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 28, 2012

An Update on Businesses Run by Women Entrepreneurs in "Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS"

We would like to say a big "Thank You" to you for supporting women entrepreneurs in Zambia. Your generous donations have helped our women entrepreneurs to start a business and make it grow, support themselves and their families, and take the first steps towards self-reliance.

Power of Love’s microloans program empowers women impacted by HIV/AIDS and helps them take the first steps towards self-reliance. You will be happy to know that we now have 170 women running businesses in Lusaka, Zambia. Women in our micro loans program are provided with loans, business training, and ongoing monitoring and business support from trained staff.  At this time, the 170 women entrepreneurs meet weekly with the loan officer, discuss issues related to their loans, children's health, schooling, HIV prevention, and how to improve their businesses. They are applying the basic principles of business by tracking sales, inventories, expenses, and keeping accounts daily. In addition, they are learning that a better store design and display leads to more sales and repeat customers. A majority of the women are on track with repayments.

About the Businesses: Out of 170 women, 145 women received their first loan in March of 2010 and they are expected to complete their third loan cycle by January 2013. From this group of 145 women, 81 have increased their capital and are well on their way to self-reliance. This group of 81 women encourages the other women in the program to work hard to improve sales from their businesses. In addition, the 25 new women entrepreneurs who received loans in September 2012 are expected to complete their first loan cycle by April/May 2013. Once they complete their first loan cycle, they will be eligible for a second loan. Typically, the businesses started with the loan funds are: (i) grocery items like dried fish, beans, rice, cooking pots, cups and plates, bananas, soft drinks, popcorn, charcoal, fresh fish, cup cakes, milk, sugar, tea, coffee, vegetables, fruits, peanut butter, fritters, (ii) books (mostly Bibles), (iii) clothing: school jerseys, used clothing, and (iv) shoes. In addition, a few women have purchased a small plot of land each to start building rooms and rent the rooms for income purposes.

Short term Impact of the Program: The businesses help provide for 850 children, as on average a woman cares for 5 or more children in her home. Also, as a result of earnings from these businesses, the health and nutrition of the family improves, parents and family members can pay for school expenses (books, shoes, school bag, uniforms), and the children can go back to school.

Long term Impact of the Program: The long-term impact of our micro loans program is to allow women to start planning, saving, and building a better future for themselves and their families. Each and every one of our woman entrepreneurs is a star as they are battling difficult circumstances to provide for their families and keep their children healthy, and in school. Most of them have built successful businesses, and have become role models and mentors for other women in the community. These role models/mentors encourage others in the community to go in for voluntary testing and counseling (VCT) to reduce the spread of HIV infection, start businesses, and take charge of their own lives. This leads to substantial positive impact on the community beyond the program participants themselves.  

Thanks.

Links:

Dec 28, 2012

Conversations with Beneficiaries of Malaria Nets

          Conversations with Beneficiaries of Malaria Nets Distributed in September 2012

We would like to wish our friends and supporters a Very Happy and Peaceful New Year.  With encouragement and support from you, Project Mosqutio Nets continues to provide education on prevention of malaria and long lasting insecticide treated nets to families vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. To learn more click here.

Impact of the Distribution of Nets in September: Three months after the nets were distributed our Project Nurse had conversations with several families regarding the impact of the nets on their household. Here is what we learnt.

1. Most of the families who received nets live in areas which are densely populated, have a high incidence of HIV/AIDS, and have areas that are breeding grounds for mosquitoes due to standing water (such as the George compound, Chungwa and Chingwere areas).

2. The average household size is about 8-9 people and they share 1-2 rooms and a small kitchen area. Since space is limited one of the challenges is to store the nets properly during the day as the sleeping area is used as a living room during the day. This means that they hang the nets at night but then have to take them down every morning.

3. On average 2-3 people are sleeping under one net. This implies that one net can prevent malaria 2-3 people.

4. All of the families we chatted with have been malaria free since they received the nets as they are using and maintaining the nets as demonstrated during the distribution event.

5. The nets have prolonged the life span of HIV positive children and adults, as people living with HIV are three times as likely to suffer from malaria, as compared to a person who is HIV negative. In addition, malaria can be fatal in cases of women who are expecting a child and are HIV positive.

6. All the beneficiaries interviewed are happy with the receipt of nets, hope that this program continues in 2013 and beyond and would like us to convey their thanks to donors.

To Sum: The program has been received with a lot of enthusiasm in Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. This is proven by the fact that there is huge crowd on the day of the distribution and we have to take the help of the local police to maintain peace and order during the distribution activities. Provision of bed nets and education on malaria prevention and proper use and maintenance of nets goes a long way in eradicating malaria from the community. As a result of this distribution of nets, and proper use by beneficiaries we are seeing a marked reduction in the incidence of malaria and an increase in school attendance. However, several thousand more nets are needed as there are several thousand households without bed nets in Zambia.

