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 17, 2013

A Report on the Distribution of Treated Mosquito Nets in Zambia

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 say a big “Thank You” to you for supporting this program. With your support, we were able to provide 1000 insecticide treated nets to women and children vulnerable to malaria in Zambia in September 2013.

Profile of Beneficiaries: Nets were provided to 1000 families in the Matero township in Lusaka, Zambia. The Matero Township is densely populated and most of areas are water logged and have sewer ponds. Due to the high prevalence of malaria in this area, we have been providing nets in Zambia since 2009. Beneficiaries of the nets were children and families in Power of Love’s pediatric HIV/IDS care program, women vulnerable to malaria in Power of Love’s microloans program and vulnerable children who attend the safe park program and members of the community who are vulnerable to malaria. In order to reach the intended beneficiaries we involved several community organizations such as Churches, and government health clinics, to identify and distribute nets through their representatives.

A list of the organizations/beneficiaries with the number of nets provided is given below:

  1. Kapiri-Mposhi (a rural area in Zambia with a high incidence of malaria)   300
  2. Children and families in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program                 350
  3. Women in our micro loans program                                                       80
  4. Families in the community of Matero (identified via Safe Park program)    65
  5. Health Clinics (including Government Clinics)                                         85
  6. Local Churches                   -                                                                75
  7. Community Organizations (e.g. Matero Police, Kwasha Mukwenu)            45

Total                                                                                                          1000

Most of the beneficiaries were children who are HIV positive, children under the age of five years, pregnant moms, women who are breast feeding, and HIV positive children, and adults who are infected with TB. These sections of the population are most vulnerable to malaria as their immune system is compromised due to their HIV positive status, and because co-infection rates between malaria, HIV and TB are very high.    

Distribution Activities: A few children played traditional Zambian games while waiting for the distribution activities to begin. Several local and Church leaders participated in the distribution activities. The distribution activities commenced with singing and dancing by the women and children present. This was followed by short plays about the benefits of using nets by teenage children. The area councilor for Lusaka, thanked the Matero Care Centre for organizing the event and the Power of Love Foundation and the Granny Connection for their support for this program. He said that he hoped that the provision of nets continues and thanked donors for supplementing the Goverments effort in the fight against malaria.A team from the Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation video taped the event for inclusion in the national news. A Nurse from one of the local clinics provided a demonstration on the proper use and maintenance of nets. She emphasized the need of using a mosquito net every night as was the best way to prevent malaria. She encouraged the participants to retreat the nets every few months and especially when the government clinics provide this retreatment kits free of cost. Finally, the Nurse underscored the need of keeping the nets clean and how to store them to prevent damage when not in use.

Impact of the Distribution: 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 expect to see a marked reduction in the incidence of malaria and an increase in school attendance. Also, a post-distribution study will be conducted to assess the impact of the nets on the incidence of malaria and to determine if the nets are maintained (treated with insecticide) and used as required.

Need for Nets: Follow-up interviews with nets recipients indicates that the nets distributed over the last 2-3 years, are in good condition and are being used for malaria prevention by the beneficiary households. However, more nets are needed as there are several hundred households who cannot afford to purchase a net and are 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 2014 and an additional 1000 nets in Fall 2014. 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 dedication to prevent malaria in Zambia.

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Oct 12, 2013

New Loans Provided to Eighty Women Entrepreneurs impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia

As a result of the generosity of donors such as yourself, we were able to provide new loans to 80 women entrepreneurs last month. These women completed business training in early September and started 80 new businesses. The businesses chosen by the women are quite diverse and range from groceries (mealie meal - a Zambian staple, cooking oil, rice, sugar, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and beans), to dressed chicken, dried fish, charcoal, baby blankets, books, and a salon etc. Many of the businesses such as charcoal, rice, beans and sugar involve the women buying in bulk, repackaging the item in smaller quantities and reselling. Most women (about 50%) have started tiny grocery stores located close to their homes. About 20% of the women sell used clothes and shoes. These ladies travel by bus to the City Market in Lusaka, purchase the used clothing and shoes and resell these at a better price in their community.

One of the ladies, Edith Makoni owned a hair dryer machine, so she opened a hair salon by renting space in the marketplace and purchasing supplies and materials like combs and cosmetics, needed to run her business. All of these businesses add value for the community members as they are located within walking distance from their homes and the community is able to purchase smaller and more affordable quantities.

Loans provided to these women will go a long way in helping them provide for their families and take the first steps towards self-reliance. At this time, 70% of the women are single or widowed and 50% are dependent on their husband or relatives for household expenses. On average each woman cares for 5 or more people at home - our goal is to help these women learn how to run a business so they can pay for school expenses and keep their children in school.

We will be tracking these businesses to study how they evolve as the women progress from their first loan to their second and third loan cycles. Our hope is that as the women move to through their loan cycles, they are able to increase the number and variety of items, add higher value items, increase the store size or move to a better location, and/or have a better store design and display.

Thanks for your support. 

Links:

Sep 9, 2013

Visit to Matero Compound

Mirriam checking up on Rebecca
Mirriam checking up on Rebecca

The following is an e-postcard from Kai Iizuka, a GlobalGiving Representative in Zambia.

Rebecca aged six is a double orphan living with her grandmother, Mary. The grandmother explained how she is the only one in the family earning income, and supports five to six members of the family by selling small packets of cobra wax colouring for five Ngwee each (about five cents). Having heard about the project after visiting the center, she put up Rebecca as a potential candidate as a beneficiary and was very relieved when she was chosen. The Matero Care Centre helps the family by paying for Rebecca’s medicine as well as occasionally providing a bag of mealie meal and even helping transport her to the hospital during emergencies. Other than that, they also helped supply Mary with fabrics to create table cloths to sell as she explained that she was now suffering from breathing problems, and selling the packs of cobra colouring was becoming harder and harder.

During the checkup, which is done on a regular basis ranging from once a month to twice a week depending on the severity of the child’s condition, Ms. Kanyanta Mirriam, who had kindly let me tag along to see how the organization went about checkups, started off by asking the family if there were any problems that may have cropped up since the last visit. From there she moved on to check the child for rashes that could indicate complications with HIV. After finding nothing, she pulled out a thermometer and a weighing scale from her handbag to check on the child’s overall fitness. Finally after the checkup she reviewed hygiene guidelines with the family and reminded them why it was important to keep a clean home as well as making sure to wash your hands and brush your teeth. It was all very comprehensive for a short visit, and Mirriam explained that she visited about three to four families every day to ensure that things were going fine.

On Saturday, I was invited to attend the SafePark activities that are hosted by the Matero Care Center every week from 9:00 till 11:00. This is where the children from nearby compounds are able to gather and take part in many fun but informative activities, and talk about their problems in a safe environment. There were about ninety children when I visited, ages ranging from four till about fourteen. For the first hour and a half, there were numerous physical activities such as dances, many Simon says-like games, and a form of duck-duck-goose. After this the children were split by age groups and discussed problems they were facing at home, or brushing up on what they should be doing for their day-to-day hygiene, and even how to know when they were being abused. One of the activities that stood out for me was the one where children were allowed to play with building blocks, and a lot of the times, this helped express problems that they were having at home. I was told that other days they also allow children to just draw or colour and that too helps with them expressing their personal feelings.

Kids at the SafePark
Kids at the SafePark
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