With technical assistance from FCDE, The Purple Ray was awarded a prestigious U.S. Embassy PEPFAR grant in 2020 that will empower at-risk young women and girls to live HIV-free lives. FCDE worked closely with The Purple Ray to navigate complex grant guidelines and craft a compelling, research-backed proposal. FCDE wrote a glowing recommendation letter on behalf of our partner, as did our former Peace Corps Volunteer, Judith Fleming. She stated that The Purple Ray “demonstrated skills in community engagement and youth empowerment and was one of our most active Rukungiri partners”.
The project will reach over 2,500 young women and girls. As a youth development organization, The Purple Ray will use peer educators to introduce adolescent-friendly HIV prevention strategies that integrate music and sports activities. In coordination with other organizations and local leaders, they will also create community dialogues to identify and challenge negative gender norms and harmful practices that increase young women and girls’ vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.