Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe women

One of the best embodiments of integrated programming addressing the nexus of violence and health is the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) Initiative administered by the U.S. Department of State and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). World Vision implements DREAMS programming in four countries (Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, and Swaziland) and is a proud winner of the DREAMS Innovation Challenge for its Strengthening School Community Accountability for Girls Education (SAGE) project in Uganda, which is featured on this page.

Our baseline survey with 45,000 adolescent girls in Uganda sadly revealed that 70% had experienced school-related sexual and gender-based violence within the previous six months. SAGE aims to reduce secondary school dropout among these girls (targeting those 13-19 years), in 151 schools in 10 districts. The project uses a two-pronged strategy of an Early Warning System (EWS) and Stay in School Committees (SISC) to transform social norms and practices, reduce risks of early marriage, pregnancy, gender-based violence, and HIV infection, and support girls to stay in school.