Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids

 
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Sep 4, 2012

8 year Journey to Success & Back to School at FSP

Back to School Days  at the FSP

September 2012

Mark is on his way  to Cambodia tomorrow.  It is  “Back to School” time  for the kids in the FSP.  This Fall, 88 students from our FSP  will return  to school at the end of September . We have  a record number of  students  in High School this year: 19 students in grades 9 ~ 12.  This is wonderful!  It is rare even for middle class Cambodian students to complete high school, yet we have 5 students from FSP's  fragile families  who are Seniors  this year, on track to graduate in 2013. 

I would like to introduce you to one of our High School students, Reaksmey ( pronounced  res may ) .  Reaksmey is 21 and she is on track to graduate in 2013. You might  want to ask me  what is so great about  a 21 year old High School Senior???   Please, let me tell you Reaksmey’s story.

About Reaksmey- an 8 year journey to success in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

About 8 years ago, when  Reaksmey was 13 , she, along with  sister Melia age 5, brothers age 15  and 11 and their mother  joined our  FSP program.   A single mother,  Pich Srey Mom , had AIDS and had no money to  feed her  4 kids.

The situation was dire.  They lived in a little 2 room shack  made of scrap wood which was shared by an uncle who was dying of AIDS.  We gave Mother money  for food and we paid school fees. After  Uncle died, Mother  became very sick, so Mother and  her 4 kids  moved in with an Aunt’s family.   About  4 years ago, Mother   had a severe  stroke, leaving  her  paralyzed on one side.  Aunt’s family could not care for her, so Mother  went to  live at  the Home of Peace  AIDS Hospice. 

Although a good student, Reaksmey had to  drop out of High School  to care for  young sister Melia.    The 4 children  continued to live at Aunt’s home. We paid for food  for the kids and  for Melia’s school costs.   Elder brother soon  left -  he got a job working on a farm.  Shortly  after this, Aunt’s husband told   the girls to  move out. Middle brother could   stay  if he earned his room and board  in  Uncle’s  tiny  metal working shop.

Kasumisou Foundation Family Support Progam ( FSP)   stepped in.  We rent  a small  room for the two girls. The two girls’ entire possessions fill just a single laundry size basket.    We  pay for food , utilities and  school fees.  We provide active supervision from our Home Care Team.  Reaksmey returned  to   high school!  She  is an honors student, consistently in the top 5 students in her class.  She is  also studying English.  Reaksmey  will graduate from High School  in 2013!   Younger sister, Melia is now 13  and also in school .

Reaksmey  is grateful for all that she has.    She  “gives back” by  working  2 to 3 half days per week as a volunteer for Kasumisou Foundation  at the  Phnom Penh Municipal  Orphanage in the Malnutrition, Therapy and Play room where the most medically fragile children live.   She holds, comforts, feeds and plays with the children, some  of whom are bed bound and severely handicapped.

Now, age 21, Reaksmey’s  dream is to attend college.

It’s been quite a journey for Reaksmey:  from a wooden shack to honors student with a dream of college in just 8 years!

The Family Support Program’s long term approach works.

Family Support Program  efforts go far beyond providing simple food and shelter. The FSP’s goal is to lift these kids out of poverty through education and social guidance, one life at a time. Your support, your commitment, is what makes this possible.   With your help, we can help Reaksmey  and others like her , to achieve their  dreams. 

Our annual budget for the FSP which serves 75 families and 125 dependent children  is about $ 110,000 this  year and it is challenging to raise these funds year upon year.  We are grateful for donations of all sizes. It all makes a difference.

Thank you for your continued commitment. Your  generous support is what  makes all of this possible.

With gratitude,

Barbara and Mark Rosasco

PS  Please help us to spread our story by asking your friends to link this site or our kasumisou.org  website on their social networking sites.

 

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Organization

Kasumisou Foundation

Menlo Park, California, United States
http://www.kasumisou.org

Project Leader

Barbara Rosasco

Secretary/Treasurer
Menlo Park, Ca. United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids