We believe that sustainable programs are the best programs to support. Yet, when working with orphans or sick children, we know that we must act quickly, addressing immediate concerns, such as health and hunger. We give medicine and food away to children who need it even though we know that is not sustainable (but, it sure is life-saving!) because there is a place for such help in our mission to help children affected and/or infected by AIDS.
AFCA does, indeed, want the clinics, hospitals and projects we support to be able to carry on their work in a sustainable manner, though. With this in mind, AFCA has started work on a pilot project where we are supporting a large gardening/farm program in Kenya. Greenhouses and open land are producing food which can be sold at restaurants, hotels and in the open market. The clinics that are benefiting from this project use the proceeds to pay for items AFCA usually supplies.
Along those lines, AFCA has created a multiplication center for goats, pigs, chickens, guinea fowl, and rabbits in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is creating one in Zimbabwe so that our Livelihoods Programs can continue long into the future. In time, these multiplication centers will produce the animals we give to orphan families while also producing revenue to pay for transportation and vaccination of the animals and training for the families.
On an individual level, we also want the children and their guardians to be self-reliant so they do not rely on external help all the time. We have the Livelihoods Program which provides training, livestock, seeds, and follow up so that orphan families can make a living. While we donate feminine product kits for adolescent girls, we also train them in making the kits so they can start a business, should they choose to do so. This is a great example of immediate help (keeping the girls in school) while providing long-term help (training to help them start a small business).
These endeavors are exciting because the children and their guardians have the dignity of working to help themselves while, hopefully, helping others along the way.