Nurturing sustainability: From peer to mentor

Apr 15, 2024

Meet Agness Nawa, a youth who walked into the Katondo DREAMS Center in Kabwe as a student seamstress and—with a gleaming smile—walked out as both a mentor and business lady!

Fueled by the desire to acquire a tailoring skill, Agness joined the Kozo Program under the DREAMS ((Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) Initiative, which is supported by the USAID Controlling HIV Epidemic for Key and Underserved Populations (USAID CHEKUP II) Activity.

With the knowledge of tailoring she acquired, Agness now mentors other girls within her community, while running a tailoring business she started after she graduated from the Kozo Initiative as a seamstress.

The Kozo Initiative was designed to address the widespread problem of adolescent girls and young women missing school because they couldn’t afford menstrual hygiene products.

In 2023, the US Department of Defense engaged the Kozo girls to supply 472 MAMA packs—a sanitary kit comprising a carrier bag, 3 reusable pads, 3 reusable diapers, and a tablet of soap. The girls, drawn across four districts, received ZMW 165,943.82 for the order.