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.
Aug 21, 2013

Visits, smile and happines

Guardians Receiving Training with adolescent
Guardians Receiving Training with adolescent

I had the opportunity to visit some of our projects this summer to see how things are shaking up. It was so neat to be back in Zimbabwe, participating in trainings with guardians and adolescents and watching them as they learn even more on how to care for their goats.  We conducted both written and practical trainings and they were great!  Vaccinations were done, as well.

After trainings, we all - trainees of all ages and the trainors and I, would sit down to the meal of the day: goat, sadza, some sort of green and hot tea.  For the beneficiaries, this was the only meal of the day and probably the only one with meat for a long time.  You see, they aren't allowed to eat their goats yet, as they must wait three years before they can kill, barter, sell or eat one of their animals.  This is to ensure that their flocks grow big and strong.  And, the concept is working because we saw so many baby goats!  It was thrilling to see herds growing and to see how healthy the animals are.  All in all, the families are expecting this to be a hugely successful venture for them and some are already planning to re-gift some goats to other needy families.  Very exciting stuff!

Friends, know that this project is working.  It really, really is working.


It's good.

Paying close attention during a live training
Paying close attention during a live training
Checking goat eyes to see if they are anemic
Checking goat eyes to see if they are anemic
Jul 25, 2013

Better life for MoreLife and Anesu

Anesu, Morelife and the Livestock Coordinator
Anesu, Morelife and the Livestock Coordinator

When we set out to give children the opportunity to get out of poverty through training and the provision of animals and seeds, it was a dream.  Then, one family at a time, we saw changes happening.  Now, over 682 families have benefitted from this project and I'd like to introduce you to two of them:

Anesu is a ten year old girl from Biriri, Zimbabwe, in the Chimanimani district. Anesu's mother died when she was four years old and her father died when she was eight years old, leaving her with a severely disabled sister to care for.  Thankfully, a 78 year old well wisher, Mrs Muchinapo, took them into her home and took care of them. Mrs. Muchinapo is very old and is not gainfully employed but she loves the girls and does the best she can for them.  She heard about our program and registered.  The community voted and she was added to the waiting list.  She attended trainings on husbandry and gardening and waited until her time came to be called to receive her animals.

Little Anesu says that losing both parents was very harsh and the most painful thing in her life.  She was pretty despondent and hopeless, something a 10 year old should never be.  She said, “I thought the whole world hated me and my sister. I did not think there was anything that would make me happy again until the coordinator who helps with the AFCA livestock project said my family  qualified and that we would receive chickens.  We were given four hens and a rooster!!  We are very happy and the chickens have already started laying eggs. With four hens and three already laying eggs, the challenge of shortage of food and the school fees problems will soon be a thing of the past”.   

In the same area of Zimbabwe, Biriri, there is a young boy names Morelife Rwangu.  He is eight years old and his father died in 2006 when Morelife was only one year old.  His mother passed away in 2009.  Morelife and his younger brother were left without any elderly guardian until Cecilia Mukono, a 79 year old lady took the two boys in. The family was given four chickens and a rooster, as well, and two hens already have seven mature offspring each. The other two hens are laying eggs, too - some for the family to eat and some to allow to grow up. Morelife says he is very happy with the chicken project. While they have had a lot of challenges in the past, he feels the project is the right answer to these challenges. He also had this to say: 

“The eggs are very nice. I love the taste of them! We no longer have problems with not having enough food. The manure is also accumulating well and we have already started using it in our vegetable plots. I feel someone, somewhere cares and loves us by giving us such special gifts.  We will continue to look after the chickens well because we want a large flock that can help support us.” 

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!

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