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Hope is the Spark that Changes Lives

Fatima and her grandmaShe is 15 years old and has a dream.  She dreams of continuing her education so that she can, one day, provide for her 3 younger siblings and her grandma.  She dreams of one day moving to the big city of Bulawayo so she can attend the university there and become a doctor.  She dreams of getting married one day and of becoming a mom. 

Not so long ago, Fatima dreamed of eating enough food and not going to bed hungry. 

While not all her dreams have come true yet, by all signs we see, Fatima will be able to accomplish some of the goals she's laid out before her in the very near future.  As the proud owner of a herd of goats which she's taken care of thoughout the last year, she is well on her way of accomplishing her dream of eating well - she couldn't believe how good milk is when she first tried it!  With the veggie garden her family is growing, thanks to the seeds we sent them. Fatima and her siblings and grandma have added kale, beans, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and onions to their diet, as well.  This makes her happy, as she no longer goes to bed hungry and she doesn't hear her siblings complaining of stomachs that are painful in their emptyness.

Last summer I was tremendously blessed to be able to see first hand what AFCA is all about. I spent 2 months with Tanya Weaver and her lovely family in Zimbabwe where I was able to work with the livestock program happening there. Not only was every dollar used wisely to benefit the children, but also every emotion. I watched as Tanya stayed up late at night to make sure she was doing all she could for these beautiful little people.

When we would go to the sites to deliver the goats, I was always amazed with the gratitude the people had and how everyone knew Tanya and AFCA and would call her name and hug us saying " thank you, thank you” . One thing that I loved the most, was how Tanya responded to them - she acted as if they were her family, or like an old friend she had known all her life. She would talk to them and want to know their story, and she would give them a special kind of hope.

AFCA provided these people with something that will and has changed their lives forever - not only will the goats provide food in the future but also fresh milk, wool and income. AFCA thought of practically everything when it came to this program!  They picked the perfect hearty, local goats that would be able to eat off of the land so animal feed would not be needed. They also provided the families with training so that they will be able to prosper as much as possible from the goats that they received.  I watched some of the trainings, as well as the dancing and singing as the children and their guardians received the animals.  It was awesome! I am blessed and honored to say that I worked with an organization whose staff is willing to do anything to give hope to hurting children. Not a penny given is ever wasted as everything goes to help the kids. 

Thank you AFCA for all of your hard work

Morgan Parry

This is to testify that American Foundation for Children with AIDS has partnered ZOE since 2005 reaching to the orphans in Zimbabwe directly through the churches in many areas of the nation and also through the clinics in those areas.

When we requested Cotrimoxazole & Paracetamol (Tylenol) suspension and tablets for 1,000 Orphan Children infected by HIV and AIDS because there was a great shortage in the country, they supplied the same which were administered to the children who were being visited by church volunteers, working through the local doctors and clinics.  They also supply porridge for 1,000 families caring for orphans infected by HIV & AIDS, which first of all was shipped in containers from USA and is now purchased in-country. When we shared the predicament of teenage orphan girls not even being able to purchase the necessary sanitary provisions for themselves, we also received a shipment of the same which were distributed directly to where the need was through our volunteers who regularly visit the orphans in their families in different parts of the country.

AFCA has assisted in writing for grants for the ZOE programmes on our behalf, of which grants all proceeds have come to ZOE and AFCA has not taken one cent towards their administrative costs. Much of this funding has been to benefit our rural livelihoods programme, providing livestock in the way of goats, sheep, chickens, pigs, and guinea fowl which have been given to 628 orphan families. From these a selection of offspring will be passed on to further families after appropriate years or months according to the animal and the nature of its breeding, thus ensuring the sustainability of the programme. Also, they provide seeds and trainings for vegetable gardens and veterinary kits as ZOE works in conjunction with the local veterinary officers, but there is a marked shortage of drugs to prevent and heal the diseases which afflict these animals.

Yet another great contribution of note is that they realized from their visits how many times in the week our electricity is cut (in fact throughout the nation this is so) and that was a great hindrance to communication, so AFCA provided funding to purchase a generator.

ZOE send reports to AFCA and we appreciate their annual visits in which they monitor how we are using the funds and also find out from “the ground” what our further needs might be.

