Providing Health and Nutrition
Power of Love is making a difference in Lusaka, Zambia for 250 HIV positive children, their families, and their caregivers, all of whom now have the knowledge, skills, and support they need to stay healthy. These children are playing and going to school, not suffering from infections and wasting away because they aren’t getting life-saving drugs.
Although many small organizations working in different ways to impact a small number of families could someday add up to a difference on a broader scale, Power of Love sees the urgent need for a bigger vision for change. We intend to help break the back of the HIV and AIDS pandemics. We aim to do this by going far beyond a successful 250-child program in one community.
How will we do this? We are an innovative organization that is constantly rethinking, developing, and testing community models that are not only effective for addressing the health of African communities, but sustainable over time. We work to build replicable models that can be adapted to communities all over the developing world, models that can be scaled up to serve large numbers of children for whom HIV-related illness can be easily treated and prevented through needed at-home and community care.
From the start, POL has employed a concrete learning process to examine and rethink how we can create truly effective models. We utilize global experts to develop creative solutions to difficult challenges. We believe in using technology to build smarter solutions, and look for ways to leverage it in our models. We also evaluate our models routinely to make sure we are capturing what difference they are making and how well we are using our resources. These learning and evaluation processes push us to continually innovate and improve the programs’ effectiveness. Through monitoring and measuring each pilot against milestones and best practices, we hold ourselves accountable to donors and communities for meeting our collective goals.
It is all too common for programs to start with ample funding and impressive ideas, but to fall by the wayside because they are simply not sustainable. POL not only relentlessly keeps costs down, but looks for the smartest locally sustainable approaches to run our operations. Just as important, POL understands that local staff and community are critical to the development and growth of the program. POL programs are carried out through the ideas, creativity and common sense of committed community members and staff. All our projects are deeply rooted in the communities we work, resulting in greater support and acceptance by their members; often they identify the need and provide the origin for the project. The staff members of the programs are all members of the community in which the programs are located.
By building close partnerships with local organizations, Power of Love avoids duplicating efforts in meeting communities’ needs. Our partners include local community organizations, businesses, banks, hospices, testing centers, government clinics, and schools. They also become fully invested in the success of the programs. Power of Love is committed to creating models that will be led and run by community members with minimal foreign intervention and support.
POL believes that what is needed to succeed in the fight against AIDS is innovation. We are developing effective and sustainable models for strengthening communities to respond to HIV/AIDS, not to grow our own large programs, but to replicate successful models through partnerships with key players: governments, large NGOs, faith-based networks, etc. Replication allows POL to have a much broader impact – our goal is to have a huge multiplier effect by working with others to bring our innovative models to a large number of communities across the continent.
Finally, a key issue for any successful program is to solve the problem of turning a small model into a large operation. POL does this by partnering with large NGOs as well as the government health system to bring our models to a larger scale. Through these partnerships, we contribute our unique learning orientation and business process thinking to streamlining operations, building effective documentation, benchmarking outcomes, and cost control. By taking to scale innovative community models that increase the effectiveness of prevention and care efforts, Power of Loves aims to turn back the tide of the global AIDS epidemic.