Featured Projects

Arts for AIDS is a Columbus based initiative formed by combining the efforts of five organizations representing projects in Haiti, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Baobab Home Orphanage - Tanzania

Baobab Home Orphanage provides a safe loving home for abandoned babies and children affected by AIDS in the village of Bagamoyo, Tanzania. It provides a supportive living and learning environment for the children, their extended families and guardians. With your help, we provide quality nourishment, activities and instruction for these children who have been left behind

Steven Tito Academy

Steven Tito Academy (STA) was established as program of The Baobab Home. As the kids reached school age, there were no good options for their education. Local schools are overcrowded, hitting is commonplace and educational resources are nonexistent. Because of this most Tanzanian children underachieve in school and their schools under-challenge and under-serve them. We wanted something better!

At STA we offer quality, safe education for the kids from the Baobab Home and the Bagamoyo community.

To learn more about STA and how you can support our students visit the Steven Tito Academy website.

About

Just two years ago, Salim was in a classroom of 75 kids where he was an anonymous student in a sea of others. Today, as a fully-sponsored STA student, he is thriving academically and dreaming of his future as a scientist. Currently he is showing his artistic side by managing our school play.

Steven Tito Academy (STA) opened its doors in 2012 to give Tanzanian kids a transformative education that would otherwise never be available to most of our students. We offer an education that is focused on creativity and individualized learning.

STA was established as program of The Baobab Home orphanage in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. As the kids of the Baobab Home reached school age, there were no good options for their education. Local schools are overcrowded, hitting is commonplace and educational resources are nonexistent. Because of this most Tanzanian children underachieve in school and their schools under-challenge and under-serve them. We wanted something better!

At STA we offer quality, safe education for the kids from the Baobab Home and the Bagamoyo community. We have high expectations for all students and we aim to create empowered thinkers who can contribute to a better Tanzania. Our green school focuses on providing a well-rounded education that includes science, math, English, arts and physical education and is tailored to each unique student.

We seek out bright students from poor families who cannot afford an English medium primary school. We also accept students whose parents are able to pay some or all of the school fees but who have been unable until now to find a school in Bagamoyo where their children will gain an educational edge. All STA parents invest their time in a variety of committees (such as the gardening, cleaning and cooking committees), which helps the school reduce overhead expenses. We also hold regular meetings with the parents, both one-on-one and as a group, to ensure that they are as invested in their child's education as we are.

STA is not just about the students, but about their families and the Bagamoyo community. We are all working together to empower the students to become active citizens capable of leading Tanzania towards a brighter future.

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Contact: Mary Harmon
integratedhealth@sbcglobal.net
website:
www.tzkids.org

Granny Connection - Zambia

The Granny Connection encourages awareness of Africa’s grandmothers and their struggle in the fight against HIV/AIDS by building support through grandmothers in Columbus, Indiana. The Granny Connection directly supports the Power of Love Foundation whose response to HIV and AIDS is to strengthen affected communities in Matero, Zambia, by empowering women and grandmothers to become self-reliant. These women are provided with micro-loans and business training as well as food, medicines, and health care services for their HIV positive grandchildren.

Thousands of treated malaria bed nets are provided to families and a prenatal program is in place to prevent vertical transmission of HIV. Supervised play is also a critical part of the program to address grief, abuse, and other forms of childhood problems. Families rekindle and make tangible progress demonstrating resilience, strength, and courage.

In 2008, a group of women in Columbus, Indiana, began its organizing and advocacy work on behalf of these deserving grandmothers. This group, The Granny Connection, focuses on raising funds to help ease the plight of African grandmothers and their orphaned grandchildren. In some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 40 - 60% of AIDS orphans are living in extreme poverty in grandmother-headed households. The challenges they face are overwhelming. The Granny Connection works to offer hope and opportunity for these women and children. Money raised has enabled children to receive supervised medical care and benefitted hundreds of other children and grandmothers by providing social, medical, and/or emotional support.

