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.
May 8, 2016

Is There an Easy Solution for Malaria?

Happy Mother’s Day from our Zambian Families. This Mother's Day give a gift of health to a family in Zambia. Your ongoing support for our malaria prevention program keeps children malaria free, healthy and in school.

Malaria Prevention Day 2016: We will be providing 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families vulnerable to malaria before the start of the next malaria season in 2016.

Impact: As a result of our malaria prevention program, we are seeing a reduced incidence of malaria and improved knowledge of malaria care and prevention in our community. In 2015 only two children out of 2000 beneficiary families contracted malaria, were treated, and are in good health.       

Is Malaria still a Problem? Globally, we lost 438,000 lives to malaria in 2015 even though this disease is easily preventable and curable. Children under five are especially vulnerable to malaria illness, infection and death and more than 800 children under five die of malaria every day. 

Our Solution: Every year before the start of the malaria season, we provide:

  • Long lasting insecticide treated nets children and families vulnerable to malaria
  • Education on prevention of malaria
  • Demonstration on the proper use and maintenance of nets.
  • Follow-up conversations to ensure nets are used and maintained properly.

Over the last six years, we have been able to provide 8,800 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families in Zambia. These nets were used by an estimated 35,200 children (as each net can sleep up to four young children) or 17,600 adults (as each net can sleep two adults). 

Why Nets? According to the WHO, sleeping under a mosquito bed net is one of the most effective means of preventing malaria and 90% of families with a bed net use it. Over the last two decades there has been significant progress made in reducing the incidence of malaria; but decreased coverage going forward can lead to a major insurgence of the disease.   

Why Zambia?: In Zambia, the need for nets is high as:

  • All areas are high malaria transmission areas. In our community many areas are water logged and a breeding ground for mosquitos.   
  • Vulnerability to malaria is high due to high incidence of HIV and TB: Malaria can be fatal for an HIV+ pregnant woman and it significantly compromises the health of children living with HIV.
  • Most people in our community of Matero live on less than $2 per day, defined as extreme poverty by the UN, and cannot afford a net.

Thank you for helping us eradicate malaria in Zambia. 

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May 8, 2016

Our family of first time women entrepreneurs is growing

Happy Mother's day! This Mother’s day give a gift of empowerment to first time women entrepreneurs who are struggling to take care of their families and pay for school expenses for their children. You can empower women by providing them with training in marketable skills, and loans to start a business.

Last month we celebrated moms and grandmothers everywhere by expanding our micro loans program. Fifty first time entrepreneurs were provided with business training and new loans to start businesses in their community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia. Over the course of four days, 50 women went through an intensive business training course, at the end which they presented a business plan. All 50 women completed the training successfully and are now putting the business techniques learnt into practice.

Businesses started with these loans are diverse and range from selling groceries, used shoes, used clothing and toys to school jerseys, cell phone covers, light fixtures, batteries, and wedding accessories. For the next two years, the new entrepreneurs will be supported by a strong network of other loan recipients, weekly informational meetings, business mentorship meetings, refresher trainings, and field visits. Earnings from these new businesses help pay for food, rent, medicines, clothing, and school expenses for their children. 

With the addition of these 50 new entrepreneurs, we will have a total of 500 businesses operating in the community. Over the last 10 years, our loans program has helped start over 600 businesses; 70% of which are still operating in the community and helping keep children healthy and in school.

Impact of our Microloans Program

Short term

Economic empowerment: earnings from businesses help pay for food, rent, medicines and school expenses. Social empowerment: women build strong social networks, and many become role models and mentors.

Impact on the community: Businesses started add value for the whole community as they: (i) provide increased convenience for residents. Residents have to travel shorter distances and they can purchase in smaller quantities, (ii) are unique and provide an element of luxury to the residents. For e.g. a hair salon that may offer basic hair styling and braiding for girls, (iii) increase in information and skill level as our beneficiaries share their learning, and (iv) change the culture (via savings, men helping in stores run by the women)

Long term:

1. Prevention of HIV: Loan recipients learn about HIV care, treatment and prevention and the importance of voluntary testing and counseling. All of these lead to HIV prevention.   

