The project seeks to address the link between child marriage (teen pregnancy/motherhood) and school drop-out as a key factor limiting education completion rates for adolescent girls through the provision of comprehensive education, economic and social empowerment services layered with referrals to clinical HIV-related services for AGYW. The project will implement a holistic package of individual and community-based interventions that work to prevent child marriage and provide economic support.
Shamva district, the proposed project area is in Mashonaland Central province with the highest adolescents' fertility rate at 28% and the highest reported cases of child marriage. Shamva is characterized by mining and farming activities and a high number of resettlement areas such that school going children have to travel long distances to school forcing girls to drop out of school hence early marriages and sex work. There exist strong religious and cultural beliefs that promote child marriage.
The project equips adolescent girls and young women with an integrated package of life skills (HIV prevention,adolescent reproductive and sexual health, and child protection) and economic strengthening interventions. Through Girls Clubs, interventions will build the social assets and agency of adolescent girls so that they can protect themselves from HIV and abuse while building their financial literacy, entrepreneurship skills, enrol in saving groups and market linked career guidance skills.
1. Increased participation by girls at risk of child marriage in decisions that affect them, including regarding marriage. 2. Decreased adolescent fertility rates 3. Reduced new HIV incidences among AGYWs 4. Increased access and use services and supports of all kinds (health, education, economic and legal) by married girls 6. Community, traditional and religious leaders take greater action to end child marriage