2 Goats, 2 Pigs, 4 Bikes, and an Investment in the Future
When Chalwe's parents were diagnosed with HIV, they immediately worried for their six children, unsure who would care for them. The staff at Luapula Foundation encouraged them to form a support group to help them face their fears and look to the future. They reached out to ten others they knew to be HIV-positive, and together, the group constructed a store.
Shortly after the group formed, Luapula Foundation donated two goats and two pigs to help the business grow. They also provided four bikes and taught the group how to repair them. They continue to check in on the group to offer support and strengthen their work.
The parents' support group shares the profits from the store evenly, allowing everyone to purchase food and clothes and cover their children's school fees. Each month, one of them travels to the hospital by bike, returning with the group's antiretroviral treatments and delivering them door to door.
Chalwe knows the families in the support group well. He's an enthusiastic 11-year-old and they are his community, too. He sees his parents' investment in the future and plans for his own.
My parents used to be sick, but now they are strong. All of our parents come together and talk about the store and what they can do to help each other. My mom's good at math so she runs the store. My dad fixes bikes and I like to help. My parents always tell us to do well in school, to study hard and eat healthy. They tell me it's important to always give back.
Luapula Foundation facilitates lasting change by building on the strengths that already exist within the community. The store and other projects like it are a source of hope, strengthened livelihoods, and integrity for families. Firelight grants provided the resources and expertise to support these grassroots efforts. As a result of this partnership, families are now able to send their children to school, provide for them and model a caring, hopeful future for their children.