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 15, 2014

What's New in our Paediatric HIV and AIDS Care Program?

With your generous support, we continue to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. Our paediatric HIV/AIDS care program benefits 200 HIV positive children directly, and an additional 1200 children indirectly as our trained caregivers share their learning with others in the community.

What’s New in 2014?

"Young Stars” (still in pilot stage): The vision behind this program is to help a child achieve his/her dream of continuing his/her education after high school. The program is designed to provide the child with the right tools so that he/she can graduate middle and high school and possibly enroll at the University. 

Our Young Star program will complete six months in October 2014 and so far the results have been impressive. Jane (name changed), our first “Young Star” is growing well and thriving. As a result of the support provided to Jane and her family, she is happier, more confident about her future and enjoying Safe Park and school related activities. In addition, Jane has accepted her HIV+ status, is adhering well to her medication regimen, and helps her grandmother with chores around their home. She meets with her mentor every week when they discuss topics important to an adolescent girl such as reproductive health, and safe sex issues. As compared to six months back, Jane shows more interest and enthusiasm for school. She has understood the importance of an education, completes her homework on time, does not miss or want to miss classes, and participates in all school activities. According to her teacher, her performance at school has improved dramatically. Jane’s grandmother is very thankful and happy as she says that this program has brought a smile to her granddaughter’s face. We are proud of our “young star”.

Zero New Infections: In 2014, we continue to achieve our goal of zero new HIV infections. A set of twins was delivered by one of the HIV+ moms in our paediatric HIV program. The new born twins are HIV free even though they have HIV positive siblings. To date, out of the 27 babies born since we started PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to Child transmission) intervention only one child was born HIV positive.

What's Next?

We will be expanding our program from 200 children to 250 children in the next three months. In addition we will be tracking and following up with the 20 children who will be turning 18 and leaving our program. We wish these children the very best as they join the world of adults.

Our focus for 2014 and beyond continues to be the provision of quality health care to the children, training in caring for an HIV+ child to family members, micro loans and business training to women, and mosquito bed nets and education on prevention of malaria to the community. The ripple effects of this approach are huge and long lasting for the community.

Thanks for caring.

Links:

Oct 5, 2014

Impact of our Micro Loans Program in Zambia

Thanks for supporting Power of Love’s micro loans program that empowers women by providing them with business training and loans. Once the women complete their training and receive a loan, they start a business and work hard to make it grow. Our loan officers advise the women and monitor the businesses via weekly loan meetings, field visits, refresher training and business mentoring sessions. Continuous monitoring of businesses has helped the women run their businesses well and keep on track with repayments. 

Our loans program is located in the community of Matero - one of the largest and poorest compounds in Lusaka with a population of approximately 80,000-85,000 people. This community is characterized by a high incidence of HIV/AIDS (prevalence rate of 14% among adults aged 15-49), and unemployment rates upwards of 60%. As a result most people are poor and live on less than $1 per day. Given this difficult environment, women benefit from learning a marketable skill and running a profitable small business.  

Profile of our Women Entrepreneurs

The age range of the women is from 33 to 65 years old, and 70% are single or widowed. On average each women cares for a total of 6 or more people, out of which 5 are children. A majority of the women start new businesses; the rest expand existing businesses. Businesses chosen by the women are quite diverse and range from groceries (mealie meal - a Zambian staple, cooking oil, rice, sugar, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and beans), to dressed chicken, dried fish, toys, restaurants, charcoal, baby blankets, books, and a salon etc. The majority of the women start tiny grocery stores located close to their homes. A few women sell used clothes and shoes. Many ladies travel by bus to the City Market in Lusaka, purchase used clothing, toys, and shoes and resell these at a better price in their community. Many businesses such as charcoal, rice, beans and sugar involve the women buying in bulk, repackaging the item in smaller quantities and reselling. All of these businesses add value for the community members as they are located within walking distance from their homes and the community is able to purchase smaller and more affordable quantities.

What is Unique about Our Program?

In addition to loans and business training, many women receive support from our pediatric HIV/AIDS care and malaria prevention programs. Support from these two programs (in the form of food, medicines, a package of health care services, and malaria bed nets) helps the women take care of their HIV+ children, and keep them healthy. This extra support enables women to devote more time to their business increasing its chances of success. 

