Sarah (name changed, picture on left), the sole caregiver for her six children was facing challenges providing for her family. She wanted to change her circumstances so she could pay for school fees and purchase necessities such as mealie meal and cooking oil.
Welcome to Power of Love
Power of Love's response to COVID-19: We are taking aggressive steps to keep our staff and beneficiary families safe from COVID-19. Our goal is to keep our health care team, their families, and children and families enrolled in our programs safe from the virus. Our team on the ground is equipped with personal protective equipment (face masks, gloves etc.) and they are following a strict health protocol. In addition, we have increased the provision of food to families, provide COVID education to children every week, reduced home and buisness visits to a minimum, and have set side emergency funds for families impacted by COVID-19.
What we do
The AIDS epidemic is the single biggest crisis in human history. It has killed over 35 million people since 1981 and another 35-40 million people are expected to die in the next 20 years. Globally, 20 million children have been orphaned due to AIDS with 75% of these children living in sub-Saharan Africa. The impact of HIV and AIDS is greatest on women as they are the primary caregivers, and on children as they may be orphaned.
We strongly believe that the long term solution to the HIV and AIDS crisis lies within the community itself. For example, the culture of women taking care of extended family is an untapped resource that has always existed within the African community. The African women need our support as many are grandmothers caring for several orphaned grandchildren. Power of Love programs empower women caregivers by teaching them how to break the cycle of poverty and ill-health via the following multi-pronged approach:
- Train women to care for their HIV infected children and orphaned nephews/nieces,
- 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; survival rates for children in our program are over 95% (over the last 15 years, we have lost 19 children out of over 900 children enrolled). Most children improve/stabilize in health and live close to normal lives a few months after enrollment. This is a huge victory in the fight against HIV and a direct result of our innovative programs. The success of our 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 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 response to the HIV and AIDS crisis 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 United States secular charity focused on developing innovative and cost effective solutions to address the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Direct beneficiaries are women and children as they have been disproportionately 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, care for HIV+ children, empower women and prevent malaria.
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 solution that works at the community 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. In 2018, an estimated 360,000 children, 0-19 years, were born HIV+ even though this is completely preventable. Many HIV+ infants will die by the age of 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.