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
I love school and playing with my friends
I love school and playing with my friends

Thank you for working with us to provide a safe and happy environment in which orphans and vulnerable children can play and learn. Today we would like you to meet one of the children who have benefitted from your support over the past year.

Jake: Jake is a 13-year old orphan and the youngest of four siblings. He lost his dad to TB and mom to AIDS. He and this three sisters live with their widowed aunt who is the sole provider for a household of eight. His aunt makes ends meet by selling vegetables by the roadside near their home and she barely earns enough for two meals per day.

Jake participates in our "Safe Park" program enthusiastically every week. He interacts well with other children and is happy playing and learning with them. He is studying in grade six, is an excellent student and his favourite subjects are mathematics, english, science, creative technology studies, Nyanja (one of the languages spoken in Zambia) and social studies. During "Safe Park" he receives help with homework. He does not like to miss school and wants to be an accountant when he grows up. In his spare time he loves to play soccer and basketball and likes attending church service.   

Jake and his family are thankful for the support provided by our comprehensive program. Since he is also enrolled in our pediatric HIV care program, he receives a comprehensive package of health care services that include education on prevention of STI’s, training and monitoring in adherence to medication, and psychosocial counselling. His family receives mosquito bed nets and education on prevention of malaria.

We are confident that Jake will continue to do well in school and realize his dream of becoming an accountant. Also, we are encouraging him to mentor younger children as he is an excellent role model for other children in this program. 

Thanks for helping us provide a safe environment for hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children like Jake. 

I love drawing
I love drawing
Helping with school work
Helping with school work

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We are learning
We are learning

The Power of Love team extends a personal and heartfelt thank you for your dedication to provide a safe environment for orphans and vulnerable chidlren to learn and play. 2017 was an extraordinary year; with your help, we provided a broader set of services to a large and growing number of children and families in Zambia.

Please take a moment to treat yourself to this short video, in which Mary, one of the hundreds of children who benefits from your support, is getting ready for school. Mary is 12 years old, studies in grade eight, and is an excellent student. We are sure this video will bring a smile to your face.

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

We love dancing
We love dancing
We like dancing
We like dancing

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Happy with family
Happy with family

Knowledge about HIV and AIDS? In Zambia, HIV prevalence continues to be high - 12% prevalence rate in adults aged 15-49 years. In addition, 67% of the adults and 52% of children were on anti-retroviral treatment in 2016. However, despite the high HIV prevalence rate and widespread use of ARV’s, there are significantly low rates of HIV knowledge among the general population.

Our goal is to provide education about HIV: Our program is in Matero - one of the largest and poorest compounds in Lusaka with a high incidence of HIV, AIDS and malaria and unemployment rates upwards of 60%. Most residents are poor and live on less than $2 per day – defined as extreme poverty. Since many adults in Matero have never been to school, they do not have adequate knowledge about HIV, AIDS and malaria. One of the goals of our program is to improve knowledge about HIV prevention and care among children and families in this community. To achieve this goal, our program, which is open and free for children, educates older children about HIV prevention and care and provides information about HIV to family members. Every Saturday morning about 70-80 children come to play and learn with our trained child care staff. One of these children is Nathan (name changed for privacy), who has benefitted from regular participation in Safe Park activities.

Impact of Safe Park educational activities: Nathan enrolled in "Safe Park as a 10-year-old boy and is now 12 years old. He and his three siblings live with their aunt, as they lost their mom to AIDS. His aunt is the sole provider for a family of 10 and finds it difficult to support the family. His uncle is unemployed, so the family is barely able to afford two meals a day. Before, Nathan joined our program, he was shy and did not interact well with his family and peers. He always liked school, but was having trouble reading as the adults in his family had never been to school. By participating in “Safe Park” activities, Nathan receives psychosocial counseling, education about HIV, AIDS, and help with homework from trained child counsellors. Over the last year or so, he has learned about HIV, AIDS and malaria and has learned to take ARV medication on his own. He is also doing better at school and his dream is to become a doctor. He spends his leisure time playing soccer and participates enthusiastically in all Safe Park games and activities.

To sum: “Safe Park” educational games and activities have resulted in families learning about HIV, AIDS and malaria. In addition, families are referred to government clinics for counseling and testing for HIV, TB and cervical cancer. Guided discussions with children regarding HIV prevention and care are also popular with community residents. The children are happy as they get an opportunity to play, interact freely with other children of all ages, and mentor younger children. All program activities instill a sense of well-being and belonging that is critical for a child's normal development. 

