U.S. Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission addresses DREAMS Ambassadors at the graduation event

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, November 3, 2020
DCM presenting a certificate to a DREAMS Ambassador

 

Honorable Emma Theofilus, the Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, joining us virtually today.

All DREAMS Girls and stakeholders in attendance.

Good morning!

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome. It is great to be here with you and get the chance to meet all of you, especially the new DREAMS Ambassadors. 

This event marks the graduation of the FIRST group of DREAMS Ambassadors in Namibia, and I am honored to be here on this important and historic occasion.

The role that YOU will play in the lives of adolescent girls and young women in Namibia should not be underestimated. You are the first DREAMS Ambassadors and are here to ensure that the motto “nothing ABOUT us, WITHOUT us” is applied throughout the implementation of the DREAMS program in Namibia.

You have taken on a significant role to support your peers, and to be there for other adolescent girls during times they need it most - as they  make choices about their health and as they navigate the ups and downs of life as a young woman.

As DREAMS Ambassadors, you will help them become more self-confident, guide them to create positive goals for themselves, and teach them about healthy living and HIV prevention options.

DREAMS aims to help adolescent girls  and young women between 10 and 24 years of age become Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women. We are here today because we know what girls and young women can achieve when they have access to education, economic opportunities, support networks and mentorship.

We know that adolescent girls participating in the DREAMS program are supported by a broad combination of activities that reduce their risk of acquiring HIV infection and help them live healthy and empowered lives.

These activities include preventing HIV, preventing their risk for sexual violence, understanding sexual reproductive health, knowing how and where to access post-violence care, as well as increasing their financial literacy and access to employment and entrepreneurship support.

We are celebrating three years of DREAMS in Namibia. The program is so successful that it just expanded from the districts of Katima Mulilo, Omuthiya, Onandjokwe, Tsumeb, and Windhoek to yet another four districts: Andara, Nyangana, Oshakati, and Rundu.  

Moreover, PEPFAR has decided to double its annual DREAMS funding to 20 million US-dollars – which is 325 million Namibia-dollars - for next year.  This will enable us to reach 64,000 girls and young women, three times more than the program had reached by the end of the Fiscal Year 2019.

We want young Namibian women to realize their full potential and make a contribution to their community and to the country.  We want young Namibian women to achieve their dreams!

The DREAMS Ambassadors here today will utilize various platforms to advance this good cause, including through peer interactions and meetings, and radio and social media activities. Every single one of you is key to advising the project on how best to create an environment for successful service delivery.

I believe that through our continued partnership we will not only empower more young women but also prevent and reduce the number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls to create a healthier and brighter future for ALL Namibians.

DREAMS is a key intervention in Namibia’s HIV/AIDS response to reach epidemic control. I am proud to see so many motivated young women as DREAMS Ambassadors here, and I am confident that this program is yet another important milestone on the way to an AIDS-free generation in Namibia.

You the DREAMS Ambassadors, will strengthen your communities and your countries' physical, social and economic health.  You are the future.

Congratulations to you! I commend you for your dedication and willingness to help others improve your communities. We truly look forward to your amazing work. 

Thank you.

 

Last updated: March 19, 2021

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