Summer Arts Camp at Champey 2014 starts Monday !
Monday, August 4, marks the start of the Summer Arts Camp 2014 at Champey Academy. This is the second year that we will be offering a Summer Arts Camp. A combination of increased attendance from local children combines with 20 children from the national Orphanage in Phnom Penh ranging in age from 7 to 17. Champey’s Summer Arts Camp program will in two sessions from 7:30 am to 11:00 am Monday through Saturday and 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm six days a week. The children from the National Orphanage are medically challenged and many of them have AIDS. It was determined in discussions with staff at the National Orphanage that attending 6 days per week could be too much activity for many of them to sustain, so their attendance will be limited to 5 daily sessions per week.
Children will enjoy a half day session learning traditional Cambodian dance and music and learning their stories. Added to this will be classes in painting and drawing and music.
In recent weeks our roster of daily students has increased to as many as 100 students per day as many local children come to participate. Our art and music classes are over subscribed and we are pleased to be seeing enrollment of both boys and girls into our programs. Our goal of building community and becoming known as a safe place for kids to engage in age appropriate activities is gaining ground among the local street vendors who have found that the summer program can be a great way to safely occupy their children during the 8 week school break.
We are still looking for funding for all of our arts programs. We are reminding all of our donors to as if their company might have a matching gifts program. If so, please let us know, we will be happy to assist in filling out any paperwork .
Thank you again for all of your generous support to give these children the opportunity to spend a happy 8 weeks of summer holiday while having the opportunity to learn more about Cambodia's rich cultural heritage.
Barbara & Mark Rosasco
Channa, 17, a member of our program, passed away July 11,2014 in Phnom Penh.
Channa and her family have received support via our “ Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for their Children” program which is posted on GlobalGiving. Our first encounter with Channa came when her family began participation in Kasumisou Foundation's AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP) in 2002.
Channa was HIV positive from birth. She was about 4 when she and her mom joined our program . In 2000,when Kasumisou Foundation's AIDS Patient Family Support Program began, about 40% of our parent program members with HIV/AIDS died within 12 months of joining our program. Although it often took longer for children to become symptomatic, without treatment options, these children’s lifetimes were often brief once they fell ill. In mid 2002,we began to be able to provide the new life prolonging anti-retroviral drugs to moms and kids as funding and the drugs became more widely available.
Channa and her mother were both able to receive drug support once the drugs became available. For years we provided housing and food support for the family and Channa and her family lived a hard but reasonably stable life. We supported Channa's school attendance and as a youngster, she attended various activities and outings sponsored by our program.
Her mother also worked very hard, when her health permitted , to try to provide for the family, but even with the assistance of our program, Channa’s family remained mired in poverty. As Channa grew older and became a teenager, she became quite despondent about her life. Channa decided to stop going to school. Although HIV positive, she also decided to stop taking the drugs that had suppressed her illness. Despite our home care team’s urgent efforts to engage Channa and persuade her to change her mind and restart her treatment , she remained depressed. For a while, as a teenager, we were able to persuade Channa to work as a youth volunteer with children residing at the National Orphanage. The children who reside at the National Orphanage are generally those who are categorized as “ unadoptable” due to health issues such as serious physical and mental impairment and/or their HIV status. Channa seemed to enjoy her work there and we were told that she had a wonderful way with the resident children. But after several months , Channa decided to stop her volunteer work and her health continued to decline.
Kasumisou Foundation has for years, provided the required "stable lifestyle" for hundreds of homeless patients, moms and kids, providing housing, food, social support and guidance to help patients like Channa and her mom. The stable lifestyle, our program’s social support and access to medical care kept this fragile family, Channa, her younger brother and her mom, together. Her mother remains in the program, caring for Channa's younger brother, who is now in middle school.
The assistance provided by our program changed Channa's story and those of many others over the years from a nameless short life and early death on the streets attributed to poverty and HIV/AIDS to lives, however brief, that were respected and that had meaning.
A little girl of just 4 years old when she joined our program, Channa was able to live with her mother and her brother, as a family, for 12 years. Although her life’s journey was extremely difficult, in her younger years we know that she had some happy times and in her teen years she still managed to bring some comfort to the children she helped at the National Orphanage. Despite her hardships, she made a difference to others. Although there are limits to what our program can change, our program's help gave Channa and her family 12 years together. In the end, although our efforts could not save Channa’s life, her life was not without respect or meaning and she did not die alone and unattended.
The kind generosity of our donors makes it possible for us to try to bring comfort, support and meaning to the lives of fragile families facing the twin challenges of HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty and who are struggling at a level that is unthinkable for us. Each one of you, our donors, is the lifeline that makes this possible. And so we ask you to join us and to remember Channa.
Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your kindness.
Barbara & Mark
One of the ways Kasumisou Foundation works to maximize results in its programs is by looking at challenges and opportunities as two sides of one issue. The old idea of giving a hungry man a fish to feed him today but teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime is seen in how we manage and integrate our scarce resources.
Part of our mission for our AIDS Patient Family Support was to keep kids in school and enable them to have a chance to break the chain of inherited poverty. This summer we see results as another two students, each more than 10 years under the care and guidance of our AIDS Patient Family Support Program, are now ready to graduate from High School.Both will sit for the national high school exam in August and assuming that they pass, both will enter our Build Dreams! program that helps Cambodian students to be able to attend college and get vitally needed employment from our Jobs for Cambodian Youth project.
Ravin, age 18, has been under our care since age 4 and dreams of studying Chemistry and Food Science at University.
Vichet, age 20, has been under our care since 2002 and he comes from a resettlement area and was orphaned ( by AIDS) and lives with his Grandmother and an orphaned 11 year old niece.
All of this is possible because of a combination of taking a long term approach and the loyal support of you,our donors.
Thank you for your continued support of our efforts.