American Foundation for Children with AIDS

The American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA) is a non-profit organization providing critical comprehensive services to infected and affected HIV+ children and their caregivers. Our programs are efficient, promoting self-reliance and sustainability. Since 2005, in collaboration with our in-country partners, we have served tens of thousands of families in some of the most underserved and marginalized communities in Africa. Our areas of impact include: medical support, livelihoods, educational support and emergency relief.
Jul 16, 2013

3600 Children

Laughing at one of his jokes
Laughing at one of his jokes

Another big request for medicine has come to us out of Uganda - medicine to help over 3600 children for three months. This is huge for such a small organization like the American Foundation for Children with AIDS! But, in the spirit of helping children like Joseph, we are happy to help.

You see, Joseph was one of the very first children we gave life saving medicine to.  He was malnourished and very, very sick when we first met the 11 year old.  Unable to walk on his own due to his condition, he was carried into the clinic by his father, who thought he'd never see his son alive again.  After just 2 weeks on anti-retroviral medicine and good nutrition, Benson was walking and talking again.  Two months later, you couldn't even tell the boy had almost died - he was playing and carrying on like any other 11 year old would.  

Now at 18, Joseph is studying to be a mechanic.  He has a twinkle in his eye that is infectious and makes everyone around him laugh.  I always find it a joy to visit him and to hear of his dreams.  First, all he wanted to do was to live.  Then, he wanted to live long enough to graduate from high school.  Now that he's accomplished that feat and he is doing amazingly, he wants to have his own business.  At the rate he's going, he'll do just that and much more, I have no doubt!

So, when we receive a request to help 3600 children, how can we say no?  We want to give each of those children the same we gave to Joseph - hope and health and the ability to dream.  Please help us today - even a small donation will help us provide what these children need.

Thanks for all you've done for them and all you continue to do!

Jul 5, 2013

Baa, Baa Black Sheep ...

Behave with one of his goats
Behave with one of his goats

Behave K. is a twelve year old boy from Karanda, Zibmabwe. This is a new site for us to be working in and sheep were the first animals the American Foundation for Children with AIDS delivered there. Behave was selected as a beneficiary and was given three sheep because he lives with his very sick father and helps take care of him, as his mother died of HIV when he was young.

Behave had to grow up quickly and you can tell by looking at him. His eyes are sad beyond his 12 years and they are deeply pained. He's experienced death and sickness and loneliness and pain for too long. His belly rumbles from hunger too many nights. He looks forward to going to school during the day and dreams of becoming a teacher. He wants to live a life where he has a good blanket when the nights get cold, where he can eat when he is hungry and where he can take care of his father, buying the medicine he needs.

Father and son attended trainings on husbandry and veterinary skills. Behave helped build a fenced in area for the sheep, using sticks and limbs he found. And, he waited. He waited to move up the waiting list. He waited a little more. He attended more trainings. He was ready!

Then, one day this part April, he was summoned to a town meeting and wearing his best clothes, he walked the 2 miles to get to the church building where he'd been trained to be a herdsman. He showed up at the appointed time and day and there, with 9 other adolescents, he received his sheep, changing his life forever. He signed a contract which makes him the owner of the animals while emotion too deep to speak of showed on his face and his sad eyes glittered. He handed me the rope he had brought for this special day and one by one, after being vaccinated, Behave was given his three sheep.

Let me tell you...there is nothing, NOTHING, as amazing as watching a child go from hopeless to hopeful. Their stance changes. Their faces light up. Their walk is stronger. You helped us do this, friends. You made it happen and we can't thank you enough.

Jul 2, 2013

Meet Mr. And Mrs. Dube

Mr. and Mrs. Dube with their garden
Mr. and Mrs. Dube with their garden


I just returned from Zimbabwe last night and while I am tired, I am also exhilarated. I visited families who received livestock and seeds last year and who are now watching their herds and gardens grow. I was hugged and kissed and made to feel like a family member. I hugged and kissed back and held babies and vaccinated goats. I attended trainings and counted new babies added to flocks and herds (14 new kids this past month and countless rabbits). I passed out photos I took last year and watched as my friends danced and clapped at seeing themselves in a photo. The smiles of joy were amazing to watch and to hold on to.

One of the families that took my heart are in the photographs with this report. They are elderly, as you can see. They are raising EIGHT orphaned children, ranging from 3 years old to 16 years old. Together, the family is working the land to work a small set of gardens where they grow veggies for themselves. They also are raising the goats we gave them and to date, they have 5 in their herd, with one pregnant goat about to give birth.

With his ripped sweater and pants and scary cough (we need to see what is happening there), Mr. Dube is all smiles, as is his wife, whenwe conduct a spot visit to their humble dwelling. He proudly shuffles to their garden (he is 83!) to show me what is going on there.  I see that the garden is nicely mulched and congratulate them on a job well done. The couple smiles and says that they do it for and with the children, as they want them to have a better life.  They all eat better now - greens, oranges, yellows, and whites on their plates each day.

I am humbled by our visit to the Dube family. I am touched by their love for the children and for the hard work they do to care for them. When I thought my feeling of fullness was all I could feel, I hear Mrs. Dube say to her husband as she looks at the photo I give them, "Tanya loves us". I turn to her and say "oh, yes, I do". We hug. I get back into the truck and with a tear in my throat, wave an "I'll see you soon" wave out the window.

My heart is full.

Dubes with two of the children in their care
Dubes with two of the children in their care

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