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.
Dec 30, 2014

Impact of Power of Love's Malaria Prevention Program in Zambia

Power of Love Foundation was able to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families vulnerable to malaria in the summer of 2014. Beneficiaries included those sections of the population most vulnerable to malaria, namely children under five years of age, HIV positive children, expecting moms, people living with HIV, people infected with TB, and orphans and vulnerable children. At this time we are raising funds to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria in 2015. Please donate generously so we can continue to prevent malaria and save lives in Zambia

Impact of Power of Love’s Malaria Prevention Program

In order to understand the impact of the provision of nets and education on malaria prevention we met with 200 beneficiary families in October 2014 to:

(i)     assess the impact of nets usage,

(ii)   learn if nets were being used as demonstrated and identify and educate families who are not using nets in the proper way,  

(iii) assess the number of malaria cases/deaths if any,

(iv) estimate the number of direct and indirect beneficiaries.

Findings of the Study:  As a result of our conversations with more than 200 families we learnt that most beneficiaries:

(i)     know what measures to take to prevent malaria,

(ii)   are using the nets as demonstrated prior to the provision of nets, 

(iii) know when and where to take the nets for re-treating,  

(iv) are storing nets properly as the nets are relatively clean and not damaged/torn, and

(v) the number of direct beneficiaries was approximately 3200 as one net can sleep multiple people (one net can sleep two adults or four young children).

Most of the older children and adult beneficiaries are using the bed nets as demonstrated prior to provision of the nets.They were using the nets as demonstrated, kept the nets clean and stored them properly when not in use. In addition, the beneficiaries have increased knowledge and awareness about malaria prevention. A few beneficiaries did not know the proper way of using nets and they were provided with information on this subject. The use of bed nets has led to fewer cases of malaria in the community and hence fewer visits to the clinic. Most children sleeping under nets have been free of malaria and as a result of improved health their school attendance and performance is higher.

Beneficiary families are happy with the receipt of malaria bed nets as it keeps them healthy and malaria free. Community and Church leaders expressed their thanks and would like this malaria prevention program to continue in 2015 and beyond. This is especially true as most families live on less than one dollar a day due to high levels of unemployment and are unable to afford net.  

We are confident that with the continued provision of malaria bed nets and education, there will be a marked reduction in the incidence of malaria in this community.

Thanks for helping prevent malaria in Zambia. 

Links:

Dec 30, 2014

Meet Two New Women Entrepreneurs in Power of Love's Micro Loans Program in Zambia

Thanks for supporting Power of Love’s micro loans program that empowers women by providing them with business training and small loans. Once the women complete their training and receive a loan, they start a business and work hard to make it grow. Our loan officers advice the women and monitor the businesses via weekly loan meetings, field visits, refresher training and business mentoring sessions. Continuous monitoring of businesses has helped the women run their businesses well and keep on track with repayments. 

Our Wish List and Request for Donations: At this time, we are raising funds to provide 50 new loans in the spring of 2015. Please donate generously so that women like Julie and Maureen (read their stories below) can break the cycle of poverty, learn a marketable skill, and keep their children in school. A single donation from you helps several women as loan capital funds go into a revolving fund and once a loan is repaid it becomes available for provision to a new woman entrepreneur.    

Power of Love’s micro loans program is located in the community of Matero - one of the largest and poorest compounds in Lusaka with a population of approximately 80,000-85,000 people. This community is characterized by a high incidence of HIV/AIDS (prevalence rate of 14% among adults aged 15-49), and unemployment rates upwards of 60%. As a result most people are poor and live on less than $1 per day. Given this difficult environment, women benefit from learning a marketable skill and running a profitable small business. Most women beneficiaries are able to break out of the cycle of poverty and a lack of marketable skills so that they are able to improve the diet of their families and pay for school expenses for their children.

We would like you to meet Julie and Maureen, who received business training and a small loan to start a business. At this time, both women are running successful businesses and are making repayments on their second loan having successfully paid off their first loan. All women in our program receive three loans. By the end of the third loan, most businesses are doing well and the women have built up a small capital base so that they are on the path to self-reliance. Julie and Maureen, like most of the 230 women in our loans program are working hard every day to expand their businesses to provide for their families, and keep their children in school.

