Sparked Women project

AIDS is still the leading cause of death for young women. Every year, 390,000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with HIV - more than 1,000 every day. Sparked Women project aims to reduce new HIV infections in women aged 15-24 in Uganda by tackling the high unemployment rates among them.

Two proven business models will be introduced and scaled up in six DREAMS districts in Uganda to create 7700 job opportunities for young women at risk for and living with HIV. Successful micro-entrepreneurs will benefit from sustainable livelihoods and income, savings and self-confidence, enabling them to make safer sexual health choices and access health services when needed. 

Rapid scale up of two business models

The Healthy Entrepreneurs model will enable 747 women to become small business-owners. They will sell essential health commodities and disseminate health information including HIV and prevention, stigma and mother-to-child transmission. Community members benefit from reliable access to quality health promotion, products and services, making it more likely they seek health care when required.

The young business women will be provided with an electronic tablet for educational purposes and to digitally manage their stocks and adequately respond to the needs of the communities.

The Sawa World local solutions model offers 7,000 young women over 30 self-employment opportunities by providing training, practical skills and educational tools.

Motivated young women affected by HIV will be recruited in the communities by local partners National Forum of People Living with HIV/AIDS Networks in Uganda (NAFOPHANU) and International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA).

DREAMS to fast-track the AIDS response

Aidsfonds has successfully applied to the DREAMS Innovation Challenge, a partnership to reduce new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in ten sub-Saharan African countries.

The ten DREAMS countries, including Uganda, account for nearly half of all new HIV infections that occurred among adolescent girls and young women globally in 2014. Regions, districts and provinces with the highest burdens for young women are selected within these countries, including the districts where we will start Sparked Women. The project is contributing to the UNAIDS Fast-Track initiative which calls on all of us to focus our resources on the geographical areas and the populations in greatest need.

Watch the DREAMS Innovation Challenge video, including footage from the kick off events in Kenya and South Africa.