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.
Nov 26, 2013

Food for the Hungry

Maria and Makhosini
Maria and Makhosini

I am so very pleased to tell you that we have already been able to provide porridge for 264 children for a month because of your generosity.  Yes. 264 children!!  You see, the situation is so desperate in Zimbabwe right now that we fronted the cost of the porridge and we purchased and delivered 50lb bags to families who were desperate for food.  We were hopeful that donors would help us cover the costs and it was with a huge sense of gratitude that I saw that this project was fully funded today!

Because we delivered the porridge this week, I have brand new photos and testimonials to share with you, received just today:

Ntombizodwa is a sickly guardian from Mayezane village. She is raising Mpilwenhle who is eight years old. Mpilwenhle’s father and mother died in 2008. Ntombizodwa says that since the time Mpilwenhle’s parents died, it has been very difficult for both of them since she is unemployed and sick. ”We have been struggling to make ends meet. Food is very expensive and when our crops failed last season due to lack of rain, it was a very painful blow. This porridge we are receiving here today has brought hope at last. I was looking at my boy here suffering without food, but as you can see today, he is very happy” she said.

AND,

Maria is an old lady looking after Makhosini. Makhosini’s mother  and father died in 2006. The grandmother said they were on the verge of dying because of hunger.”Please thank those angels who sent us this much needed food, especially now when things are very difficult like this."  Makhosini said he is looking forward to enjoying the porridge and that the hunger he has gone through for a long time is finally coming to an end. 

So, friends, you helped us provide food for those who so desperately need it.  We can't thank you enough!  You've saved some precious lives and there aren't words to thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and we hope you are as blessed as richly as you've blessed others.

If you'd ever like to learn more about our work, please feel free to contact me at tweaver@AFCAids.org.  I am always glad to tell others about what we do and how they can become involved.

Ntombizodwa and Mpilwenhle
Ntombizodwa and Mpilwenhle

Links:

Nov 4, 2013

Happiness in a smile

There are few things that fill my heart as much as a smile of gratitude.  Sometimes, they are small, timid smiles that flash across the faces of children who are too shy to offer words.  Sometimes, they are wide, gorgeous smiles, full of teeth and usually followed by a crushing hug.  Sometimes, they are shared smiles between a grandma and a child for whom she cares, secure that they will be ok now that they have a way to move forward.  It doesn't matter which kind of smile is given, they all warm my heart.

This summer, I had the pleasure of visiting families to whom we gave goats last year.  They proudly brought the babies to us, holding them gently and getting them ready for vaccinations.  Some had 3 kids.  Some had 7.  It was a miracle, all of it.  A miracle that in a dry land, these animals are being born and the herds are growing, providing milk for our children and their guardians.

It was a day for smiles, for sure!  We celebrate with the children their well-being and we toast to their prosperity so that they can grow up healthy and strong.  We also celebrate YOU and toasat to your own prosperty - thankful for your generosity in providing for the children.  We smile widely at you and know that you join us in our joy at watching this project flourish.

If you'd like to visit our programs and would like to visit first hand the children we serve, please email me at tweaver@AFCAids.org.  Children like Nwange and his grandma will gladly welcome you to their home and I know they will parade their kids and goats, smiling the entire time.

Oct 9, 2013

25,000 HIV tests

Tested mom and baby
Tested mom and baby

So many  mothers find themselves in the horrible position of wondering, wondering, wondering.  They wonder if they are HIV+.  They wonder if the baby in their belly is, as well.  They aren't sure...they have an idea that their husband has been unfaithful and he doesn't look as well as he usually does, but what does that mean?  Is he simply going through a bad patch in life or has he contracted the virus that puts fear in everyone's heart?

A mom wonders - what should I do?  What is the best thing to do for myself and this tiny baby who is about to be born?  And, if she decides that yes, she will take the test to determine her HIV status, she wonders how she'll pay for it. And, what happens if she IS positive?  how will she pay for the medicine she will need?  For the medicine the baby will need, if she, too, is positive?

We at AFCA give these moms options to help them have an easier time as they make this very brave and oftentimes, lonely, decision.  First, they are encouraged to attend counseling with their spouse.  If they do, and even if they don't, they are told that we can provide the tests for them for free.  Yes, FREE testing for them and for their baby at birth.  And, if they happen to be HIV+, they will receive the care they need in order to live a long, healthy life for many years to come.  Counseling is, of course, part of the package, which moms everywhere appreciate beyond words.

Just last week we sent 25,000 HIV testing kits to Uganda, thanks to your donations.  Isn't that wonderful?  Tell you what - the women and children who received tests thing YOU are wonderful for caring enough to give them a chance and to give them a reason to decide that it is a good idea to get tested. 

Thank you, folks.  Please don't stop now...we want to continue providing tests and medicine for children and pregnant moms and we can only do that with your help.

 My email is tweaver@AFCAids.org if you'd ever like to join a Vacation with a Purpose or would like to climb Kilimanjaro in support of our children.

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