20 AGYW graduates at Beitbridge Red Cross Society

Sithokozile Majola 
Two Nations Reporter 

BEITBRIDGE-At least 20 Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) graduated from the Red Cross Society in Beitbridge on March 31, 2023, after completing their 19 weeks-long nurse aide programme. 
The graduation ceremony was held at the Red Cross Kiosk. The students were trained for seven weeks and an additional three months of work-related learning at various health institutions to ensure adequate training expected of a nurse aide profession both locally and globally. 
The nurse aide training program constitutes both theory and practical. It is supported by the Zimbabwe Health Intervention (ZHI) and sponsored by USAID-funded Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe Program (DREAMS).
Graduates obtained knowledge on financial literacy, first aid and HIV prevention. 
The guest of honour, Beitbridge District Nursing Officer (DNO) Monica Mbawa, congratulated the graduates for completing the course. 
” I want to congratulate all the graduates for completing their nurse aide course. They are supporting us in preventing new HIV infections amongst adolescents,” said Mbawa. 
The COVID-19 pandemic put pressure on the health sector and left the world needing qualified nurse aides to work in either health institutions or home-based nursing. 
AGYW is the brainchild of the DREAMS. It focuses on girls and young women aged between 10-24 years. It has equipped youths with vocational skills training, technical skills and work readiness.
“The trained members are now able to confidently assess their surroundings when disaster strikes and the knowledge of first aid promotes a sense of safety and well-being amongst people”, said the Red Cross Communications and Corporate Affairs Manager Kim Stambuli.

The DREAMS RISE project also assists less privileged children by paying school fees to reduce the number of school dropouts. 
DREAMS-RISE project also partnered with various institutions and organizations within the district, namely the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Youth and Zimbabwe Red Cross Society and is also considering partnering with Matabeleland South National AIDS Council.

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