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Projects in Eswatini

Youth in Development

Secondary school students under the YDEEP project

Youth Development Engagement & Empowerment Project (Y-DEEP)

The Youth Development Engagement & Empowerment Program (Y-DEEP) goal is to aid youth to effectively transition to becoming healthy, productive, and community engaged adults. Volunteers help increase the knowledge and skills of the youth to use life skills to address HIV mitigation and sexual and reproductive health, for livelihood preparedness for the workforce and be civically engaged in non-political activities that benefit their community. They also support youth service providers in the provision of youth friendly environments.

Eswatini youth form more than half of the country’s total population. To harness the capacity of youth, the country has stated an urgent need for investments into youth’s health, education, employment, and leadership, especially youth in the rural communities. The YDEEP project partner is the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and Y-DEEP Volunteers are strategically placed in rural communities that have secondary and high schools to work with youth aged 9-24 years old.

They work to facilitate the Ministry of Education Life Skills curriculum in schools and work with community counterparts to promote HIV prevention among in and out of school youth, Orphaned and Vulnerable children (OVC’s), young men and boys, adolescent girls and young women utilizing evidence based, innovative and comprehensive programming and mentoring. Whilst working on workforce readiness, they also incorporate basic business skills to implement income generating activities (IGAs) to ensure that no one is left behind.


A youth group under the CHAMP project

Community HIV/AIDS Mitigation Project (CHAMP)

The Community HIV/AIDS Mitigation Project (CHAMP) goal is to promote an AIDS-Free Generation through comprehensive HIV prevention and mitigation amongst youth, aged 9-24, especially orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) and out-of-school youth outside the school setting. CHAMP reaches the most vulnerable youth groups through the direct provision of health promotion, education and referral services.

Peace Corps Volunteers are be based in rural communities, partnering with health facilities, Ka Gogo Centers  and community based workers to promote HIV prevention and mitigation amongst out-of-school youth, young men and boys, AGYW and OVCs. Utilizing evidence-based, innovative and comprehensive programming, Volunteers promote HIV prevention and life skills messages that empower youth to take command of their own health, and build resiliency to pursue educational opportunities and employment.

In addition, Volunteers also work with health service providers in health facilities to improve the supply chain processes to deliver and manage commodities. Within these facilities, Volunteers also establish or strengthen existing support groups and teen clubs for youth living with HIV and AIDS in order to promote their care, treatment, and overall wellbeing. They also work with health service providers to promote an enabling environment for youth through the establishment of youth-friendly spaces.

President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Peace Corps works collaboratively with communities to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Eswatini and aid the country in reaching PEPFAR’s targets related to people living with HIV will knowing their HIV status, people diagnosed with HIV receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy, and people receiving antiretroviral therapy achieving viral suppression.

Volunteers provide HIV-prevention services for youth aged 9-24. Activities include providing age-appropriate HIV-education and psychosocial support messages through life skills and youth empowerment messaging. Volunteer work with both in and out of school through Camps, Clubs & Safe Spaces (for example, through g and boy’s clubs and Grassroot Soccer Clubs, and after school and community peer groups). Volunteers also support healthy decisions and work to create enabling communities for youth and young adults.

In addition, Volunteers also refer youth/young adults to facilities and PEPFAR partners for testing, voluntary circumcision, and prevention of Mother to Child Transmission and other services. Volunteers also partner with health facilities to establish or strengthen existing adherence support groups for youth living with HIV and AIDS to promote adherence and overall wellbeing. CHAMP Volunteers and their health facility counterparts also help improve inventory management and logistics management for essential goods and medicines related to HIV.