Pilot ProGRAM: DreamBig! Camp

Required Investment: $50,000

Project Goals: The DreamBig! Camp is an 8-day residential camp that aims to equip, encourage, and inspire young women affected by HIV to pursue their dreams and aspirations, own their future by making educated, empowered choices.  The residential portion of the program will be followed by a 10-week follow-up program that meets weekly to reinforce lessons learned at camp and continue community building among the camper cohort.

Duration of Project:  1 Year (8-day residential camp held every quarter)

Target Population Group:  Girls and young women between the ages of 18 and 24 will be recruited from township communities surrounding Johannesburg (Gauteng Province). Almost a quarter of all new HIV infections occur amongst young women aged 15 – 24. [6] In 2016, Gauteng Province had the lowest HIV testing coverage in South Africa (32%) [17].

Project Location: Magaliesburg – Gauteng Province

Drivers of HIV infection Target Population Group: Preventing HIV infection in children and youth is one of the key goals of Camp Sizanani and Youth Clubs.  In the target population reached by this project, five key drivers of HIV infection have been identified:

(1) being forced into sex;

(2) the low status of women and gender-based violence;

(3) having sex in exchange for financial and other material support (driven by poverty);

(4) intergenerational relationships - between older men and younger women; and

(5) inaccurate knowledge about HIV/AIDS [3] [4].

Project Impact (projection):  100 young women

Project Description:  In an effort to strengthen its impact in target communities, Global Camps Africa plans to pilot the DreamBig! Camp for young women who are at high risk of being infected by HIV. Young women are specifically targeted because by making educated and empowered choices, they have the power to impact future generations and break the dysfunctional cycle of poverty, HIV-infection, and broken family units (due to parents dying of HIV/AIDS) in their communities.

The DreamBig! Camp will include seminars and activities focused on leadership, reproductive health and family planning, healthy decision-making, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, and women’s rights. In addition to these core units, the young women will participate in facilitated discussions on the challenges they face in their communities as a result of discrimination, abuse, and unfair gender norms. The DreamBig! Camp will utilize material from the existing Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship Program, Imbokodo Program, and Life Skills curricula for their seminars and activities.  

Following the 8-day residential camp experience, each cohort of young women will participate in a 10-week follow-on program that follows Global Camps Africa’s successful “club” model.  Learning from camp will be reinforced, access to supportive services will be available, and the community of empowered women will be strengthened. At the conclusion of the full program, the young women who participate will demonstrate:

  • Increased knowledge of family planning and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV)

  • Increased ability to engage in the formal financial sector, including making good consumer choices, developing household budget, and opening a bank account

  • Understanding of basic principles of entrepreneurship, including the development of a business plan

  • Increased effectiveness at Curriculum Vitae writing, job interviewing, and negotiation

  • Increased understanding of healthy relationships and ability to identify dangerous, illegal, or unsafe situations

To pilot the DreamBig! Camp and 10-week follow-on program, an investment of $50,000 is required. With this investment, 100 young women will be empowered by participating in the full DreamBig! Experience (2 cohorts of 50), and a comprehensive evaluation of the program will be completed and published.