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 10, 2015

This Mother's Day Help a Mom/Grand Mom Care for her Children

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Power of Love team would like to thank you for supporting our pediatric HIV care program in Zambia. As a result of your generosity we were able to add 50 HIV+ children last month. With the addition of these children, we will have a total of 250 HIV+ children who are receiving a comprehensive package of life saving health care services and will do so till they turn 18 years of age. This package includes food, medicines, 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, caregivers (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) of children completed a five day training in caring for an HIV positive child.

We would like to share stories of two children enrolled in our program last March. These two children are typical and their experiences can provide a baseline for assessment of the impact of our program on the health and well-being of most children.

Theresa (name changed) is 13 years old, both her parents are HIV+ and she is on ARV medication. She is living with her mom, stepfather, and two siblings. Her stepfather does not have a full time job so it is difficult for him to support the whole family. Her mom is expecting a new baby and has been enrolled in Power of Love's PMTCT program to ensure that the baby is born HIV free. Theresa joined our program due to her difficult family situation and poor health. At this time, she is receiving food, medicines and weekly health checkups from our community health worker, psycho-social counseling, and education on prevention of STI’s. Her mom received training in caring for an HIV+ child so she can prevent/identify/treat infections or escalate care to the next higher level of medical care. We are confident that Theresa will benefit from the care provided, will start to improve in health, and attend school.

Cole (name changed) is a five year old boy, and the youngest of three siblings. He lives with his parents who are both on treatment for HIV. He tested positive for HIV six weeks after birth. In 2014, he was very sick due to severe malnutrition and was in hospital for a month. He has been receiving a high protein soya supplement in addition to food, medicines and weekly visits from our community health worker/Nurse. His mom was trained in caring for an HIV+ child so that she can prevent/treat common infections before they compromise his health. We are happy that Cole is showing signs of better health already and has started gaining weight slowly. We are confident that his health will continue improve in the coming months and that he can start school next year. He is an active boy and plays well with his peers.

Thanks for giving children like Theresa and Cole a chance to live close to a normal and healthy, active life. 

Links:

May 10, 2015

This Mother's Day Give the Gift of Fun and Learning to a child in Zambia

Happy Mothers’ Day! This Mother’s Day give a gift of fun and learning to a vulnerable child in Zambia.

What Is “Safe Parks”? Every Saturday morning 70-80 children join our trained child and youth care workers in educational games and engaging in drama, role play, and discussions. These children are growing up in a difficult environment and have very few opportunities for fun and learning. Most need counseling for mental health issues due to the loss of a parent/family member, their HIV positive status, and lack of enough food. Children are encouraged to mix and interact with their peers while the Project Nurse observes them for any signs of distress, trauma or grief. Family members are provided with counseling and referrals regarding agencies that can help the child develop normally.

The program is free and open to all children in the community of Matero, in Lusaka Zambia.

Activities: The younger children have fun, and are able to play, learn and express themselves in a safe environment. They engage in drawing, coloring, playing with building blocks, singing, and dancing. Older children (ages 13-18 years) engage in discussions on topics such as overall health, hygiene, prevention of HIV and malaria. Drug and alcohol abuse, STI's, and safe sex are some of the sensitive topics that are discussed with adolescent children. Homework help is provided and children are invited to share report cards from their school. In addition, HIV+ pregnant women are counselled on how to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) so that they can deliver a baby who is free of HIV. Family members are encouraged to go in for testing for HIV which is the first step toward prevention of HIV Lastly, a snack is provided to all children.

Impact: Younger children have fun while learning to share toys and interact with peers. Discussion on sensitive topics with older children, leads to increased knowledge about HIV, reduces stigma, reduces early pregnancies, and encourages adherence to medication. Homework assistance helps the children do better at school, provides an incentive to attend school every day and improves life skills. Information provided to women regarding PMTCT and voluntary testing for HIV prevents HIV infection and its spread.    

Overall, these games and activities improve the children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development and overall health. Better health leads to fewer missed days at school, and higher school performance. At the very minimum this program keeps children off the streets over the weekend where they can get into trouble or get abused.   

Mentoring: We invite children who have graduated from our pediatric HIV care program to mentor younger children. The mentors act as role models as they play games, help with homework, share their experiences, and encourage the children to take care of their health and stay in school. 

Thanks for providing a fun and learning environment to vulnerable children in Zambia.

Links:

May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day from our Zambian Families

This Mother's Day give a gift of health to a family in Zambia. Our  malaria prevention program provides long lasting insecticide treated bed nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. Your ongoing support has helped in keeping children malaria free, healthy and in school.

Impact of Usage of Mosquito Bed Nets on Children's' Health

Over the last five years, we have been able to provide 6,800 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families in Zambia. These nets were used by an estimated 27,200 children (as each net can sleep up to four young children) or 13,600 adults (as each net can sleep two adults). Nets are provided to people who are vulnerable to malaria; for example, people living with HIV, older people, expecting moms, young children, and people with TB. Use of bed nets has led to a marked improvement in the health of all beneficiaries but the impact on the health of young children has been much greater. This is because malaria can have severe consequences on the health of younger children whose bodies have yet to develop the strength to fight the disease. In addition, malaria can be fatal for an HIV+ child who is malnourished, and an HIV+ pregnant woman. Finally, people living with HIV are three times as likely to suffer from malaria, as compared to a person who is HIV negative.

Need For Nets: The need for several thousand more nets is ongoing for the following reasons: (i) in low income areas in Zambia, there are several water logged areas/sewers which are breeding grounds of mosquitoes, (ii) due to an unemployment rate upwards of 60%, most beneficiaries live on less than a dollar a day and cannot afford a net, and (iii) a high rate of HIV incidence increases their vulnerability to malaria.

At this time we are raising funds to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN’s) and education on malaria prevention in June 2015 and before the start of the next malaria season. Please donate generously to help save lives. A donation of $10 will provide two nets that can prevent malaria for a family of two adults and 3-4 small children.

Thanks for your compassion.

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