Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids

by Kasumisou Foundation
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids
Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids

Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, sometimes it is hard to tell.....

Our project report this month features  one  of the families in our Family Support Program. As we had discussed before, in recent years, whenever possible, we have worked hard to help our familes in this program move toward self sufficiency .  Having said that, there remains a core of fragile households, each facing unique challenges  which would make it difficult or even impossible for us to end our support .  The task of managing the support of these families can be extremely difficult as our report will soon reveal. 

One such case is a  family that  includes a boy, now age 13  and in grade 6. This boy and his mother  have been  in our program for more than 10 years. The mother has AIDS.   Last year the mother met a man,  who against our stated policy,  moved into the house. It was not a good situation, as the  man  was sometimes violent and verbally  abused the boy. After a few months, the man persuaded the mother to abandon her son and  the mother ran off with the man.  Before she had met that man, this woman was extremely hard working and took very good care of her son.  Despite her illness, she sometimes worked for  the city, cleaning sewer drains for $ 5 per day. In addition to that, she collected recyclables on the street earning up to $ 3 per day. Our program staff person, a woman,  herself  HIV+ took the boy into her own tiny home to live with her family and we provided financial support.

The boy,  not surprisingly  ,suffered severe trauma and was emotionally scarred by his mother's abandonment.  The very good news is that his mother has recently returned after several months away.   It is a difficult situation and one which obviously requires careful oversight, placing the well being of the boy first.  Having survived several difficult months without his mother, he is overjoyed that she is back. They are now living, just the two of them,  in a simple single room.   It could be  all too easy to judge harshly ,and be completely unforgiving of such a hurtful action,  but none of us can even begin  know the grinding poverty and extreme hardship that someone in her position has endured year after year, with no hope of respite in sight.Although we continue to support the boy , we are  at present, evaluating whether we feel that we can resume  support for the mother and we are monitoring the family situation carefully. 

Without the support and monitoring of our program, surely this boy would have been "lost". Our deepest hope is that things  can return to a more normal state and help this young man move forward in his life.   

Your continued support of our program means that we can assist fragile families like these and help them through trying times.

Tuesday, November 27,  is Giving Tuesday and marks the start of the GlobalGiving year end giving campaign  with $150,000 in matching funds and 30+ bonus prizes (ranging from $3,000 to $100) over a 24-hour period on #GivingTuesday. Matching funds will be determined proportionally at the end of the campaign. 

Our hope is that these incentives will  encourage you to generously celebrate and support the change you’re making in the world when you support programs like ours. 

We are deeply grateful  for your support.

 

Barbara & Mark Rosasco  

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

.

Our update this quarter will focus on just one  our families, up close and personal to illustrate how our program can make a profound difference.

Most people don’t think about the fact that there are grades of poverty. There are people  who are so utterly  desperate that their only goal is to eat enough to survive. The simplicity of their desperation  is  compelling the instant that we see it.  Then, there are the others,  who, like many of the families in our  program live on the outside  edge of such  desperation  but  who, because of our program,  are lucky enough to have a basic  economic “ survival platform”.   We have always encouraged  and often insisted that the families in our program  somehow strive for “more” , that they should  seek part time work to supplement what we give to them, which when combined, hopefully, can  get them  through the month.

The remaining  families in our program  all have unique challenges. Recently, we learned, to our great dismay  that one lady , approximately age 70,  told our home care coordinator that she wanted to kill herself because she was worn out  from  being hungry all of the time.  This woman ( HIV -)  has been in our program for 8 years . Her daughter is both HIV+ and afflicted cancer. Both women, over the  past 8 years have supplemented our program’s support by washing clothes.  In recent months, the older woman has been constantly ill and unable to do work of any kind. Now, her daughter has become ill and is often too ill to work and no work means no “extra” money.

Typically, our program  pays the rent and utilities  per family.   After that, each family  receives a food allowance  of $ 45 to $70, depending upon family  composition.  In recent months, we have been told that the food allowances are too low as it is now estimated that it costs about $70 per month per person for adequate food due to local inflation.

You may feel angry reading that we are “ only” offering such a subsistence living to our families. In reality, we have always felt that it was better to offer “ just enough” and to  encourage our program members to work to help themselves. Our other  reality is that there are no extra funds.

In  this case , this lady  can no longer work.  She did not ask us  for more money, because  she assumed that there was not any more money  to be had.  So instead,  she  began to consider  suicide…

We have, of course, increased her food allowance and we are  monitoring  the situation carefully.

Our legacy families each confront unique challenges. They are with us because there is no where else for them  to turn. These families  and their 17 children face challenges which would make it difficult or even impossible for us to end our support .  At this time, we can think of no near term exit plan for these  women and their children and, so, we are committed to continuing support for them for as along as we can raise the necessary funds.

We are deeply grateful to all of you for  your generous support. Truly, your donations do make a difference to these fragile families.

Barbara & Mark

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Vichet and cousin
Vichet and cousin

Please join us ednesday July 18 at 9:00am  for the GlobalGiving 50% rBonus Match Day.

Your contribution  of up to $500 can receive a 50% match.   Matching funds ( $120,000)  will be awarded first come , first served , so please set your clock for 9:00 am New York Time!

 

How two Kasumisou Foundation projects are helping one student leap forward.

We have written about Vichet's family before, as this family has been in our care, in our Family support Program  (FSP)  since 2002 when Vichet and his brother, orphaned, were being cared for by  their grandmother.  As is the case for many families, over time as the boys grew up, the family split apart , with Vichet remaining with his grandmother. In more recent years, Vichet's young cousin, now age 13 was  also orphaned and came to live in the same household, where we provide  help with housing, social support and other services. Vichet has taken on the responsibility of supplementing the household food budget and works full time. 