Yours Faithfully,

Denford Munemo
National Director

Zimbabwe Orphans through Extended Hands
(Church Community Orphan Care)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I have had the blessing and benefit of working with the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA) since 2009, and have seen great works come from this association. The heart of the mission of this wonderful organization is to care for children with HIV, and AIDS, and I have seen evidence that this is done in a timely, responsible, and loving manner. We have benefited from their generosity and their donations by the help they have given to us in Uganda, with the funding of education for doctors, nurses and midwives, and the distribution of school supplies. They have sent separate shipments of 3 containers of supplies to help equip a pediatric clinic for children with HIV and malaria, as well as the recent outpatient clinic for maternity and elderly care. These supplies have also provided a mechanism for the people to raise funds for a storage building, and other important complements to the medical complex.

Representatives from AFCA have traveled to our clinics yearly, and have added their knowledge and suggestions to help the improvement of the care for the children there.

I know that this organization has truly changed the lives of innumerable children and adults in one village in Africa, and we are just one example of the good they have done, and continue to do, for those in great need.

Sincerely,

Sylvia D. Campbell, MD FACS

217 S. Matanzas Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33609

 

I have been a medical missionary doctor working in East Africa the past 33 years. Also, I’m the founder and CEO of the two St. Mary’s Mission Hospitals in Kenya, which serve over 300,000 lower-income patients annually.  It is indeed my pleasure to write this letter of recommendation regarding the American Foundation For Children With AIDS  (“AFCA”).  Over the past eight years that we’ve been receiving help from  AFCA, our respect for this organization has only increased.

The AFCA is a small organization, strongly focused upon its mission goal as stated in its name. What I find especially admirable about AFCA is that it has avoided heavy administrative structures and excess personnel in carrying out its goal of helping kids with AIDS, with a resultant extremely low administrative overhead in its operation.   Despite being a very small organization with minimal staff, the AFCA has made a huge impact in the lives of many people here in Kenya.  Any assist we ask from AFCA they go out of their way to provide.  For example, before government-run AIDS programs were in place here in Kenya, we relied heavily upon AFCA for all our antiretroviral meds. Similarly, they funded the HIV screening of pregnant women at our facilities, and the meds needed to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV.  Tanya Weaver, the director, went far out of her way to help source a nutrition supplement that helps AIDS patients, and repeatedly arranged internal US and overseas shipping of this product to our hospitals in Kenya. That required a considerable amount of time and organization, which Tanya Weaver volunteered. 

We of St. Mary’s Mission Hospitals have been working together with AFCA in providing medical education outreach (using volunteers from our Kenyan staff) to hospitals in several other countries in Africa. These educational seminars are organized by AFCA, and have been a tremendous success in upgrading medical personnel in the neonatal resuscitation of babies.

Similarly, AFCA has been of tremendous help to our low-income patients with HIV infection who develop resistance to first-line ARV medications. Just recently, AFCA was responsible for us getting free access to a new ARV medicine that is just coming out onto the market. This required a massive amount of communication between AFCA and the pharmaceutical company just releasing this new med.

The AFCA also assists our mission hospital by receiving and forwarding donations from our hospitals’ friends in the States on a monthly basis. This is a tremendous help, which the tiny staff of AFCA does for us out of good will.

In summary, the American Foundation For Children With AIDS has consistently demonstrated itself as an ethical, focused organization that truly lives up to its non-profit status. Although it is a small organization with minimal staff and administrative expenses, it has made, and continues to make a tremendous difference in the lives of the poor here in Kenya. This organization has my highest recommendation. It uses its donor funds extremely well in locally-relevant programs, with minimal administrative costs.  

Sincerely,

Rev. Dr. Bill Fryda, M.D. 

Diplomate,  American Board of Internal Medicine (Mayo Clinic)
Diplomate,  American Board of Hematology (Mayo Clinic)
Recipient, Mayo Clinic Distinguished Alumnus Award for Humanitarian Service

St. Mary’s Mission Hospital, P.O. Box 3409 – 00506, Nairobi, KENYA
e-mail: 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The recent unfavorable portrayal of AFCA in an unfair and untrue article by the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting.

