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

Water for the Land

Me tasting a tomato from a greenhouse...yum!
Me tasting a tomato from a greenhouse...yum!

Water is a rare commodity in Mombasa, Kenya.  With a drought which has plagued this part of the country for the past 7 years, the land is dry and plants find it hard to grow.  While greenhouses are a wonderful solution to production of good food, they also need water.  The Portriez farm has a borehole, so the greenhouse and garden are doing wonderfully and veggies will be ready to harvest in one month.

The larger piece of land owned by our partners in Mombasa is 50 acres and we'd love to establish 10 greenhouses there.  What is stopping us?  Water.  A borehole must be dug, but this is expensive (approximately $17k).  AFCA is looking for partners who might be interested in helping meet this need.  Maybe you know someone who'd like to donate specifically towards a borehole?  Or, maybe you know someone who has a company who drills these boreholes and who'd like to lend their expertize?  Or, maybe you know someone in an organization who does just this sort of thing and you'd be willing to speak on our behalf so that they will partner with us?  If any of these ring true with you, please don't hesitate to contact me at tweaver@afcaids.org.  I'd love to hear from you so that we can get these other greenhouses up and functioning, to benefit children who need good food in order to stay healthy.

Happy New Year, all of you.  Thank you for helping our kids.

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Jan 2, 2013

Furaha's story

Furaha going to school
Furaha going to school

Furaha is from the Jomvu area in Miritini station and is aged 13 years and is in class 6 at Kwa Jomvu  Primary School, thanks to you.  She has 4 brothers as follows; Charo who was trained by the AIDS orphans project as a mechanic and is looking for job. John – dropped out of school last year in class 4. Jumaa who is in class 2 at the same school  with  Furaha and Joshua, who is  in class 1 at Nuru Academy.  The 2 sisters are Tabu who is married and Asha who is in class 2 in the same school with Furaha.

Furaha is HIV positive and taking her drugs from Mikindani Clinic (supported by AFCA) .Her mother Jumwa Katana is a widow and is also attending clinic at Mikindani because she is HIV+ as well.

Furaha has been very active in the senior kids support group at the clinic. She has benefitted with education given in the group like adherence, disclosure and personal  health .She keeps herself  neat and her work is organized. Her
adherence is also good and she has disclosed her status to her family members at large.   Her school attendance has been quite well and her performance also. Early this year her remedial dues were paid and her family was happy about it. The teachers are helping her to catch up with the hard subjects so that she can perform well in the exams.  Her family is staying in their own house and has benefitted with trainings on nutrition, education on minor  illnesses and  how to maintain their environment.  They were provided with mosquito nets to prevent themselves from malaria. 

Furaha would not have a future were it not for AFCA and donors who've taken her on and who've helped her get back to school.  With little income, Furaha's mom could not afford to send all her children to school, so the gift of education is huge for Furaha.  This is why she takes her classes serioulsy and why she is determined to excel.  Watch out for her - she is going to do something amazing one day!

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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

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