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.
Oct 15, 2014

Provision of Malaria Bed Nets and Education on Malaria Prevention in 2014

“Thank You” for supporting Power of Love Foundation’s (POL) Project Mosquito Nets program. With your support, we were able to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets to women and children vulnerable to malaria in Zambia in the summer of 2014. Your support will help keep approximately 8000 young children (as a net can sleep four young children) or 2000 families (two adults and two young children) malaria free and healthy. 

Profile of Beneficiaries: Beneficiaries were to 2000 families in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. This compound is one of the largest and most impoverished compounds in Lusaka with a population of 80,000-90,000. Many parts of Matero are water logged and have sewer ponds, leading to a high prevalence of malaria and hence a need for malaria prevention and education.

Most beneficiaries were HIV positive children, children under the age of five, pregnant moms, women who are breast feeding and adults who are infected with TB and/or HIV. These sections of the population are most vulnerable to malaria as their immune system is compromised, and because co-infection rates between malaria, HIV and TB are very high.

Distribution Activities: Children played traditional Zambian games while waiting for the distribution activities to begin. Distribution activities commenced with singing and dancing by the women and children present. This was followed by dances by children from St. John’s Ambulance.

The event was attended by the Church Pastor, Power of Love representatives and volunteers, community organizations, representatives from health clinics in Matero, and community members.

Power of Love Foundation's Project Nurse commenced the health/malaria education part of the day’s activities by giving a short talk on hygiene and health. This was followed by education on malaria prevention and the proper use of nets by health care professional from local clinics. Highlights of the education on malaria prevention, (led by a Nurse from the government clinic) included:

(i) proper use of mosquito nets, drainage maintenance, filling and removal of breeding sites, re-treating of mosquito nets,

(ii) maintenance of nets (cleaning and storage) to prevent damage,

(iii) negative impacts of malaria in pregnancy e.g. maternal death, abortion, still birth and low birth weight,

(iv) information about malaria for HIV+ children,

(v) identification of signs and symptoms of malaria, and 

(vi) proper storage of nets when not in use

The Nurse explained that the best way to prevent malaria was to sleep under a net every night during malaria season. Her presentation was accompanied by a demonstration on the proper use and storage of nets. In addition, she underscored the importance of re-treating nets every six months, which could be done during the Child Health Weeks held in June and December each year. She informed the gathering that government clinics provide re-treatment kits free of cost. The Nurse also emphasized the need for keeping nets clean and stored properly.

Impact of the Distribution: Provision of bed nets and education on malaria prevention and proper use and maintenance of nets goes a long way in reducing the incidence of malaria from the community. As a result of past distributions, we are seeing fewer cases of malaria, increased knowledge about proper use and storage of nets, fewer visits to the hospital/clinics, improved school attendance, and a higher quality of life and general well-being. 

Follow-Up Study: We will continue to conduct post-distribution follow-ups to assess the impact of nets on the incidence of malaria and on the health of beneficiary families. These follow-up studies provide us with information on the use of nets every night, proper storage and re-treatment, and health of the beneficiary families.

Need for Nets: Follow-up interviews with nets recipients indicates that the nets distributed over the last 2-3 years are in good condition and are being used as directed. However, we need several thousand more nets as a majority of households cannot afford to purchase a net and are vulnerable to malaria in our community.

Next Distribution of Nets: We will be providing an additional 2000 nets and education on malaria prevention before the onset of the malaria season in 2015.

Request for Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide 1000 long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN’s) in the Spring of 2015 and an additional 1000 nets in Fall 2015. Please donate generously as your donation will go a long way in preventing malaria and keeping the children healthy and in school.

Thanks for your dedication to prevent malaria in Zambia.

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Oct 15, 2014

What's New in our Paediatric HIV and AIDS Care Program?

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 paediatric 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.

What’s New in 2014?

"Young Stars” (still in pilot stage): The vision behind this program is to help a child achieve his/her dream of continuing his/her education after high school. The program is designed to provide the child with the right tools so that he/she can graduate middle and high school and possibly enroll at the University. 