We have read the unfair and untrue article on our partner, AFCA, by the Tampa Bay Times about nonprofit organizations that don’t do what they told people they were doing and that they steal and that they don’t help anyone.  We have this to say:

Papoli Community Development Foundation came into partnership with AFCA in 2010 and from that year we have had very fruitful collaboration in saving and improving the lives of our underserved children and in particular children that are infected at birth by the deadly AIDS virus.

  1. We at Papoli have received to date 4 (four) 40 ft containers (as I write now we are stripping the 4th container) of donated medical supplies, clinic equipment, hygiene and education supplies.
  2. Our technical staffs have had training facilitated by professionals from Nairobi, Kenya, all sponsored by AFCA.
  3. The medical supplies and clinic equipment that we received have been very useful to our community members and we also shared with other health facilities in Uganda, such as Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, Tororo General Hospital and other 7 health centres in Tororo district.
  4. The school supplies AFCA sends have been distributed to Papoli primary school and other 5 neighboring schools and very important have been the girl child sanitary pads that has dramatically improved on the overall school attendance of girls.
  5. AFCA provided a means for Cooley Clinic to make some money, which lead to the building of warehouse and office premises.
  6. The AFCA leadership have make annual visits to our organization, where we have had very fruitful discussions and planning too.

For the 4 years we have partnered and worked together with AFCA.  We appreciate they have kept their promises and we look forward to many more years of working together.

Sincerely, for and On behalf of the people of Papoli.

Emmanuel Ofumbi.
Executive Director, PACODEF 
Papoli Village 16 Km, Tororo-Jinja Highway
P.O.Box 1143, Tororo. Uganda.

 

ReachGlobal, the international mission of the EFCA (Evangelical Free Church of America) has partnered with AFCA (American Foundation for Children with AIDS) since around 2008. I personally, on staff with EFCA and working primarily in DR Congo, have had many interactions with AFCA leadership, both face to face and by email, and have witnessed their heart of compassion and integrity as they have partnered with us in DR Congo. ReachGlobal ministers alongside its sister denomination in Congo, CECU (Communaute Evangelique du Christ en l’Ubangi), a denomination of over 900 churches in the northwest corner of Congo.

CECU has an HIV and AIDS department, as well as a large hospital (Tandala), two smaller hospitals and around 35 health centers. Their health ministry is managed and staffed by Congolese medical personnel, and our goal in ReachGlobal is to train and equip them, releasing them to better serve their people and communities.

AFCA has been amazing in partnering with us to attain our mission. Here are just some of the ways that they have served us and the CECU church in Ubangi, Congo:

  1. Over the past 3 years, they have totally funded two large training seminars to better equip medical personnel and the Church in their  battle against HIV and AIDS. They connected us with excellent African teachers, Kenyan doctors, and paid all of their expenses to train our medical personnel. These were 10 day seminars, and all expenses were paid by AFCA. The seminars were excellent, on the following topics:
    1. General HIV and AIDS education for health professionals
    2. PMCT of HIV – this was an incredible training, bringing together health professionals and local midwives and village chiefs.
  2. Over these past 5 years, AFCA has been providing HIV testing kits as well as antibiotics for HIV positive children in our health centers and hospital. These supplies are sent every quarter, as the medical director at Tandala Hospital  provides the reporting and order for the following 3 months.
  3. Just recently, I was in Congo when a container full of medical supplies arrived at the port in Akula, Congo. Just the shipping of  this container cost tens of thousands of dollars alone! The supplies had to be transported by a 20 ton truck in  two loads, and I was at Tandala Hospital when the unloading happening. It was a joyful time as I watched the staff, so grateful for the beds, medicines, bandages, birthing kits, sutures, instruments. Beautiful solar panels and water filters were sent out…after the Director for AFCA, Tanya Weaver, visited some of the health centers a couple of years ago, she was amazed that nurses were delivering babies with a flashlight! And that none of them had good, clean water to offer at their clinics. Thus, the solar panels and water filters.The supplies filled a whole storage area – the doctor and staff who oversee the outlying health centers are delivering the beds, solar panels, and birthing kits to around 16 health centers.
  4. AFCA has also provided livestock and seed to help those who are living with HIV and have children who are HIV positive. Through these gifts, they provide some income for these families, and a better nutrition for those who are often sick.
  5. We cannot thank AFCA enough for all they have and are doing in our corner of Congo, and area basically without electricity and clean, running water. AFCA has visited and travelled in our area a couple of times, and are planning another trip. When in Congo, they endure harsh living conditions and difficult – next to impossible! – travel. But they want to make sure their supplies are making it to the right people, and they want to listen and hear the needs of the Congolese themselves.

