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.
Sep 13, 2013

Preparing for the Lack of Food

Training in Conservation Farming
Training in Conservation Farming

It is with deep sadness that I read a report about the food situation in Zimbabwe.  Here it is:  http://www.trust.org/item/20130906111437-9zysp/?source=shem  I have a hard time understanding how some of us have so much and others have so little. It is hard to wrap my head around the fact that children will be hungry while we throw food away and complain because we want more choices. 

But, there is a silver lining around my thoughts - because of you and of AFCA, there are 628 orphaned families who are eating this season and they are eating balanced meals, at that.  That means, there are over 3100 children and guardians that get up in the morning to milk their goats, gather eggs from under their chickens and who gather vegetables from their gardens.  Yes, times will be tough for them with little water, but, with planning and proper mulching and water conservation, I trust they will all get through this next drought healthfully and full. 

What about the other children, though?  There are 1,800,000 orphans in Zimbabwe and all of them should eat.  None of them should perish due to lack of food.  Now is the time to do more, to dig deeper and to help out the others.  AFCA is expanding our programs to include two more villages in Zimbabwe, but we need your help (and that of your friends) to make it possible.  We'd like to purchase and deliver more goats, chickens, guinea fowl, seeds, and hope.  Will you help us?  Let's rally together during this last part of the year and do more for more children.  This will be the cry of my heart as we march into the holiday season - let's give kids on the other side of the world the chance to celebrate life, too. 

We are taking our first volunteer team to Zimbabwe in June 2014.  We'll be finishing the construction of a school and will be building arborloos.  Come join us, visiting this magnificent country and see what you've helped us accomplish.  If you are interested in being part of a Volunteer with a Purpose team, email me at tweaver@AFCAids.org and check out our website (VWP tab) to find out more.  We have space for 16 people - why not be one of them?  Families welcome.

Conservation Farming Works!!
Conservation Farming Works!!
Aug 21, 2013

Visits, smile and happines

Guardians Receiving Training with adolescent
Guardians Receiving Training with adolescent

I had the opportunity to visit some of our projects this summer to see how things are shaking up. It was so neat to be back in Zimbabwe, participating in trainings with guardians and adolescents and watching them as they learn even more on how to care for their goats.  We conducted both written and practical trainings and they were great!  Vaccinations were done, as well.

After trainings, we all - trainees of all ages and the trainors and I, would sit down to the meal of the day: goat, sadza, some sort of green and hot tea.  For the beneficiaries, this was the only meal of the day and probably the only one with meat for a long time.  You see, they aren't allowed to eat their goats yet, as they must wait three years before they can kill, barter, sell or eat one of their animals.  This is to ensure that their flocks grow big and strong.  And, the concept is working because we saw so many baby goats!  It was thrilling to see herds growing and to see how healthy the animals are.  All in all, the families are expecting this to be a hugely successful venture for them and some are already planning to re-gift some goats to other needy families.  Very exciting stuff!

Friends, know that this project is working.  It really, really is working.

 

It's good.

Paying close attention during a live training
Paying close attention during a live training
Checking goat eyes to see if they are anemic
Checking goat eyes to see if they are anemic
Jul 25, 2013

Better life for MoreLife and Anesu

Anesu, Morelife and the Livestock Coordinator
Anesu, Morelife and the Livestock Coordinator

When we set out to give children the opportunity to get out of poverty through training and the provision of animals and seeds, it was a dream.  Then, one family at a time, we saw changes happening.  Now, over 682 families have benefitted from this project and I'd like to introduce you to two of them:

Anesu is a ten year old girl from Biriri, Zimbabwe, in the Chimanimani district. Anesu's mother died when she was four years old and her father died when she was eight years old, leaving her with a severely disabled sister to care for.  Thankfully, a 78 year old well wisher, Mrs Muchinapo, took them into her home and took care of them. Mrs. Muchinapo is very old and is not gainfully employed but she loves the girls and does the best she can for them.  She heard about our program and registered.  The community voted and she was added to the waiting list.  She attended trainings on husbandry and gardening and waited until her time came to be called to receive her animals.

Little Anesu says that losing both parents was very harsh and the most painful thing in her life.  She was pretty despondent and hopeless, something a 10 year old should never be.  She said, “I thought the whole world hated me and my sister. I did not think there was anything that would make me happy again until the coordinator who helps with the AFCA livestock project said my family  qualified and that we would receive chickens.  We were given four hens and a rooster!!  We are very happy and the chickens have already started laying eggs. With four hens and three already laying eggs, the challenge of shortage of food and the school fees problems will soon be a thing of the past”.   

In the same area of Zimbabwe, Biriri, there is a young boy names Morelife Rwangu.  He is eight years old and his father died in 2006 when Morelife was only one year old.  His mother passed away in 2009.  Morelife and his younger brother were left without any elderly guardian until Cecilia Mukono, a 79 year old lady took the two boys in. The family was given four chickens and a rooster, as well, and two hens already have seven mature offspring each. The other two hens are laying eggs, too - some for the family to eat and some to allow to grow up. Morelife says he is very happy with the chicken project. While they have had a lot of challenges in the past, he feels the project is the right answer to these challenges. He also had this to say: 

“The eggs are very nice. I love the taste of them! We no longer have problems with not having enough food. The manure is also accumulating well and we have already started using it in our vegetable plots. I feel someone, somewhere cares and loves us by giving us such special gifts.  We will continue to look after the chickens well because we want a large flock that can help support us.” 

 
   

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