Grannies assist the Power Of Love Foundation

The Granny Connection helps to raise funds for the Power of Love Foundation to assist families affected by AIDS in Lusaka, Zambia. Find more info on the Power Of Love Foundation at the following link: www.poweroflove.org

Granny Connection would like you to meet Colin (not his real name), one of the children in the Power of Love pediatric HIV care program . Colins' health has improved significantly in the last year and he is attending school as a result of your generosity and caring.


Colin is 11 years old and cared for by his grandma. Last year, he got sick, got tested and found positive for HIV. To keep Colin from developing full-blown AIDS, it is critical that he doesn't catch any opportunistic infections which will compromise his health. As part of the pediatric HIV care program, POL's Project Nurse is counseling and educating his grandmother on how best to prevent infections and take care of him. In addition, he is visited weekly by a child health care worker for a check-up and psycho-social counseling. We are happy to hear that Colin is an active and playful fourth grader and loves school! To help care for more children like Colin, Power of Love is partnering with Global Giving. Please donate generously to help HIV+ children like Colin continue to play, attend school, and live healthy lives. And as always, 100% of your donations go towards POL programs and no part is used for overheads.

Have a fun filled winter,
Your friends at the Power of Love Foundation

Contact: Ann Jones
annljones4650@gmail.com
website:
www.grannyconnection.org

Imani Workshops - Kenya

Imani Workshops was established as part of the AMPATH Family Preservation Initiative (FPI). AMPATH is the cooperative response to HIV/AIDS by Moi University School of Medicine in Eldoret, Kenya and Indiana University. Imani Workshops provides avenues for HIV positive artisans to achieve sustainable social enterprise through the production of high quality handicrafts, promoting economic self-sufficiency. The Imani Artist Collective further develops the artistic talents of the Imani Workshops artisans as they “paint their truths” on canvas and paper.

indopu's photo

Contact: Michael Greven
mgecosourceinc@gmail.com
website:
www.ampathkenya.org

Konbit Lasante Pou Limonade

Konbit Lasante Pou Limonad strives to elevate the level of primary healthcare in the community of Limonade, Haiti and the surrounding area. Objectives are to support the Haitian healthcare system, expand existing health care services to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, and to link healthcare to the alleviation of poverty by providing essential services such as nutrition, housing, potable water, sanitation, education, and employment.

indopu's photo

Contact: Sarah Grey
sarahgrey@att.net
website:
www.konbitlasante.org

Matthew Rusike Children’s Home

Matthew Rusike Children’s Home operates a multifaceted program which combines residential care and community based orphan care initiatives in Epworth, Zimbabwe. Most of the community based children are orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, therefore some of them are not only affected but also infected by the pandemic. Under the MRCH Community Based Care program, the health, nutritional, psychological, and educational needs of these children are addressed.

Matthew Rusike Children’s Home in 2014

A Deeper Look at Community Based Orphan Care in Zimbabwe

Since its establishment in 1960 as a residential care facility for orphaned and vulnerable children, Matthew Rusike Children’s Home has developed into one of the largest child welfare organizations in Zimbabwe, caring for over 6,092 children in its Residential and Community Based Orphan Care Schemes and employing a staff of 50 in its childcare services.

As a multifaceted program MRCH has decentralized its childcare operations to various Methodist Church in Zimbabwe districts through home and community based care initiatives. Community Based Care (CBC) was a response to the growing number of orphaned and vulnerable children in society, largely due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Modern trends have proven that children grow better when assisted in their natural environment as opposed to being put in an institution.

MRCH Community Based Care has enrolled over 7,000 children in various interventions such as school fees, food, clothing, rentals, and medication. These CBC programs are possible with the assistance of trained volunteer community caregivers. The caregivers also raise awareness in the communities to uphold children’s rights. They address child abuse and immoral activities perpetrated against children, being advocates for vulnerable children.

MRCH has also begun setting up Community Resource Centers using the church facilities for Psycho Social Support services. At these centers children are assisted with guided play and games, counseling, supervision of homework, health checks and provision of supplementary feeding. Alongside these programs, MRCH has a Community Health Program in place for children who are chronically ill, many of whom have been infected with HIV.

