The Power of Love team is excited to share with you a new and innovative project that we have been working on for the last few months. In 2011, we added a new element called "Safe Parks" to our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program. "Safe Parks" was introduced to address the emotional, mental, and spiritual health challenges faced by children living in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. This innovative tool provides an opportunity for safe play andfacilitates psycho-social support, activities, discussions, and learning. The program is open to all children in the community, and benefits a child's physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. As of last July our staffhas been playing games with children and assisting them with school work for about 2-3 hours on Saturday afternoons. Initially, 30 children joined the program, but the number has increased to 75 children and some of them are accompanied by their families. We are thrilled to see the number of children grow each week and also the increased involvement of the families of the children.
As a result of “Safe Parks” our project Nurse has been able to: (i) observe the children’s behavior or as they play and understand the child’s home/school environment (e.g. stress, trauma, apathy, sexual or abuse), and intellectualcapabilities, (ii) use games and activities to identify psycho-social needs of the children throughbehavior assessment and provide support and follow-ups, (iii) strengthen child/adult relations and developtrust, (iv) counsel the caregiver of the child so as to stimulate the mental and physical development of the child. In addition, this program keeps children off the streets (where they can be abused or get into trouble) for a few hours on weekends and has led to an improvement in performance at school as help with homework is provided and games keep children happy. This program is supported by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS care Foundation which provided training for our staff and tools (balls, swing sets, pencils, chairs for children, coloring books,and water colors) for the children.
This new addition to our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program is making a positive impact on the mental and physical well being of the children, helping them learn and stay in school and in helping them to live close to normal lives.
We appreciate your support for this project and request your continued support. Each little bit helps.
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