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.
Mar 6, 2013

They Got Their Goats!

Daya and her family
Daya and her family

After receiving various trainings in husbandry and basic veterinary skills, Daya and her siblings received three pregnant goats! I had the pleasure of being there when the goats were given to the children and I couldn't have been happier.  What an exciting moment for us all, but surely, the most excited were the children who were just so eager to take their new animals home.

The children wore their best clothes for the occassion and showed up early, right where they'd been told to come.  The goat pen at home was ready and had been inspected by the trainers and all was in order.  There was nothing left to do but to hug the children, congratulate them, tag the goats' ears, vaccinate the animals, and hand them over.  Shy Daya was over the moon, as were the other kids - they know they have a future. They can raise these animals and can breed them and can grow a flock.  They can drink the milk for the time being and can use the manure to fertilize the seeds in their garden (we gave them seeds, too).  Later, when the flock is older and more mature, they will give three pregnant female goats to another orphan family and the rest are theirs.  They can barter, sell or eat some of them, while allowing the babies to grow and mature. Really, this is life-changing!

Thank you for being part of this project and for changing the life of a small family in Masvingo, Zimbabwe.

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!


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.

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