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 20, 2014

43 kits down...only 157 to go!

What is in a kit?
What is in a kit?

Friends, because of YOU, 43 girls will be able to stay in school, not having to miss classes due to a biological occurence over which they have no control.  This means that YOU have just changed the course of the future for 43 girls, including Florence, seen in this short video: Florence.  Not only will Florence continue receiving the school supplies required by her school - paper, pens, books, etc - but she will also receive the reusable feminine kits she needs.

I am so excited about the girls staying in school that AFCA became an official chapter of Days for Girls and I purchased the materials needed to make pads a few weeks ago.  I sent this to Papoli, Uganda, along with all the directions on how to create the kits the girls need and this is the response we received just yesterday:

"When we had a community leadership meeting last week on the importance of girl child education and I told them that on top of the support AFCA has been giving girls for the monthly need, we are to get a technology that will enable us not only to provide for the girls, but also be able to make some sales, the community leaders got so exited about this new development. Our technical staff is now planning how we will be able to run the production line in a sustainable way and get as many schools as possible to register with us for supplies.

Thank you so much for this great gift and I am sure that in some future we will have stories told by these girls on what helped them remain in school and achieve their goals."

How neat is that?  We will send as many kits as we can from here (we have MANY girls who need them) but we will also do our best to create jobs in the villages themselves so that older girls and women can create these kits that all girls will need.  

YOU are part of this and I hope you realize how important your role in keeping these girls in school is. Please share this project with other women - we all go through the same thing each month.  Imagine doing so without the proper sanitary pads we can purchase so easily in any store!  I know you understand and that is why you supported this project.  Now, I ask you to please share it with many others - let's keep girls in school!

Mar 10, 2014

Caroline, Austin and a Business

Caroline and her store
Caroline and her store

Caroline is a client from the Mikindani area of Mombasa and is an active member of the support group which helps her by providing counseling, assistance, a shoulder to lean on, and hope.  Her first born son Austin is also a client at the clinic and has been received school fees to help cover his education.  He's graduated from the Teacher’s College and is currently waiting to be employed by the Ministry of Education.  

We are so proud of Austin!  He has come so far from the young boy who was so sickly and who didn't think he'd survive.  Both he and his mom were worried about his life, as he'd contracted HIV at birth and had gone a long time without proper care.  Now, to see him!  What a fantastic story of survival and dreams coming true!

Now, Caroline is part of a project where moms are trained in budgeting and business management so that her children will no longer require assitance from AFCA.  She is now running a vegetable business and it’s helping her to meet the basic needs of her family (2 other younger children are included in the family). She has been purchasing the vegetables from our project farm at a subsidized price and she resells them at market value.  This helps our farm project grow and it helps her provide for her family.  Better yet, she knows that she has been given an opportunity that so many desperately want - to start her own business.  Even though it is small at this point, her wish that she will expand her business in future.

Thank YOU so much for contributing to this project which is not only giving a future to families, but is also feeding little ones who need food.  Together, we are making dreams come true and we couldn't do it without you.  We trust this project will keep growing so that more and more families can have the same feeling of accomplishment and hope as Caroline's.

Veggies for Sale
Veggies for Sale
Mar 6, 2014

Violet

Old garden
Old garden

I met Violet last summer during my annual visit to all our projects.  A sweet, shy 17 year old, Violet is the eldest of three sisters and she lives with them and her sickly mother. AFCA has gifted violet and her sisters with some guinea fowl a couple of months ago and I wanted to see how they and she were doing.  When I arrived at their hut, I couldn't stop staring at the incredibly dry "garden" they had hoed and prepared for the seeds we promised them.  

It was obvious that they had worked hard under the Zimbabwean sun, but without rain, it seemed impossible for those seeds to do more than die.  They attended trainings on conservation farming and determined to grow veggies with little water, they dug holes and planted their seeds.  To their total amazement, their garden started producing and they now have added tomatoes, kale, onions, spinach and carrots to their diets.  With guinea fowl eggs to add protein to their meals, the girls and mom have seen a difference in their health and strength, too.

Violet, still shy and sweet, dreams of becoming a lawyer and is currently doing her advanced level couses at the local school.  She often has to spend the night with relatives in town because the 2 hours walk to school each day is grueling.  But, she is a determined young lady whom I am honored to know.  I wish you could meet her!  Actually, if you want to, you would be welcome to, of course.  

AFCA takes volunteer teams to Uganda, Kenya, Nepal and Zimbabwe, with 30 going with me to Zimbabwe this summer. If you are interested in ever being part of something like this, please email me at tweaver@AFCAids.org or check out our Vacation with a Purpose pages at www.AFCAids.org.  And, sign up for our e-newsletter!  That way, you'll stay informed of projects we're working on and how the kids in our programs are doing.

For now, know you have touched the lives of Violet and her family, as well as the lives of so very many other children. You are amazing and we appreciate your generosity.  Violet certainly does!

Violet
Violet's new garden

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