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.
Mar 28, 2013

What makes Power of Love's Pediatric HIV/AIDS care Program Unique?

Training Provided to Caregivers of children in our program

While designing our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program in 2004, one of the questions we repeatedly asked ourselves was: how can this program strengthen the community and empower caregivers (many of them grandmothers) to take care of their family members? We wanted this program to do more than provide food, medicines and health care services to HIV positive children in the community of Matero, in Lusaka, Zambia. We wanted to provide the right tools to the community to take of their family members. Our goal was strengthen the women and grandmothers, so that they could take care of their own children and sick family members at home. With the help of the Harvard School of Public Health, we developed a curriculum especially designed for women caregivers in Zambia. When a child is enrolled in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program, the parent/guardian undergoes week long training in caring for an HIV positive child. This unique approach has led to survival rates of 95% for children in our program. We have lost 11 children out of the 368 enrolled in the program since 2004 - statistically, we could have lost many more as life expectancy for an HIV positive child at birth is only 4-5 years.

The goal of the training is to equip parents/guardians in basic nursing skills and psychosocial counseling so that the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7.  Post training, parents/guardians are able to take care of different kinds of opportunistic infections that are common among HIV positive children at home and are able to identify situations when the child needs a higher level of care. To date more than 450 caregivers have been trained.

Brief description of the Training Program

The following topics are covered in a typical training session:

1. Child health: Importance of visits to the clinic for young children, Nutrition and sanitation, Hygiene, and Medication, Communication and confidentiality.

2. Basic Facts about HIV/AIDS: Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), Antiretroviral Therapy, Adherence.

3. Opportunistic infections and how to treat them at home: Diarrhea, Vomiting, Cough, Fever, Mouth, ear, nose, skin problems, Headaches, Abdominal pains, Tuberculosis

4. Review of danger signs and when to take the child to the clinic/hospital.

5. Psychosocial care and support

6. Signs and symptoms of breast/cervical cancer.

7. Legal help and where to get it.

8. Discussion on the environmental issues.

Measurable Outcomes of the Training

As a result of this training, the parent/guardian is able to:

1. Provide better care to the child in all aspects.

2. Able to share adequate information on HIV/AIDS and ARVs with the child.

3. Parents/caregivers are motivated to go in HIV testing.

4. They are better able to counsel the child.

5. They are able to identify danger signs and refer the child to the next level of care.

6. They are able to adhere to treatment and care hence reducing the number of clinic visits.

We would be happy to provide you with more information on training for grandmothers program. 

Thanks again for your support and encouragement.

Links:

Mar 24, 2013

Stories of Successful Women Entrepreneurs in our Micro Loans Program

Power of Love's micro loans program provides business training, loans and business monitoring and advice to poor women entrepreneurs in Zambia. Over the last few years, our women entrepreneurs have built successful businesses even though each and every one of them is battling difficult circumstances to provide for their families and keep their children healthy, and in school. In addition, they have started planning and saving for a better future for themselves and their families. The women are now comfortable with planning and saving - ideas that were foreign to their culture just a few months back. In addition, our women entrepreneurs 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, becoming role models and mentors for other men and women in the community. This leads to substantive ripple effects in the community beyond the program participants themselves. For more information please click here.

Given below are stories of two women entrepreneurs who received loans from this program and are now on the road to self-reliance.

Monica: Monica is 32 years old with two of her own children and two children from her late brother. One of her dependents is HIV positive. Before, Monica joined our micro loans program she was dependent on food from the Church and could not afford to pay rent for her house leading to frequent moves.  Once she joined the micro loans program, she received business training and a small loan to start a business. Monica started a business selling vegetables and is now running a small drug store. At this time, she is able to pay for school fees and expenses for her children. Since, Monica has been paying her rent on time she has been living in the same place for over a year. In addition, she has been able to almost double her capital. Monica is happy that she was able to join Power of Love's micro loans program and is looking forward to a bright future.

Winnie: Winnie is a 42 years old widow. She has six children and two dependents and she was finding it difficult to care for a household with nine people. After she lost her husband, her children stopped going to school since she could not afford school fees, and could afford only one meal per day for her family. Winnie used to sell vegetable when her husband was alive but exhausted all her savings on her husband's illness.  One of our women entrepreneurs informed her about our loans program and subsequently Winnie was enrolled in our program. Winnie received business training and a loan to start a business and since then her life changed for the better. In addition, her son was enrolled in Power of Love's pediatric HIV/AIDS care program. She is now able to pay for school fees and school expenses and is able to take better care of her family. Winnie takes orders for clothes in Lusaka, travels to the Tanzania border, buys clothes and shoes there, comes back and sells them at home. Her business is doing well and she more than doubled her capital by the time she graduated out of our program. In the next few months, she plans diversify her business by traveling to S.Africa to purchase hardware to sell at home.

Winnie has promised to come back and act as a mentor to other women in this program to show her appreciation for what she has been able to achieve as a result of the training and loan she received from this program. 

Thanks again for supporting poor women entrepreneurs start and grow a business and take the first steps towards self-reliance. 

Links:

Mar 21, 2013

Stories of children who are Malaria Free and in School as a result of Sleeping under a Net

Project Mosquito Nets provides education on prevention of malaria and long lasting insecticide treated nets to children and families vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. Segments of the population that are particularly vulnerable to malaria and for whom malaria could be fatal include: children under five years, older people, pregnant women, people living with HIV, and people who have TB. Children and adults who have HIV/AIDS are more likely to experience severe malaria requiring hospitalization and the risk of death. An added complication is that co-infection rates between HIV, malaria, and TB are high.  

Over the last few years we have seen that as a result of sleeping under a net, the incidence of malaria has been reduced, and school attendance has increased due to improved health of the children. For a short video on the distribution day activities click here. To learn more about our malaria prevention program in Zambia click here.  Given below are stories of two children who have been successful in preventing malaria, are attending school and are living close to normal lives.

Nelly: Nelly is a 10 year old HIV positive fourth grader. She lives with her grandmother in a household with 14 people as she lost her parents to AIDS. Nelly's grandmother received a long lasting insecticide treated net last September and since then both Nelly and her grandmother have been sleeping under a net. As a result, Nelly has been malaria free and is attending school regularly. We hope to provide nets to all members in Nelly's household at the next distribution.

Grace:  Grace is 13 years old, HIV positive and is on ARV medication. She takes her medication regularly and on time as she understands the importance of adhering to the medication regimen.  Grace is a bright young girl who loves school and all her classes. Her parents (also HIV positive) received nets from our program and since then the three of them have been malaria free. Since, Grace's family is HIV positive they are at increased risk of malaria (as their immune system is compromised) and the protection provided by anti-malarial treatment is also lower. Grace and her parents are grateful for the nets and for the existence of Project Mosquito Nets in their neighborhood.

Need For Nets: The need for several thousand more nets is ongoing for the following reasons:

(i) In areas like Chunga and Zingaluma there are several water logged areas/sewers which are breeding grounds of mosquitoes.

(ii) Due to an unemployment rate upwards of 67%, the residents of the community are not able to afford a net. In addition, a high rate of HIV incidence increases their vulnerability to malaria.

Request for Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN’s) 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.   

The recipients of nets hope that this program continues in 2013 and beyond and would like us to convey their thanks to donors.

Thanks as always for your support for this program.

Links:

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