As many of you know, our FSP,  while providing essential living support such as food, housing, access to medical care and the like, strongly emphasized the value of education as the primary way to break the chain of inherited poverty. USAID statistics estimate that while 96% of children receive at least some elementary education, just 34% attend lower secondary school and just 21% upper secondary school ( high school) with graduation rates being estimated at a much lower rate.

It is a considerable accomplishment to even make it to high school and diplomas are awarded only upon completion of a difficult  national examination. Vichet’s educational progress was uneven, but he stayed with it and last year completed grade 12. Sadly,  he did not succeed in his first attempt to  pass the national exam for a high school certificate. Despite working full time loading trucks and delivering household products for a distributor, this year Vichet to continue his studies on his own and he was able to pass his exam. Vichet continues to work and makes  about $ 150 per month, most of which goes to pay the family’s food expenses .

Last month Vichet began   attending evening classes,  taking foundation courses in English at Panasastra University in Phnom Penh . He attends classes in the evenings after finishing his work. Vichet is working to prepare for enrollment. Hopefully after completing two semesters of foundation study, Vichet will enter a degree program in English language and literature.

Vichet’s goal is to qualify for work as a tour guide in Phnom Penh. However, he is very intelligent and hard working, so depending upon the results of his university studies we may encourage him to pursue a more ambitions goal for his future.

We hope, in the near future , to invite him to join the staff at our Champey Academy of arts and to live at the school. This would allow him to avoid a very long daily commute between his grandmother’s home in the resettlement district and his job and university in central Phnom Penh.

This project shows how a life can change and catapult forward with the right combination of financial and social support combined with a strong work ethic of a young man determined to lift himself out of poverty.

Vichet's young cousin, is also an excellent student and we have high hopes that she will follow Vichet's example of hard work, determination and family loyalty. 

 Our support of fragile families like Vichet's  is only possible due to the generosity of you, our donors.

We hope that your can join us on July 18th for the GlobalGiving Bonus Match day to help your donation work even harder.

 

Barbara & Mark

 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Mark was in Cambodia in April and  met with each of the families in our program.  At that time, Mark  learned that several of our families were really struggling to make ends meet and that for a few this meant that there was not adequate money for food. 

Official estimates of inflation in Cambodia  have been  in the range of 3% for the past few years,  but unofficially,  as  Phnom Penh continues to " gentrify" and rebuild, rents and other urban prices continue to increase,some times sharply.   Cumulatively, over the past few years, this means that many of our families have seen their food expenditures rise by 10% to 20%   and in some cases, even more . Additionally, the rents that  we pay  on the modest rooms that we provide to  our families have  also continued to increase. All of this means that we will need to increase the monthly support to our families in order to compensate for the overal rise in prices. 

As we have mentioned in previous reports, over the past few years, we have continued to try trim the number of families in our program.  As the economy has improved , and health permitting, some of  our participants have been able to to get part time  work  at modest jobs. For others,  as children in the family  have grown up and become wage earners, these now adult children  can  step in to assist . None the less, we still have a lingering core of about 20 families who are unable to make ends meet and for whom our program's assistance enables them to avoid homelessness and a life on the streets. Instead, they can  have a very modest lifestyle  with dignity. In the first  years of our programs,  the early 2000s , we lost many of the adults in our program to AIDS within 1 to 2 years. Now with changes in medical technology, we are blessed with increased longevity for our program participants,  but this  also creates the need for a much longer than initially  anticipated financial commitment, for these fragile families cannot sustain themselves without assistance and unlike the developed world, there is no social welfare system in Cambodia to assist them. 

We are now in the process of reviewing all our financial committments to our program families so that we can be confident that there is adequate food and shelter.  As a small foundation with limited  resouces, the challenges and impact of inflation are a serious concern to us. The generous and loyal a support of our donors  provides financial assistance to these fragile families and for that, we are truly grateful.

Barbara & Mark Rosasco 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Ms. R
Ms. R

Ms. R and her mother were among the first families admitted to our AIDS Patient Family Support Program when we began in 2000.  Now, 18 years later, Ms. R, who was a todler when she and her mother joined our progream is now a 22 year old student in her final year of study at the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh.   

At the Royal University, Ms. R. has focused on studies of food science and food pathology. Her mother cleans houses to supplement the modest incomne which the family receives from our program.  The Ms. R  does not have AIDS but is physically challenged by a  a severe limp. However, her determination to achieve success is unstoppable. She peddles her bycycle every day the  many miles between her home and the University campus.

This month, Ms. R. is completing her last semester of classroom study at the University and in her upcoming final semester, she will be working to complete her thesis on plant parasites. She has applied for a $900 grand from USAID  to help her complete her thesis and she will find out this month whether her grant application has been successful.

If Ms. R is successful in completing her program at the Royal University of Agriculture and receiving her bachelor's degree later this year, her dream is then to continue her studies overseas and to pursue a Masters degree in food science. She has recently begun studying Japanese in the hope that she might somehow be able to attend graduate school at a university in Japan.

Ms. R is  one of our success stories and she is a wonderful example that unstoppable determination can lead to remarkable achievements when given just  access to basic education and social support.  

Without the support of the FSP all of these years, Ms.R would likely followed the  sure path to lifetime poverty and exploitation that befalls so many people in similar circumstance. 

We are grateful to you all for your continued support over these many years.

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Kasumisou Foundation

Location: Menlo Park, California - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Barbara Rosasco
Secretary/Treasurer
Menlo Park, Ca. United States
$135,035 raised of $150,000 goal
 
1,252 donations
$14,965 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Kasumisou Foundation has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.