We are very grateful to AFCA for their partnership with us and with the Congolese Churches CECU. And we have also been extremely impressed with their follow-up and accountability.

Sincerely,

Rachel Martin
EFCA ReachGlobal
GlobalFingerprints CONGO Coordinator

www.efca.org
www.globalfingerprints.org

 

 

healthy babiesThe American Foundation for Children with AIDS  (AFCA) helps clinics/hospitals care for HIV+ children and their guardians/caregivers in four different Sub-Saharan countries – Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  These partners vary wildly in their levels of modernization and means.  They range from full service hospitals with electricity to dried mud hut clinics.  This means our ways of helping them must vary also. 

In Mombasa, Kenya, AFCA has helped the Community Based Health Care and AIDS Relief Project (CBHC) in 2005.  While I was there in January of this year, I was able to see the great good this charity does to help thousands of the very poor. 

greenhouseRecently, they lost a large source of their funding.  Tanya Weaver’s (AFCA’s director) solution was to push harder to help make them more self-sufficient. She sat down with the leader of the CBHC and together, they dreamed big. After much research on how to make this work for their specific area, they decided to build specially designed fabric greenhouses to grow food which is traditionally difficult to grow in this part of the world – tomatoes and peppers - along with drilling a borehole to provide the water for the greenhouses and outer gardens.  East Africa is currently in one of the worst droughts in decades and a borehole and greenhouses will help grow food for those who most need it.  Besides tomatoes and peppers on the inside of the greenhouses, kale, peanuts, corn, squashes, onions, potatoes, yams, spinach, and other vegetables are grown on the outside using the drip irrigation system that is part of each greenhouse.

samuel harvestingWith AFCA’s guidance, funding and help, they are currently building the second of eleven planned greenhouses.  This food not only feeds some of the malnourished children in the program, but the excess is sold to fund the organization.  When they are all completed CBHC will have a large, continuing source of income to help the poor.  In addition, the greenhouses provide jobs for many of those in the programs. 

Yes, I’d say this is another AFCA success story. 

By Pat Dorsey

Wednesday is fast approaching. Wednesday is the day I will leave for a field visit to Zimbabwe to see how the children are doing, how livestock are growing and reproducing and to meet with field staff to gather reports, determine how things are going so far and find out what we can do to make things better.  As usual, it is amazing to reconnect with old friends (the field staff) and to see the children and their guardians.  I am so looking forward to sitting down to a cup of tea and some good stories of goats and piglets being born, children drinking milk for the first time in a long time and how the rains are helping crops grow.

medical suppliesThese trips are what make all the work worth it.  Knowing that our children are well cared for and that our programs are receiving what we promised them makes me happy.  But, seeing it all first hand is refreshing and it confirms that what we do is a good thing. 

Just last week I looked at our percentages since 2005, the first year we started giving out medicine, nutritional support, medical supplies, livestock and seeds, trainings, etc.  I was so happy to note that the average per year going directly to programs is 92%!  That is pretty amazing, especially considering that all the work here in USA is done by one full time person, one part time person and a slew of dedicated volunteers.  92% of all donations received go directly to the children…how neat is that? 

There is no question that this is happening because I have seen clinics expand and grow in my years since I started with the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA), thanks to the trainings we’ve provided, to the medical supplies and equipment we send, to the support we provide every time it is requested, and to the dedication of all our partners in the four countries in which we work.

attending a birthI have hugged and played with children who were born infected with HIV but who are now 8 year olds, happily running around, healthy and hopeful, thanks to the free medicine and food they receive.  I have been welcomed and hugged by hundreds of midwives who received training in how to be safe while delivering babies from HIV+ mothers, thankful that someone thought of them and their safety.  I have tagged goat ears (more than I can count!) and handed them to orphan families so that the children have a way to become self-reliant.  I’ve attended and conducted trainings on how to raise animals, how to budget, how to manage, and how to become businessmen and women to old women and men, as well as adolescent guardians.

