Our Associate Director, Cherry Wan, went to XinXiang, Henan, Fuyang and Anhui in December to visit our kids. Here are a few highlights of her trip: We welcomed one new PATScommunity health worker, Ms. Zhang, who was formerly a schoolteacher. She works very well with the children and is especially great at helping them set goals. During the home visits, Cherry noticed that Ms. Zhang was checking each child’s fingernails. Cherry later learned that during the visits in the previous month, Ms. Zhang asked every child to keep their hands and nails clean as part of their effort to maintain proper hygiene. This is a small example of the dedication and diligence that the workers apply to caring for the PATS kids. On this trip, Cherry facilitated a conference call between our medical advisor/board member, Dr. Jessica Haberer, and the community health workers. They discussed specific issues related to the children, such as possible drug resistance and behavioral problems. The workers benefited greatly from Jessica’s advice, and these continued conversations will help develop the workers’ technical skills. Lastly, as more PATS kids become young adults, we are planning activities around age-appropriate sex education. While PATS continues to evolve, our core mission of providing comprehensive care and support to children living with HIV/AIDS remains unchanged. Here's a picture of Long, one of our newest PATS kids, wearing a hat from his Sponsor.
Dear PATS Supporters,
It's been a great year for PATS on GlobalGiving and we wanted to thank all of you for your generous donations. We have had many new donors join us in supporting our kids, and hope that you will all continue to check in on our progress. So far this year, our GlobalGiving supporters have helped us raise enough money to take care of four of our kids for an entire year! GlobalGiving has been a wonderful platform to reach people who care about our cause outside of our normal circles in our Boston,MA headquarters. We hope that you've enjoyed our periodic updates and that you continue to stay engaged with us through our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and website. Most of all, we'd love to have your continued support as we strive to accomodate more kids in our program.
As the year draws to a close, we wanted to share some interesting things that we're working on. First, we are currently running our annual Holiday Card Fundraiser. For GlobalGiving donors, we are offering beautiful hand made cards to those who donate at least $25 to PATS in honor of someone by December 18th. These are lovingly made by our wonderful volunteers in Boston, MA! It's easy to send PATS a donation in honor of someone else, just go to the "Gift in Honor of" tab on our donation page (see example above). You can choose the "no, I don't want a card" option and we will send you a followup email after you donate to get the mailing address of your honoree. Note that for cards sent outside of the US may not arrive by Christmas.
PATS is also working on a video project on site in China. We are collaborating with Sharron Lovell, a multi-media journalist based in Beijing to develop two videos to support PATS work with children living with HIV in rural China. The first video will feature people with HIV in China who are living healthy and successful lives. In rural China, HIV is sometimes considered a death sentence and those living with HIV may not have much hope for the future. The purpose of the video is to erase this fallacy using interviews to share real life experiences of healthy and successful individuals that have HIV/AIDS. The second video is a demonstrative promotional video that will show PATS in action. The video will provide a firsthand window into PATS work in China, including interviews and footage of PATS leadership in China and the community health workers.
We hope the holiday season finds you and your family happy, health, and prosperous. Thanks again for helping our kids have happy, healthy childhoods!
Hello PATS Supporters,
Happy Fall! We have many updates on our progress to share. The PATS newsletter is here, and below is an excerpt highlighting two PATS kids worthy of your support. The 2011 annual report has also just beem released, and you can view the Powerpoint presentation it here: 2011 Annual Report
Also, October 17th is the LAST Bonus Day of the year. GlobalGiving will be matching donations 30% up to $1,000 per donor, per project. We have $50,000 available in matching funds. Matching will begin at 12:01 am EDT and last until funds run out or until 11:59 pm EDT. If you've been thinking about supporting PATS this year but haven't done so yet, please consider donating through GlobalGiving on October 17th!
During PATS’ July visit to China we welcomed two new children to the program, ten year old Yuting and her six-year-old brother Junhao. Yuting and Junhao live with their mother, father and middle sister in a very poor village that is inaccessible by car. Yuting, Junhao and their mother were all diagnosed with HIV in 2010, although they were most likely infected many years earlier. Despite the challenges associated with the disease and the stigma that accompanies it, the family seems to be very loving and supportive of one another. The mother in particular is incredibly attentive and thankfully, the family is careful not to confuse the adult and pediatric formulations of their ARV medication (medication confusion is a common problem faced by many PATS families). While Junhao is not yet on ARVs, both Yuting and her mother are and have surprisingly good adherence considering they have had little exposure to health services prior to PATS’ involvement. In this situation, the guidance and assistance of the PATS community health workers will be especially critical. During the first visit with this new PATS family, we learned that Yuting and Junhao are not eating very well and the family does not have the means to buy special food to appeal to their children’s picky tastes. As proper nutrition is vitally important to the hea lth of HIV-positive children, PATS will also be providing the family with pediatric multivitamins in addition to the standard nutritional stipend. The PATS team is looking forward to caring for and learning more about Yuting and Junhao. To help PATS in our endeavor to help these children, please consider sponsoring Yuting or Junhao.
See the rest of the newsletter here: October Newsletter
Mari Seto is an In-The-Field Representative for GlobalGiving. She is visiting projects throughout China. Here is her most recent "postcard" from Fuyang, China:
When we first stepped into the office of AIDS Orphans Salvation Association (AOS) in Fuyang, a city in Anhui Province, we were greeted by a group of excited children shouting, running, and playing happily among themselves. This is a place where HIV-infected children, children with family members that are infected with HIV can safely play without being exposed to the stigma towards HIV patients in China. For a while, we watched children playing games, drawing, and taking dance lessons taught by the local volunteers.
In the AOS office, we met Kristin and Ally who are representatives from PATS Foundation. PATS Foundation and their local partner AOS are working together to give extensive care to the children that are infected by HIV. While the medication to contain the effect of HIV is provided free of charge from the government, the children and their families lack mental and physical support. PATS and AOS send Community Health Workers to check up on the change of HIV infected children's physical and mental conditions, as well as talking to the doctors on behalf of the family.
Next day, Charlene and I accompanied the community health workers and PATS team visiting four HIV infected children in the Lixin village, located two hours outside of Fuyang. We watched the health workers check the pill bottles to see if the children have been taking the medicine properly. Health workers also weighed and measured the children's heights to see if they have been growing healthily. Kristin, who has been visiting Fuyang over many years, told us that the conditions of the children got much better since PATS and AOS started sending health workers. At the same time, it became apparent during the visit that the many of the kids were malnourished - PATS and AOS team decided they will buy additional multivitamins for the children.
Though improving, the stigma towards HIV patients is strong in China- many patients keep their sickness secret so that they would not be abandoned by their community or even their family members. Charlene and I were very impressed how the PATS and AOS team are determined to provide extensive care for the children, despite the stigma.
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