Implementation of Anyaka Makwiri: A Multicomponent Mentoring Program for Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Uganda
Keywords:adolescent girls, young women, HIV, reproductive health, mentoring, asset-building
This article describes the development and implementation of the Anyaka Makwiri program and summarizes results from the qualitative assessment of participant experiences. Anyaka Makwiri is a multicomponent mentoring program developed for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) ages 15 to 24 in Gulu, Uganda. The comprehensive program consisted of a curriculum covering sexual and reproductive health (SRH), financial capabilities, soft skills, and gender-based violence and gender equality; activities designed to improve participants’ social connectedness; optional onsite testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and pregnancy along with STI treatment; group-based savings; and links to SRH services, including contraceptive and gender-based violence services. The program was implemented over a 6-month period and reached 490 AGYW. Findings are derived from routine program-monitoring data including administrative records, de-identified service statistics, and baseline surveys. In addition, this article summarizes some of the key findings from qualitative interviews with both mentors and AGYW participants, conducted at the conclusion of the program. Participants generally had a favorable view of the mentoring program, particularly in terms of the curriculum topics they were exposed to, and mentors were also positive about their experiences. Despite the program’s many successes there were some implementation challenges, the most prominent being intermittent participant attendance due to a variety of difficulties. The lessons learned from the implementation of Anyaka Makwiri provide valuable insights for the design and implementation of multicomponent mentoring programs for AGYW.
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