Global Giving Match Day!
Today, May 13th, GlobalGiving is matching EVERY eligible donation on our Bonus Day! In the first-ever Pro-Rated Bonus Day, the matching percentage will be decided at the end of the day based on this formula: ($75,000/Total Amount Raised) x 100 = Matching Percentage.
Another benefit of this structure is that donors don't have to give early on Bonus Day to get matched!
When we speak about program progress, it is easy to overlook that key to the success of each of project is its ability to have sustained funding. Sinces its i start in 2000, this program has somehow always managed to provide for its program members. Each month can be a balancing act between the needs of the program and the reality of funding, with the added stress that fragile families are relying upon the program to provide essential support such as housing, food and other support.
Our AIDS Patient Family support program continues a 15 year effort of Kasumisou Foundation to provide a safety net for at risk children and families. The success of these efforts can be seen in the numbers of children whom we have served over the years who have gone on to complete middle school, high school and now even a few have made it to college.
None of this would be possible without you, our donors. .
We are always grateful for your continued support.
Barbara & Mark Rosasco
A reason to celebrate !
Over the years there are hundreds of times where we have stepped in to provide the modest housing and social support for families that are hanging on by a thread. Our goal is to create a stable family lifestyle . We have rescued mothers and their children who are living rough on the streets , we have provided transitional housing to mothers snatched from death and returned to fragile but better health and we have stepped in to prevent a family from becoming homeless. Although most of the families in our program are impacted in some way by HIV/ AIDS, we have had a few situations over the years where we have also helped families with other, equally serious health conditions.
But far beyond these essential services that we provide to our families, key to our mission is to help the children in our program to stay in school and to help them see that there is a different life beyond the slums where they live and to give them the tools to move forward toward that new life.
Ena- Age 12
We are very proud of all of the young people in our FSP because of the challenges which they have had to overcome in their lives but there are times when some of our kids make us especially proud. This report features one of those exceptional young people , Ena - age 12, grade 6 .
Ena (below in the purple shirt) and her mother both suffer from life threatening, congenital heart problems for which they receive continuous treatment at Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh.
Despite her medical problems, Ena is currently ranked #1 in her class of 20 students at a local, private English language school and she is #20 in her class of 47 students in her Khmer language classes at the government run middle school.
We enroll and sponsor many of the children in our FSP in English language programs because proficiency in English is the single skill which will most help them to get good jobs when they finish their formal education. Most of our children will, unfortunately, not be able to attend university and many will not even complete high school , despite our efforts. However, if these children can speak, read and write English well when they become young adults, they will be qualified for a wide variety of jobs with good incomes and upward potential.
Your support helps us to keep these fragile families together and helps our children to keep moving forward to break the cycle of inherited poverty.
We hope that you will share our delight in Ena’s great accomplishments and continue onward with us in our journey to support her and other children in our program. Without you, we would not be able to provide housing and other support to Ena and others like her.
Thank you for your generous support
Barbara & Mark Rosasco
Yes, your support makes a difference !
Since its beginning in 2000, Kasumisou Foundation’s AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP) has been a vital support system for fragile families impacted by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The FSP is the formal name of the program that helps destitute women with AIDS care for their children. Our families are typically single parent families.
2014 saw the completion of a transition of families from the FSP whom we felt were able to function either independently or with the aid of their family. The families who remain are those which are unable to make the transaction to a more independent lifestyle outside of our program.
One of the challenging aspects of maintaining a program like the FSP is the challenge of trying to address to two diverging needs. Our project provides caretaker support to keep these fragile families together, in safe housing with enough food. Candidly speaking, it is essentially too late to do very much more for the mothers in these families other providing a structure of compassionate support, to actively monitor and address the needs of the families. Our project at the same time, recognizes the urgent need to provide more active support for the children, providing social oversight and promoting a strong emphasis on education. Only through education , will the children in this program be able to break the chain of inherited poverty.
We are proud, that in a nation where educational access is uneven at best, and where few children finish high school, this program, due to its long years of consistent efforts, now has recently seen 4 of our program’s students enter college.
Progress on a long term program such as this sometimes seems to be so slow as to be nearly invisible: there are few “headline “ items. But despite the seemingly slow pace, we remind ourselves that slow and steady effort is the key to helping the children in these families reach a point in their lives where they can step out of the underclass into a brighter future.
None of this is possible without the generous support of you, our donors . Please accept our heartfelt thanks for all that you do to help us in our efforts. Your support changes the lives of these families and provides life changing opportunities for the chilren.
With best wishes to you all for a successful 2015.
Barbara & Mark Rosasco
>>>October 15 is Bonus Match Day at GlobalGiving !<<<
GlobalGiving will hold its Fall Partner Bonus Match Day on October15, offering a 30% match on donations. If you are considering making a donation to this project, your donation could receive 30% in matching funds while funds are available.
