In 2017 HT won an Innovation Grant from the PEPFAR DREAMS Challenge, an ambitious $385 million partnership to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women (who account for 74% of new HIV infections among adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa).
Exposed to the ‘Corridor,’ a red-light district along the busy trade route used by truckers hauling goods into Southern Africa, local girls’ structural barriers of: high school dropout rates, early marriage, premature pregnancy and gender violence place them at high risk of HIV infection.
The Design Challenge
Girls in safe spaces programs have access to skills and knowledge but lack the real-life simulated practice settings where girls can make difficult yet real choices. Failure is an important part of learning but teenagers in Beira City lack the safety nets necessary to mitigate the consequences of bad decisions.
By drawing upon role playing games like ‘D&D’ and ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ game books HT worked with a game designer to co-create highly engaging interactive experiences.
Early data reveals that the girls in Girl Move Safe Spaces program in Beira who are engaged with the games are better able to take risks and learn from their mistakes in a safe, simulated environment and employ the life and decision-making skills they had learned in challenging real life situations.