American Foundation for Children with AIDS

The mission of the American Foundation for Children with AIDS is to improve the lives of children and youth struggling with the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We provide cost effective relief, services, medical and social support, education and advocacy to help these victims achieve their full life potential.
May 29, 2013

Some Guinea Fowls for Nyaradzo

Nyaradzo
Nyaradzo

While guinea fowl is not a bird we usually have on our daily tables for dinner, it will be a delicious meal to 30 orphan families, thanks to your generosity.  These families, headed by adolescents who were left to care for younger siblings when their parents died, were each given 4 hens and one male guinea fowl, along with training on how to care for their animals and the know-how to detect illness before it causes death to their livestock. 

Nyaradzo was given her starter flock and she couldn't be more thrilled.  She never dreamed of becoming a business woman, but with the proper training and the gift of her flock, she is well on her way.  Now, with support from the ZOE team in Zimbabwe, she and many other heads of households have the ability to become owners of large flocks, providing protein and funds for their families.  During the first year of the project, these families may eat eggs, but they cannot eat the birds themselves.  So, they learn to budget their eggs - some for eating and some for growing chicks.  As their flock grows and time goes by, they will be able to eat, sell and barter their birds, but only once they have an established flock that can sustain the removal of birds from time to time.

You, through your participation in this project, have given Nyaradzo and her siblings a gift no one else has ever given her - the ability of fending for herself.  She and her siblings will soon be able to return to school, thanks to earnings that will pay for school fees.  She and her siblings already have protein to add to their meager diets.  And, she has hope for a future. 

On behalf of Nyaradzo and the other 29 families you've supported through this project -THANK YOU. 

May 29, 2013

We did it!

Spiwe and her children
Spiwe and her children

What seemed quite impossible to do has been done!  We aimed high and decided to enter Give for Youth's Matching Challenge in March.  With a great call to action and lots of time spent on social media sites, we were able to raise funds for children like Tabiso, Ropafadzo, Mduduzi and many more.

One family, headed up by a widow named Spiwe, received rabbits which they can raise for meat and manure.  How exciting it is to know that our efforts and your generosity produced such hope and joy in the lives of others!  Spiwe and her children are so excited to see how their rabbits reproduce and as they are sold, become food, blankets, school fees, soap, and rent for them.  They are thrilled to know that people they've never met cared enough for them and that they, after many trainings in how to care for small livestock, were called to receive their animals.  So far, so good!  The rabbits are healthy and with the last bit of rains that came on Zimbabwe, they had plenty of greens to eat.  Babies are being born and their warren is growing!

Thank you so much for your generosity, friends.  Without you, Spiwe and the kids wouldn't have their bunnies and the hope that came with them.

May 2, 2013

Rama's Chance

Happy Rama
Happy Rama

Sometimes I hear stories that are so sad, they stay with me for a long, long time.  And, as time passes, I get more and more adamant that we WILL do something to right the wrong done to the person of whom the story is told.  Today, I have such a story for you, of a young man named Rama. 

Rama is a jovial 7 year old boy, orphaned after the death of both his parents.  He was left under the custody of relatives who later despised him. They developed all ways of disposing of him but couldn't do so.  One day, they dumped in a neighborhood far from the family, hoping he'd die or that someone else would take care of him. During that terribly difficult time in his young life, things only got worse.  He was hit on the right side parietal bone by a falling coconut which left the little one paralyzed on the left side for a short time, but now, his left arm & leg  are weak.

He was collected by a well wisher, a grandmother who volunteered to take care of him together with her three grandchildren. She is widowed and jobless but said she'd take care of Rama - how could she leave him to die or to fend for himself at such a young age?  The first thing grandma did was to bring Rama to our clinic in Mombasa, where he was tested.  Indeed, he is HIV+, so he receives medical care and medicine free of charge from the clinic where he also attends Kids Club.  Despite the weakness on his left side, this young boy is full of life and joy, playing hard and learning everything he can during Kids Club.  He looks forward to visiting the clinic for his monthly stash of medicine and easily won everyone's hearts.

One of the most diffcult things for grandma, though, was to pay for Rama's school fees, uniform and shoes, though.  She barely had the funds to pay for her grandchildren...how could she add another child to the list of costs?  This is where we stepped in again and Rama now doesn't have to worry about missing school, thanks to his fees and costs being covered by folks like you.  I tell you, there is nothing better than walking up to the clinic while Kids Club is happening and looking for the kids we've helped and who are in our programs.  Whenever I see Rama, I know that I am going to be met by a huge smile and the tightest hug I could ever ask for.  He breathes in my neck and I breathe into his and we both know he'll be fine.

If you ever want to meet Rama, let me know and I'll make it happen.  We take teams to visit some of our projects and I know grandma, Rama and the other kids would love to see you there.  Just drop me a note at tweaver@AFCAids.org and let's dream together of getting you to Mombasa, Kenya to meet Rama and others you've helped.

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