Following are a few itemized costs associated with the work done by Matthew Rusike Children’s Home which are areas of need:

  • Primary school fees plus uniform, shoes, stationery: US$255 per year
  • Secondary School fees plus uniform, shoes, stationery: US$400 per year
  • Tertiary School fees (post secondary/college age) range from US$1,300 to US$1,560 with other needs as transport, library fees, stationery, pocket money, food and rentals which add up to US$1,400. Together with school fees, costs may come to US$2,960 per year.
  • Resources are needed for workshops to train the community volunteer caregivers. Workshops run for 3 days for 26-35 people. Every year 8 workshops are run if resources are available. Cost of each workshop ranges between US$700 to US$1,000.
  • The home is in dire need of a good vehicle in the form of a twin cab, preferably four wheel drive. Approximate cost is US$48,000.
  • If you are interested in more information or are able to give assistance to identified vulnerable children in these communities or other needs listed, please contact:

    Matthew Rusike Children’s Home
    P.O. Box H99
    Hatfield
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Email: matthew_rusike@yahoo.co.uk
    Cell numbers: 263 772 416 221-4

    Contact: Cindy Chapman
    cfchapman@yahoo.com
    website:
    www.matthewrusike.co.zw

    Stories

    Click on the buttons inside the tabbed menu to Read Their Stories

    Indopu Nasilele

    Indopu is 10 years old, and is the middle child in the family with one brother and one sister. He attends Chitanda Basic School in Matero Township and lives with his family in a two roomed rented house. His father is unemployed and his mother has a small shop at the marketplace.

    Both his parents are HIV positive and on treatment. Indopu tested positive in 2010 and started taking ARVs in June 2011. Before starting ARVs he had to visit the hospital frequently as he had consistent high fever and pneumonia At this time, Indopu is very good about taking his medication on time, he did not experience side effects from the medication and his health is stable. He loves going to school every day and is doing well at school.

    Amon Mukenga

    Amon lost both his parents to AIDS and AIDS related infections. He lives with his grandmother who looks after 5 other orphans. Amon's grandmother got him tested for HIV by the University Teaching Hospital in September 2011, as he was suffering from prolonged ear discharge and diarrhea. Amon tested positive for HIV and since his CD4 count was only 44, he started ARV medication soon after.

    Amon's grandmother sells vegetables for a living and is able to send Amon to school with support from her relatives. His grandmother is appreciative of the food, medicines and care received since Amon joined our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program. At this time, Amon's health is stable and his weight and CD4 count have increased since joining our program.

    Faiza

    Faiza is 9 but looks much younger. She triumphed over TB at a very young age but constant poor nutrition and neglect left her underdeveloped, sickly and nonverbal. Her mother is mentally ill and social services intervened. Faiza has been at Baobab 3 years and is now a different child. She talks, attends preschool and loves her siblings dearly. Although not academically inclined she has a terrific sense of humor and helps her younger siblings to behave.

    Baby Paul

    In July 2006 a two week old baby was brought to Matthew Rusike Children’s Home when his young unwed mother was not able to care for him. Two weeks later Cindy met this little boy while visiting Matthew Rusike Children’s Home for the first time. So tiny and vulnerable, Cindy fell in love with Baby Paul. Mercy had taken him into her care along with the 9 other children she cared for in one of the houses at MRCH. Mercy often cooks meals for outside visitors as well as her own housefull of children, so while she was busy preparing sadze and greens, the staple of Zimbabwean meals, Cindy would take care of Paul. To hold Paul one needed to have a towel underneath him as he had no diapers at the time. We understand that Paul’s birth mother was HIV positive, however, during labor she had access to the drug which has a high success rate of preventing the child from contracting the HIV/AIDS virus. We are hopeful that Paul did not contract the virus.

    Through Matthew Rusike’s program, Paul has been nurtured and cared for with love. He now attends the crèche or pre-school at Matthew Rusike. Cindy still has a very soft spot in her heart for this little boy whom will always be to her, “Baby Paul.”

