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.
Jan 30, 2012

Update on Power of Love's Project "Micro Loans for Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia"

Update on Power of Love's Project “Micro Loans for Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia”

As a result of your continued support, we were able to provide business training and small loans to 50 new women “entrepreneurs” in Lusaka, Zambia in 2011. We would like to sincerely thank the Mary D. Fisher Fund and other donors who continue to support this program. Almost all the women who were provided with loans in 2011, are on schedule with their repayments as we continue to monitor the progress of their businesses and suggest ways to increase sales and profits.  We expect this loan cycle to be completed by March 31, 2012 with the women repaying loan capital (approximately $135) with 10% interest rate. Businesses started with this program range from selling bananas along the roadside to brick-and-mortar stores selling cellphone chargers and accessories. Many women distribute fish to local restaurants, fry donut-like snacks for stores, or make their own floor wax. The goal of the program is to empower women and help them to become self-sufficient and able to provide for their families.

One of the unique features of this program is that every woman is either infected with or affected by AIDS, and fewer than 5% have a bank account. As a result, other microfinance organizations typically do not make loans to them. The women are qualified using a community referral system and through several interviews by Power of Love’s microfinance coordinator, Esther Shumba. After a woman is selected for a loan, she undergoes a week of intensive business training, builds a credible business plan, and is assigned to a team with four other women. Each team is held accountable for ensuring that the others in their group are on track with their loan repayment.

One key element of this program is the weekly meetings which have benefited the women significantly in several ways. The women meet once a week to discuss their businesses and how to improve sales, issues connected with care for families who are HIV positive, share their successes and failures and to make their loan repayments. For example, one of the ladies - Alice was having trouble finding a place to sell high-quality soap she was importing from South Africa. Another woman in the program has a brother who owns a small general store, and agreed to rent Alice some shelf space. Alice now has a healthy business importing this soap, has expanded into other product lines, and has laid the foundation on a small home for herself and her two sons. Alice has graduated from Power of Love’s program, but continues to serve as a mentor to other women in the program and is able to send her sons to high school.

Given below is a picture of some of the women singing before the start of their weekly meeting at the Power of Love offices in Lusaka, Zambia. The lady with the cell phone around her neck is Alice, one of the successful graduates of this program.

To sum, the key aspects of the POL microfinance model are: (1) the division of loan recipients into small teams that hold each other accountable; (2) weekly program-wide meetings to share insight and collect repayment; and (3) consistent business training, including an initial course, a refresher course, and mentoring from successful program graduates.

Next Steps: At this time we are in the process of setting up a partnership with FINCA, the largest provider of microloans in Zambia and a major presence worldwide (distributed $800 million in loans in 2011). Many women, like Alice Bamba above, have graduated from Power of Love’s microfinance program and have built successful businesses, but are eager to invest more capital and grow their business to the next level. Power of Love and FINCA have agreed to send such women to the FINCA branch in the community of Matero (where are program is located), with the intent of building a relationship that allows POL to refer women directly to the FINCA branch in Matero and help integrate the women into FINCA’s village banking model.

To date, this program has provided 450 loans to women impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia and improved the lives of over 4000 people in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia. At this time we have 160 women who are on this program and running successful businesses.

Power of Love’s micro loans program helps women impacted by HIV/AIDS take the first steps towards breaking the cycle of poverty, acquiring a marketable skill and becoming self-reliant. In addition we monitor the businesses and provide business expertise to all loan beneficiaries to ensure the success of their businesses. Your support goes a long way in improving the lives of women and families impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia. Microfinance has transformed the lives of many poor mothers and grandmothers in AIDS-stricken Africa and is truly a powerful tool in helping women become self-reliant.

Thanks.

Links:

Nov 15, 2011

An Update on Project Mosquito Nets - Nets Distribution in Zambia in October 2011

Distribution in Kapiri in Oct 2011
Distribution in Kapiri in Oct 2011

An Update on Project Mosquito Nets - Nets Distribution in Zambia in October 2011

Introduction:

Power of Love Foundation’s (POL) Project Mosquito Nets program provides long lasting insecticide treated bed nets to women and children vulnerable to Malaria in Zambia. We would like to sincerely thank donors who continue to support this program. It is with your support that we were able to provide 1000 insecticide treated nets to women and children vulnerable to Malaria in and around Lusaka, Zambia in October 2011.

