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.
Jan 2, 2013

A Life Changed

Julia, Juju and Gogo
Julia, Juju and Gogo

This summer, my family and I spent eight weeks in Zimbabwe distributing goats and animals and working side by side with our partners on the ground.  I've been to Zimbabwe many times and love it!  I wanted to share the experience with my family, so Eric and I took our 3 year old son Aiden, 7 year old daughter Julia (Juju) and 15 year old niece Morgan with us for a summer to remember.

The kids were amazing.  Never a complaint, even when we had no water or electricity (every day, for half a day, we'd have neither). No TV. No toys in our suitcases. Just good old dirt, trees, sticks and the great outdoors was enough to keep everyone occupied and amazed day in and day out.  They rode in the truck with me to deliver animals -sometimes 6 hours each way.  They ate any food they were presented with, including Mopani worms.  They smiled, laughed, made friends, and loved Zimbabwean life.

As we visited orphaned families to deliver animals, we met many Gogos (grandmothers) who are raising grandchildren left to them when their own children died of AIDS.  In some cases, they raise 8 or 9 kids!  Some are very old and some of the gogos look young, but have many years to them.  In all cases, I watched with wonder as the kids made themselves at home, helping women cook or sitting in a circle with the adults as we distributed animals.  It was phenomenal to watch. 

The most beautiful thing was knowing that inside of these kids, something was changing.  Something inside of them was changing and they were becoming less attached to things and more able to see needs that even they, in their young years, could fill, even if it was to give a hug to a child. They started looking forward to waking up and playing simply, without the encumbrances of too many things.  They went to bed tired, having played and run and screamed and made mud cakes.  They went to bed with bellies full of good Zimbabwean food, not thinking of asking for "normal" food.  

My take away from this summer - not only were children and Gogos changed when they were given fantastic gifts that will help them become self-reliant, but my family was forever changed, as well.  Thank you for the gift you've given so many families!  Without you, they wouldn't have hope.  You've done a good thing, friends. 

Aiden and Josh
Aiden and Josh
Eric tagging goat ears
Eric tagging goat ears
Morgan and baby David
Morgan and baby David

Links:

Dec 27, 2012

What Does AFCA do in Uganda?

Delivery of medicine at a clinic
Delivery of medicine at a clinic

Over 200 clients (75% being children) are seen daily at the Pediatric Infectious Disease Center (PIDC) in Kampala, Uganda and 60% of these clients need treatment for Opportunistic Infections (OIs). Because of the support from AFCA and other partners, we have been able to achieve reduction in mortality per annum of children below 5 years
from 8% in 2007 to 2.5% at present.

Continued support enables PIDC to serve as a one-stop center for management of seriously ill clients minimizing further referrals, and contributing to improved quality of care with minimized operations costs associated with referral treatment.

Most of the children that joined the clinic as infants or toddlers have now grown to young adults, thanks to your support. These children have reached high school and others tertiary training institutions (universities and vocational training colleges). This could not be possible without the continued support from AFCA.   The Post Natal Clinic (PNC)  receives daily 80-100 babies infected and exposed to HIV. PIDC has been able to treat all the children that turnup at PNC because of the support of our faithful partners.

AFCA provides close to 30% of the Co-trimoxazole, anti-malarials needed for the clients at PIDC and PNC.

Medicine from AFCA have always been apportioned to the neediest of the supported clinics in the country. All these clinics do not get adequate supplies from the Government and hence without any support, health workers would
advise patients to buy their own medicines. However, very few patients can afford to buy full course of treatment. When we get the support for medicines, we identify health facilities that are experiencing critical stock outs and serve them what we call buffer stocks as emergency cover while coordinating with the Government for routine supplies. Most times routine supplies do not come and we therefore end up sustaining facilities with buffer stocks. We also monitor stock levels in different supported clinics and move some stocks to others that are experiencing near stock outs. Our findings in the countryside show that our efforts have been greatly appreciated because of vigilance to rationalize limited supplies for medicine to ensure that at least each supported clinic is facilitated to treat its HIV clientele.

Adolescents receiving counseling
Adolescents receiving counseling

Links:

Nov 29, 2012

Want a Wallet? Donate Today!

Friends, during this season of giving, we are giving back a small "thank you" to everyone who makes a $25 (or larger) donation to this particular project.  Will you make a donation today?  And, will you please tell your friends and family about this project so that they, too, will make a small donation that will change how a child eats? 

This particular project is moving forward wonderfully.  Our pilot greenhouse is housing tomato seedlings who look so neat growing straight up.  They will be attached to hanging strings in order to use the space as best as we can, producing fruit for many, many children.  It is our hope that all children in the Mombasa program will receive nutritious food and the training to grow their own one day and that we'll be able to expand the greenhouse project to include 10 additional ones.  All this takes time, but from all reports, things are looking great and we are on the right path.

We thank you for your generosity and hope you'll remember our kids when you use the beautiful wallet we'll send you!

On behalf of our children,

 

tanya

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