    Sabra

    Sabra is 8 and was brought to Baobab an emaciated 5 year old. Her mother was bed ridden having had a tree fall on her and Sabra's grandmother treated them both with cruelty. Baobab sought treatment for Sabra's mother but it was too late and she died. Baobab fought social services to be allowed to take Sabra in, knowing that her grandmother would never follow the strict medicine regime and she would die. Sabra is now learning English at the school located at the orphanage and in good health. She wants to be a teacher and have one child, a daughter.

    Kenneth

    Kenneth was abandoned at a chruch at 5 months old. He was brought to Baobab orphanage sad and distressed from neglect. We received him with love and named him after Ken Russo, a donor to the orphanage who has lived with HIV for 28 years. Kenneth is almost two now and thriving. He has skin problems but is getting excellent care and has 12 loving brothers and sisters who don't care at all about his HIV status, they just love him for who he is.

    Nancy

    In 1966 I was born into a family of 4 children in Mombasa. I was raised by my mother and unfortunately due to hardship, missed the opportunity to attend school. I was forced to get married at a young age by my father who later passed away early on in my life. In 2002, my husband died, leaving me alone, HIV positive and stigmatised.

    I have found myself widowed and childless. My in-laws claimed all family assets leaving me with nothing. I was to the desperate point of eating soil for nourishment.

    I was referred to AMPATH after suffering numerous health issues. In November 2006 on my way home, I found a newborn baby crying, abandoned in a bush and wrapped in a plastic bag! With the help of neighbors, I helped the baby fight for his life. I was later awarded full custody after search for the biological mother was ceased by officials. The joy in my life is my son Isaac.

    Valerie Ochola

    I was born in 1972 in Kisumu town, Nyanza Province. I enjoyed my childhood with my 5 brothers and 2 sisters, but lost 3 siblings along the way. I attended school up to secondary level but my parents could not afford further education.

    I moved to Eldoret in 1993 and worked in several supermarkets for a period of ten years. I got married in 1996 and had 3 children. Tragically, my first born girl died at only one day old.My husband and I discovered our positive HIV status after the birth of our second child. Since then we have struggled but have come to terms with living with HIV. I am one of only a few women who have not been rejected by my husband and, happily, we remain a family unit.

    I joined Imani Workshop in 2007. I worked in the clay department. I did not realize that I had artistic talent. I continue to work hard and develop my style. Despite a rough start in the program due to health challenges and hardship, I have shown tremendous dedication and remain thankful to Imani for stabilizing my work and my life.

    “I did not imagine I could become an artist. When given a canvas I feel motivated and encouraged to aim higher. I really appreciate the opportunity of being a member of Imani Artist Collective. I feel inspired and the art flows through to the end of the creative process.”

    Mary

    I am Mary Wamboi and I was born in 1973 in Huruma. I sustained a serious leg injury in my youth, but I was the first-born and am the breadwinner. I attended school up to Standard 8 and am still responsible for my younger brother who continues his studies.

    I am HIV positive and knew my status in 2005. I was in Nyayo Ward at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and on my way to death. However I was treated successfully, put on a nutrition program and referred to AMPATH's Family Preservation initiative in 2006. I gained part-time employment in the pottery department at Imani Workshops.

    I have 2 children, a 20 year old daughter and a 16 year old son. I am single and live in Eldoret. My home was burnt down in the post election violence, and I am a former Internal Displaced Person (IDP). I now rent a house after being employed by Imani. I am doing well and a successful applicant of the Imani Artist Collective in February 2009. I would like to do more art. Thank you because I was thinking that being HIV+ is the end of my life but I thank God for artists to come and teach us more and more.

    “When I start to search for a picture to paint my emotions feel busy and my head fills with ideas. Sometimes, when I feel sad or tired I am not in the mood to paint. Oil paint can make me crazy like I am drinking alcohol! But the same paint inspires me.”

    Contact Us

    To find out how you can volunteer or donate, below are our contacts

    Mary Harmon

    integratedhealth@sbcglobal.net
    812.764.6477

    Cindy Chapman

    cfchapman@yahoo.com
    812.581.0393