Our Young Star program will complete six months in October 2014 and so far the results have been impressive. Jane (name changed), our first “Young Star” is growing well and thriving. As a result of the support provided to Jane and her family, she is happier, more confident about her future and enjoying Safe Park and school related activities. In addition, Jane has accepted her HIV+ status, is adhering well to her medication regimen, and helps her grandmother with chores around their home. She meets with her mentor every week when they discuss topics important to an adolescent girl such as reproductive health, and safe sex issues. As compared to six months back, Jane shows more interest and enthusiasm for school. She has understood the importance of an education, completes her homework on time, does not miss or want to miss classes, and participates in all school activities. According to her teacher, her performance at school has improved dramatically. Jane’s grandmother is very thankful and happy as she says that this program has brought a smile to her granddaughter’s face. We are proud of our “young star”.

Zero New Infections: In 2014, we continue to achieve our goal of zero new HIV infections. A set of twins was delivered by one of the HIV+ moms in our paediatric HIV program. The new born twins are HIV free even though they have HIV positive siblings. To date, out of the 27 babies born since we started PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to Child transmission) intervention only one child was born HIV positive.

What's Next?

We will be expanding our program from 200 children to 250 children in the next three months. In addition we will be tracking and following up with the 20 children who will be turning 18 and leaving our program. We wish these children the very best as they join the world of adults.

Our focus for 2014 and beyond continues to be the provision of quality health care to the children, training in caring for an HIV+ child to family members, micro loans and business training to women, and mosquito bed nets and education on prevention of malaria to the community. The ripple effects of this approach are huge and long lasting for the community.

Thanks for caring.

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Oct 5, 2014

Impact of our 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 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 advise 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 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.  

Profile of our Women Entrepreneurs

The age range of the women is from 33 to 65 years old, and 70% are single or widowed. On average each women cares for a total of 6 or more people, out of which 5 are children. A majority of the women start new businesses; the rest expand existing businesses. Businesses chosen by the women are quite diverse and range from groceries (mealie meal - a Zambian staple, cooking oil, rice, sugar, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and beans), to dressed chicken, dried fish, toys, restaurants, charcoal, baby blankets, books, and a salon etc. The majority of the women start tiny grocery stores located close to their homes. A few women sell used clothes and shoes. Many ladies travel by bus to the City Market in Lusaka, purchase used clothing, toys, and shoes and resell these at a better price in their community. Many businesses such as charcoal, rice, beans and sugar involve the women buying in bulk, repackaging the item in smaller quantities and reselling. All of these businesses add value for the community members as they are located within walking distance from their homes and the community is able to purchase smaller and more affordable quantities.

What is Unique about Our Program?

In addition to loans and business training, many women receive support from our pediatric HIV/AIDS care and malaria prevention programs. Support from these two programs (in the form of food, medicines, a package of health care services, and malaria bed nets) helps the women take care of their HIV+ children, and keep them healthy. This extra support enables women to devote more time to their business increasing its chances of success. 

Impact of our Loans Program

Earnings from businesses enable most women to improve their diet and nutrition, send/keep their children in school, purchase household items like pots, pans, carpets, toys, start saving via bank accounts or at home, expand their business, and increase their original capital.

As the women gain valuable experience and expertise in their line of business they become more confident, work hard to provide for their families, and become role models for others (both men and women) in the community. A few dynamic women pool their resources and work together so as to be able to buy and sell larger quantities, and support each other after they are weaned off our program. For example, a group of five women who live in the same area decided to pool their loan capital and work together. They designated two women to travel to Malawi and purchase bales of used clothing at much lower prices than in Lusaka, Zambia. The women saved on transport expenses by sending only two ladies. They started selling used clothing and since their business was doing well, they wanted to move out from their rented apartments. Again they decided to pool their savings and purchased a big plot of land. This cost them less than if they had bought individual pieces of land. Now each one of them is an owner of a small piece of land and their dream is to build a small house in the near future.  

Overall, the women are happy that they can take better care of their families, keep/send their children to school, are confident about their future and plan to continue working hard to expand their business and earnings potential. By the end of the third and final loan cycle most businesses are doing well, and the women on the path to self-reliance (both economic and social).

Thanks for caring.

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