Update on AIDS Patient Family Support Program: Continuing the transition to independent living…
Mark is in Cambodia where he is engaged in a detailed review of our programs. His particular area of focus is our AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP) , which helps indigent families and mothers impacted by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS.
Returning to the heart of our initial mission statement for the FSP in 2000, our focus over the past year has turned to identifying those members of the FSP who are poorest and sickest and who have no means of support.
Over the years during which the FSP has been active, we have grateful that due to the continuing advancement and accessibility of medical treatment to victims of HIV/AIDS, the families in our FSP have been able to stay together longer. Rather than losing mothers and family members to AIDS in a few months, medical treatment and medication has allowed many of our families to experience an unprecedented long period of relative stability and some, while not well, have been able to remain in our care for several years.
We have been able to achieve our basic mission of assisting fragile families ( primarily single parent) to stay together and live an extremely modest lifestyle. Additionally, our effort and focus on keeping dependent children in school has paid off. We not only can claim a significant number of high school graduates among the children who have been members of our FSP over the years, but also several college students and recently 2 college graduates.
Over the past year, we have actively worked to assess which families should be capable, in the short term, of a transition to independence or a transition toward receiving the support of their own extended families. We have identified a number of families who fit in these categories. Dependent children have now grown up and completed school, and in some instances, are able to earn enough to support the family. In recent years, the Cambodian economy has continued to recover from the devastation of a civil war now decades past. The economy has added factory and other jobs and shows some signs of continued prospects for growth. We feel that this improved economy should allow relatives to step forward now and assume responsibility or provide assistance to some members of our FSP. Now as we approach the end of 2013, we are actively working to put an action plan in place to move toward this goal.
In recent days, Cambodia has unexpectedly experienced significant civil unrest due to a contested national election. This may spill over into areas such as personal safety which could impact tourism and industry and impact donor sentiment. Stability has and will be a key factor aiding or impeding our efforts.
Mark will return to the US on October 3. After that time we should be able to provide additional updates.
Our sincere thanks to our donors for their generous support.
Our new high school graduates are now waiting for their results on the national high school graduation examination. We are hoping to have funding resources to sponsor a total of fifteen students for university studies in the coming year!
Of these fifteen students, six are already studying in Phnom Penh with our support.
The total cost for tuition for 15 students will be $7,160. The cost per student varies widely depending on the institution where each student will enroll and his/her major field of study.
Per student tuition costs range from $250 to $1,400 with most student tuition ranging between $250 and $450 except for the costs for three students who hope to study medicine or health care. For those three , the annual tuition alone will be $800 (nursing); $900 (pharmacy/nursing); $1,400 for a girl from the countryside who hopes to study medicine. ]
Housing,Transportation, Food and Fees
In addition to the $7,160 for the tuition, we estimate that the need of an additional $16,000 to cover books, fees, housing, transportation and food for our students.
Student situations and needs vary widely
Each student's situation and family background is unique. Beyond tuition, the package of support which we provide may range from modest assistance to full living costs. Some students have no source of support for their studies (i.e. they either have no families or their families are destitute and unable to provide any assistance at all toward their children’s studies next year).
We known them personally for at least ten years. We are intimately familiar with each student's personality, academic achievements, family background and their families' financial situations. Two of those students were orphaned by AIDS and the other two lost their fathers to AIDS and their mothers now suffer from that disease.
Four students have now completed their first year of studies with support provided by us. Three students work part time at our arts school in Phnom Penh . We have come to know them very well over the past year. The fourth student, a girl who is studying nursing, does not work with our team in Phnom Penh because her campus is located outside of the city center so the cost in time and money for her to commute each day to the arts school would be prohibitive.
How do the numbers break down and what does they total?
Here is a summary of the candidates and their individual needs.
The annual tuition estimates for the fifteen students
$250: two students.
$300: one student.
$320: one student.
$360: three students.
$380: two students.
$400: one students.
$450: one student.
$480: one student.
$800: one student.
$900: one student.
$1,400: one student.
Total annual tuition of $7160 for fifteen students.
Books, supplies and fees
Books and fees: $150 per year X 15 students = $2,250.
Most of these kids come from families which have little or no cash incomes (such as peasant farmers). This means that any unanticipated expense, whether for a book a lab fee or need an extra tutoring session, is a potential crisis. We are budgeting an average of $150 per student for "books and fees" to cover these items.
$300 per year ($25 per month) X 15 students = $4,500.
The transportation costs for each student vary widely depending upon how far he/she lives from campus. Some of them will be able to walk or ride a bicycle while others will need to spend $5 per day or more for transportation to and from their campuses.
Housing and food:
$600 per year ($50 per month) X 15 students = $9,000.
Students from Phnom Penh can live at home with the families, this expense will be zero. For the ones from the countryside, assuming they have no relatives in the city with whom they can live, this expense is likely to be around $100 per month for renting a very modest room and for food. I have therefore budgeted a middle figure of $50/month as an average between those who will need no support from us for food and housing and those who will rely on us entirely because their parents are destitute farmers in Prey Veng.
The total for all expenses for all 15 students: $22,910 per year.
All of these 15 students are waiting to hear if they might receive scholarship support from Kasumisou Foundation for the coming year. At the present time, our hope is to be able to provide a second year for the six students whom we are already support and possibly the two new graduates from our FSP (AIDS Patients Family Support Program) in Phnom Penh whom we have known more than ten years.
Together, with your help, these students have a chance to finish their education and enter a middle class. It is worth remembering how very few students even finish high school in Cambodia, let alone how few students of modest means manage to finish.
We have a unique opportunity to change lives. It is literally a “ make or break” moment. Your support can make the dreams of these hardworking young people possible.
Thank you for your generous support.
Barbara & Mark Rosasco
We are pleased to announce that our Champey Arts Association will host its first Summer Arts Program hosting approximately 20-25 children from the Phnom Penh Municipal Orphanage and another 6 children from our AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP). This smaller camp population reflects our smaller facility space to hold the camp sessions. None the less, these children will enjoy 8 weeks of half day classes offered Monday ~ Friday beginning in early August through the end of September, the annual summer school break. They will enjoy learning how to perform traditional Cambodian dances and learning about the music which is a key part of the dance. Student teachers will provide both instruction and peer support to their campers.
The camp session will end with a field trip for all of the campers and a graduation party to celebrate their accomplishments.
We are grateful for your continued support of our efforts to create a sense of pride of culture in these students by exposing them to Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.
Barbara & Mark