Advocates for Africa’s Children (AFAC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2006 by Heidi Lum that helps orphans in eSwatini (Swaziland) and Tanzania.
An estimated 280,000 children in eSwatini and 2.76 million in Tanzania have been left without parents, mostly due to a long history of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other deadly diseases.
The need for help can be overwhelming. Many places require immediate aid to assist with the most basic of needs. While this is necessary, we have found that focusing only on the emergency needs of a community creates long-term dependence on outside aid organizations.
The African way of caring for orphans is through extended family and community. Therefore, we focus our efforts on enduring solutions and work alongside existing local leaders, training and equipping them to meet the ongoing needs of their community.
These community leaders share responsibility for agricultural projects that feed these children and generate income to send them to school. Clean water improves the health of the entire community, while sanitation and nutrition help prevent many diseases, increasing the life span of parents and children alike. Holistic empowerment improves the lives of the entire community while specifically benefiting the orphans.
We concentrate on several areas of development: 1) Clean water 2) Nutrition 3) Income Generation 4) Sanitation 5) Education and 6) Emotional Well-Being. If these areas are developed together, then support is sustainable.
- Provide clean water
- Train and provide orphans and their caregivers with sustainable agricultural projects
- Provide irrigation and fencing to make farming initiatives more productive
- Educate the community about HIV/AIDS prevention
- Encourage HIV testing and the use of antiretroviral drugs.
- Provide orphan caregivers with the opportunity to start their own businesses
- Provide vocational training and business opportunities for youths at risk, especially girls
We envision an Africa with thriving, sustainable rural communities where all children have access to clean water, nutritious food, medical care, education, live in a sanitary environment, and have opportunities for a bright future.