Changing the River’s Flow – A gender Transformative Programme for Young People (CTRF 4 YP) (2015-2017)

Changing the River’s Flow – A gender Transformative Programme for Young People (CTRF 4 YP) (2015-2017)


Why the Changing the Rivers Flow for Young People (CTRF4YP) project?


Zimbabwe is mainly a patriarchal society in which boys and girls are taught from early childhood to internalize societal messages about how males and females are expected to behave, who makes decisions, and where power dynamics lie. These behaviors contribute to reinforcing unequal gender roles and responsibilities that culminate into high risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. Such norms among young men and boys include early sexual activity, multiple sex partners, gender based violence and sexual dominance that increase vulnerability to contracting and spreading HIV. Despite growing understanding that gender transformation, including shifting gender power dynamics and norms are critical to realizing sexual and reproductive health, very few interventions have attempted to effectively address these norms in a sustainable and large scale fashion


It is against this background that SAfAIDS in partnership with Sonke Gender Justice is implementing a 2 year gender programme that seeks to transform gender roles and promote more gender-equitable relationships between young men and young women to reduce HIV, GBV and promote positive SRHR entitled: Changing the River’s Flow- A gender Transformative Program for Young People (CTRF 4 YP) within, hard to reach areas like farms and mining communities in Zimbabwe.


CTRF4YP Project Goal is to:



The project seeks to advance gender transformative work to reduce HIV, GBV, teen pregnancies and barriers to access to sexual and reproductive health rights among boys and girls (10-24 years) in Zimbabwe by 2017. 


Project Objectives:

The project seeks to achieve the following 5 specific objectives:

  • Strengthened capacity of SAfAIDS staff and its 4 local partners by Sonke on gender norms transformation theory, programme implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Strengthened capacity of 720 young people (10-24years), both female and males, in and out of 24 schools (6 per district) to practice equitable gender norms, practices and attitudes that reduce HIV, GBV and impact positively on the SRH outcomes in Zimbabwe by 2017
  • Strengthened capacity of 300 community leaders (including religious and traditional leaders) and 200 parents to reduce harmful cultural and religious practices that promote inequitable gender norms, risk for HIV and GBV among young people, both females and males, in Zimbabwe by 2017
  • Undertake policy advocacy and provide technical input into national policy review and development processes.
  • Evidence generated, to promote innovation and learning on gender transformation to address HIV, GBV prevention among young people, both females and males, in Zimbabwe by 2017


Target Group and Beneficiaries 


The programme targets adolescent boys and girls (10-14 years) and young people (aged15-24 years). A total of 720 young people will be reached directly with interventions in the four districts namely Chiredzi, Hwange, Nyanga and Seke.  In total 10 000 adolescents and young people in hard to reach areas that include farming and mining will be reached  including young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) and those living with disabilities.  


Secondary target groups include institutions that work with adolescent and young boys and girls in transformative work, the gate keepers and the circle of care of young people: traditional, religious, and political leaders, service providers, government representative, teachers, parents/guardians and care givers, within the programme districts.


5. Geographical Coverage:

The project is being implemented in 4 provinces and 4 districts as follows:




Mashonaland East

Seke district

Matabeleland North

Hwange rural/urban district


Nyanga district


Chiredzi district


How Will CTRF4YP Be Delivered? 

The programme draws from the Sonke’s gender transformative approach and SAfAIDS’ Changing the River’s Flow Models that transform gender relations to promote equality through critical reflections and questioning of institutional practices and broader social norms found in Zimbabwe. The programme is based on the following 5 main pillars:


The Change We Expect Includes:

The project is anticipated to realize the following long-term results:


  • Institutions and organizations integrate and/or undertake gender transformative work that engages both women, girls, men and boys in addressing GBV and HIV, and promoting SRHR in the project communities by 2017
  • Increased gender equality norms, better attitudes and practices demonstrated and self-reported by young people (10-24 years) both boys and girls within project communities by 2017
  • Improved participation and commitment by community leaders and parents in addressing harmful traditional practices & social norms for improved gender equality in project communities by 2017. 
  • Policies and strategies that address SRHR, HIV and GBV needs of young men and boys


SAfAIDS believes that gender transformation does not happen overnight but might take time to see changes in these patriarchal societal norms and rules that are currently perpetuating gender inequalities in Zimbabwe.



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