Why do children participate in this program? Children from different age groups love this program for different reasons. Younger children attend this program for snacks, toys, and opportunities to play with other kids their age. In the words of a young participant, "I learn a lot. I cannot stop coming here, it's a nice and safe place as our child and youth care workers are able to take care of us. We learn about cleanliness and good behavior, so I have learned how to take care of myself. I am learning to read and write so when I start primary school I will be prepared." Older children like Jim, mentor younger children as they want to stay connected with our team. Jim was enrolled in Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program and “Safe Park” programs. He describes his journey as a member of these programs as “very impactful”. He recently graduated high school, is studying counseling and plans to be a Nurse.
Need and beneficiaries: In resource poor neighborhoods, residents do not have access to accurate information regarding COVID, STI’s, treatment for children living with HIV who contract COVID, etc. This has led to uncertainty and the spread of false information.
Impact: With the provision of education on COVID, more families took the COVID vaccine. And with the provision of malaria bed nets, more families stayed malaria free. The mental and physical health of children improved as they were able to interact and play with other children. In 2022, 774 children benefitted from these workshops (as compared to 728 in 2021), and 200 children received long lasting insecticide treated nets. None of the children who received malaria bed nets contracted malaria.
Our plan is to continue to provide a safe environment for children to play and learn and keep communities informed about COVID, malaria, and HIV prevention. In addition, we will partner with more community organizations so that more families can benefit.