Julie (not her real name) is a widow who cares for her old parents and three grandchildren. With her first loan she started a business selling vegetables. Her business did well and she was able to pay for food and rent for her family. Once Julie had repaid her first loan, she received a second loan with which she expanded her business by adding used clothing to her vegetable shop.

At this time, Julie has been able to pay for school expenses for her three grandchildren, and is able to pay for medical expenses for her parents. She is happy that she got an opportunity to learn how to run a business, meet other women like her so she can learn from them, and received funds to start a business. She wants to continue to work hard to expand her business so that she can continue to put a smile on the faces of her old parents and orphaned grandchildren.    

Maureen (not her real name) lost her husband to AIDS and is the sole provider for her four children. Before Maureen joined Power of Love’s loans program, she was having a difficult time as she was unable to pay for rent and school expenses for her children. Once Maureen joined our loans program, she received business training and a loan to start a fruit stand. Her fruit stand did well and she was able to pay for rent, school expenses and repay her off the first loan. With a second loan, she purchased a used popcorn machine. With earnings from her fruit and popcorn stand she is able to pay rent, school expenses, and save a small amount each week.

Maureen is very happy taking care of her family with earnings from her business as this has helped her improve her quality of life. She is thankful for this program as it had taught her how to be self-reliant.    

Thanks for teaching economic independence and self-reliance to new women entrepreneurs in Zambia.

Links:

Dec 30, 2014

Training Provided to Caregivers of HIV+ Children in Zambia

With your generous support, we continue to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. Our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program benefits 200 HIV positive children directly, and an additional 1200 children indirectly as our trained caregivers share their learning with others in the community.

Training in HIV Care Provided to Caregivers of HIV+ Children

In November 2014, 29 new children were enrolled ( to replace the children who graduated as they turned 18 years old) in our pediatric HIV care program. This program provides food, medicines, and a package of life saving health care services to 200 HIV positive children and training in caring for an HIV positive child to caregivers. Training provided to caregivers ensures that the HIV+ child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7 and a result, caregivers with the help of our community health workers, are able to take better care of the children. The health of the children improves due to fewer opportunistic infections and the prevention of infections from turning into more serious illnesses.  

Training Program: The caregivers were trained in basic home nursing and psychosocial care of HIV+ children. The objectives of the training were:

    • Develop capacity for effective, comprehensive care and treatment of HIV infected children. For example, teach: (i) simple yet effective responses to common conditions such as diarrhea, fever, malnutrition, and TB; (ii) good hygiene; (iii) how to administer and monitor anti-retroviral therapy; and (iv) how to recognize signs of HIV/AIDS.
    • To build a support group by developing relationships with other members of the group.
    • To build on their already existing skills in taking care of sick children.
    • To be able to discuss freely about HIV and support each other.
    • To help the staff in the monitoring and evaluation of both the processes and outcomes of this training.
    • To better respond to the changing needs of the community.
    • To gain knowledge on the prevention of malaria and use of treated mosquito nets.
    • To learn about HIV/AIDS.
    • Discussed the need to include sexual and health education for both girls and boys.
    • The role of the family in the upbringing of children, stages and characteristics of adolescence, and the unique needs and challenges that they face.
    • Teach the importance of vaccination and regular clinic visits for children less than five years of age.
    • Importance of early screening for cervical and breast cancer.

In addition, there were several discussions on the impact of HIV/AIDS on orphans. We discussed how the wellbeing of the whole family is affected by the social, economic and psychosocial consequences of HIV/AIDS. The participants were very interested in these discussions as most families have children who have been orphaned due to AIDS.

All 29 caregivers attended the seven day training with enthusiasm and asked several questions even though very few knew how to read and write. The training sessions were conducted in the local language and the methods used were mostly participatory and involved group work, storytelling and demonstrations. This made it easier for the participants to understand and learn.

To sum: The training was educative and our expectation is that it will be put to use by the caregivers on a daily basis. Since most of the caregivers are grandparents, it is important to refresh their memories regarding what they learnt during training. Hence, caregivers will continue to be educated during home visits by our community health workers.

At this time we are raising funds to add 50 new children to this program. Please donate generously so we can continue to provide quality health care to HIV positive children in Zambia. These services help improve the children’s health so they can stay in school, keep learning, and grow up to become contributing members of their community.      

Thanks and happy New Year.

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