COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children

by Power of Love Foundation
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COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
COVID education/"Safe Park" for Children
Playing and learning in a safe place
Playing and learning in a safe place

The Power of Love team extends a personal and heartfelt thanks for your dedication to provide a safe environment for orphans and vulnerable children to learn and play. 2019 was an extraordinary year. With your help, several hundred children engaged in educational games and activities every week. As a result, the children enjoy school, are better adjusted, and feel a sense of belonging in the community.

Please take a moment to treat yourself to this short video, in which school girls kick off a community health event in Lusaka, Zambia. We are sure this video will bring a smile to your face.

Sending you and your family a giant wave of love this holiday season! 

A workshop on HIV lead by older children
A workshop on HIV lead by older children
Young leaders
Young leaders
Having fun in a safe environment
Having fun in a safe environment

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Playing a Zambian game
Playing a Zambian game

Community Outreach Program

“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. Program activities are held on Saturday mornings and any child from the community can join us in play and learning. Most children in this community are vulnerable and/or orphans; they live with extended families, grandmothers or older siblings and face hunger, disease, abuse, and neglect. They do not have a safe space to play, or an opportunity to express their concerns to a trained health care aide.

A Typical “Safe Park” Morning

A typical Saturday morning starts with the children gathering around in a circle and participating in games with the other children and staff members. Some of these games are described below. After games, the children are divided into groups according to their ages. The younger children engage in drawing, coloring, playing with blocks, toys, and dolls, while the older children attend short workshops on HIV, STI’s and safe sex. Most workshops are led by older children who have graduated from Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program or children who want to share their experiences with peers/younger children. Some children bring their reports cards from school to share their progress with our team. Homework help is also provided. At the conclusion of these group activities/workshops, the children are provided with a snack before they leave for home. Family members of the children are welcome to join in the games and activities.

During the morning’s activities, our health care team observes the children for any signs of trauma, stress, grief or abuse and provides counseling to the child and family members.

Zambian Games Played

There are several Zambian games that the children play and enjoy. In addition to having fun while being physically active, most games teach children to run away danger, how to keep themselves safe from danger, report any potential danger to a trusted family member, and follow instructions at home an at school. A brief description of the games is given below.

Mulilo pa lupili (fire on the mountain): Everyone is given a number from 1-5 and they gather in a circle. One person stands in the middle of the circle and says, ‘mulilo pa lupili’ (fire on the mountain). The rest of the group answers ‘mulilo’ meaning ‘fire.’ The children disperse in a chaotic fashion and try to locate others with the same number. Anyone found without a group is out of the game.

Gogo na gogo (meaning assisting or helping one another in time of trouble or need): Children sit down in a circle and pass a stone rapidly to the next person while singing, “gogo na gogo”. The purpose of this game is to teach children to be alert and help one another.

Chizugulu, Chizugulu Tiye (going around): The song, ‘chizugulu, chizugulu tiye”, is sung while everyone is in a circle holding hands. Holding hands and singing they start going clockwise or anti-clockwise. While going clockwise or anti-clockwise, the children kneel and stand up alternately. The game requires concentration, reduces stress and is fun. It fosters friendships with peers.

I Pick the Ball: All participants are in a circle and one is in the middle singing “I pick the ball, I pick the ball, I put it here, pepeta, pepeta.’’ Pepeta means, “to shake the body” while kicking the ball. While singing, the person gives instructions (shake the body, dance, etc.) using the ball and everyone has to follow these instructions. When the person inside the circle is done, he/she points at someone else who then comes to the middle, sings and gives instructions. This is repeated until everyone has been in the center of the circle at least once.

Children from the community participate in these games enthusiastically and come back each week as they enjoy interacting with others.

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

A workshop in progress
A workshop in progress
Hanging out
Hanging out
Leading a popular Zambian game
Leading a popular Zambian game

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A Young Girl Leading a Workshop on HIV
A Young Girl Leading a Workshop on HIV

Who attends "Safe Park"? 

Power of Love’s “Safe Park” program is free and open to all children in the community of Matero, in Lusaka, Zambia. Most children in this community are vulnerable due to several reasons; they may have lost one or both parents, they live with extended families (grandmothers, aunts, or older siblings) and face hunger, disease, abuse and neglect. As a result, they need counseling, and their families’ need information and counselling.

How Does “Safe Park” Help Community Residents?

Trained health care staff work with children who participate in educational games and activities organized by our team on Saturday mornings. Social workers provide psycho-social support to children of all ages in an environment which facilitates activities, and educational discussions. These interactions benefit the children’s physical, social, and emotional development and overall health. In addition, staff members observe the children while they are playing and encourage them to interact freely and work hard at school. If a child exhibits abnormal or aggressive behavior, or complains about abuse, a staff member visits the child in his/her home, counsels the family, and provides information about other agencies that can provide additional support. “Safe Park” activities keep children off the streets where they could be abused.

Given below is a summary of activities for children

For all children: Zambian games and free play, homework help, psycho-social counseling as needed, a small snack.

Younger children: Drawing as this helps the children express their feelings, coloring, playing with blocks and toys.

