Stepping stones

This is a 14-week curriculum which engages the Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in norms and behavior change education. This approach consists of 14 weekly sessions addressing different topics as highlighted below:

A: Let’s communicate

B: How we act

C: Sex and love

AGYW inter-group meeting1

D: Conception and contraception


F: Saver sex and caring in time of AIDS

G: Gender violence

Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) inter-group Meeting 2

H: Lets support our selves

I: Lets assert ourselves

J: Let’s look deeper

Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) inter-group Meeting 3

These sessions are led by peer facilitators and each session lasts for about 3 hours

 Identification of the girls for Stepping stones

Community VHTs and Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) peers identified through the asset mapping exercise used to identify target girls from the communities. Some of the girls are obtained through antenatal care and post-natal clinics. Identified girls will be asked to identify their peers through a snowball approach.

 Activities for Stepping stones

Upon enrollment, groups of 20-25 girls are formed at village level based on DREAMS sub-population. Each group of girls is asked to select a convenient meeting place in their village for meetings. The Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) are then asked to choose a peer leader amongst them who is trained as a facilitator. Peer facilitator must be:

  • Willing to be present throughout the implementation period
  • Ready to challenge one’s own sexist attitudes and values
  • Able to talk at ease about sex and sexuality
  • Able to listen and show empathy and awaken empathy in others
  • Able to see others as equals, not domineering
  • Open-minded, not prone to pre-conceptions
  • Prepared to explore one’s own attitudes and beliefs and to change own behavior, Motivation and interest
  • Having good communication and facilitation skills- able to lead community discussions
  • Having basic knowledge in HIV/AIDS issues
  • Able to read, speak English Fluently and the local language

Community quality (QI) improvement teams

Community QI teams are formed at every sub-county. These should have a maximum of about 10 people including the peer leaders and important stakeholders in the community. QI teams are responsible for finding solutions to challenges faced by girls (as identified in their weekly AGYW meetings). The teams cyclically plan, implement, and assess the effect of proposed solutions. If proposed solutions do not address gaps, the team re-plans for new strategies. QI teams meet on a monthly basis.

Monthly inter-group peer meetings for stepping stones

Monthly inter-group sharing meetings of all peers engaged in stepping stones are organized at every sub-county. These are learning and sharing workshops where the peers get to learn from each other and share lessons in the implementation of community projects for the successful implementation of the DREAMS program.

 Tracking and retention

The facilitators track attendance during the weekly meetings and follow up all those who missed sessions. Supervisors routinely visit community meeting sites to support the peer leaders, review tracking tools and obtain summary progress data of progress. Supervisors also check to ensure that gaps identified in the weekly peer meetings are addressed by the QI teams.