Juba, South Sudan— The U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Michael J. Adler today presented certificates to seven graduates of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) activity funded through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This program empowers adolescent girls and young women with income-generating skills—and for those selected through a competitive process, a three-month internship at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Juba. This public-private partnership highlights the important role of South Sudan’s private sector in building gender equity and providing life-changing opportunities for young women of diverse backgrounds through professional workforce development.
The USAID Adolescents and Children HIV Incidence Reduction, Empowerment and Virus Elimination (ACHIEVE) project that created this training program is part of the U.S. Government’s contributions to the people of South Sudan under PEPFAR, which marks its 20th anniversary this year. PEPFAR has saved 25 million lives worldwide and achieved a 65 percent reduction in new HIV cases in men and boys aged 15-24 and a 50 percent reduction in new HIV cases among women and girls aged 15-24 since 2010.
This USAID project is focused on preventing HIV infections among women and children in South Sudan. Implemented by Jhpiego—an international, non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University and dedicated to improving the health of women and families—ACHIEVE serves as an umbrella in South Sudan for a complementary PEPFAR initiative—the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS Free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) activity for vulnerable adolescent girls and young women.
ACHIEVE provides comprehensive HIV prevention and case management services for orphans and vulnerable children, adolescent girls, and young women in Juba, and has provided training and services to more than 4,000 adolescent girls and young women so far, including skills training on tailoring, hairdressing, driving a vehicle, and other income-generating activities, including making sandals, fruit juice, and liquid soap. ACHIEVE also helped improve the clinical outcome for orphans and vulnerable children on antiretroviral therapy viral load suppression in Juba, from less than 50 percent when the activity started in April 2020, to about 84 percent at the end of September 2022.
With Radisson Blu Hotel General Manager Dino Urbani, Ambassador Adler presented graduation certificates to seven young women who completed their three-month internship at Radisson Blu Hotel in front desk management, catering, housekeeping, and engineering/plumbing. “May you all have futures of success and happiness,” Ambassador Adler told the young women during a ceremony at Nakasongola Christ Church in Juba. “May South Sudan have a happy future of peace and prosperity.”