. AIDS-Free. Mentored. Safe. The overall objective of DREAMS is to prevent HIV incidence amongst adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged between 10 to 24 by 40% in 2 years..

The DREAMS Innovative challenge project implemented by OGRA Foundation is funded by PEPFAR and the fund management is by ViiV Healthcare. It is designed to build upon existing evidence-based approaches and infuse additional resources and innovative approaches to better meet the urgent and complex needs of adolescent girls and young women in the DREAMS countries.

The project has two focus areas namely :
  • Focus 1A : Strengthening capacity of communities in service delivery
  • Focus 2: Keeping girls in secondary school.
  • The project’s specific objective is to increase demand for and utilization of HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health services by the Adolescent Girls and Young Women and to increase secondary school access and retention among the school- going adolescent girls within the two sub counties and to increase awareness on Gender-based violence through sensitization and referral for support.

    The project is implemented in Muhoroni Sub County in Kisumu County and in Mbita Sub County in Homa Bay County. It targets identifying a total of 20,000 Adolescent Girls and Young Women of ages 15 to 24 years in the two sub counties and targeting them with various interventions including school fees support to 1000 vulnerable AGYW, conditional cash transfers to 1000 vulnerable AGYW and also with delivery of life skills.

    The project is implemented through a women/girl centered approach using the Binti Balozi (BB) and L2L (Lady to lady) model and targets reaching up to 90 % of the identified adolescent girls and young women in school and the community with HIV testing/ counseling services and link up to 90% of those that test positive to treatment & follow up so as to achieve viral suppression among them. The Binti Balozis are trained on life skills, peer education Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and are also sensitized on Gender Based Violence. They thus become a community resource and identify and reach out to their peers with comprehensive HIV knowledge and facilitate referrals for HIV testing, referral for post GBV and for other Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health services.

    This is in line with Kenya AIDS Strategic Plan. The Plan, 90-90-90 target are aligned to the global targets set by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

    Project rationale

    Adolescent girls and young women (AG YW) are at the center of Kenya’s development agenda. Yet, they face various health risks including HIV which is heightened by lack of education, gender based violence, alcohol/drug abuse and lack of comprehensive knowledge regarding HIV. Investments in the HIV response that have seen HIV prevalence reduce by half over a decade, antiretroviral treatment scaled up to more than 800,000 and age of sexual debut increased from 14 – 16 years in Kenya. However, adolescent girls and young women have not realized the benefits of these investments despite many programmatic and political commitments.

    AIDS remains the leading cause of death and morbidity among adolescents and young people with approximately 29% of all new HIV infections in Kenya are among adolescents and youth. Thirty percent of new HIV infections in adults are among youth below 24 years. Young women aged 15 – 24 years post the highest number of HIV infections and contribute 21% of all new infections in Kenya. The Kenya Constitution articulates and guarantees the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including right to reproductive health service, underscoring the importance of meeting the needs of this highly vulnerable population.AG and YW are among the most vulnerable both in school and the community, but at the same time represent its greatest hopes for a better future. They need to be supported and protected.

    Desired Achievements
  • Increased demand for and utilization of HIV and SRH services by the targeted AGYW aged 15-24.
  • Viral Load suppression among the positive AGYW.
  • Increased number of AGYW with knowledge on HIV prevention leading to reduction in engagement in risky behaviours and increase in adoption of positive sexual behaviour among the targeted AGYW in both school and community.
  • Increased secondary access and retention among the school- going adolescent girls.
  • Increased awareness on Gender-based violence through sensitization and referral for support.