Strengthened investment in championing leadership and equity for and by AGYW in all their diversity in the ESA region has the potential to fast-track progress in ending AIDS and improving access to quality sexual and reproductive health and rights services. AGYW leaders are in urgent need of resources and a platform that is led by them to effect change in this regard. DAWA is an indigenous, young women-led network in East and Southern Africa created to make this happen with an initial focus on Kenya and Zimbabwe, with the intention of expanding to Mozambique and Uganda.

The network is a movement founded and led by adolescent girls and young women (for them – by them) to promote the rights and leadership of adolescent girls and young women. It is all part of a process created to provide adequate support AGYW in countries to pursue much-needed advocacy on a myriad of issues including but not limited to the roll-out of PreP, access to youth-friendly services, COPS, Global Fund, method mix contraception as well as HIV prevention tools and methods.

Our Core Agenda

The lived experience of AGYW is critical in shaping desired outcomes, addressing gaps and challenges that currently exist in the HIV and SRHR response.  The ‘missed opportunities’ which we experience at a great cost is the inability to support the investment in AGYW’s enthusiasm, knowledge and skill.

We channel these experiences to change development outcomes through the following interventions:

Good Governance: Through this component DAWA provides technical support for the establishment of governance structures for organisations and networks in line with international good practice. This includes facilitating cross-generational collaboration to ensure that governing bodies have a mix of values and experiences.

Coalition Building: This part of DAWA’s work entails the recruitment of members at national and regional level with support for in-country inception meetings and the development of localised advocacy strategies. It also includes capacity strengthening of adolescent girls and young women leaders to be able to run their organisations and networks effectively.