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.
Jul 28, 2013

Meet our Heroes: Stories of Two Successful Women Entrepreneurs

Power of Love’s (POL) micro loans program empowers women impacted by HIV/AIDS by providing them with business training, a small loan, and business advice and monitoring over the course of the loan period. Our program is specifically designed for women caring for the HIV-infected and is one of the few loan programs that works with women infected or impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Meet our Heroes:
Dorothy cares for nine children - four children of her own and five orphans. Her business of selling vegetables was not doing well due to several similar vendors in her area. Dorothy wanted to start a new business but needed capital of at least $120-150. She enrolled in Power of Love's micro loans program and received business training and a loan to start a new business. Her new business (soap, oil, detergent, eggs, toiletries) is doing well and with earnings from her business she has been able to pay for school expenses for two children who were not in school due to lack of funds. Dorothy plans on working hard and use the skills she learnt during business training to take her business forward. At present, Dorothy is happy that her business is doing well; her children are eating better, and are in school. She has become a mentor to other women in the community and encourages them to take charge of their own lives.

Jane is a widow caring for four children of her own and three children from her late brother. Both her husband and brother died the same year leaving her with no means to care for her family. Jane enrolled in our micro loans program, received business training and a loan and started selling fruits. At present Jane is on her third loan cycle and her business is doing well. She has expanded her assortment of goods to include eggs, cooking oil, and other types of groceries. She is very happy that she is able to take care of her family with earnings from her business. Jane's plan for the future is to keep all the children in her care in school and make their living arrangement more comfortable by extending her late brother's one room house. She is confident that she can achieve her goals by working hard and saving for her future.

Need For Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide an additional 100 new loans to women entrepreneurs like Dorothy and Jane in August 2013. This will bring the total number of women in our program to 250. Please donate generously to help these women take better care of their families, keep their children in school and take the first steps towards self-reliance.

Conclusion: Micro loans successfully enable women to engage in self-employment projects and set them on the road to self-reliance. These loans help a poor household meet basic needs and protect against unexpected financial expenses. For most women there is a dramatic improvement in their standard of living and they may graduate out of poverty. For all involved there is perceived improvement in gender equality, improved economic welfare, and a sense of well-being and self-empowerment. We are proud to report that all of the outcomes of this project continue to be significant, sustainable and permanent. 

Links:

Jul 28, 2013

From the Field: An Update on "Health Care for 200 HIV Positive Children in Zambia"

Power of Love's pediatric HIV/AIDS care program continues to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. The vision for this program is to strengthen women and grandmothers, so that they can take care of their own children and sick family members at home. We do this by providing food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services to HIV positive children in Zambia.

The goal of this program is to keep children healthy so that they can attend school. At this time we have 200 HIV positive children in our program and 167 are of school going age. Out of these 167 children, 129 are in elementary school, 29 in middle school, and 9 in high school. We are proud that these children are able to attend school as out of the 200 children only 26% are being cared for by both parents, 84%  being cared for by a single parent,  grandparents or other relatives. We strive constantly to ensure that all children eligible for school are in school.

In addition to food and medicines, our program provides weekly health checkups, psychosocial counseling, education in prevention of HIV, adherence monitoring, and malaria bed nets to the children. As a result of this high quality care provided, most children are stable in health and able to live close to normal lives. In fact, most children showed positive signs of improvement in their health as measured by their weight and CD4 counts. All children (except two) gained weight/stayed same in weight; and all children (except 1) had stable or higher CD4 counts since January 2013. In addition, out of the 128 children on anti-retroviral medication, more than half are aware of their HIV positive status. Children who are aware of their status undergo adherence training that teaches them the importance of taking their medicines on time and provides them with simple tools so that they can adhere to their medication regimen. In addition, our Nurse and health workers monitor their adherence to the medication regimen and so far all children are adhering well to their medications.

Our program impacts 200 children and their families directly and an additional 1200 children indirectly as the family members share their knowledge of caring for an HIV positive child with others in the community. Your generous donation will provide much needed food, medicines, and health care services to several hundred children in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia, and help them stay healthy and in school.

Thanks for your continued support.  

Links:

Jun 15, 2013

Our Women Entrepreneurs: An Update on Their Businesses

Our Women Entrepreneurs: An Update on Their Businesses 

Father's Day is Sunday, June 16. This Father's Day give a gift of empowerment to a family in Zambia.

Power of Love’s (POL) micro loans program empowers women impacted by HIV/AIDS by providing them with
business training, a small loan, and business advice and monitoring over the course of the loan period. Since every woman in our program is either infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS, fewer than 5% have a bank account and as a result, microfinance organizations typically do not provide loans to them. Our program is specifically designed for women caring for the HIV-infected and is one of the few loan programs that works with women infected or impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Businesses started with these loans are diverse and range from selling bananas along the roadside to brick-and-mortar stores selling cell phone chargers and accessories. Many women distribute fish to local restaurants, fry donut-like snacks for stores, or make their own floor wax. Additional businesses include: Groceries (mille meal, rice, sugar, cooking oil, soap, vegetables, dried fish, dressed chicken, popcorn), used goods (clothes, shoes, handbags), hair salon/barber shop, electrical fittings, and knitted sweaters. On average, a loan enables a family of 7-8 people to eat better and for the children to attend school. In addition, about two-thirds of the women have the sole responsibility for caring for everyone in their household as they are either widowed or single.

Impact of the Loans Program: With businesses started with the help of the loans and earnings from their businesses, most women are able to feed, clothe and educate their families. Repayment rates are around 90-92%; extraordinary by any measure, but especially so given the harsh circumstances the women face. To date, this program has provided 475 loans to women impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia and has improved the lives of over 4000 people in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia.

At this time we have 170 women running successful to moderately successful businesses. As a result of earnings from these businesses more than 100 children have been able to go back to school as their moms/grandmothers are able to pay for school expenses. Further, as the women move on to their second and third loan cycles, they graduate from selling lower value goods like fruit and vegetables or grocery items to higher value items like used clothing, blankets, school jerseys/uniforms, toiletries, shoes. Out of the 170 women, 153 women are on track with their repayments as their businesses are doing well and many of them have increased their capital and started saving bank accounts. At this time, the remaining 17 businesses are not doing well and we are advising the women on how to turn around their business and tracking each business closely.     

Need For Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide an additional 100 new loans to women entrepreneurs in September 2013. This will bring the total number of women in our program to 270. Please donate generously to help these women take better care of their families, keep their children in school and take the first steps towards self-reliance.  

Conclusion: Micro loans successfully enable women to engage in self-employment projects and set them on the road to self-reliance. These loans help a poor household meet basic needs and protect against unexpected financial expenses. For most women there is a dramatic improvement in their standard of living and they may graduate out of poverty. For all involved there is perceived improvement in gender equality, improved economic welfare, and a sense of well-being and self-empowerment. We are proud to report that all of the outcomes of this project continue to be significant, sustainable and permanent. 

Links:

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