An anonymous donor has pledged $25,000 in matching funds to support Power of Love’s comprehensive program that provides life-saving health care services to 450 HIV+ orphans and vulnerable children, business training and micro loans to vulnerable women, and mosquito bed nets to vulnerable families in Zambia.
Why Matero, Zambia
Zambia is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that has been severely impacted by the AIDS epidemic. It is country of wonderful people, a peaceful democracy since its independence from colonial rule in 1963, and rich in natural resources such as copper. While things are steadily improving, 60% of the population lives below the poverty line, and there is a high prevalence of HIV. About 1.4 million children have been orphaned - most due AIDS. Most orphaned children live with grandmothers/aunts/ or in child-headed households with a limited source of income. The women need health care services, food, training, education, and credit so that they can take better care of their families and are on the path to self-reliance.
Matero is one of the largest ‘compounds’ in the capital city of Lusaka, Zambia. Matero and the neighboring compounds have a population of about 200,000 people and are characterized with high prevalence of HIV (prevalence rate of 11% among adults aged 15-49), and unemployment rates upward of 60%.
Power of Love
An anonymous donor and Power of Love Foundation are working together to provide life-saving health care services, food, education to HIV+ vulnerable children and micro loans to vulnerable women in Zambia.
Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program in Matero, Zambia, now in its 16th year, provides the support grandmothers and family members need to take care of the HIV+ children in their family and become more self-reliant. All children in the program receive antiretroviral medication from the government clinic but, as experience has shown, it is critical to provide the “surrounding” support services (a roving nurse, community care workers, psychosocial counseling, medication adherence support, food, medicines, school support) to ensure that the child leads a normal and healthy life. Power of Love provides a full suite of services for each child. In addition, family members are provided with training in basic nursing and education in HIV care. After a few months on this program, most children improve significantly in health, attend school, and older children know how to prevent HIV. A measure of the success of the program is that over the last 15 years, only 20 children, from thousands served, have died of complications from AIDS (while survival rates for children with HIV has improved over the last 20 overall, even now, less than half of the children born with HIV live past their 10th year in sub-Saharan Africa).
In addition, Power of Love’s women’s empowerment program provides business training and loans to vulnerable women. Businesses started with loan funds pay for food, rent, medicines and school expenses. The impact of this program is more children in school, economic stability, financial literacy, and improved gender equity. All families are provided with long lasting insecticide treated nets.
It is estimated that at this time at least 5,000 families are benefiting from a suite of services provided by the Power of Love Foundation.
Please Join Us
Join us in preventing HIV, providing high quality care to HIV+ vulnerable children, and in empowering women. The holistic package of care services provided results in improved health, more children in school, income stability, and a more self-reliant community.
Sandra, a nine-year old, lives with her parents, and three siblings. She is the only child in the family who is HIV+. She and her family live in a rented home with electricity but no water. Her dad works part time, and her mom sells charcoal and vegetables to pay for 2-3 meals, and rent.
Sandra started suffering from continuous cough and fever in 2017. She tested positive and started treatment for HIV the same year. Her health continued to be poor, so she was enrolled in our pediatric HIV care program. Currently, her health is good, she has no complaints, and takes her medication as directed. She is studying in grade two and loves school. Sandra receives funds for school expenses (shoes, uniforms, and school bag). Her mom can enroll in our micro loans program, and if she does, she will receive business training and loans to expand her business.
Mary is the sole provider for her five children and four dependents. In 2019, enrolled in our micro loans program and received business training and a loan. She used her loan funds to start a vegetable stand. She repaid her first loan and received a second loan with which she started a restaurant. At present, her restaurant and vegetable stand are doing well, and she has been able to pay for school fees, uniforms, and shoes for her children. Also, she paid the renewal fees for a driver’s license for her husband who is now driving a minibus to supplement the family income. Mary, now on her third loan, added used clothing to her businesses. She saves regularly through a mobile bank savings account. She has purchased a small piece of land and plans to build a few rooms for additional income. We are inspired by Mary’s hard work and resourcefulness.
Power of Love is a California based secular nonprofit organization that works in the areas of pediatric HIV care and women’s empowerment. Its ongoing focus is to prevent new HIV infections, provide high quality care to HIV+ orphans and vulnerable children, and to empower women infected/impacted by HIV in Zambia. We have been working in Matero and neighboring communities for the past 16 years. Our comprehensive program reaches a family in multiple ways. Programs include: Pediatric HIV Care, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, Microloans and Business training, Project Mosquito Nets, and “Safe Park”.