Request for Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide 1000 long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN’s) in the Spring of 2013 and an additional 1000 nets in Fall 2013. 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 support and encouragement.

Links:

Dec 27, 2012

A Conversation with Precious

Precious
Precious

A Conversation with one of the girls in our "Health Care for 200 HIV Positive Children in Zambia" Program

We would like to wish our friends and supporters a Very Happy and Peaceful New Year. With encouragement and support from you, we have been able continue to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. To learn more click here.

In the fall of 2012, our Nurse had the following conversation with one of the girls in our program. This conversation took place between our Nurse and Precious after she was was informed by her mom about her HIV positive status. Precious is 13 years old and would like to become a Nurse.  

Nurse (N): How did you feel when you came to know of your HIV positive status?

Precious (P): Nothing, because at school we learn about HIV/AIDS. I accepted my status because even my mother has HIV. 

N: Apart from your mother, who else knows or who have you told about your HIV status?  

P: My uncle and Aunt know that I have HIV but I don’t know if my father knows because my parents are divorced.

N: Do you go to school?  

P: Yes. 

N: Tell me more about school 

P: I am in grade 6 at Tukiya Private School, although I could have been in grade 8. I had TB and this caused me to stay out of school for one year. 

N: What time do you take your ARVs?

P: I take them at 7 in the morning and 7 in the evening.

N: Have you ever missed any medication from the time you started?

P: No, I have an alarm clock.

N: Let’s talk more about school. What subjects do you like most?

P: English, Creative and technology Studies, Social and development studies, Science and Mathematics.

N: Did you pass last term?

P: I have not yet collected my results; we will collect them next week on Friday. I want to become a Nurse and I will bring my results at your office.

N: Is there anything that you would like me to know?

P: Nothing, except that I am very happy that you visit me and you come any time.

P: Is there anything that you would like us to do for you?

N: No, you are doing enough. You visit me every week, and last week you gave my mother mealie meal and beans. I think this is too much.

N: I am very happy to know that you take medication on your own, and that you have not missed any medication. Please continue to do so and I will see you on Saturday at the Safe Park program. Thank you

Precious is enrolled in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program that provides food, medicines, and a package of life saving health care services to 200 HIV positive children. The package of health care services includes weekly health check-ups from Community Health worker/Nurse, psychosocial counseling, adherence monitoring and training, and education in prevention of HIV for older children. In addition, we provide ongoing training to family members (most are grandmothers) in caring for an HIV positive child. This program benefits 200 children and their families directly and an additional 1100 children indirectly as family members trained in HIV/AIDS care become role models for others in the community. To date, over 450 women have been trained. Also, in the last seven years, we have had 323 children go through our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program but lost eleven children to AIDS. Statistically, we could have lost 50 children or more as life expectancy of an HIV positive child is just five years at birth. More importantly most of the children are back in school. To read more click here.

Cost of this program: It costs approximately 0.75 cents per day per child or about $55,000 per year to provide food, medicines and the package of life saving healthcare services to all 200 HIV positive children. We will be happy to provide an itemized break up of costs upon request. At present, out of the 200 children, 126 children are on ARV medication and our program provides them with much needed continuous care. As a result of this continuous quality care:

(i)  all children (except two), have either maintained or gained weight since January 2012. A stable or increased weight is an indication of stable health and is remarkable given the HIV positive status of the children and especially so since 63% are on ARV's.   

(ii) We provide adherence training and monitoring for older children who are aware of their status. At this time, all children who are aware of their status are adhering well to their ARV regimen.

(iii) As a result of better nutrition and health, all children eligible for school are in school and learning.

To sum: This program has increased survival rates, reduced malnutrition, and lowered the frequency of opportunistic infections, leading to systemic and long term improvement in health and attendance for the children.   

Funding Requirements for 2013

At this time, we are raising funds to continue to:

1. Provide food, medicines, and a package life-saving health care services to all 200 children in our program,

2. Train an additional 100 caregivers/grandmothers in caring for an HIV positive child.

3. Test caregivers of the children in our program for cervical cancer and breast cancer screening.

4. Continue the HIV “testing and prevention” program for caregivers so that our model continues to be comprehensive with elements of prevention, treatment, care for HIV.

5. Continue to provide school expenses for children whose parents need this support.

6. Continue the “Safe Parks” developmental program.

Please donate generously to this program so that all 200 children can continue to lead healthy and close to normal lives, and be back in school and learning. Thanks.

Links:

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