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 5, 2014

Some of the Zambian Games we Play with Children at Safe Parks

Every Saturday morning, Power of Love's staff gathers together to play educational games and provide homework help to children impacted by HIV in a poor community in Zambia. This activity is a part of Power of Love's pediatric HIV/AIDS care program and is open and free for all children in the community of Matero, in Lusaka, Zambia. The children interact with their friends/peers by playing games, and participating in educational activities including help with homework. Older children who have graduated from this program come back to mentor younger children. At this time we have more than 700 children enrolled and every week 70-80 children participate in this program. The children look forward to this activity every week, are learning and having fun.

"Safe Parks" was created so that children have a comfortable and open place to play normally, have fun, and reinforce values of "living positive" and staying healthy. Second, our Nurse checks for normal mental and physical growth (during games and interaction) and counsels the family members as needed. 

We have a lot of fun playing and interacting with the children Some of our favorite games are:
Mulilo Kulupili (Fire on the Mountain): This simple game teaches problem solving by turning to peers, parents, teachers, care workers, or others around you for help. 
How To Play: Allow the children to run freely in a small area. As the children are running, one of the leaders continues to shout “Mulilo-Kulupili.” The children respond “Mulilo!” and then the leader announces a number, say 3 and the children and leaders must form a group of three.

Land Rover (Red Rover): This popular game teaches children that when facing obstacles, you must stay strong and work together.
How To Play: Split the children into two even groups, each forming a line opposite each other (approximately 15 meters or more), with each line joining hands. One group yells “Land Rover, Land Rover, send [insert child’s name from opposite group] right over!” The child who has been called must then run towards the opposite group and try and break through the line. If they succeed, they choose one person from this group and bring them back to their original group. If the child is caught in the line, without it breaking, they must stay with this group. Each group alternates until one group has all the children on its side.

Ship Ship Come Home: This is a problem-solving game, in which children learn that they can rely on friends around them to help solve problems. It helps children build resilience. 
How To Play: Divide the children into two groups. One group shouts to the other group “Ship ship come home!” and the opposite group will run to catch friends from the other side. The children who are caught will join the group which caught them.

10 to 1 Game: This game develops counting skills, and provides great exercise as well! 
How To Play: First pump your left arm 10x, followed by right arm 10x, then your left leg 10x, followed by your right leg 10x, counting out lead. Repeat by pumping each arm and leg 9x, then 8x, and so on.

Chili go go go Chilipaliwe: This game teaches children to assist each other when a friend or relative runs into a problem and needs help. 
How To Play: The children form a circle, with each child sitting facing the middle. Each child holds a small stone, and everyone starts chanting “go, go na go go” while passing a stone around to the next friend. The stones keep moving in the rhythm of the chant as it continues.

Thanks

Links:

Jul 16, 2014

A Brief Report on Business Training and Micro Loans Provided to New Women Entrepreneurs in Zambia

Introduction

In June 2014, 22 new women were identified to be provided with business training and loans to start small businesses. The loan disbursement activities, were held on June 12, 2014. The women who received loans were happy and said that they were looking forward to starting a business with the loan capital and would work hard to make their businesses successful.  For most women this was their first business venture.  

Profile of the New Beneficiaries

The women in this group range in ages from 33 to 65 years of age. Most women are taking care of several family members with a typical household size of eight, out of which five are children.  They have chosen to start a diverse set of businesses ranging from groceries (fruits, dry fish, tea, soft drinks, vegetables, Beans, Kapenta, fresh fish, mealie meal- a Zambian staple), restaurant, hair salon, used clothing, shoes, and clothing items.

Business Training

The women completed a four day business training course prior to receiving the loan capital. In addition, the women formed groups (4-5 women in each group) to support each other in running their businesses. A list of the topics covered during business training is as follows:

