Life became difficult for Joyce when she lost her husband to AIDS two years back as she is the sole caregiver for five children (four her own and one nephew). During a weekly home visit for her youngest child who is enrolled in our pediatric HIV care program, POL’s health care worker advised her to enroll in our micro loans program. Joyce says her life changed in April 2016 when she enrolled.
Welcome to Power of Love
The AIDS epidemic is the single biggest crisis in human history. It has killed over 25 million people since 1981 and another 35-40 million people are expected to die in the next 20 years. Globally 18 million children have been orphaned due to AIDS; 85% of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. The impact of this epidemic is greatest on children as they lose parents or older relatives.
What we do
We strongly believe that the long term solution to the HIV and AIDS crisis lies within the community itself. There are untapped resources that have always existed within the community, for example the African culture of women taking care of extended family members. POL empowers women (many of whom are grandmothers caring for several orphaned grandchildren) by providing them with tools to take better care of their families. We help women break the cycle of poverty and ill-health via the following multi-pronged approach:
- Train women to care for their HIV infected children and orphans,
- Provide business training and micro loans to women to start a business,
- Provide food, medicines, and a package of life-saving healthcare services to HIV+ children, and
- Provide long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on malaria prevention to children and families vulnerable to malaria.
The success of Power of Love's comprehensive approach is evident as the survival rate for children in our program is 95%; over the course of the last 12 years, we have lost 13 children out of a total of over 600 children enrolled in our program. Most children in our program are stable in health and are living close to normal lives. This is a huge victory in the fight against HIV and a direct result of our innovative programs. The success of POL's pediatric HIV care program has had a tangible impact on the behavior of the primary caregivers of children as well. As grandmothers, grand-aunts, and mothers in the community notice the positive effect that quality care has on their children, they themselves come forward for testing for HIV. Since testing for HIV is the first step in HIV prevention and spread, their actions are leading to a lower incidence of HIV and a reduction in the stigma associated with HIV in the community.
To sum, our solution is to empower women by equipping them with the right tools so they can take better care of their families and keep children in school. Read more.
Who We Are
Power of Love Foundation is a secular United States secular charity focused on developing innovative cost effective solutions to address the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Direct beneficiaries of our work are women and children as they have been disporoportinately impacted by this epidemic. The focus of our work is to create and implement long term solutions to ensure zero new HIV infections in children, and to care for HIV+ infants and children.
Power of Love Foundation (POL) was founded in 2002 by three friends, Suresh Subramanian, Alka Subramanian, and Ellen Furnari, to develop a community-based approach to combat HIV and AIDS. The founders left their senior industry and tenured academic jobs to build an innovative strategy that works at the local level. POL funds and runs projects in Zambia and India targeted toward helping women and children infected/affected with HIV and AIDS.
Our Mission: To build strong and vibrant communities by ensuring no child is born with HIV and to care for HIV-positive infants and children so they can live productive lives.
Our Vision: A world where the AIDS epidemic is in continuous retreat, and people living with HIV have access to loving care and treatment in an environment free of stigma and discrimination.
What is the Problem We are Trying to Solve?
Over the last decade significant progress has been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS but children are still falling through the gaps. Every day, 700 children are born infected with HIV even though this is completely preventable. Many children born HIV positive will die by age two if they do not receive medication and adequate care. In addition, only 24% of children living with HIV are receiving treatment. This leads to communities having a quarter of their children suffering with ill-health, and the problem continues to grow as it remains unaddressed.