Distribution of Nets in Zambia

Recipients were identified through community outreach, including door-to-door home visits and were chosen based on need. For example, households with children under the age of 15 years living with unemployed grandparents, children of parents who were unemployed or too poor to purchase nets, and children of HIV positive parents. Each beneficiary household was given one net with the understanding that the net will be used by 1-3 family members.

Location of the Distribution of Nets

1. Site: Kapiri-Mposhi, Zambia. Nets Distributed: 700

The majority of the nets were distributed to residents of the Ndeke compound in Kapiri-Mposhi, Zambia. Kapiri-Mposhi is a town of 75,000 residents located approximately 220 km away from Lusaka. The Power of Love Foundation partnered with “Shalom Project” (a local non-profit organization) to identify beneficiaries and complete distribution activities. The need for nets is huge in the Ndeke compound of Kapiri-Mposhi as most of its residents are unemployed and too poor to afford bed nets. In the rainy season in particular, this area becomes waterlogged and swampy creating an ideal breeding ground for mosquitos. In addition, Kapiri has high rates of HIV infection as it is the transport link for Tanzania.

In 2010, Power of Love had distributed 1200 insecticide treated nets to the residents of Ndeke compound and one net was being used by 2-3 people on average. We are seeing a reduction in malaria cases as a result of the provision of nets in 2010 and in 2011. The Table below gives the number of malaria cases for the period, May to September for 2010 and 2011. This data was collected from the local clinic and shows a drop of 26% in the number of malaria cases in 2011.

Table 1 – Number of Malaria Cases in Ndeke, Kapiri-Mposhi for the months of May to September for 2010 and 2011.

                         Malaria Cases in 2010                        Malaria Cases in 2011

            May             246                                            May                 290

            June            477                                            June                 247

            July             450                                            July                  349

            August           95                                           August               85

            September    172                                            September         88                                          Total       1440                                            Total             1059

2. Distribution Site: Chiyuyu, Zambia. Nets Received: 200

Chiyuyu is approximately 45 km away from Lusaka. The area includes a swamp land and the river, both of which contribute to the high rates of malaria in the region. With over 5,000 people spread across 7 villages, the single local clinic is overworked with malaria cases. The clinic had requested nets from the Power of Love in order to reduce the number of malaria cases.

3. Distribution Site: Lupwa Lowabumi, Zambia. Nets Received: 50

Lupwa Lowabumi is a rural town approximately 50 km from Lusaka. The Zambian Association of Child and Youth Care workers partnered with the Lupwa Lowabumi community to form a Safe Park (community youth program) and nets were provided to participating youth.

4. Distribution Site: Lusaka, Zambia. Nets Received: 50 

Power of Love operates a pediatric AIDS care clinic in the Matero Compound in Lusaka and children enrolled in this program were provided with nets.

Impact of the Distribution

Provision of bed nets and education on malaria prevention and proper use and maintenance of nets will go a long way in eradicating malaria from the community. We expect to see a marked reduction in the incidence of malaria due to: (i) lower infection rates will lead to higher school attendance, and (ii) health of people living with HIV/AIDS will improve as their immune system is not further compromised due to malaria.

Distribution in Kapiri in Oct 2011, number 2
Distribution in Kapiri in Oct 2011, number 2

Links:

Nov 6, 2011

An Update on Power of Love's Project "Micro Loans For Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia

Update on Power of Love's Project “Micro Loans for Women Impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia”

Power of Love’s micro loans program helps women impacted by HIV/AIDS take the first steps towards breaking the cycle of poverty, acquiring a marketable skill and becoming self-reliant. We would like to sincerely thank the Mary D. Fisher Fund and other donors who continue to support this program. It is with your support that we are able to provide business training and small loans to women impacted by HIV/AIDS. In addition we monitor the businesses and provide business expertise to all loan beneficiaries to ensure the success of their businesses. Your support goes a long way in improving the lives of women and families impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia. Microfinance has transformed the lives of many poor mothers and grandmothers in AIDS-stricken Africa and is truly a powerful tool in helping women become self-reliant.

