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Lesotho launches DREAMS campaign

U.S. ambassador to Lesotho Rebecca Gonzales

Nov. 30, 2020 2 min read

2 min read

IN A bid to protect adolescent girls and young women from new HIV infections, the United States ambassador to Lesotho Rebecca Gonzales has joined the First Lady ’Masekoala Majoro and the Minister of Health Motlatsi Maqelepo to officially launch the “DREAMS, For Girls Like Us” campaign.

The new, unified campaign on Friday so re-launched the DREAMS Lesotho programme to the public.

The DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentor, and Safe) partnership was initiated in Lesotho in 2015 and works across 10 Sub-Saharan African countries to reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women.

With PEPFAR support, this programme seeks to combat HIV/AIDS by protecting, empowering and investing in young women.

In 2020, the United States increased its investment in the DREAMS Lesotho programme from $10 million to $14 million.

This additional funding has allowed the programme to expand its work across four districts including Maseru, Berea, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek.

It also increases services to adolescent girls and young women, a particular vulnerable segment of the Basotho programme.

In her address, Ms Gonzales highlighted her strong belief in the DREAMS mission and encouraged all Basotho girls and young women to participate in the life-changing programme.

She also thanked the programme’s four implementing partners – Baylor Lesotho and its consortium Karabo Ea Bophelo, Jhpiego and Population Services International and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation for their strong collaboration and comprehensive support to the adolescent girls and young women enrolled in the DREAMS Lesotho programme.

The ambassador pledged to work directly with the First Lady and Mr Maqelepo to empower newly selected DREAM ambassadors to ensure that the programme continues to support the resilience of adolescent girls and young women across the country.

For her part, Mrs Majoro said the programme has already transformed the lives of many Basotho girls and young women for the better over the past years.

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She said her office is unapologetic in fighting inequality of all types, adding that she stands, speaks for and supports those who are vulnerable, disadvantaged or at risk in any way for reasons that are beyond what they can change.

Mr Maqelepo said through PEPFAR, the U.S has helped Lesotho to combat HIV/AIDS since 2007, and that relationship continues to grow and change the lives of Basotho.

He said their partners have worked in very challenging areas to find young girls and women in vulnerable and risky situations.   

The programme has also recruited 38 adolescent girls and young women who previously completed the DREAMS programme to return as full-time DREAMS Ambassadors.        

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