Impact of our Loans Program

Earnings from businesses enable most women to improve their diet and nutrition, send/keep their children in school, purchase household items like pots, pans, carpets, toys, start saving via bank accounts or at home, expand their business, and increase their original capital.

As the women gain valuable experience and expertise in their line of business they become more confident, work hard to provide for their families, and become role models for others (both men and women) in the community. A few dynamic women pool their resources and work together so as to be able to buy and sell larger quantities, and support each other after they are weaned off our program. For example, a group of five women who live in the same area decided to pool their loan capital and work together. They designated two women to travel to Malawi and purchase bales of used clothing at much lower prices than in Lusaka, Zambia. The women saved on transport expenses by sending only two ladies. They started selling used clothing and since their business was doing well, they wanted to move out from their rented apartments. Again they decided to pool their savings and purchased a big plot of land. This cost them less than if they had bought individual pieces of land. Now each one of them is an owner of a small piece of land and their dream is to build a small house in the near future.  

Overall, the women are happy that they can take better care of their families, keep/send their children to school, are confident about their future and plan to continue working hard to expand their business and earnings potential. By the end of the third and final loan cycle most businesses are doing well, and the women on the path to self-reliance (both economic and social).

Thanks for caring.

Links:

Oct 5, 2014

Some of the Zambian Games we Play with Children at Safe Parks

Every Saturday morning, Power of Love's staff gathers together to play educational games and provide homework help to children impacted by HIV in a poor community in Zambia. This activity is a part of Power of Love's pediatric HIV/AIDS care program and is open and free for all children in the community of Matero, in Lusaka, Zambia. The children interact with their friends/peers by playing games, and participating in educational activities including help with homework. Older children who have graduated from this program come back to mentor younger children. At this time we have more than 700 children enrolled and every week 70-80 children participate in this program. The children look forward to this activity every week, are learning and having fun.

"Safe Parks" was created so that children have a comfortable and open place to play normally, have fun, and reinforce values of "living positive" and staying healthy. Second, our Nurse checks for normal mental and physical growth (during games and interaction) and counsels the family members as needed. 

We have a lot of fun playing and interacting with the children Some of our favorite games are:
Mulilo Kulupili (Fire on the Mountain): This simple game teaches problem solving by turning to peers, parents, teachers, care workers, or others around you for help. 
How To Play: Allow the children to run freely in a small area. As the children are running, one of the leaders continues to shout “Mulilo-Kulupili.” The children respond “Mulilo!” and then the leader announces a number, say 3 and the children and leaders must form a group of three.

Land Rover (Red Rover): This popular game teaches children that when facing obstacles, you must stay strong and work together.
How To Play: Split the children into two even groups, each forming a line opposite each other (approximately 15 meters or more), with each line joining hands. One group yells “Land Rover, Land Rover, send [insert child’s name from opposite group] right over!” The child who has been called must then run towards the opposite group and try and break through the line. If they succeed, they choose one person from this group and bring them back to their original group. If the child is caught in the line, without it breaking, they must stay with this group. Each group alternates until one group has all the children on its side.

Ship Ship Come Home: This is a problem-solving game, in which children learn that they can rely on friends around them to help solve problems. It helps children build resilience. 
How To Play: Divide the children into two groups. One group shouts to the other group “Ship ship come home!” and the opposite group will run to catch friends from the other side. The children who are caught will join the group which caught them.

10 to 1 Game: This game develops counting skills, and provides great exercise as well! 
How To Play: First pump your left arm 10x, followed by right arm 10x, then your left leg 10x, followed by your right leg 10x, counting out lead. Repeat by pumping each arm and leg 9x, then 8x, and so on.

Chili go go go Chilipaliwe: This game teaches children to assist each other when a friend or relative runs into a problem and needs help. 
How To Play: The children form a circle, with each child sitting facing the middle. Each child holds a small stone, and everyone starts chanting “go, go na go go” while passing a stone around to the next friend. The stones keep moving in the rhythm of the chant as it continues.

Thanks

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