In 2011, as a result of your support, we were able to provide business training and small loans to 50 new women “entrepreneurs” in Lusaka, Zambia. In addition we continue to monitor and provide support to the 100 women who were provided with loans and business training in 2010.

Loans provided to 50 new women “entrepreneurs” in September 2011

1. Fifty women were identified (based mostly on need and ability to run a business), who would be provided with loans and business training. A list of the 50 women is given below.

2. Business training was provided to the 50 new women entrepreneurs in September 2011. Training was provided in 2 sessions with 25 women in each session. The 5-day business training was attended and completed successfully by all 50 women.

3. On September 15, 2011 loans were provided to 50 women in the amount of approx. $130 each. The women have started making repayments and we expect that the loan cycle will be completed in 6-8 months.

4. Some of the businesses started by the women are:

a. Groceries (Mille meal, rice, sugar, cooking oil, soap, vegetables, dried fish, dressed chicken, popcorn), b. Used goods (clothes, shoes, handbags), c. Hair salon/ Barber shop, d. Cell phone covers and chargers.

Attached is a picture of one of the women's new hair salon. She now works with her sister and both are building financial stability for their families. The salon owner is proud of her hard work and successful outcome and enjoys giving her clients pleasant feelings about their appearance and contributing to their happiness.

Mechanics of the Micro Loans Program:

The small loans and business training and monitoring successfully enable women to engage in self-employment projects. Loan beneficiaries (a total of 150 women) meet weekly with the loan officer to make loan repayments, and discuss business related issues and issues related to HIV/AIDS, schooling of chidlren with other women entrepreneurs and the loan officer. In addition, individual women meet regularly in groups of four which helps to aid in decision making and provide support for each other. Loan repayments are made in 25 weekly installments. The women who are eligible may receive up to 3 loans over 1 ½- 2 years. At present there are 150 loans in process with a 85- 90% repayment rate @ 10% interest.

Impact of the Micro Loans Program

On average each women provides care to 7-8 people in her household. This means that the total of 150 loans benefit 1100 people directly and an additional 1100 people indirectly as our loan beneficiaries talk to other women and encourage them to go in or testing, take medicines and start a new business to become self- reliant. These loans help a poor household meet basic needs, protect against unexpected financial expenses and help keep the children in school. For some women there is a dramatic improvement in standard of living so they may even graduate out of poverty. For all involved there is perceived improvement in gender equality, improved economic welfare, and a sense of wellbeing and self-empowerment. Some of our women entrepreneurs have become role models not only for other women in the community but for men as well. All of the above indicate that this program is making a significant difference in the lives of several thousand people in Zambia and we expect this change to be sustained over a long period of time.

Appendix - Names of New Women Entrepreneurs Provided Loans in 2011

NAMES

1 Jane Phiri

2. Nancy Simukonda

3. Brenda Mwansa

4. Diana Chulu

5. Elestina Z. Moyo

6. Mary Malunga

7. Claudia Fellouis

8. Mary Ngoma

9. Milika Mwanza

10. Adina Miti

11. Malibisa Malibisa

12. Mary Mbinda

13. Bethar Shumba

14. Alice Miti

15. Caroline Mumba

16. Getrudy Mvula

17. Esther Tembo

18. Florence Kwanja

19. Margaret Zinkata

20. Monica Makolesa

21. Esther Matukuta

22. Fllornce Nzumba

23. Ireen Chikota

24. Doreen Phiri

25. Ireem Chuma

26. Wintness Nyirongo

27. Dorothy Mbewe

28. Pamela Chiwe

29. Anna Muyanga

30. Agnes Kakoma

31. Helen Temo

32. Susan Zulu

33. Sharon kunda

34. Mwenya Chilekwe

35. Malesiyana Bunda

36. Mary Ngoma

37. Eunice Banda

38. Musanide Mwenda

39. Margaret Lungu

40. Chewe Chota

41. Josephine Ngulube

42. Ines Mwale

43. Doreen Chipasha

44. Jane Mulenga

45. Faides Khuni

46. Juatina Banda

47. Alice Mudima

48. Charity Cuma

49. Erika Kayuni

50. Doric Cheleshe

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