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Hope is the Spark that Changes Lives

child with logoFor an HIV+ child, taking medications is essential to successful treatment and these medicines should not be taken without food. At AFCA, we see food as part of treatment and we call it Nutrition by Prescription.  We want to make sure that all the children who need it, receive the food they need to take their medicine, to thrive, and to grow.

Sustainable solutions

Prolonged instability in the Zimbabwean economy over the past years, along with a severe drought, has left many homes vulnerable, without food and other basic necessities, especially child-headed homes. Even orphanages and other children’s' homes are suffering due to a lack of funding. With this in mind, and not wanting to foster a welfare mentality, AFCA has started providing sustainable food solutions to these entities, including Family Harvest Village, a children's home in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

miwani kids1In 2016 I visited the village of Miwani, Kenya, where AFCA has various projects. My intention for this visit was to see how things are going, plan for the future, and teach some conservation farming techniques so that gardens would grow despite lack of rain. We worked hard and have a great time.  The older children from Hadrein Academy helped plant seeds and there was much laughter as we worked together. This was the first time that mulch was used on plants in their garden and we had no idea how things would turn out.

Something must have gone not-quite-right, as some of the plants didn’t grow as they should have, but others did.  I guess that is gardening though.  You don’t always know what you’ll get. But, the children are well and healthy as ever, thanks in part to that garden. Yesterday, I received a note from that project saying, “We want to thank you for the donations you’ve put towards the orphanage which ensure that the children have food to eat each and every day. Words are not enough to show our appreciation, as they are happy to eat good food and drink clean water. I must comment, the water filters have really helped us a lot! There are now no cases of stomachache and typhoid with the children since they started drinking the filtered water. Thank you!” It is so exciting to know that gifts like seeds, training, and water filters can make such a difference!

kids club 06As the executive director of an organization that helps children in Africa, I am always happy to have children in other parts of the world work side by side with us.  We’ve been so blessed to count on children of all ages as supporters of the work we do and today, they are on the forefront of my mind.

I look back to the first time we hosted children from New Covenant Christian School – we had 6-year old children riding around on tricycles in the warehouse, eager to be given a bandage or a bag of diapers from people sorting medical supplies and they’d zoom to place their item in the correct box.  They were quick and their memories baffled us all, as they were so fast and did such a great job!  Now, those children are 6th graders and they return to help us from year to year.  We so appreciate their hearts of wanting to help others.

Mawa is a 7 year-old girl living in Mombasa, Kenya.  She was born HIV+ and was taken to the Community Based Health Care (CBHC) facilities for care at a very young age.  mawa 1There, she has received life-saving medicine and her prognosis is great!  She attends school and is involved in youth programs at the Health Care clinic, where she is counseled on taking her medicine even if she is feeling well and where she gets a chance to play with other HIV+ children with no fear of stigma.

girl black and whiteReal Simple recently published an article about What to Consider When Making Charitable Donations. The author, Bonnie Tsui, mentions five points to consider as you vet charities during this season of giving:

  1. Make sure that you understand the charity’s mission
  2. Verify the group’s nonprofit status
  3. Inquire about the charity’s spending ratio
  4. Look for accountability and transparency practices
  5. Ask about results

send hopeHelp us send hope this holiday season! We are the American Foundation for Children with AIDs and we need your help. We have been very fortunate to receive a number of hospital equipment donations to outfit clinics in the Kamuturu Village in Uganda, but we need your help in order to make the shipment. Our warehouse is grid locked with hospital beds and other supplies, help us get these valuable tools into the hands of the people that need them and let's ship some hope to our brothers and sisters in Uganda, so that they can know our love and support this Christmas season.

 

Send Hope for the Holdays

 

wreathWe're so excited to partner with Lynch Creek Farm during the 2016 holiday season to sell some of the freshest, most unique and highest quality wreaths and Christmas trimmings to make your holidays all the more special.

Not only will Lynch Creek delight you with their unique offerings, but they will also donate 20% to support the American Foundation for Children with AIDs. 

So this season, when you deck the halls, please consider purchasing holiday decor from Lynch Creek so that our kids can benefit from your purchase.

Each wreath, yule log or centerpiece you purchase 20% of the funds will go to providing clean water, necessary, life saving medication or seeds to help children affected by the HIV virus grow up to live full lives, and to become self sufficient.

Please note: Orders will be taken through Dec 11th to guarantee delivery before Christmas.

 

Visit Lynch Creek Farm

 

studyingSanitary conditions for the small school in Miwani, Kenya were not sufficient or decent.  With that in mind, MacKeeper and AFCA have partnered to replace the old tin latrine with four good, solid latrines to which will serve the children and staff who attend the school.  Hygiene lessons will be taught so that children understand the need to wash hands after using the facilities and tippy-tap style washing units will be set up around the school grounds so that children have plenty of opportunities to wash their hands. 

bob kellyBob Kelly from Lebanon Valley College has joined AFCA on two different occasions, helping at schools, an orphanage, and various community areas. Check out the article regarding his trips and what he did in Zimbabwe while participating in a Vacation with a Purpose trip.  We value volunteers like Bob and encourage anyone who wants to do something worthwhile with their vacation time to join us. 

MacKeeper is launching a new charitable campaign that is aimed at optimizing the response time of its support technicians for a good cause. With this initiative MacKeeper will make a donation to the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA) for every customer who spends their valuable time on hold when they contact the MacKeeper support center to activate MacKeeper remotely.

MacKeeper is not just a software, it also offers a complete customer support service to assist users with any software related issues. The average hold time is around 1 minute, if it takes more than 1 minute, MacKeeper will donate $1 for every 10 seconds spent by a customer on the phone to activate MacKeeper remotely.

Today is my birthday. 

Another year in this crazy, beautiful, broken, and exciting world. What a gift!  I sit here, reflecting on the past three months spent visiting AFCA’s programs in various countries.  I visited hospitals which receive medical supplies and equipment from us.  I visited children in their schools and orphanages to make sure they are healthy and learning.  I spent time with elderly guardians, inquiring about their health, needs, and dreams for the children they are raising.  I played with countless children, listening to their stories and paying attention to their dreams. I wrote various budgets for new programs, plans for expansion, and reporting formats for new projects.  I drank tea and coffee with project coordinators, thinking of ways to make the projects even better, so that they can serve even more children and other community members.  I got sick, went to a hospital for care and got better.  I ate everything from sadza and mopani worms to ugali, matoke, and warthog.  I saw incredible sunsets, thousands and thousands of bats, held newborns wrapped in blankets made by AFCA volunteers, rode for hours and hours and HOURS in cars, buses and planes.  I led two volunteer teams and together, we transformed an orphanage and school with paint and hard work.  What an amazing summer!

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