Earlier this week, in recognition of World AIDS Day, the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA) launched its crowdfunding site to support and provide aid to 15 African countries where hospice care is desperately needed. Founded in 1999, FHSSA connects more than 90 organizations across the United States through their Partnership Program to promote comprehensive palliative care. FHSSA supports individuals, families, and communities that are affected by AIDS, cancer, and other life limiting illnesses.
The crowdfunding site scheduled its launch during AIDS Awareness Week (Dec 2-8) in order to help raise awareness about the AIDS epidemic, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where the magnitude of the disease is felt most strongly. According to UNAIDS, there are an estimated 23.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS residing in sub-Saharan Africa. This represents 69% of the global HIV burden. Each year, the FHSSA and its program partners are able to touch the lives of 400,000 people. With a crowdfunding site, they hope to expand their reach and impact.
The crowdfunding platform enables the organization to not only raise funds and spread awareness, but also to engage the community on a deeper level. There are currently two live campaigns on the site. The first one, which raised over $1,000 in a matter of days, is “Conquering Pain: Enhancing Lives in Africa.” The goal of this campaign is to help provide pain relief to those suffering. The project aims to improve pain management among patients receiving care in 6 African countries by training physicians and nurses in pain assessment. The second campaign is on behalf of the Vermont Hospice Partnership in Tanzania. Their aim is to raise $5,000 in order to employ a professional staff of 5 and provide a monthly stipend to 44 community health workers in Tanzania who serve about 125 patients and their dependent family members a month.
According to J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of FHSSA, “Even one dollar can make a difference when you’re working to help communities in sub-Saharan Africa where the need is great and resources are limited.” A crowdfunding platform gives people of all ages and incomes the ability to contribute and make an impact. Rather than relying on a few large donations or grants, FHSSA is counting on the power of the crowd to provide aid – in the form of nutrition, medicine, medical supplies, bedding and school uniforms, and bicycles and vehicles for transportation – to those in need.
Please visit the FHSSA crowdfunding page to support and share the two campaigns on the site.