Investing in Teenage Girls: Stories of Girls Overcoming Challenges in Zimbabwe

No. of pages: 36

Publication date: July 2016

Author: UNFPA Zimbabwe

Publisher: UNFPA Zimbabwe

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This booklet contains real stories of change from teeange girls in Zimbabwe who have been assisted in various ways through UNFPA's Sista2Sista Clubs, a unique girl's empowerment programme launched in September 2013, designed to create safe spaces for mentoring vulnerable adolescent girls, a space where they can speak with mentors and each other about their problems and receive information, counselling and support. 
 
Female mentors manage the clubs targeting girls vulnerable to negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes. The mentor actively seeks for vulnerable girls in the community using a door to door approach. A risk assessment tool helps to determine girls at high risk in five areas namely self-awareness, education, social relationships, sexual knowledge and financial awareness. 
 
The girls go through a 40 session program covering these themes such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, financial literacy, and how to navigate difficult social situations, including coercive relationships, with the goal of increasing their personal agency to make good reproductive health choices and act on them. The programme also aims to give girls the confidence and self-esteem to stand up for themselves.
 
The programme is implemented in 26 districts with five mentors per district. Each mentor recruits two groups of 25 vulnerable girls over the course of a year, typically with one group of younger girls in-school and older girls out-of-school. Outcomes tracked by the programme are pregnancy incidence, school drop-out and re-entry, contraceptive uptake and sexual abuse.
 
Between September 2013 and December 2015, 12,941 girls were recruited into the Sista2Sista clubs under UNFPA’s Integrated Support Programme, supported by the Governments of Britain, Ireland and Sweden. The Sista2Sista Club programme will continue from 2016 under the newly established Health Development Fund.