Meng Yi is four years old and lives near XinXiang, Henan. Our Henan Province PATS worker first heard about her in the summer of 2010 and her situation was so worrisome that we took her into the program immediately. Meng Yi’s living situation is extremely unstable. Her parents both passed away from HIV/AIDS and her only relative, an 18 year old brother, isn’t in a position to care for his younger sister, though he is all she has at the moment. While she has yet to initiate ARV treatment, her situation is particularly precarious as she suffers from malnutrition and lack of proper care. Her brother does his best, though his care is inconsistent and intermittent. Nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, consistent love and support are all lacking.
When PATS workers met Meng Yi, she held one worker’s hand so tightly it was as if she was never going to let it go. Her stomach was disproportionally distended from her frail frame. Our worker recounted a time when she brought Meng Yi some bananas; though she had never seen a banana before, Meng Yi was so hungry that she immediately ate three!
Watching Meng Yi wrap herself around our worker is bittersweet because she does not receive the care and love every child deserves except when she is visited by a PATS worker. There is still a long road ahead for Meng Yi, but we hope that by joining the PATS program we can provide her with consistent nutrition, encourage proper hygiene and provide access to medical support. We hope that we will be able to find a better living arrangement for her within her community as well, though that will undoubtedly prove to be more difficult.
This article is excerpted from our latest newsletter, which can be downloaded using the link belowhttp://patskids.org/sites/default/files/NewsletterApril2011.pdf
To find out how you can sponsor Meng Yi's care or that of another child for one year, check out our Sponsor a Child program
Through a generous matching gift fund from board member Chris Flowers, donations made to PATS by December 31, 2010 will be doubled, multiplying the impact of your gift. If you've been meaning to give or have a gift card to use, make sure you take advantage of this opportunity!
We also have some more updates to announce:
Field report from Cherry:
The first photo above is DianDian (the girl in orange) from Lixin. She is one of the nine new kids enrolled this past summer, and her health and CD4 have already markedly improved since she joined the program. Her house is also much much cleaner now. With the daily pill chart, she and her mom both now have perfect treatment adherence. The teddy bear she is holding is from her sponsor.
The second picture is YuJuan (the girl in purple), also from Lixin. For some reason, she was super happy when we visited. She was really happy with the gifts from her sponsors. Her grandpa is in charge of her medication and is now paying a lot more attention since getting support and education from community health workers.The children in the last photo are siblings ZiHao (boy) and Yue (girl). They both live in the WenChangGe group home in Fuyang with three other HIV-positive orphans. They are really lucky to have each other's company and are very playful!
PATS staff and volunteers have been quite busy in the last few months. For full details on our activities, check out our new, more interactive website. Here are a few highlights
Earlier this fall, board member Jialan Wang pledged a $5000 matching gift fund, with an additional $1000 if that goal was met. We're happy to announce that we have achieved that goal, which represents about three months' worth of treatment support for our 45 PATS Kids. Fellow board member Chris Flowers has pledged an additional $5000 in matching funds, so all donations made before the end of the year will be doubled.
Happy Holidays from PATS!