AFCA is focused on children from pre-birth to 19 years of age affected and/or infected by AIDS who lack access to appropriate medical care in areas not yet reached by the large AIDS programs. We also focus on children who've been orphaned by AIDS and who have difficulty providing for themselves. We're a nimble organization able to fill a void by providing medicine, supplies, equipment, livestock, and other items requested by indigenous professional service providers and unavailable from any other source.
Our goal is to help the children and their guardians to become healthy through the provision of medicine and food, but also to become self-sufficient so that they, in time, can provide for themselves, purchasing what they need and ending the cycle of poverty. We'd like to see the following happening by the end of the next five years:
1. 2000 orphaned families are doing well and are able to sustain themselves through the Livelihoods Programs in Zimbabwe and Congo
2. The agriculture program in Kenya is providing jobs to HIV+ moms (widows) so they can provide for themselves and their children
3. We grow to support 8000 children and guardians (per year) so they are receiving the medicine they need to stay healthy.
4. We will have the ability to send 7 40' containers of medical supplies and equipment per year
Our areas of focus are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Kenya, working mostly in small villages and towns throughout the countries, although we do have programs in Mombasa, Bulawayo and Kampala, all major cities.
AFCA will continue to support the training of orphaned families in order to create a solid base to the livelihoods project. We will continue to support the purchase and delivery of livestock and seeds, as well as the continued follow up with all families and training for staff, where needed. We will continue to implement the re-gifting of animals to other families so that the program will continue to grow and expand.
AFCA will continue to network and partner with local and other companies who donate used and new medical supplies, expanding our warehouse capacity. We have plenty of space growth in our warehouse.
In order to grow our shipping and medicine donation programs, we will continue to fundraise, growing our Climb Up So Kids Can Grow Up series of events to include Nepal, Peru, Tanzania, and New Zealand.
Our board of directors and staff are well-versed in international and development work, as well as business management. With this group of people, we have great capacity, but we feel the need to add a Deputy Director to the mix very soon.
One thing we know is that fighting the AIDS pandemic and helping AIDS orphans is not about us. We like to build connections, not structures. AFCA is distinctly connected to stable, non-governmental organizations in the countries where we work, bolstering existing networks from which continued services can be made available. Our partners on the ground not only know their communities, but have served them well over the years. With a deep knowledge of each country's history and people, language and customs, these partners have the relationships and capacity to extend AFCA's programs to their people. They are known, trusted and respected.
Besides our staff, board and partners, we also have a huge group of volunteers who help in every aspect of our work, from graphic design to the warehouse management. Without these folks, the work would not be possible.
AFCA uses reporting methods specific in each country and type of project where we work. These help us quantify and qualify how the work is doing, as well as stories and photos received from the field. It is important for us to know if we are making a difference and our partners are sure to let us know if there are gaps or if something needs to be tweaked. Personal visits also allow us to see first hand the impact being made and how the programs are achieving our goals.
Since our inception, we have accomplished a huge amount of good for children affected and/or infected by AIDS. Not only are children receiving constant supplies of the medicine they need, but we are able to keep clinics equipped with the supplies they need. We started very small with the livelihoods programs and now boast over 1500 families who've benefitted from this project. Our progress is big - children who didn't have a chance at survival are not only surviving, but they are thriving. They are becoming farmers and gardeners and they are healthy.
Clinics and hospitals are able to give medicine and to test children with no interruption of services - this is a huge accomplishment! We are also happy that children are eating well and because of that, they are staying in school. Guardians, including elderly grandparents, have work so they can raise the children in their care. It is exciting to see what a small group can do!