2. Reduction of stigma associated with HIV: Discussions regarding HIV care and prevention with peers and better knowledge leads to a reduction in the stigma associated with this disease.    

3. Increased attendance at school as the children improve in health due to better care and nutrition. 

To Sum: Earnings from businesses enable several hundred women to take better care of their families, keep children healthy, and pay for school and other household expenses. In addition, new women entrepreneurs have become role models, teachers, and mentors as they share their experiences and knowledge with others in the community.

Thanks for empowering women in Zambia.  

Links:

May 8, 2016

Play is transforming lives

Happy Mother’s Day from our Zambian families. This Mom’s day give a gift of free and structured play to a child growing up in extraordinarily difficult circumstances in Zambia. Your ongoing support has helped provide a safe area where children can engage in educational activites and games and has gone a long way in helping them grow normally. 

About “Safe Park: This program is free and open to all children in the communty and continues to provide them with a safe and happy environment to play and learn. Games and educational activities keep the children engaged, happy and off the streets for a few hours each week. Homework help is provided. 

Our Nurse and trained health care workers observe the children for any signs of trauma, grief, distress and counsel the family as needed.

Typical activities: Children are divided into groups based on their age. Some of the typical activities are listed below:

For ages 0-5 years: game (head, shoulders, knees, and toes), singing, storytelling, coloring, and hand washing. These activities foster motor control, help the children learn names of body parts in English and help them learn basic hygiene. The younger children participate enthusiastically and cooperate well with each other.

For ages 6-10 years: group discussion (helping each other), drawing, coloring, soccer. These activities help children express their thoughts, develop fine motor skills (how to hold a pencil), and help them understand the importance of teamwork, and cooperation. Participation is good and the children seem happy.

For ages 11-18 years: group discussions on topics relevant to adolescent children such as prevention of STI's, HIV, goal setting, SWOT analysis, importance of school, problem solving, and how to overcome adverse circumstances. Most children participate eagerly and contribute to discussions. Family members of children who not participate, appear sad, or do not communicate are counseled and directed to the appropriate agency for extra support.

Impact: Almost all children who participate regularly show a significant improvement in their physical, social, emotional and intellectual development and overall health. With better health they are able to attend school, and show an improvement in school performance. As the children do better at school they have started bringing in their progress reports for our child health workers.In addition, the children develop a sense of belonging in their community and hope for the future.

The impact of “Safe Park” activities has been much greater on children who were traumatized and/or abused. In most cases, there has been a reduction in grief and trauma, and these children to bounce back to normality. In almost all cases the child’s relationship with the family have been positively reinforced. In cases of domestic violence and abuse the child is referred to the appropraite agency for further support.

At this time, 780 children are enrolled and 70-80 participate every week.

Need for “Safe Park”: Our "Safe Park" program is located in the community of Matero, Lusaka, Zambia. Matero is one of the largest and poorest compounds in Lusaka with a population of around 275,000, and is characterized with a high incidence of HIV, malaria and TB. Most residents are poor and live on less than $2 per day - defined as extreme poverty by the UN. Children face difficult circumstances due to poverty, stigma due to their HIV positive status, sickness within the family, distress and trauma (due to the loss of a parent/family member). Most lack a safe environment to learn and play that is critical for normal development. 

To sum: Residents of the community are grateful as this program gives their children an opportunity for play, learning, and interaction with children who are HIV+ and HIV free. Family members felt that these activities have resulted in reducing stigma associated with HIV, and provided a sense of belonging and well-being to the children. Finally, help with homework leads to higher school attendance and performance.   

Thanks for giving the joy of learning and playing to children in Zambia.

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