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 16, 2014

Safe Parks Activities and Their Impact on Children's Health and Wellbeing

What is “Safe Parks”?

“Safe Parks” is a program free and open to all children in the community andaddresses some of the challenges (mental and physical) faced by children living in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. This program provides the children with an opportunity for safe play, and psycho-social support in an environment which facilitates activities, discussions, and educational lessons. In addition, homework help is provided.  

A Typical Day at Safe Park: The children begin the day by singing and dancing - an ice breaker activity that helps their interaction with friends, and make new ones. This ice breaker is especially important for first time participants in the program. The trained CYCWs (Child and Youth Care Workers) assess individual needs as the children sing, dance and interact. The children are then separated into different groups based on age. Each group, supervised by a trained child and youth care worker, participates in age appropriate activities/discussions. During these sessions, child care workers discuss diverse issues important to the children, for example, overall health, HIV prevention, sexually transmitted diseases, cleanliness/hygiene, and the importance of adherence to medication and staying in school. In addition, homework help is provided to children who need it. Some children bring their books to Safe Park so that they can complete schoolwork with other children in the same grade and with our child care workers. Finally, a snack is provided as many children come to Safe Park without a meal.

Impact: Safe Park activities have several beneficial outcomes. First, children who have been living with HIV for a few years become role models for other children as they share experiences and underscore the importance of sticking to the medication regimen and even going in for appointments on their own. Second, school performance of many children has improved as a result of homework help and healthy interaction with other children. A few children have proudly displayed their grade cards to our child care workers. For example, 19 out of the 20 children who wrote their grade seven exams were promoted to grade eight. Similarly, nine out of the 10 children who wrote the grade nine exams were promoted to the next grade.  Third, Safe Park activities like reading aloud, drawing and coloring encourage early childhood learning among the younger children.

Safe Park activities benefit adults too by helping them understand the importance of keeping children in school, HIV testing, and antenatal visits for expecting moms (to prevent HIV infections in new born babies). Expecting moms who are HIV positive are counselled on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and are referred to an ante-natal clinic.

Beneficiaries: The direct beneficiaries of this program are about 75-80 children and families who participate each week. A total of about 700 children are enrolled.

To sum, Safe Parks has gone a long way in helping children from the community of Matero, interact better with peers, families, and teachers at school, and express their thoughts and feelings. Children who attend Safe Park regularly, tend to have more friends, get into fewer fights, and are able to disclose cases of abuse at home to the child care worker. Our child care workers can then refer the case to the right counselor/agency.

Next Steps: A few older children who have graduated from high school have been mentoring the younger children by sharing their experiences, and helping with school work. We hope to make the mentoring component a permanent feature of this program.

Need for Funds: At this time we are raising funds to rent a bigger play area, and to provide a nutritious snack for the children every week. Please donate generously as every little bit counts and goes a long way in helping these children play and learn in a safe environment.

Thanks for your caring and support.  

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May 4, 2014

Happy Mother's Day from our Zambian Families

Happy Mother's Day! This Mother's day, give a gift of health to a family in Zambia. Our malaria prevention program provides long lasting insecticide treated bed nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. Your ongoing support has helped in keeping children malaria free, healthy and in school. 

Impact of Usage of Mosquito Bed Nets on Children's' Health

Over the last four years, we were able to provide 4800 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families in Zambia. These nets were used by an estimated 9600 children (as each net can sleep up to four young children) and 4800 adults (as each net can sleep two adults). Nets are provided to people who are vulnerable to malaria; for example, people living with HIV, older people, expecting moms, young children, and people with TB. Use of bed nets has led to a marked improvement in the health of all beneficiaries but the impact on the health of young children has been greater. This is because malaria can have severe consequences on the health of younger children whose bodies have yet to develop the strength to fight the disease. In addition, malaria can be fatal for a child who is malnourished and HIV positive. Also, bed nets can save lives of pregnant women as malaria can be fatal for a HIV positive pregnant women. Finally, people living with HIV are three times as likely to suffer from malaria, as compared to a person who is HIV negative.

Need For Nets: The need for several thousand more nets is ongoing for the following reasons: (i) in low income areas in Zambia, there are several water logged areas/sewers which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, (ii) due to an unemployment rate upwards of 67%, the residents of our community are not able to afford a net, and (iii) a high rate of HIV incidence increases their vulnerability to malaria.

At this time we are raising funds to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN’s) before the start of the next malaria season in Zambia. Please donate generously to help save lives.  A donation of $10 will provide two nets that can prevent malaria for a family of two adults and 3-4 small children.

Thanks for your support. 

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May 4, 2014

Happy Mother's Day from our Women Entrepreneurs

Happy Mother's Day! This Mother's day, give a gift of self-reliance to a mom in Zambia. 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 seven 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. It is heartwarming to see these women transform themselves from a situation of poverty and helplessness to taking charge of their lives and planning and saving for a brighter future. At this time we have about 240 women running moderately successful businesses. Since each women cares for 7-8 people on average, our loans program impacts about 1900 people directly and an additional 2000 indirectly as they encourage others to start a business and take charge of their lives. This leads to substantive ripple effects in the community beyond the program participants themselves.  

Given below are stories of three women entrepreneurs who received business training and loans in 2013; their businesses are doing well and they have taken the first steps towards self-reliance.

Jane (not her real name): is a widow taking care of eight children (five her own and three children from her late brother). The three children had never been to school as they lost their mom to HIV/AIDS in 2012 and their dad a year later. Jane took in the orphaned children as she was their closest relative, but she had no means to support her family. In 2013, she received business training and a small loan to start a business selling grocery items like chips and detergent. With earnings from her business she has been able to pay for school expenses for all eight children. Jane understand the importance of keeping children in school and is planning to expand her business so that she can continue to provide for the children and keep them in school.

Mary (not her real name) takes care of five children of her own and two nephews orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. Her husband was not in favor of caring for her nephews but she took them in to her home as she is their closest relative. Her nephews had missed school for more than a year due to the loss of their parents. Mary started a business with the loan capital received and her restaurant business is doing well. With earnings from her business, she saved enough to pay for school expenses and her nephews went back to school in January 2014. She continues to work hard so that she can expand her business, increase earnings and savings so as to take better care for her family.  

Gloria (name changed) is married with six children. It was difficult for her to care for her family as her husband does not have a full time job. Gloria wanted to help support the family, but did not have funds to start a business. She received business training and a loan to start a business selling charcoal. Gloria buys charcoal in bulk, repackages the charcoal, and sells the smaller packages as fuel. Since her business did well she was able to purchase building supplies to extend her home. Her plan is to work hard and expand her business so that she can add another room to her home for her own/renting purposes.   

Thanks for your support.

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