Power of Love Foundation

Our Mission is: To turn back the tide of the global AIDS epidemic through innovative community responses that increase the effectiveness of prevention and care efforts. Our Vision is: A world where the AIDS epidemic is in continuous retreat, and people living with HIV/AIDS have access to loving care and treatment in an environment free of stigma and discrimination.
Oct 30, 2016

2016 was an amazing year

Health Check up by the Nurse
Health Check up by the Nurse

The families in our pediatric HIV care program truly appreciate your continued support and dedication to provide health care services to orphans and vulnerable HIV+ children in Zambia. The goal of this program is to strengthen the community by equipping families with tools to take care of their HIV+ children. Family members of children are provided with training in caring for an HIV+ child, and education in HIV prevention. This leads to an improvement in the health of the children, prevention of HIV, and reduction in stigma associated with HIV.

Over the last year, our program has taken big strides forward. We would like to share these exciting developments with you.

Big Strides Taken in the Past 12 months:

  1. Addition of 100 Children: We were able to add 100 children in 2016 bringing the total number of HIV+ children in our care to 350. At this time, the new children are undergoing a complete health exam and health care professionals are designing a health plan for each child for the next 6-12 months. 
  2. We continue to achieve our goal of zero new HIV infections: In the last five years 100% of children born to HIV+ moms were HIV free. Pregnant women are enrolled in our PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV) program so that we can maximize the chances of the new born child being HIV free.   
  3. Training Provided to Family members: Over the last two years 165 family members have been provided training in HIV prevention and care. This ensures that family members can identify and get treatment for infections in a timely manner to prevent escalation of the infection that can compromise a child’s health. Also, family members trained in HIV prevention and care share their knowledge with others in the community. This leads to improved knowledge, and better health for the entire community making it stronger.  
  4. HIV Prevention: As a result of better knowledge about HIV, more than 240 family members have come forward for testing for HIV. This is critical for prevention and spread of HIV.
  5. Children Graduated: Over the last two years, 34 children turned 18 years of age and were graduated from the program. Some of these children come back as volunteers and are wonderful role models for younger children.
  6. Improvement in health: New children added to the program over the last 12 months are improving in health (measured by an increase in weight) and their immune system has become stronger (measured by an increase in CD4 count). Prior to enrollment most children complain of diarrhea, skin rashes, cough, malnourishment, and TB. However, once they have been on the program for 4-5 months, their health improves and they start attending school regularly HIV+ children in Zambia healthy and in school.  

    We could not have achieved any of this without your support. Thanks again for your dedication to keep orphans and vulnerable HIV+ children in Zambia healthy and in school.  

Children coming back from School
Children coming back from School
A child in our program
A child in our program
A young boy in conversation with a health worker
A young boy in conversation with a health worker

Links:

Aug 28, 2016

You Are Helping Eradicate Malaria in Zambia

The Power of Love team along with beneficiary families in Zambia, would like to say a big “Thank You” to you. As a result of your generosity and caring, we were able to provide 2000 insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. Due to the continued provision of nets we are seeing a reduction in the incidence of malaria and with improved health more children are able to attend school regularly.

Recent Malaria Prevention Activities: In July 2016, we were able to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families vulnerable to malaria.The event was held at Matero Catholic Church in Lusaka, Zambia and attended by 700-750 beneficiary families. The education on malaria prevention component included a demonstration on the proper use and storage of nets, hygiene, drainage maintenance, filling and removal of mosquito breeding sites, negative impact of malaria in pregnancy, information about malaria for HIV+ children, identification of signs and symptoms of malaria, and information regarding re-treatment of nets every six months.

Impact of Malaria Prevention Activities: Provision of bed nets and education on malaria prevention has gone a long way in reducing the incidence of malaria in our community. As a result of our malaria prevention program, beneficiary families have (i) have increased knowledge about proper use and storage of nets, (ii) are able to re-treat nets every six months, (iii) need fewer visits to hospitals/clinics, (iv) have fewer cases of malaria, (v) see an increase in school attendance due to improved health of the children, and (vi) have a higher quality of life and general well-being.

Measuring Impact: A follow-up study will be conductedin October 2016, to assess the impact of nets on the incidence of malaria and on the health of beneficiary families. This study will assess: regular use and proper storage of nets, knowledge about malaria prevention, and the health of beneficiary families. Results of past follow-up studies have underscored the need for our malaria prevention program.

