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.
Feb 14, 2013

Grace Goes to School

Grace - smiling and happy
Grace - smiling and happy


Grace is an 11 year old girl from the Kiembeni area of Mombasa and has been seen at the Mbungoni, where she goes monthly for checkups and to receive medication. Her mother Rose is also HIV+.

Grace is an active member of the junior youth support group, which meets once a month. This group of kids gets to spend time together with no stigma issues.  They enjoy play, a meal, and good time with friends.  They also
receive education on things like adherence (they must take their medicine even if they are feeling better), disclosure (when do you tell a child they are positive? When does that child share with friends?), stigma and cleanliness.   So far, Grace has been adhering well to the drugs, even when she is healthy and feels fine.   We trust this will continue!

Grace is in form 4 at her school and she was worried about not being able to continue school because she was behind on her feed.  Now, with her school dues paid, she was very grateful for that support and to continue in school.  She is a good student, studying and finishing her work on time.  She is another child who knows that her
education and how well she does will affect her ability to leave the cycle of poverty, so she tries very hard to get good marks and to do her studies. 

Besides school fees, Grace also benefited from the gift a bed, a mattress and a mosquito net, as she was sleeping on the floor, unprotected.  Her mom is receiving trainings on prevention  with  positives and nutrition and is visited in their home for more counseling sessions to enable them adhere well  to treatment. Her mother sells green
vegetables door to door, which is where she gets money to pay for rent and meet other basic needs.  

Thank you for supporting Grace!

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Feb 13, 2013

And the Rains Came Down

In Africa, we don't refer to rain as simply "rain".  For some reason, we call it "the rains".  I don't know why this is, but maybe it is because the rains have such power over people.  If there is no rain, crops fail, animals die and people starve.  But, if the rains are too hard, the earth is too dry to take the onslaught of water and erosion occurs, crops are squashed under the weight of the water, and the suffering continues.

Right now, in Zimbabwe, this is exactly what happened.  After such a long time of drought and dry, dry, DRY weather, the skies opened up and the RAINS came down.  They came and they came and they came.  While the maize flats were flattened, the rivers and dams are being filled.  Where the earth hasn't been eroded, bits of green is shooting up, giving livestock something to chew on.  These are some happy little goats, rabbits, guinea fowl and chickens, let me tell you!  Finally, green to eat! They will produce more milk now than at any other time of the year, and for that, we are grateful.  And, they will drop manure to be used in the gardens, which is a blessing.  All in all, the rains are bringing life back to many.

It's wild, this cycle in life.  Everything in moderation, seems to be the cry.  Yes, we need the rains, but we need them to come in bits and pieces, not in a huge downpour, day in and day out.  We don't know if we should cry or dance.  We have rains, which gives us water, which we desperately need.  But, we also have devastation, erosion and homeless as their houses were washed away.  We take the rains, as we take much of what comes our way - with gratitude mingled with hurt for those who hurt.

Feb 13, 2013

A Smile and a Kid

Smiling in Joy
Smiling in Joy

Have you ever seen someone smile so hugely that you can't help but smile right along with them, even if you don't understand the words being spoken?  Well, that happened to me not to long ago, while in Zimbabwe, thanks to you.

You see, some of the goats we've given away are having kids.  Some give birth to twins and some to singletons, but each birth is welcome.  Most celebrated are the female kids because it means that milk will continue to be provided for a family and that the flock will continue to grow.

I visited a family who wanted nothing more than to show me a brand new kid.  And, no words were needed in order to feel the happiness felt by the owner of the baby female goat.  The lady, who is raising 3 AIDS orphans, was so proud to show off the new little one and I thought you'd like to meet her, too.

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