Project Managers: Alka Subramanian
The Power of Love Foundation (POL) is a California-based non-profit organization whose mission is "to turn back the tide of the global AIDS epidemic through innovative community responses that increase the effectiveness of prevention and care efforts." Its efforts are anchored in the belief that the battle against the AIDS epidemic, the greatest humanitarian crisis in the history of man, can be won.
Women and children comprise the majority of the direct beneficiaries, as the HIV/AIDS epidemic has impacted women and children disproportionately. POL believes that empowering women by teaching them self-reliance is a key component in solving the global HIV/AIDS crisis. At POL, women are empowered (many of them are grandmothers caring for multiple orphaned grandchildren) through the following multi-pronged approach:
- by providing food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services to their HIV positive children,
- by training mothers/grandmothers/extended family members in caring for their HIV- infected children and orphans,
- by providing micro loans and business training to start a small business, and
- by providing long lasting insecticide treated nets to children and families vulnerable to malaria.
Life expectancy of an HIV+ child in Zambia is just five years at birth. However, as a result of this comprehensive approach, over the last eight years only 11 children have succumbed to AIDS out of the 323 children that have gone through POL’s program. Statistically, this represents a 72% decrease in the average mortality rates. More importantly, most of the children are back in school and learning.