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 2, 2013

Her name is Fatima

Getting a goat vaccinated
Getting a goat vaccinated

Meet Fatima:

She is 15 years old and has a dream.  She dreams of continuing her education so that she can, one day, provide for her 3 younger siblings and her grandma.  She dreams of one day moving to the big city of Bulawayo so she can attend the university there and become a doctor.  She dreams of getting married one day and of becoming a mom. 

Not so long ago, Fatima dreamed of eating enough food and not going to bed hungry. 

While not all her dreams have come true yet, by all signs we see, Fatima will be able to accomplish some of the goals she's laid out before her in the very near future.  As the proud owner of a herd of goats which she's taken care of thoughout the last year, she is well on her way of accomplishing her dream of eating well - she couldn't believe how good milk is when she first tried it!  With the veggie garden her family is growing, thanks to the seeds we sent them. Fatima and her siblings and grandma have added kale, beans, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and onions to their diet, as well.  This makes her happy, as she no longer goes to bed hungry and she doesn't hear her siblings complaining of stomachs that are painful in their emptyness.  

She is learning how to save seeds for next year's garden and knows that as long as she is careful, they won't lack for vegetables again.  With training in conservation farming behind her, she is a wiz at mulching and fertilizing her small garden, showing me how it is done.   I am so proud of her.  I am so proud of these kids who, against all odds, are moving ahead, providing for themselves and getting out of the cycle of poverty.

While visiting her last week, I asked to see her goats and she showed them to me with a small smile of satisfaction on her lips.  I did the happy dance which is translatable in any language without the need for words.  We danced together and together, we continue to dream big for Fatima and her loved ones.

Fatima with Grandma
Fatima with Grandma
With Kid Born a few days ago
With Kid Born a few days ago
Jul 2, 2013

Greenhouse Number 2

Tomatoes ready for sale
Tomatoes ready for sale

Our first greenhouse in Mombasa continues to produce an innordinate amount of tomatoes for moms to sell at the market and for children to eat.  Beyond the greenhouse walls, kale, spinach, sweet potatos, onions, potatoes, peanuts, and cow pea continue to be harvested, as well.  The excitement is almost too much to bear, as we know that this is a project that is producing much and which is giving hope to many.

But, we can't just stop planning just because our first greenhouse is a huge success!  So, in the spirit of innovation and planning, we are now establishing our first organic greenhouse on a larger track of land in Mombasa.  It is so large, in fact, that we are planning on erecting 10 greenhouses on that land, each with a 1/8 acre of drip irrigation outside the greenhouses.  In these areas outside, we'll have maize, passion fruit, melons, kale, potatoes, onion, and much more. More than food, though, what we are growing is a self-sustaining way for the clinic in Mombasa to function.  With the sales of tomatoes and peppers to hotels frequented by foreigners, the clinic will, in time, be able to sustain itself.  With the sales of other veggies at hugely discounted prices to moms in the programs, new seed can be purchased and the borehole and greenhouses can be maintained while moms earn an income to help their families.  

It's all good.

It's exciting.

It's FANTASTIC.

If you'd like to visit this program to see first hand what you've done by supporting this project, you are welcome to. Go visit the greenhouses, the clinic, the children and families.  Join us on one of our Vacation with a Purpose trips and help us build a house for one of the orphaned children.  Just get in touch with me at tweaver@AFCAids.org and we'll get you on the road to Mombasa, Kenya, where you are touching lives you haven't yet met.  I hope you will meet them, though, and that you'll see the difference you are making.

Harvesting Tomatoes
Harvesting Tomatoes
Passion Fruit
Passion Fruit
Jul 2, 2013

Hadija Goes to School

Hadija Ready for School
Hadija Ready for School

Hadija is a sweet and active girl.  She is 12 years and lives in the Miritini station, close to Mikindani, where she goes to the clinic for counseling, medicine and support. Hadija has been attending this clinic since she was 3 years old and everyone there loves her.  Her family has been trained on nutrition and also more information on family testing  has been passed on to them.  This keeps them involved in Hadija's health issues and together, they work on her clinic plan so that she can be as healthy as possible. 

While she is an orphan and is being raised by her maternal grandma, Umazi Mwanga, Hadija is a positive, happy child who is an active member of the junior support group and has benefitted from the group in terms of education on stigma, disclosure and counseling services and she interacts well with her peers/friends. 

Hadija is in class 3 at St. Cecilia Academy.  Early this year, she was assisted by is with remedial dues (even though education in Kenya is supposed to be free, the costs are too much for children and their sick guardians to bear) and she is still continuing with her education.  While her performance is average, her  teachers are really trying to assist her in her weak subjects.

Thank you for helping children like Hadija so that they, even though they are poor, can attend school.and have a future.

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