What's new at the FSP? Two FSP students step toward future opportunity!
Since its beginning in 2000, Kasumisou Foundation has provided educational assistance for the children in the Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for their Kids and ( a part of our AIDS Patient Family Support Program).In a nation where educational access is uneven at best, few children finish high school. One of our most important goals for all of our programs, has been to keep kids in school, to help them to break the cycle of inherited poverty.
Education is a long slow road. Progress may be uneven and sometimes the progress is so slow as to be nearly invisible. But sometimes , something wonderful happens. We have two kids who have just completed high school and wait, now as I write this report, for their national High School examination results, the last hurdle to cross in order to qualify to enter college! Both of these kids have been with our AIDS Patient Family Support program for 10 years or more. And both are now taking a step away from inherited poverty and a big step toward future opportunity.
Inflation continues to creep up in Phnom Penh, with increases in rents and food costs. We have had to increase food allowances significantly, with increases ranging from 10% to 25% depending upon the household and the need. As children grow up, so do their appetites , this combines with inflation and makes our food budget a moving target for us.
We are just starting the new school year with more thn 30 students. We are proud to say that 17 of our kids are high school students.
None of this would not be possible without your patient and loyal support. Without you, our many generous supporters, now scattered far and wide over the years, none of these kids would have had a home, enough to eat, access to medical and the opportunity to attend school and build a real future.
Our sincere thanks to you all for joining us in this effort. We hope that you feel as proud of the accomplishments of our kids as do we and that you will continue to join with us to help the kids in our AIDS Patient Family Support Program step forward into a brighter future.
Barbara and Mark Rosasco
Channa, 17, a member of our program, passed away July 11,2014 in Phnom Penh.
Channa and her family have received support via our “ Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for their Children” program which is posted on GlobalGiving. Our first encounter with Channa came when her family began participation in Kasumisou Foundation's AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP) in 2002.
Channa was HIV positive from birth. She was about 4 when she and her mom joined our program . In 2000,when Kasumisou Foundation's AIDS Patient Family Support Program began, about 40% of our parent program members with HIV/AIDS died within 12 months of joining our program. Although it often took longer for children to become symptomatic, without treatment options, these children’s lifetimes were often brief once they fell ill. In mid 2002,we began to be able to provide the new life prolonging anti-retroviral drugs to moms and kids as funding and the drugs became more widely available.
Channa and her mother were both able to receive drug support once the drugs became available. For years we provided housing and food support for the family and Channa and her family lived a hard but reasonably stable life. We supported Channa's school attendance and as a youngster, she attended various activities and outings sponsored by our program.
Her mother also worked very hard, when her health permitted , to try to provide for the family, but even with the assistance of our program, Channa’s family remained mired in poverty. As Channa grew older and became a teenager, she became quite despondent about her life. Channa decided to stop going to school. Although HIV positive, she also decided to stop taking the drugs that had suppressed her illness. Despite our home care team’s urgent efforts to engage Channa and persuade her to change her mind and restart her treatment , she remained depressed. For a while, as a teenager, we were able to persuade Channa to work as a youth volunteer with children residing at the National Orphanage. The children who reside at the National Orphanage are generally those who are categorized as “ unadoptable” due to health issues such as serious physical and mental impairment and/or their HIV status. Channa seemed to enjoy her work there and we were told that she had a wonderful way with the resident children. But after several months , Channa decided to stop her volunteer work and her health continued to decline.
Kasumisou Foundation has for years, provided the required "stable lifestyle" for hundreds of homeless patients, moms and kids, providing housing, food, social support and guidance to help patients like Channa and her mom. The stable lifestyle, our program’s social support and access to medical care kept this fragile family, Channa, her younger brother and her mom, together. Her mother remains in the program, caring for Channa's younger brother, who is now in middle school.
The assistance provided by our program changed Channa's story and those of many others over the years from a nameless short life and early death on the streets attributed to poverty and HIV/AIDS to lives, however brief, that were respected and that had meaning.
A little girl of just 4 years old when she joined our program, Channa was able to live with her mother and her brother, as a family, for 12 years. Although her life’s journey was extremely difficult, in her younger years we know that she had some happy times and in her teen years she still managed to bring some comfort to the children she helped at the National Orphanage. Despite her hardships, she made a difference to others. Although there are limits to what our program can change, our program's help gave Channa and her family 12 years together. In the end, although our efforts could not save Channa’s life, her life was not without respect or meaning and she did not die alone and unattended.
The kind generosity of our donors makes it possible for us to try to bring comfort, support and meaning to the lives of fragile families facing the twin challenges of HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty and who are struggling at a level that is unthinkable for us. Each one of you, our donors, is the lifeline that makes this possible. And so we ask you to join us and to remember Channa.
Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your kindness.
Barbara & Mark
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