In early 2017 we launched a new program called ASPIRE (After-School Program to Inspire girls to Resume or complete their Education) to establish free After-School Clubs for girls and young women aged 10-24. The program is targeted for those who are at risk of leaving or who have left their education.
The program is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the grant is managed by Jon Snow International (JSI) through the DREAMS Innovation Challenge, which is part of the DREAMS partnership to reduce new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. The education of young women has been referred to as the social vaccine against HIV, in which evidence shows there is a significant reduction in HIV incidence among better-educated girls and young women. has shown that access to and retention in education reduces their risk of contracting HIV.
Through ASPIRE, a cohort of 1,200 girls were selected to attend After-School Clubs in 4 communities within Lusaka: Kalingalinga, Mtendere, Makeni and Matero. The innovative Clubs was to inspire girls and young women to pursue education by creating fun, collaborative learning environments with modern educational innovations including iSchool tablets and Experifun Science tools. The interactive sessions covered topics that supplement the Zambian curriculum and incorporate HIV-education, ICT, self-defense, social discussions, and employment skills training. Each girl was encouraged to attend Clubs once a week during school term. Educational innovations; iSchool tablets and Experifun Science tools. The AGYW were also taught self-defense and how to make reusable sanitary towel using fleece and chitenge materials.