Drinking porridgeI have had the honor of attending the birth of a little one who was born HIV negative, thanks to the prenatal care given to his mother, all complements of AFCA.  I have smiled in gratitude to donors while watching children eating the porridge we provide and when they receive the school packs we give out so that they can go to school.  Because they are orphaned, they didn’t think they’d ever be able to attend school – who’d pay for their fees, uniforms and supplies? We did and it is with incredible joy that I’ve seen children skip off to school tightly holding their packs, wearing new uniforms and schools, knowing that they have a future.

school packsYes, these visits to our programs are renewing to my soul. They confirm again and again that hard work pays off for those who most need it – the kids.  When I can look at a sick mom in the eyes and tell her that we’ll make sure her kids go through school, that we’ll provide food and medicine for her and for her children, there is no greater responsibility or honor.  Responsibility because we WILL fulfill that promise.  And honor because we are helping the next generation of children become healthy, hopeful and productive citizens of their country.

Zimbabwe will be a blast!

 

I was recently able to accompany American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA)’s executive director, Tanya Weaver, on her annual inspection trip to visit one of the programs we support in Mombasa, Kenya.  This was my first opportunity to see AFCA in action in Africa. 

I left a few days later with a much great understanding of the tremendous need for help in Sub-Sahara Africa.  The number of sick and hungry children in Mombasa is really overwhelming at first.  But, the number of children being served and cared for by AFCA is enormous, too.  I left with a greater appreciation for the vast good AFCA does, and a renewed commitment to help them achieve it.  They do more with the limited resources they have then any other charity I have been involved in.  I was so impressed with the fact that they take the time to understand the specific needs of the people and/or organization they work with.  This is help that is up close, personal and very effective.

More to follow on Mombasa.

Pat Dorsey

It's three days before the second annual Run for Their Lives 5k to benefit the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and I receive an email with the question, "I know your race is rain or shine, but what about tropical storm?"  I reply with a cheerful, "The weather is going to be just fine!"  All the while I'm thinking, "Hmm, I hope so."  We've prepared for months for this event and I'm tracking the tropical storm as it makes its way up the east coast.  Not an ideal situation, but the race must go on.  However, God has mercy on us and the storm blows through the Lebanon, PA valley by late Friday, leaving Saturday morning pleasant and cool. 

A nice mix of participants show up for race day:  male and female, children and adults, runners from last year and some new faces, some speedsters and some walkers and all speeds in between.  After some brief announcements and the National Anthem, they’re off!  As the runners and walkers disappear from view, we scurry to convert the starting line into the finish chute.  Before we know it, the first pack of runners is rounding the bend.  Two young men are neck and neck, pushing each other to quicken their already fast pace.  The first two finishers cross the finish line one second apart from each other.  It doesn’t get much more exciting than that!

Although, we have one runner experience a different type of excitement.  We have two volunteers man the turnaround point of our race.  One woman is in charge of offering cups of water to the runners, the other is calling out the elapsed race time so runners can keep track of their pace.  One man reached this point and called out, “Pace?”  However, our water lady thought he yelled, “Face!” so she proceeded to douse his face with a refreshing cup of water.  We’re all thankful that the gentleman had a sense of humor about his unexpected bath.

Thank you to all participants and volunteers who helped to make this event a success.  Please know that 100% of your registration fees go to help the children in Africa who are affected and/or infected with AIDS.  Together, we saved lives today at the 5K.

Special thanks to Five Stone Bookstore, Ahnu, Ashar Management and Consulting, MedExpress, APR, Northwest Bank, Clouser Environmental, Major League Printing, Alps Mountaineering, Stanley, Mountain Khakis, True Reuseable Bags, Yurbuds, Stone Barn, Tri-Valley Contractors and all the volunteers who made this event possible.  Thanks to you, hundreds of children will receive the food, medicine, supplies, and education they need.

  

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