Mark completed his quarterly trip to Cambodia in June 2011 where he reviewed all operational aspects of the IDS Patient Family Support Program. Although no significant exceptions were noted, FSP families continue to be impacted by the effects of high local inflation ( double digits ) , rising rents, rising fuel and food prices and costs of medical care. Our goal remains constant: to provide comprehensive compassionate care to mothers and children impacted by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS , with resources directed toward keeping families together and helping children to break the cycle of inherited poverty.
Program highlights: 5 FSP students graduate from high school
Great news awaited Mark, where he learned that 5 FSP ( 4 girls, 1 boy) children had graduated from high school. Graduation form high school is a commendable achievement in Cambodia, which only a low percentage of students achieve. It is a remarkable achievement for these four FSP students, who come from backgrounds willed with significant impediments such as extreme poverty and the impact that HIV has had on their families, such as the loss of a parent, and the remaining parent suffering from HIV.
Two children, a brother and sister, are the only two surviving family members of a 5 member family. Both father and mother passed away while in the FSP, as did another sibling. These two children are original members of our FSP, and represent a wonderful example of how the longer term assistance of the FSP can help children break the cycle of inherited poverty.
The FSP currently supports the education of 88 children.
Our five high school graduates have dreams of continuing on to college, with annual tuition costs per student of under $1000 . However, as the average monthly budget for supporting an FSP family is currently $118 , a college tuition is currently beyond reach unless we can find additional funding resources for these four students. Dreams include studying law and nursing. Please contact us if you would like to support these efforts or know of financial resources.
Other news: Seisen International School, Tokyo Japan Student Volunteers
Seisen International School, Tokyo, Japan sent 17 high school students and 2 teachers to assist the FSP in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in June 2011 through 12 days of intensive volunteer activities.
Students were divided into two groups. One group of students volunteered at an AIDS Hospice and the second group of students volunteered at the Phnom Penh municipal orphanage. Student volunteers assisted caregivers by providing caring companionship to orphaned, frail and bed bound children through play, singing and individualized companionship and touch.
Some student volunteers initially fought back tears as they learned of the significant and permanent limitations of frail and bed-bound children. However, they immediately took on their challenges with good humor and great kindness and grace, putting forward maximum effort to make a positive impact.
Although children in these institutions receive care, staff members cannot take time to provide more individualized personal attention to young residents. For frail and bed bound children, simple touch and companionship, such as is achieved by simply sitting or rocking a child is a wonderful experience . Our student volunteers were a wonderfully welcome addition to the care team for these children.
Upcoming events:Wild Life Alliance Partners with Kasumisou Foundation
The Wild Life Alliance in partnership with Kasumisou Foundation’s FSP, has arranged for trips for two groups of children to visit a wild life rescue center run by Cambodia’s Ministry of Forestry. These two groups of children, 80 students from our FSP and 60 children from the Phnom Penh Municipal Orphanage, will take a bus trips on September 14 and 16 to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, an area outside of Phnom Penh, to learn more about Cambodia’s endangered species and how they can help to protect them.
As always, we remain grateful for your continued support of our AIDS Patient Family Support Program. Together, truly, we make a difference.
Barbara & Mark Rosasco