AFCA is THE BEST. I am an extremely proud volunteer and avid supporter. I discovered AFCA in 2010 while volunteering on another non-profit project in Nepal. Some of my teammates had experience as AFCA volunteers, and their AFCA T-shirts prompted me to ask questions about this organization. The way they beamed with joy and excitement telling me about the amazing work AFCA does, was telling this was something very special and unique.
I got the general mission from them, ‘helping children in Sub-Saharan Africa who are infected or affected by AIDS’, which in truth is too summarial to define the magnitude, dimension, heart, and reach of this organization and their work. It captured my interest, I read their website, followed on social media – and fell deeply in love with their commitment to the children and the thoughtful, sustainability of their programs. The efforts to minimize costs and get every dollar and every item donated into the hands of those most in need is of the highest moral standard. It truly is all about the kids and paths to brighter futures for the most severely underserved.
In 2018 I finally grabbed my passport and joined an AFCA team in Zimbabwe for some first-hand, hands-dirty involvement in the work I had admired from afar for many years. Our work was to support 2 of their initiatives 1. placing greenhouses in orphanages for sustainable food sourcing, agricultural education, and a little income from the extra too! (I should mention this is not an ordinary orphanage, the children are loved, educated academically and vocationally and are raised to be strong, engaged, and even leaders in their community despite their horrific experiences prior to arriving there) 2. working at a goat farm which supports the Kids4Kids program, in which pregnant goats are donated to families in dangerous need of nutrition and a ‘hand up’. They will grow their flock, they will eat healthy veggies from the seeds AFCA provided and the fertilizer from the goats, they will drink the milk and they will have a resource for school fees which are too often a luxury that can not be afforded. They are given training and they are required to return goats to the program in the years to come to ‘pay forward’ the positive life changes brought about by their new lifestyle. In a country where a harsh reality is that money can’t buy food even if money were to be had somehow, these programs are a godsend. If it sounds like I am a bit obsessed with these programs it is true. I have seen first hand the impact and it is INCREDIBLE. It works!
For 2 weeks I worked, laughed, cried, ate, shared stories with the other volunteers, and watched AFCA at work. One tiny slice of their ongoing, incessant passion for simply helping people who really need it. No agenda, just pure heart. Everything is done with love, compassion, respect and a common thread of humans helping humans just because they care. It is beautiful.
I’ve merely scratched the surface here of the full scope of the work being done by AFCA as they do so much more than “just” goats and greenhouses. They are dedicated and mighty with their souls and will never stop helping as long as there is kindness to be spread. I can’t wait to be a part of it again as I am fully addicted and pleased to have grabbed a spot on the Zimbabwe 2020 team!