Plan for 2017Our goal is to provide 5000 malaria bed nets and education on malaria prevention to children and families in 2017.  Most families in our community cannot afford to purchase a net due to a high unemployment rate in the community. In addition, a rise in prices of essential items is causing increased hardship for residents. Hence there is an ongoing need for nets. With the provision of these nets, our goal is to eradicate malaria from Zambia and keep children and families healthy and malaria free.

Is it possible to reduce malaria deaths to zero? The answer is “yes, we can eradicate loss of life due to malaria as it is both preventable and curable. Malaria has been eradicated in the US and it is possible to eradicate it worldwide. In fact, over the last 15 years, increased prevention and control measures have led to a 60% reduction in malaria mortality rates globally. According to the World Health Organization, sleeping under a mosquito bed net is one of the most cost effective and easiest ways to prevent malaria.

Over the last seven years we have been able to provide over 10,800 insecticide treated nets and education on malaria prevention to families vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. Direct beneficiaries are 43,200 young children or 21,600 adults as each net can sleep up to four young children or two adults. Going forward our plan is to provide 5000 insecticide treated nets or more than double the number of beneficiaries each year.

Thank you for helping us eradicate malaria in Zambia. 

Links:

Aug 28, 2016

Our Family of First time Women Entrepreneurs Continues to Grow

The Power of Love team and families in our micro loans program would like to thank you for your continued support and caring. With your help, we are able to provide business training, loan capital to start a business, business mentoring, and education on prevention of HIV to first time women entrepreneurs in Zambia. Earnings from businesses help the women pay for food, medicines, rent, and school expenses. In a relatively short span of time (about 10-18 months), most women learn how to run a business, have gathered enough capital to continue running their business, and become a part of a strong social network; all of which help break the vicious circle of poverty and low education. In addition, many become role models and mentors for others in their community.

Our Family of Frist Time Women Entrepreneurs is Growing: In April 2016, we were able to provide business training and new loans to 50 first time women entrepreneurs. With the addition of these 50 new loans, we now have a total of 322 active loans that benefit about 2,250 people directly as each woman cares for seven people on average.

Next Steps: In September 2016, we will be providing an additional 50 new loans to women entrepreneurs. This will bring the total number of active loans to 372, benefitting over 4000 people directly and indirectly.  

Impact of our Microloans Program

Short and Long Term Impact on the Family: Economic and social empowerment of families is illustrated by:

  • all families are eating 2-3 meals per day as compared to one meal before enrollment,
  • almost all women have purchased household items like pots, pans, radios, used TV’s and toys for their children,
  • most women have been able to pay for school expenses (uniforms, shoes, school bags, fees),
  • most women are learning to save and about 40% are saving a small amount each week,
  • about 20% of the women are saving via bank accounts (as compared to less than 5% before enrollment),
  • a few women purchased land for building and/or farming which ensures an income in the future,
  • a majority of businesses have expanded,
  • most women have understood the importance of keeping children in school,  
  • most women have better knowledge of HIV care and prevention and
  • the women have built strong social networks and relationships of mutual support.

Short and Long Term Impact on the Community:

  • Add value: Businesses started add value for the whole community as they:
    • provide increased convenience. Residents have to travel shorter distances and can purchase smaller quantities,
    • are new to the community and may provide an element of luxury to the residents. For e.g. a hair salon that may offer basic hair styling and braiding for girls. 
  • Change in culture:
    • some men (husbands and sons) start helping in the business,
    • women start saving at home or in a bank.
  • Prevention of HIV: families are better informed about the HIV prevention & care.
  • Reduction of stigma associated with HIV due to better information.

Why is this Program Successful? Our micro loans program has been successful as it is a part of a comprehensive program that includes pediatric HIV caremalaria prevention, and “Safe Park” programs. Since a family can be enrolled in multiple programs, in addition to learning how to run a business, the women learn how to care for their HIV positive children/family members, the importance of keeping children in school, and HIV and malaria prevention. This multi-pronged approach significantly increases the loan recipient’s chances of success in business.

To Sum: As of August 2016, we have worked with 606 women and 284 have graduated from the program. We are thrilled as out of the 284 women, 196 are still running successful businesses in the community. Moreover, more than one-third of the women graduates have made investments in land, shops, and home extensions so they have a sustained source of income.

By October 2016, we will have 372 active loans with more than 4000 direct and indirect beneficiaries. As a result of this program, more than 700 children have been able to attend school and all families are seeing an improvement in their health due to a better diet.   

Thanks for empowering women in Zambia.  

Links:

 
   

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