  • Market investigation: The trainees are asked to brainstorm and come up with ideas on the kind of business they would like to start/expand, who their customers will be, location of their business, and the process of selling their goods or services.
  • Buying: Issues such as quality, pricing, sourcing of materials, quantity and frequency of purchases of raw materials/inventory are discussed.
  • Costing and pricing: In addition to cost of materials, competition, and pricing of final product, trainees are asked to think about filling a need in the marketplace and developing unique products by use their individual talents and competencies.
  • Selling: The concept of selling above cost and profit is introduced. In addition, ideas on how to attract and retain customers are discussed.
  • MoneyManagement: In this module, we discuss the importance of bookkeeping and accounting. We encourage the women to keep a Money Management sheet/book for their business finances. We guide them on how to separate funds for capital, loan repayment, hire purchase expenses (if any), savings, and family expenses. This helps them estimate if their capita is growing/decreasing/at the same level as the loan capital amount.    
  • Creating a simple business plan: By the end of the fourth day of training the women are able to provide information on location of their business, where they will purchase raw materials/inventory, how they are going to set up their store, proposed mark-up, list of equipment (if needed), estimated fixed and variable costs, funds required to start/expand business, if funds need to be borrowed/or from own funds, profile of customers, and how to attract/retain customers, and their goals for the next 1-2 years. In addition, if they think they are ready to start a business and begin selling, they are qualified for the loan and graduated from business training.  

Disbursement of loans

The women were provided with a loan capital in the amount of $120-140 and are expected to complete loan repayments in 25 weekly instalments. They meet with the loan officer every week to make repayments, ask questions, learn from their peers about running a business, and discuss issues important to them (like taking care of an HIV+ child,  importance of keeping children in school, HIV prevention, importance of getting tested for HIV etc.). At the end of every two months they attend a business mentoring session in which they have the opportunity to meet a business person like themselves (who is running a successful business), and this person is available to answer questions. 

During the course of the loan, our loan officers visit the businesses on a regular basis to monitor and advice the women on how to improve sales, store layout, provide better customer service, keep records of costs, accounting help, and pricing.  

Once the women have finished repaying the first loan they will be participate in refresher training and will be provided with a second loan in the same amount.  At the end of the third loan cycle, the women are weaned off the program as they are expected to have accumulated enough capital to run their business on their own.

Conclusion

The new women who received loans are happy as they hope to take better care of their families, and keep/send their children to school. They are confident about their business and plan to continue working hard to expand their business and earnings potential over the next few months.  

Links:

Jul 16, 2014

An Update from the Field: Meet Two Children who can be Role Models

With your generous support, we have been able to continue to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. At this time, every one of the 200 HIV+ children receives food, medicines and a package of life-saving health care services. The package of health care services includes weekly health check-ups 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, caregivers (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for several orphaned grandchildren) are provided training in caring for an HIV positive child. 

We would like you to meet two children, Mary and Jack who have been in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program for the last 7-8 years. Both these children understand the importance of staying in school, go in for clinic visits on their own, adhere to their medication regimen, and are growing up to be responsible adults. Mary and Jack have a positive outlook and we hope that they can be role/models for the younger children once they turn 18 years old and graduate from our program.     

Mary (not her real name) was born in 1995, and lives with her grandmother, mother and five other people in the household. Before she was enrolled on our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program, she complained of headache, productive cough, and ear problems, and was not able to increase her weight. Since her health was poor, her grandmother took her in for VCT (voluntary counseling and testing) in 2005. Mary tested positive for HIV and started ARV’s in 2006. After a few months of medication, her health started improving and she started gaining weight.  Her grandmother is grateful as she attributes her grand daughter's health to the food, medicines and continuous health care services provided by our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program.  

Mary is aware of her HIV positive status and lives with a positive outlook on life. She goes for clinic visits and medical check-ups on her own and adheres to her medication regimen. She is studying in Grade 11 and her school performance is good. She is confident of finishing high school in 2015, and is working hard towards becoming a contributing member of her community. 

Jack (not his real name) was born in 1995 and lives with his grandmother and eight other family members. He lost both his parents to HIV related illnesses in 2005 and 2006. Since he was one year old, his health was poor as he had fever, malaria, diarrhea, and anemia and was in and out of hospital. In 2005, Jack's grandmother got him tested for HIV and he tested positive. At this time his health was very poor with a CD4 count of just 250. He started ARV’s in 2006. The ARV medication led to an improvement in his health but had frequent opportunistic infections. He was enrolled in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program in 2007 and since then his health is much better (measured in terms of higher weight and CD4 count).

Jack is aware of his HIV positive status and his life is close to normal. He picks up his medication from the Government clinic on his own. At this time, he is behind in school for his age but is doing well in school and at home.

Need for Funds: We are raising funds to continue to care for and support these children in 2014. Please donate generously so that we can continue to achieve our goal of 100% HIV free births, and all 200 children can continue to stay healthy and in school. As always, 100% of your donations go towards programs and no part is used for overheads.

Thanks for your caring and support. 

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