Power of Love Foundation

Our Mission is: To turn back the tide of the global AIDS epidemic through innovative community responses that increase the effectiveness of prevention and care efforts. Our Vision is: A world where the AIDS epidemic is in continuous retreat, and people living with HIV/AIDS have access to loving care and treatment in an environment free of stigma and discrimination.
Jun 19, 2015

This Father's Day Help a Zambian Family Start a Business

Happy Dad's day! Help us celebrate by supporting a Zambian family impacted by HIV start a business. Your support will provide micro loans, business training and business mentoring to new women entrepreneurs so that they can take better care of their families and keep their children in school. Since our conversation last month, we are happy to report that all 50 women who received new loans are business training are busy running their new businesses and taking care of their families. At this time, we have 275 women running successful to moderately successful businesses in our community in Lusaka, Zambia. Kudos to you - we could not have done this without you.  

The vision behind our micro loans program is that businesses started with the help of loans continue to operate and expand long after the loan has been repaid. We are in contact with several women who graduated from this program a few years back as they come back to visit and guide women currently on the program. Here is a heartwarming and inspiring story of one such entrepreneur.

About Jane (name changed): Jane is one of the oldest beneficiaries in our micro loans program. She was provided with business training and a loan about 7 years back. Her business continues to operate in the community and has grown considerably from a small vegetable stand to a shop with a variety of higher value items like detergent, cooking oil, eggs, mealie meal (a Zambian staple), soap, and other grocery items. 

Jane is living her dream of owning and running her shop and her children have finished school. She continues to work hard to make her business grow by adding new items. In addition, she comes back often to visit (even though she graduated in 2011) and continues to mentor current and new loan beneficiaries. She encourages and motivates the women to work hard, make loan repayments on time, save a small amount each week, and expand their businesses. Jane is an inspiration to the women as she has demonstrated that hard work and dedication can lead to success and self-reliance.

Jane’s Story in her own words: I am 62 years old, married with four children of my own and five dependents. I have known Power of Love’s program for the last seven years as I received my first loan in 2008. After completing business training I started selling different types of vegetables. I loved running my business and worked hard as my dream was to build a shop at home. I wanted to pay for school expenses so that my children can attend and complete school.

Before I joined the program life was difficult. We were not able to eat more than one meal per day as there are 11 people in my household, and on many days we did not know where our next meal would come from.

I received my first loan in 2008 and four more loans over the next three years. I worked hard to repay the loans and learned to save a small amount each week. With each subsequent loan I expanded my business by adding different kinds of vegetables, fruits, rice, mealie meal (a Zambian staple), soap, other grocery items, toys, hair care products etc. I graduated from this program three years back but like to go back as the loan officer, has become my friend. Esther helped me during the first few months of starting my business as I had never sold anything before joining this program.

I like to talk to the women who receive loans and tell them my story so that they know that it is possible to eat three meals a day, keep children healthy and in school due to a better diet and health. I ask the new loan beneficiaries to work hard to make the repayments so they can get a second and third loan and eventually run their businesses on their own without the help of the program. Also, I like talking to other women in the community and teach them what I know.

I am running my shop without a loan now. I have my own shop and have realized my dream. I even have a refrigerator in my shop for soft drinks.  I am very happy I got to know about this program as life has been easier since I started my own business. My children are healthy and all four have finished school. The younger children (her dependents) are in school.

Women like Jane inspire us every day and continue to inspire new loan beneficiaries. In addition to running and growing their businesses they have become role models and mentor the new women who join the program.

Your generosity has helped several hundred women start and run successful businesses so that they can take better care of their families. We hope we can count on your continued support.

Thanks for your caring and compassion.

Links:

Jun 19, 2015

This Father's Day Give the Gift of Health to an HIV Positive Child in Zambia

Happy Father's day! Help us celebrate fathers by giving a gift of health to an HIV positive child in Zambia.

Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program continues to provide a comprehensive package of life saving health care services to 250 HIV positive children in Zambia. The package of health care services includes food, medicines, weekly health visits from community health workers, regular visits from the Project Nurse, psycho-social counseling, education in HIV prevention, and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, primary caregivers of children are provided with training in HIV care and prevention. The training program was developed with the help of volunteers from the Harvard School of Public Health and is especially designed for women caregivers in Zambia.

Why do we need to Train Family Members? We believe that the training and support provided to caregivers (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) has played a key role in improving the health of our children. Post training, caregivers are able to identify different kinds of opportunistic infections common among HIV positive children at home and are able to escalate care to the next higher level. Since the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7, most children to improve/stabilize in health. In addition, once the child has been on the program for 4-5 the frequency and severity of opportunistic infections is reduced.

Impact: As a result of the training, caregivers feel better equipped to take care of their HIV positive children and others in their family. Trained family members builds a stronger community and the ripple effect is huge as caregivers share their knowledge and experience with others in the community.  

We are happy that 90% of the children in our program continue to improve in health and are living close to normal lives. 

Thanks for your caring and compassion. 

Links:

Jun 19, 2015

Help Celebrate Father's Day by Giving a Gift of Fun and Learning to a Vulnerable Child in Zambia

Happy Father's Day! Help us celebrate by giving a gift of fun and learning to a vulnerable child in Zambia.  

We believe that playing games, coloring, singing, dancing, and playing with building blocks is essential for the normal physical and mental development of a child. Our "Safe Park" program provides the right environment for educational games and activities. As a result of continued partcipation in this program, (i) younger children participate in games with enthusiasm, have fewer fights, and share toys more easily; (ii) older children are more comfortable in discussing their problems with youth counselors, asking for help with homework, and disclosing problems encountered by a friend and/or neighbor, (iii) there is an improvement in self-esteem and mental and physical competency, (iv) development of social skills via sharing, following rules, fairness, and cooperation, and (v) development of better social relations with peers and adults.

Power of Love's “Safe Parks” program is free and open to all children in the community of Matero, in Lusaka Zambia. Every Saturday morning children from this community, join our trained child and youth care workers in educational games and engage in drama, role play, and discussions. Most children have developmental problems (mental or physical) and are vulnerable to disease as they are growing up in an environment with a high incidence of HIV, may have lost a parent, their own HIV positive status, lack of enough food etc. These children need counseling and special care for normal development. Children are encouraged to play and interact with their peers while the Project Nurse observes them for any signs of distress, trauma or grief. Family members are provided with counseling and referrals to agencies that can help the child develop normally.

An example of a game that teaches children cooperation, problem solving and develops trust between peers is, “Ship Ship Come Home”. In this game the children are divided into two groups. One group shouts to the other group “Ship Ship come home!” and children from the opposite group run to catch friends from the other side. The children who are caught join the group which caught them.

Overall, games and activities improve the children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development and overall health. Better health leads to fewer missed days at school, and higher school performance. At the very minimum this program keeps children off the streets where they can get into trouble or get abused.   

Thanks for your caring and support.

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