PEPFAR and DREAMS Partners Announce Winners of the $85 Million DREAMS Innovation Challenge
Today, the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (Janssen), one of the Janssen pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson; and ViiV Healthcare announced a combined $85 million investment to support 56 DREAMS Innovation Challenge winners* in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. Of this investment, $40 million is focused on keeping girls in secondary school, which dramatically reduces their vulnerability to HIV infection, and nearly half of these education-focused resources are directed to Malawi.
A recent case study in Botswana compared the benefits of one additional year of education for young women. For girls with ten years of education instead of nine, the risk for HIV infection was cut nearly in half. This is a potential game changer, particularly as girls and young women account for 75 percent of new HIV infections among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.
The winners selected will implement innovative solutions in DREAMS districts, across all DREAMS countries and Challenge focus areas. The top three implementation countries – South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda – account for 64 percent of the winners. Of the winners, 18 percent will provide a bridge to employment for adolescent girls and young women; 23 percent will strengthen capacity of local organizations to deliver services; and 9 percent will apply data to increase the impact of HIV/AIDS interventions.
The Challenge generated ideas from many new and local community-based partners. As a result, 48 percent of the winners have never previously received PEPFAR funding, and 64 percent of winners are small, local community-based organizations.
“With today’s investment, thousands more adolescent girls and young women will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams,” said Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. “Adolescent girls and young women deserve nothing less, and we are committed to walk with them at every step along the road to an AIDS-free generation.”
“Young women and adolescent girls represent the largest population of those affected by new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “We need the best ideas and innovation from all around the world to solve HIV’s spread, and we are pleased that these new DREAMS award programs will help empower women and girls and reduce the burden of HIV.”
“When you know that close to 60 percent of new HIV infections, globally, occur in adolescent girls, it is an obvious decision for us to invest in supporting education and empowerment for girls,” said Dr. Dominique Limet, Chief Executive Officer at ViiV Healthcare. “As with any of our initiatives, it is crucial to work with partners to develop systemic solutions. We are proud to be involved with the DREAMS Innovation Challenge, to support this new important work delivered through community-based projects.”
The $385 million DREAMS public-private partnership , led by PEPFAR and with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences, and ViiV Healthcare, is supporting adolescent girls and young women to become Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe.
The DREAMS Innovation Challenge will accelerate progress toward the DREAMS target of achieving a 40 percent reduction in new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in the highest-burden areas of 10 sub-Saharan African countries by the end of 2017.
The DREAMS Innovation Challenge winners* include the following:
1. Afya Mzuri
2. American University
3. Amref Health
4. Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team
5. Badilika Foundation
6. Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme
7. Brick and Brick Uganda
8. Camfed Malawi
9. Cecily Eastwood Zambian AIDS Orphans Appeal
11. College of William and Mary
12. Community Media Trust Kenya
13. Community Media Trust South Africa
14. Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust
15. Family Health International
16. Femina HIP Ltd.
17. Future of the African Daughter Project
18. Girl MOVE Foundation
19. Greenfield Management Solutions
21. Hope for Victoria Children
22. HOPE Worldwide Zambia
23. ICS Africa
25. International Development Law Organization
26. Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV/AIDS
27. Latkings Outreach Program
28. Lubuto Library Project, Inc.
29. University of the Witwatersrand
30. Mercy Corps
31. Mirembe Project
32. Nyanza Initiative for Girls' Education and Empowerment
34. Ogra Foundation
35. Peer ProjectSupport
36. Population Council, Inc.
37. Premise Data Corporation
38. Rede Contra Abuso de Menores
39. Save the Children Federation, Inc.
40. Sesotho Media & Development
41. SisterLove, Inc.
42. Stitchng AIDS Fonds- STOP AIDS NOW!
43. Students And Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team
45. The African Centre for Women, Information & Communications Technology
46. Touch Roots Africa
48. University of Washington
49. Ushahidi Inc.
51. VOTO Mobile
52. Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre
53. Wizarts Foundation
54. World Education, Inc./ Bantwana Initiative
55. World Vision, Inc.
56. Youth Advocates
* Currently, the organizations selected are considered provisional winners until further notice.