Dear Friend and PartnerThis is the best time of the year to thank you, as you took the step to touch the lives of our children at Buds of Christ.As we near the end of the year 2014, I bow my head to thank God for you! because you are a blessing for Buds of Christ.As I type the mail, I remember the quote of Mother Teresa “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love”Because its only through friends like you that Buds of Christ can be here with resources to love and support struggling orphan children and families who have nowhere else to go for support.This year alone, your generosity has helped us to directly support over 220 orphan children affected by HIV and AIDS in areas of their Health, Education, Advocacy and Leadership. Your love, generosity has lit the light of Hope in the lives of our children. How true it is that the smallest act of your kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.We take this moment to give you thanks for who you are and what you have done in the lives of our children. We can say no other answer; but THANKS, and THANKS and ever THANKS.Sincerely Giving Thanks not only helps us recognize how our children are blessed through you but it also motivates us to continue to do good for those who are in need.Thank you so much for being a blessing!with thanks and regardsJeyapaulFounder Director
Kavi (10 years) and her sibling brother (13 years) went out of the hospital with a cheerful heart. It was Kavi’s birthday and she and her brother had come to collect their monthly medicines ART, at Government Hospital.
As part of the Little Stars group at the hospital, they attended today’s session on personal hygiene. After actively participating in the session, Kavi was one of the two who enjoyed the sweet surprise of cutting birthday cake at the hospital. Kavi expressed “Today is the most happiest day in my life, because it has been the first time experience in my life in cutting the cake”. Kavi and her brother lost both their parents to AIDS when they were very small.
The Little Stars Support Group Meeting is part of Buds of Christ initiative in partnership with health department of Govt in helping children living with HIV, be comfortable in accessing the hospital and making it more child friendly; and the birthday cake cutting was initiated and supported by the staff of the ART center.
Buds of Christ’s reason for existence is to empower children affected by HIV and AIDS to live life with dignity and support them to emerge as children of hope of courage to their peers.
On 12th July 2014, the support group for small children (5-12 years) was started at Tiruchengode Government Hospital premises. The primary purpose of this support group for children is to help children cope up with their HIV illness, make friends who are living with HIV and to support themselves in adhering to medicines and treatment.
The care takers of these children are mostly grand-parents or widowed mothers who are less educated that makes the condition more vulnerable for smaller children not understanding the purpose of being healthy. So the support group involves play-way method with children to feel more comfortable with the environment and communicate better about their health condition with the hospital team.
In the first group, we had 8 children who are HIV positive. The youngest was a 4 year old boy who is studying Kinder Garden. There was a girl thirteen years who has not gone to school for the last two years due to ill-health condition. In the first meeting, introductory games were introduced so that the young children know each other better. The counsellor of the ART center also got involved along with few care takers which made a way for better communication between children and elders. School educational kits were also distributed to the children who attended the support group.
Note: Photograph for this report is not posted because the premises was a Govt Hospital and we did not get permission
Being an orphan boy born with HIV, life has been a struggle, especially when my only brother could not keep me with him because his wife was not supportive because of my HIV status. The sudden decision affected me that I felt alone and even felt unwanted. Left with no choice, I was placed in a government hostel to do my 11th and 12th standard. Initially it was shocking as I was very attached to my relatives and my brother, and it took me few months to cope-up with the situation and that was when I got involved with the support group.
In the support group of adolescents living with HIV, I felt like a big family. There were friends who encouraged me and supported me and that helped me to get back to normalcy again. I got interested in my life and started setting my goals of becoming a Chartered Accountant. But when I shared this dream, to my extended family, they mocked and were negative about it. They said that I should be getting into work and earn and make a living. But those words did not affect me, because peers in the support group stood by me and said that I can do it.
Yes now, I am proud that I have been able to achieve and be a role model to many like me. I am not alone now, I now have many friends like me at Buds of Christ, who motivate and inspire me to love and serve many like me.
I thank the donors for supporting our group which has helped many like me find hope to move forward in life.
Nadiya is 19 years old and positive speaker among young people living with HIV. She has been open about her status to adolescents living with HIV in the support groups to encourage them to be positive about their future. In a recent incident in her village a school friend whom she had know from small had come to know about her HIV status after a miscarriage. Her name is Reena (name changed) and she had been studying with Nadiya in the same school until 6th standard .
As Reena’s parents died at a very early age and she was brought up by her aunt. Reena got married when she was 18 years and when she had a miscarriage she was tested and found HIV positive. It became a big shock for Reena when she learnt her husband was HIV negative. Later on verifying how she would have been affected, she found she was infected from birth and her parents had died due to AIDS. On knowing this, her husband has deserted her and she wanted to commit suicide.
Nadiya, who comes from the same village had learnt about the incident went and shared about her status and how she is living healthy with treatment. She also brought her to the center to meet with the support group to feel encouraged to see others like her.
At the end Reena expressed “If not for Nadiya I would have committed suicide, I lost complete hope as my husband had rejected me and now my aunt’s son’s wife with whom I am staying wants me out of the family as she fears HIV may be contracted to her child though my presence at home. But after coming here and seeing many like me, I feel supported and have hope”.
Dear Donor, we want to share this story, of how your money is providing care and support to adolescents living with HIV, who are often neglected or discriminated because of their health status in their community. Buds of Christ is able to support many children and adolescents living with HIV through your generous support. We welcome you to share these testimonies and reports to your friends and families and help us impact many young lives find hope and a future.
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