For older children: Education on HIV, safe sex and STI's, encouraged to mentor younger children, lead workshops on HIV.

For family members: Counseling as needed, home visits in case of suspected abuse, information on agencies that can be of assistance to the family.

Impact of Safe Park

Children learn about HIV prevention, get help with schoolwork, 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 the children learn life skills and to provide critical information (location of clinics for counseling) to family members. The result is a stronger and well-informed family and community.

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


Learning from Peers
Learning from Peers
A typical family
A typical family
A Young Boy Leading a Workshop on HIV
A Young Boy Leading a Workshop on HIV

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Legos are Fun
Legos are Fun

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 this community 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, and their families’ information and counselling.

Stories of two typical children: Here are stories about two children impacted by this program.

Paul (name changed), a 15-year old, grew up in a home with very difficult circumstances. He was traumatized as his stepmom mistreated and denied him food. In addition, his parents fought constantly when he was growing up, so he perceived fighting to be normal in a home. When Paul enrolled in “Safe Park”, our child and youth care workers noticed unusual behavior, gathered information about his family background, and counselled Paul. His family was encouraged to move Paul to his grandparents’ home. Since this move, Paul is better adjusted and is back in school. He is a hard-working young man and wants to volunteer in this program. For the last few months, Paul has been assigned the job of organizing the children into groups depending on their age. He is excited to be chosen as a leader and has started helping regularly. One of the outcomes of participation in “Safe Park” games is that children, like Paul, gain self-confidence especially after they are given leadership roles.

Robert is a fifth grader, and an orphan. He lives with his uncle and is a loner. When he started attending “Safe Park”, he was not enthusiastic in participating in activities or playing games. Our health care team noticed this behavior, which is unusual for a fifth grader, and provided him with counselling and support. After a few weeks, Robert became comfortable with his peers and now interacts well with family and friends. His uncle is happy with the support and advice provided by our team as this has helped Robert accept the loss of his parents. Robert is doing well at school.

Impact of Safe Park: During “Safe Park” activities impact hundreds of children like Paul and Robert, 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 the children learn life skills and to provide critical information (location of clinics for counseling) 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.

Play is good
Play is good
A typical child in our program
A typical child in our program
A typical child in our program
A typical child in our program

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Children engaged in a traditional Zambian game
Children engaged in a traditional Zambian game

Why “Safe Park”?

“Safe Park” is our community outreach program that is free and open to all children in the community of Matero, in Lusaka, Zambia. Most children are vulnerable as they may be orphans, live with extended families, grandmothers or older siblings and often face hunger, disease, abuse and neglect. As a result, they need counseling, support, and a safe area to interact freely; their families’ need information about organizations who could be help to them. This program benefits about 760 children and their families. As we plan new program activities for 2019, we wanted to give you a summary, impact and our plan for the upcoming year.

Highlights of Program Activities

  • Over 700 children from Matero and neighboring communities participate in educational games and activities such as coloring, playing Zambian games, and participating in workshops on HIV. 
  • Trained child counselors and social workers observe the children as they participate in educational games and workshops. They encourage children to express their feelings, interact with other children and participate in all activities. This helps the children feel loved despite their difficult family circumstances. As children make friends, they share their experiences with each other.   
  • Trained child care staff counsel families of children who exhibit unusual behaviors such as getting into fights due to trauma or abuse.
  • More open discussions lead to a reduction in the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS.
  • Family members (are mostly grandmothers/single moms) learn how to take better care of their HIV+ children.
  • Pregnant women living with HIV learn about PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-child transmission of HIV) that results in children being born HIV free.
  • Additional psycho-social support is provided to children.
  • Homework help is provided. Some children bring their school reports to show our social workers.

Impact of Program Activities

As a result of program activities outlined above, more children are making friends, caring for each other and fewer fights have been recorded. The psychosocial support provided, facilitates activities and discussions which result in improved emotional, mental, and physical development of children. In addition, as children build trust with our trained staff, they come forward to discuss problems faced by themselves or their friends. The family is then counseled and provided with information on next steps.

Over the last 2-3 years, we have been encouraging older children to lead workshops. A few children, who are regular participants have taken up this challenge and are now leading workshops in HIV prevention and basic hygiene for younger children. These young educators are role models for younger children and we are confident that they will grow up to become community leaders. 

Benefits of “Safe Park”

“Safe Park” activities benefit hundreds of children get help with school work, learn about HIV prevention, and have fun with peers. The children get an opportunity to play, interact freely with other children, and mentor younger children. In addition, their families are referred to government clinics for counseling and testing for HIV, TB and cervical cancer. All program activities are designed to help children learn life skills and to provide critical information (location of clinics for counseling) to family members. The result is well adjusted happier children, and a stronger more well-informed community.

Thanks for helping provide a safe environment for orphans and vulnerable children to learn and play.

Happy children
Happy children
Drawing their dreams
Drawing their dreams

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Organization Information

Power of Love Foundation

Location: San Diego, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Power of Love Foundation
Project Leader:
Alka Subramanian
Founder/Director
San Diego, CA United States
$589 raised of $10,000 goal
 
18 donations
$9,411 to go
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