Thanks for your support and caring for orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.

A child who loves to play and learn
A child who loves to play and learn
A child with grandma
A child with grandma
Working on an activity during Safe Park
Working on an activity during Safe Park

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Having fun
Having fun

Children enrolled in our "Safe Park" program are battling the devastating effects of poverty, abuse, HIV, and AIDS. Many have lost parents and family, experience deprivation and abuse, have been stigmatized, and suffer overwhelming grief. These children need emotional and psychosocial support for their normal development and wellbeing. Some of the services provided by trained "Safe Park" staff are:

  • listening and responding to the problems faced by children,
  • meaningful discussion of problems with family members and referring them to the right agency,  
  • allowing children to express their feelings and needs,
  • helping children to appreciate their history and identity,
  • encouraging children to set goals and reach their potential,
  • ensuring that children have positive, nurturing relationships and connections in their lives,
  • providing life skills (such as education on STI's) for older children and youth, and
  • providing children with safe spaces to play.

The services listed above, have resulted in an improvement in children’s behavior, school attendance and performance and in the general well-being of the child.  Given below are stories of two children who have benefitted from Safe Park activities and interventions.   

Michael is 12 years old and lives with his grandmother in the community of Matero where most residents live on less than $2 per day and there is a high incidence of HIV, malaria, and TB. Since Michael was nine years old his dream has been to become a pastor when he grows up. To help him achieve this dream, one of his assignments is to open and close Safe Park activities with a prayer. Michael and his family enjoy this assignment. His grandma is happy that Michael works hard at school and can get help with school work at Safe Park. Trained child and youth care workers guide and counsel Michael to help him get closer to his dream. In his free time, Michael loves to play soccer.   

Judy: Judy lives with her grandmother who is the sole caregiver for her and five other grandchildren and earns a living by selling mukoyo (a Zambian traditional drink). Judy participates enthusiastically in Safe Park games and activities. She receives help with home-work as she is preparing for grade seven exams (these exams are important in Zambia) at the end of this year. In addition, her family receives mosquito bed nets and education on prevention of malaria and HIV. Judy’s grandma is happy that Safe Park activities help Judy understand the importance of school and hard work. In addition, Judy’s grandma has requested our staff to mentor Judy to keep her away teen pregnancies, alcohol, and drugs that are prevalent in her community. Judy is a good student who loves learning.

"Safe Park' games, activities, and counseling services are popular with community residents as their children get an opportunity to play, interact freely with other children of all ages, mentor younger children, and learn about HIV prevention and care. These activities instill a sense of well-being and belonging that is critical for a child's normal development. 

Thanks for your support and caring for orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.

Learning is fun
Learning is fun
Coloring and drawing
Coloring and drawing
Education session for older children
Education session for older children

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A little boy building with legos
A little boy building with legos

Happy Mother’s Day from our Zambian families. This Mom’s day give a gift of free and structured play to a child growing up in extraordinarily difficult circumstances in Zambia. Your ongoing support will provide a safe environment where children can engage in educational activities and games to help them grow normally. 

Children from the community in Matero look forward to  Saturday mornings when they can have fun by participating in games and educational activities via our "Safe Park" program. Age appropriate activities such as drawing, coloring, and Zambian games create the right conditions for children to play, learn, and interact freely with their peers irrespective of their HIV status. These activities go a long way in helping children cope with difficult circumstances, such as loss of a parent or sibling to HIV, their own HIV+ status and the associated stigma, and reconnect better with their extended families. Children who are shy and withdrawn before joining the program, start playing and chatting with other children and our trained staff after a few weeks. In addition, trained staff observe children, for signs of trauma, stress, grief or abuse and counsel/guide members regarding next steps. With continued participation, children, especially those growing up in extremely difficult circumstances, are better adjusted to their HIV+ status, and begin to feel a sense of belonging in their community. This helps in their normal physical and mental development.  

"Safe Park" has been a big hit in the community, both with children and their families, as we see new children join us each week. More than 750 children have enrolled in this program and more than 75 participate each week.  

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

Group activity for young children
Group activity for young children
Drawing and chatting with friends
Drawing and chatting with friends
A little girl posing
A little girl posing

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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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