American Foundation for Children with AIDS

The American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA) is a non-profit organization providing critical comprehensive services to infected and affected HIV+ children and their caregivers. Our programs are efficient, promoting self-reliance and sustainability. Since 2005, in collaboration with our in-country partners, we have served tens of thousands of families in some of the most underserved and marginalized communities in Africa. Our areas of impact include: medical support, livelihoods, educational support and emergency relief.
Mar 7, 2017

Confidence in Knowing Where to Turn for Help

It's always exciting to open an email with an update from one of our partners.  Even better when it includes a photograph of a young man we first met 10 years ago!

Harry is a 23 year old young man who joined our program in 2007.  As with many of the children we meet, his situation was difficult with limited income and little access to food or medical care.  Harry has a sparkle in his eye as he tells about the medical care and medicine he has received from our program partner, knowing they are the reason he is what he is today.  He continues to say, “the medicines I receive from here are excellent quality and I always get better even before completing the full course of treatment.”  Harry understands and is grateful for these services which are far superior to what most receive from government hospitals, yet all this is for free.  He compliments all the changes in service delivery which he has witnessed as a child.  The support received from the American Foundation for Children with AIDS gives clients the confidence in knowing there is someone they can turn to for help in case any health related problem arise. This confidence itself, has built in Harry a strong will and stamina to focus on more important life needs than worrying about his health.

Please know that your generosity is truly making a difference in Harry's life, and many others in our program.  With our partners on the ground, the children and their families receive the support and monitoring they need to make this a very successful project.  We are changing lives day after day.  Harry feels your love, and so do we at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS.

Mar 7, 2017

Alyssa Graduates!

Alyssa
Alyssa

We would like to give our supportive donors an update on Alyssa who was enrolled in the clinic in August 2007. As with many of the children we meet, Alyssa’s situation was difficult with limited income and little access to food or medical care.  She lived with her grandmother who has always been her greatest supporter! 

Through the support of our school program, Alyssa’s health has greatly improved over the years and her viral load results are undetectable.  She has been an active member of the support group, which has really helped her grow. She was a member of kids support group and now she is an active member of youth support group. This type of support was invaluable in giving Alyssa a positive outlook on life and convinced her to take her medical needs seriously.  Alyssa then joined Marianist College for their hair dressing course.  This was a two-year course and she graduated in May 2016.

When we recently checked back in with Alyssa, she expressed her appreciation for the support of the American Foundation for Children with AIDS in helping to make her dream come true to become a hair dresser. Please know that your generosity has truly made a difference in Alyssa’s life, and many others in our program.  With our partners on the ground, the children and their families receive the support and monitoring they need to make this a very successful project.  We are changing lives day after day.  Alyssa feels your love, and so do we at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS.

Alyssa Acting in a Play
Alyssa Acting in a Play
Mar 7, 2017

Nutrition by Prescription

For an HIV+ child, taking medications is essential to successful treatment and these medicines should not be taken without food. At AFCA, we see food as part of treatment and we call it Nutrition by Prescription.  We want to make sure that all the children who need it, receive the food they need to take their medicine, to thrive, and to grow.

Due to the exceptional quality of eggs produced, the need/demand for good protein, and the above average outcomes, AFCA will build a second coop that can hold 1000 hens.  AFCA's chicken coops are large, with concrete flooring and tin roof, multi-level tables with steps which allow the animals to walk around freely and not be caged up. A storage unit is part of the coop, holding feed, water, a generator, egg trays, and anything the chickens might need in a country where electricity and water are not always available.  A room for a guard is also included in the building of the coop, with the guard keeping potential vandals away at night. The total cost for such a project is $25,000, with 1000 laying chickens costing an additional $10,000.  

The eggs from this coop will be given to school children identified as needing additional nutrition. Most of the children will be HIV+, but no child will be identified as either HIV positive or negative.  ALL needy children will receive the benefit of eggs.  It's a neat way to include an entire group of children without having to single anyone out!

AFCA believes in transparency and in financial accountability.  With this in mind, we keep a close eye on our projects, receiving monthly reports (including financial reports and outcomes), photos, videos, and updates to ensure that the project is moving forward as it should and that the beneficiaries are getting what we promised them. Children are monitored to make sure that they are, indeed, receiving the eggs and are benefiting from the gift.  Since we are creating a sustainable solution to hunger, we make sure that half the profits from sales are injected back into the orphanage hosting the chicken project, while the other half is saved for the purchase of new birds, when needed.

A minimum of one visit a year from AFCA's Executive Director allows us to see first-hand how the children and chickens are doing, while giving us a chance to audit finances in person and reconciling all aspects of the project to make sure it is functioning well and as planned.  Constant communication via skype, email and whatsapp also takes place, keeping us all up to date on how the children are and how finances are being managed. All receipts are kept in our head office, where they have been reconciled by AFCA's finance director.

AFCA has extensive experience in this type of project, having run other livelihoods projects in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We firmly believe that everyone can do something to help themselves, but we all need a little hand up.  This project is just that.  With good food in their bellies, HIV positive and negative children will have the chance to get an education. We know that less school is missed when children eat well and they are better able to concentrate on their work. Their improved health also means that the families and orphanages avoid expenses of additional medicine and doctor fees.

 
   

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