Mar 7, 2020

Benefits of Playing in a Safe Space

Children Stay Malaria Free
Children Stay Malaria Free

Who attends "Safe Park"? “Safe Park” is Power of Love’s community outreach program and is free and open to all children in the community of Matero, in Lusaka, Zambia. Most children in Matero are vulnerable and/or orphaned; they live with extended families, grandmothers or older siblings and face hunger, disease, abuse and neglect. As a result, they need counseling, support, and a safe area to play freely; their families’ need information about organizations who could be help to them.

"Safe Park" benefits about 760 children and their families. As we plan new program activities for 2020, we would like to share the story of a typical child who participates in "Safe Park" and illustrate how your support is making an impact on vulnerable families and children.

Here is a story of Frank, one of the hundreds of children who join us in learning and playing every week. Frank and his brother are regular participants in “Safe Park” games and activities. They are cared for by their aunt and live with seven other family members in a home in Matero. The family can barely afford three meals a day. Since joining the program, Frank is happier and better adjusted to his difficult circumstances at home. He now participates regularly in games and activities and interacts well with other children. Frank’s family is happy that the children can play games and learn in safe environment and that the whole family receives a package of health care services to keep them healthy. They also receive counseling and support. In addition, they received long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on malaria last November. They are grateful and would like this program to continue in the community.

Impact of Safe Park: “Safe Park” activities impact hundreds of children like Frank get help with schoolwork, learn about HIV prevention, and their families are referred to government clinics for counseling and testing for HIV, TB and cervical cancer. In addition, the children are happier as they get an opportunity to play, interact freely with other children, and mentor younger children. All program activities are designed to help participants learn life skills, provide critical information (location of clinics for counseling) and malaria bed nets to family members. The result is a stronger and well-informed family and community.

Thank you for giving the gift of play to vulnerable children in Zambia.

Busy at work
Busy at work

Links:

Feb 23, 2020

Is Our Malaria Prevention Program Effective?

Malaria education session
Malaria education session

Malaria Prevention in Zambia

In 2019, generous donors such as yourself helped raise over $15,000 for Power of Love's malaria prevention and education program. These funds helped provide education and 11,500 long lasting insecticide treated nets to vulnerable populations in Zambia. The provision of nets and education has reduced the incidence of malaria which in turn has resulted in adults taking fewer days off work and children missing fewer days at school. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) sleeping under a good quality mosquito bed net is one of the cheapest and most effective methods of malaria prevention. Further, WHO recommends that mosquito bed nets should be provided free of cost to help eradicate malaria.  

Zambia Can Be Malaria Free

A mosquito bed net can sleep up to four young children or two adults and lasts up to two years. This implies that a single net costing less than $5, can keep 3-4 children malaria free, healthy and in school. Since malaria can be fatal, especially for young children, children living with HIV, and pregnant women living with HIV, a few pennies can save lives.

Zambia has set a lofty goal of eliminating malaria by 2021. According to USAID, this goal is ambitious but within reach. We are confident that our malaria prevention program will help Zambia reach its goal of eliminating malaria in the next 3-5 years.

Plan for 2020

Over the last 11 years we have been able to provide over 33,000 nets and education to vulnerable populations such as children and adults living with HIV, young children, older people, HIV+ pregnant women, and people infected with TB. For 2020, our goal is to provide 12,000-15,000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education to impoverished communities in Zambia. Beneficiary communities are carefully selected based on need and transmission rates of malaria.

Thanks for your caring and dedication to prevent malaria in Zambia.

Demonstration of the Proper Use of a Net
Demonstration of the Proper Use of a Net
Malaria prevention event
Malaria prevention event

Links:

Feb 23, 2020

Your Support Helps Train and Empower Hundreds of Vulnerable Women Impacted by HIV and AIDS

In 2019, generous donors such as yourself donated more than $12,000 to support Power of Love's micro loans program in Zambia. These funds helped provide new loans, business training, refresher training, and on-site business mentoring to more than 400 women entrepreneurs in Zambia. All program activities are designed to increase skills of vulnerable women and children and resulted in a huge and sustained impact on hundreds of families in our community.

A lot of Good Things Happened in 2019

We are thrilled that in 2019, hundreds of loan recipients such as Jane and Mary (see pictures), were more financially literate, built an asset base for their families, were running successful businesses, and took steps toward self-reliance. Here are some heartwarming numbers from the field:

  • 375 out of 400 women are on track with repayments.
  • 245 women have expanded their businesses and/or diversified their product line by adding higher value items such as soft drinks, meat etc.
  • More than 300 women have built an asset base by investing in land/cement blocks or extending their homes or shops. In addition, 90 women moved from selling by the roadside to selling from a shop.
  • 41 women moved to an independent accommodation from being dependent on relatives for shelter.
  • Most women are more financially literatea and save via banks. For example, 202 women are saving a small amount every week. Out of these 133 are saving via mobile banking/bank accounts and 69 via commercial banks. The women prefer mobile banking as opposed to traditional bans due to its convenience, and zero fees.
  • Earnings from businesses helped pay for school expenses or vocational training for more than 500 children. 
  • 136 women purchased large household items such as stoves, freezers, TV’s, furniture;
  • 322 women purchased small household items such as pots, pans, radios.
  • The diet and health of all 400 families (approximately 2800 family members) improved.   

Overall, most loan recipients learn how to run a business and have gathered enough capital to continue running their business in a relatively short (about 10-18 months) span of time. Second, with better knowledge about HIV, families have more open discussions that leads to a reduction in stigma and in prevention of HIV. In addition, loan recipients are role models, enjoy a higher status which results in improved gender equity. Finally, the impact of this program is multi-generational as the women can pay for school expenses for their children who will grow up to be well-informed, self-reliant individuals.

Plan for 2020

  • Provide new loans and business training to 50 women in March/April 2020.
  • Provide business training and loans to 300-350 new women.
  • Provide refresher training to 300-400 women.
  • Provide business mentoring training to 450 women.
  • Provide ongoing business mentoring and advice via on-site visits.
  • Encourage more graduates to mentor new loan recipients.
  • Track the 450 active businesses intensively so they continue to operate in the community even after the women graduate.
  • Track businesses run by graduates to learn from past experiences.

Thanks for giving hundreds of vulnerable women an opportunity to become successful entrepreneurs. 

Links:

 
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