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.
Mar 5, 2016

Why a "Safe Park" for Children?

Power of Love’s, “Safe Park” program continues to provide a safe and happy environment for children to play and learn. At this time several hundred children from the community participate regularly in “Safe Park” activities and 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 do better at school. In addition, the children develop a sense of belonging in their community and hope for the future.

Typical Activities:  For children under five years of age, activities such as games (head, shoulders, knees, and toes), singing, coloring, storytelling, and role play teaches team work, following directions, and important life skills. Pre-school age children participate with enthusiasm in games and activities. Children ages 6-10 years old are encouraged to work in groups and express their thoughts via drawing and coloring. Children ages 11-16 engage in discussions relevant to adolescents such as prevention of STD’s, HIV, and safe sex. In addition, they discuss career goals, the process of achieving these goals (via strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities analysis), the importance of staying healthy and in school, and finally not giving up in the face of adverse circumstances. These discussions help the child understand their problems and find solutions unique to their background.

Finally, children who feel alone and isolated are introduced to other children. Family members are counselled as needed.        

Impact: As the children learn and play during Safe Park activities, our community health workers get an opportunity to discuss the child’s physical and mental growth with their family members. During these conversations we learnt that residents are grateful for this program as their children are playing, learning, and mixing freely with all children irrespective of their HIV status. Family members communicated that free play and structured activities lead to learning, keep children happy, reduce stigma associated with HIV, and keep children off the streets where they may be abused. Finally, help with homework leads to higher school attendance and performance.   

At this time, 780 children are enrolled in our Safe Parks program and 70-80 children participate every week.

Need for “Safe Park”: Our "Safe Park" program is located in Matero which is one of the largest (population of around 275,000) and poorest compounds in Lusaka, Zambia. Most residents are poor and live on less than $2 per day due to unemployment rates upwards of 60% and a high incidence of HIV and malaria. 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. 

Overall, “Safe Park” activities continue to provide children in the community of Matero an opportunity to play, and learn in a safe environment every Saturday morning. Children enrolled in our pediatric HIV care program participate regularly and bring their friends over to play with our trained staff.

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

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Mar 5, 2016

Impact of the Provision of Nets and Education on Malaria Prevention

Project Mosquito Nets, provides long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. The goal of this program is to keep vulnerable children and families free from malaria.

Impact of this Program 

In order to assess the impact of our malaria prevention program we interviewed 426 women beneficiaries last September. The goals of this study were to assess:

      i.            if the nets are being used every night,

     ii.            if the nets were maintained and stored as demonstrated during the malaria prevention day activities,

    iii.            if the beneficiaries had knowledge about re-treatment of nets, and

    iv.            if there was a decline in the incidence of malaria.

Results of the study: Based on our conversations with beneficiaries we concluded that:

(i) Nets are used every night. This is good as 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.

(ii) Most beneficiaries have improved knowledge about the proper storage and maintenance of nets. Out of the 426 women interviewed, four did not know how to use the nets. These women were provided with another demonstration on the proper use and storage of nets. 

(iii) Most beneficiaries had information about re-treatment of nets which is required every six months and that this service is available free of cost via by Government agencies.

(iv) Each net is being used to sleep at least 2-3 children or two adults. This implies that our malaria prevention program benefits approximately 4000-6000 children or 4000 adults each year.

(v)  Most women had better knowledge about malaria prevention and symptoms of malaria.

(vi) Most nets were in good condition (not torn).

(vii) There is a reduced incidence of malaria in the community.

(viii) There are fewer missed days from school as a result of better health of the children.

Need for Nets

In Zambia: Follow-up interviews with nets recipients indicate that the nets distributed over the last 2-3 years are in good condition and are being used as directed. However, we need several thousand more nets as most residents of Matero cannot afford to purchase a net. The community of Matero, has a population of approx. 275,000 and most residents are poor (live on less than $2 per day) due to a high incidence of HIV and malaria, and unemployment rates upwards of 60%.

Globally: Globally, malaria is still a problem. There were an estimated 200 million cases of malaria and 600,000 deaths in 2013. Ninety percent of malaria deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa and malaria is the leading cause of death for children under five in Africa. Malaria continues to claim over 400,000 children every year even though it is easily preventable and treatable. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to malaria and it can be fatal for HIV+ pregnant women.

According to the World Health Organization, 90 percent of families with a bed net use it. However, in 2013 only 50% of families in sub-Saharan African slept beneath a mosquito bed net. This highlights a need to provide additional nets. Moreover, a decrease in the usage of nets can lead to a major insurgence of the disease and can reverse the gains achieved in preventing deaths due to malaria over the last several years.  

Request for funds for our next distribution of nets: At this time we are raising funds to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria before the next malaria season in 2016. A donation of $10 can prevent malaria for a family of four young children and two adults. Every little bit counts. Please donate generously as a family can be malaria free for just pennies per person.    

Thanks for your caring and dedication to keep children malaria free in Zambia. 

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Mar 5, 2016

We are Adding Children to Our Pediatric HIV care Program

Expanding our Pediatric HIV care program: You will be happy to know that as a result of your generosity and support, we added 50 HIV positive children to our pediatric HIV care program this month. The children will be receiving food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services till they turn 18 years of age. The package of health care services includes weekly health visits from community health workers, regular visits from the Project Nurse, psycho-social counseling, education in HIV prevention, and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, primary caregivers (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) will be undergo a five day training in caring for an HIV positive child.

Impact of this program:  Once the child has been under our care for 4-5 months, the child stabilizes in health; this is indicated by a reduced frequency and intensity of opportunistic infections. In subsequent months, the child improves in health; this is indicated by a sustained gain in weight, and higher CD4 counts. As the children stabilize and improve in health, they miss fewer days of school and perform better at school. In addition, the child’s caregiver has better understanding of HIV, the importance of keeping children in school, and in caring for HIV+ children, and other sick members in the family. As knowledge about HIV care and prevention improves, family members begin to come forward for testing for HIV, which is the first step in prevention of this disease. Finally, trained caregivers share their knowledge about HIV care and prevention with others in the community

Training to Caregivers:  Caregivers of children are provided with a five day training in HIV care, and prevention. The goal of this training is to equip family member in basic nursing skills and psychosocial counseling so that the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7.  Post training, family members are able to take better care of different kinds of opportunistic infections common among HIV+ children at home and are able to escalate care to the next level. As a result, most children stabilize and improve in health (measured by fewer opportunistic infections, gain in weight, higher CD4 counts), once they have been on our program for 4-5 months. 

Profile of the New Children: The new children range in age from two to sixteen years with a majority of them in the age range from 6-12 years and most between 2-16 years. Since most of the children are of school going age, our goal is to ensure that children attend school and also educate caregivers on the importance of keeping children in school. Our goal is for these children to stay heathy and graduate middle, and high school.

To Sum: With the addition of 50 children, we will have a total of 300 HIV+ children that receive food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services. We are confident that these children will show a marked improvement in health in the coming months, attend school and live close to normal lives.

Thanks for your gift and health to children in Zambia.

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