Umwini: Asset Development Program for Young Women Living with HIV in Zambia
Coupled with gender inequity, poverty and income inequality remain key drivers of the HIV epidemic in Zambia. Women and young girls are at higher risk of living in poverty than men and have more limited livelihood and employment opportunities. Consequently, this lack of financial security drives women to partake in activities that increase their risk of HIV acquisition and/or transmission such as: age-disparate relationships, transactional sex, and having multiple, concurrent partners.
To address lack of training and limited income-generating opportunities for young women, GSDI’s efforts for this project aim to test an employability and asset development program for young women living with HIV. The intervention leverages existing partnerships among organizations that work with youth and people living with HIV in Zambia, and will evaluate its impact on economic, financial, health and HIV treatment outcomes.
The project comprises of technical and life skills training, stipend, mentoring and workplace internship, and access to a savings product. The primary outcome to be examined is HIV treatment — including retention, adherence, and viral suppression, — as well as employment, financial, and psychosocial outcomes. If evidence supports effectiveness, GSDI aims to adapt and scale up the approach to similar settings in sub-Saharan Africa and other resource-limited regions.
To learn more about this initiative, download the project brief.