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 1, 2015

We are adding more 50 New Children to our Pediatric HIV Care Program

As a result of your generosity and support, we will be adding 50 new HIV positive children to our program this month. The children have been identified and 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, their 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 on our program for a few months, the child improves in health (as measured by a gain in weight/CD4 counts), and has fewer missed days from school due to sickness. In addition to improving the child’s health, the child’s family knows how to take care of the child, and other sick members in the family and understand the importance of keeping children in school. In addition, family members begin to come forward for testing for HIV, which is the first step in prevention of this disease. Finally, women on our program share their knowledge about caring for an HIV+ child and become role models for others in the community

Training to Caregivers: The goal of the training is to equip parents/guardians in basic nursing skills and psychosocial counseling so that the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7.  Post training, parents/guardians are able to take care of different kinds of opportunistic infections that are common among HIV positive children at home and are able to identify situations when the child needs a higher level of care. As a result, most children to improve/stabilize in health and have fewer opportunistic infections once they have been on our program for 4-5 months. 

Profile of the New Children: Out of this group of 50 children, 33 children are female and the rest are male. The 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, we will ensure that the 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.

With the addition of these 50 children, we will have a total of 250 HIV+ children on our program. Every one of these 250 children will receive food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services. As a result, most children stabilize/improve in health, attend school and live close to normal lives so that they can grow up to become contributing members of their community.  

Links:

Mar 1, 2015

Impact of Power of Love's Micro Loans Program

Micro Loans Empower Women

Micro loans programs provided to women to start small businesses have proven to be one of the most effective means of empowering women and teaching them self-reliance. By learning basic business practices, new women entrepreneurs are better equipped to run small businesses and are therefore able to take better care of their families. Power of Love’s micro loans program is located in the community of Matero, in Lusaka, Zambia. Matero is one of the largest and poorest compounds in Lusaka, with a population of approximately 85,000. This community is characterized by a high incidence of HIV and AIDS (prevalence rate of 14% among adults aged 15-49) and an unemployment rate upward of 60%.  As a result, most people are poor and live on less than $1 per day.  

Women in Matero regularly provide care for one or more sick family members. Loans and business training provided to women have enabled them to excel in this difficult environment by learning marketable skills and running a profitable small business, thereby supporting all dependents in the household.

Impact of Our Loans Program

Women who have graduated from our micro loans program have gained valuable experience and expertise in their line of business. They work hard to provide for their families and have gained self-confidence and become role models for others in the community. A majority of the women have started saving (either at home or via a bank account) and several women have found innovative ways to increase earnings from their businesses.

Most women in our loans program are able to take better care of their families in terms of nutrition and health, pay for school expenses, and understand the importance of keeping children in school. In addition, we are seeing a change in the attitude of the women - they are confident, have a plan for their future, and are on the path to self-reliance (both economic and social). More deatil on program impact is provided below.

Our Program is Unique

Loans provided to POL micro loan participants have immediate impact on the entire family as the program is completely integrated with Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care and malaria prevention programs. As such, the pediatric HIV care and malaria prevention programs provide micro loan recipients with the extra support they need (via food, medicines, packages of health care services and mosquito bed nets) while they learn how to run their businesses.  This significantly increases their chance of success in business.

Women and children have been disproportionately impacted by the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Africa; hence, they are the main beneficiaries of POL’s comprehensive programs. The vision behind all of our programs is to strengthen communities impacted by HIV and AIDS by empowering women.

Profiles of Women Entrepreneurs

Micro loan recipients range in age from 33 to 65 years old. Of these women, 70% are single or widowed. On average each woman cares for a total of 6 or more people, of which 5 are usually children. Prior to receiving a micro loan, fewer than 5% of these women had bank accounts.

The vast majority of the women use loan funds to start new businesses and or expand existing businesses. Businesses started with these loans are diverse and range from selling bananas along the roadside to brick-and-mortar stores selling cell phone chargers and accessories. Most businesses sell groceries, used shoes, toys, clothing, dried fish, charcoal, popcorn, mealie meal (a Zambian staple) etc. Many women distribute fish to local restaurants, fry donut-like snacks for stores, or make their own floor wax.

Direct Impact of our Loans Program in 2014

  1. Diet and Nutrition: Almost all 225 women on our program are able to provide two or more meals per day for their families as compared to one meal per day before they joined our program. 
  2. Schooling: Most women have been able to support their children with school requirements such as school fees, books, uniforms, shoes, pen/pencils, and transport money to those who go to school by public transport. In 2014, as a result of this program, 22 children were enrolled at the University, 123 children went back to school as their caregivers were able to pay school fees and/or school expenses, and 52 children have started grade one this month as their parents have saved money for their school requirements. In addition, 156 children will be able to continue their education as their caregivers were able to pay for school expenses (uniforms, shoes, books, and stationary). 
  3. Household purchases: A majority of the women were able to purchase household items such as TV stands, pressure cooker, Television, radios, DVD Machines, dinner set, cooking pot etc. These purchases would not have been possible without earnings from their businesses.
  4. Savings: About 175 women have been saving via bank accounts and an additional 40 women are saving at home. We are proud of these women who are saving a certain amount each week as this is a habit that is new to them. The amount saved each week is small, but it helps the women continue to run their business once they are weaned off the loan program, and take care of unexpected expenses.
  5. Capital Acquisition:
    • A group of 16 women pooled their savings to rent a piece of land for growing cotton and beans. These ladies got the idea from their mentors who themselves had purchased a piece of land for farming purposes and are doing well.
    • An additional 16 women have bought a piece of land each for purposes of constructing a house (for rent or as a home for themselves) as and when they have funds. Two of the ladies have laid the foundation for construction.
  6.  Business Expansion: Out of the total group of 225 women, 187 women have expanded their businesses and increased their capital by 50-60%. These dynamic ladies have invested funds in projects and products that will help sustain their businesses even after they are weaned off the loans program after three loan cycles. Moreover, they will continue to mentor new loan beneficiaries and have become role models for others in the community.
  7.  Prevention of HIV: As a result of discussions during weekly meetings 117 women have come forward for voluntary testing for HIV. This is encouraging as testing is the first step toward prevention of HIV.

Expected Impact in the Next 12-24 Months

In the next few months we expect more women to:

  • move out of selling out of their homes to a rented shop in the community marketplace which has higher foot traffic,
  • expand their business with the same type of goods,
  • expand and diversify into new line/lines of business,
  • purchase a shop instead of selling from a rented space.

The impact of our program goes beyond the economic benefits of increasing income and earnings in the short term. The long term impact of this program is to teach women how to build and run a successful business, save via bank accounts, and have the necessary capital to take charge of their lives and first steps toward self-reliance.

Next Steps

Our focus for 2015 and beyond is to continue to empower women by teaching them basic business practices and helping them run a profitable business so that they can become self-reliant. In addition, we are planning on providing 50 new loans in the spring of 2015.

Conclusion

Most women in our loans program are able to take better care of their families in terms of nutrition and health, pay for school expenses, and understand the importance of keeping children in school. In addition, we are seeing a change in the attitude of the women - they are confident, have a plan for their future, and are on the path to self-reliance (both economic and social).

Micro loans successfully enable women to engage in self-employment projects and set themselves on the road to self-reliance. These loans help a poor household meet basic needs and protect against unexpected expenses. For most women, there is a dramatic improvement in their standard of living and many are able to finally break the cycle of poverty. Finally, there is an improvement in gender inequality, economic welfare, and self-empowerment. We are confident that the outcomes of this program will be sustainable and permanent.  

Thanks for your support.

Loan recipient at her used shoes store
Loan recipient at her used shoes store

Links:

Mar 1, 2015

Results of a Follow-Up Study on Provision of Nets and Education on Prevention of Malaria in 2014

With your support, Power of Love Foundation was able to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families in the summer of 2014. Recipients of nets included those sections of the population most vulnerable to malaria, namely children under five years of age, HIV positive children, expecting moms, people living with HIV, people infected with TB, and orphans and vulnerable children.

In order to assess the impact of our malaria prevention program, we conducted a follow up study in October 2014. The study indicated that the use of bed nets has led to fewer cases of malaria in the community and fewer visits to the clinic. As a result of improved health, school attendance and performance in school is higher. We are confident that with the continued provision of malaria bed nets and education, there will be a marked reduction in the incidence of malaria in this community. More detail is provided below.  

Findings of a Post-distribution of Malaria Nets Study

In order to understand the impact of the provision of nets and education on malaria prevention we met with 200 beneficiary families in October 2014 to:

(i)     assess the impact of nets usage,

(ii)   learn if nets were being used as demonstrated and identify and educate families who were not using nets in the proper way,  

(iii) assess the number of malaria cases/deaths if any,

(iv) estimate the number of direct and indirect beneficiaries.

Findings of the Study:  Based on our conversations we learnt that most beneficiaries,

(i)     know what measures to take to prevent malaria,

(ii)   are using the nets as demonstrated prior to the provision of nets, 

(iii) know when and where to take the nets for re-treating with pesticide after six months,  

(iv) are storing nets properly as they are relatively clean and not damaged/torn, and

(v) the number of direct and indirect beneficiaries is approximately 3200 adults and children as a net can sleep multiple people (one net can sleep two adults or four young children).

Impact of the Provision of Nets and Education on Malaria Prevention

Most of the older children and adult beneficiaries are using the bed nets, and the nets are being used as demonstrated during the distribution day activities. Nets were kept clean and stored properly when not in use. A few beneficiaries did not know the proper way of using nets and they were provided with information on this subject. In addition, recipients of nets have increased knowledge and awareness about malaria prevention.

Community and Church leaders expressed their thanks and would like this malaria prevention program to continue in 2015 and beyond. This is especially true as most families live on less than one dollar a day due to high levels of unemployment and are unable to afford net.  

The use of bed nets has led to fewer cases of malaria in the community and fewer visits to the clinic. As a result of improved health, school attendance and performance in school is higher. We are confident that with the continued provision of malaria bed nets and education, there will be a marked reduction in the incidence of malaria in this community.

Thanks for helping prevent malaria in Zambia. 

Links:

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $150
    give
  • $200
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $3,000
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $150
    each month
    give
  • $200
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $3,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Power of Love Foundation

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Power of Love Foundation on GreatNonProfits.org.