Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids

by Kasumisou Foundation
Vetted

Update on AIDS Patient Family Support Program: What’s new in 2014

 

As we mentioned in previous updates , we have been working for more than one year to reduce our patient family load significantly. Our reasons were two fold: not only were we aware that some families’ living situations allowed for a decrease in assistance, freeing scarce resources for other participants, but also a reaction to the continuation of serious escalation in costs in our program of necessities . Off setting reduced numbers of patient families has been the significant upward trend of housing and food costs. Rents are going up with increases of 25% to 50% not uncommon for the extremely modest single room and tiny flats we provide. Food prices also continue to rise , with an approximate average increase in costs of 25% to 30% over the past year.

At the current time, our FSP census lists 38 families with 42 children of which 36 are in school and 6 are not yet of school age. Costs of the school kits that we provide to the children have risen by approximately 20% over the past year ( books, uniform, shoes). Of the children in school, 6 are HIV positive. We are so proud to be able to tell our donors that that three of our FSP families now have children in college!

Additional challenges are the simple fact that many of the children are now older, and as is the case universally, pre-teens and teenagers require a much greater degree of supervision and monitoring to keep them safe and on track at this critical time. Our focus on keeping dependent children in school remains as a key goal for 2014.

Medical treatment and medication now broadly available has allowed many of our families to continue to maintain an extended period of relative stability allowing children to grow up in a family setting. We feel that we have been successful   in achieving our basic mission of assisting fragile families ( primarily single parent) to stay together . Cambodia’s recent  civil unrest been quelled by a government response making the protests illegal

Lee Bopha , our new home care coordinator has capably stepped in to her new responsibilities. Bopha, a Cambodian and trained teacher in her mid-20’s , hae worked closely for several years with Juana Encolada, our longtime and beloved home care coordinator who returned to the Maryknoll order at the end of 2013.

We are grateful that our program is able to continue on to help the children in these families strive to break the cycle of inherited poverty.

As always , we are deeply grateful to you, our generous donors for your wonderful support.

 

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

 

Update on AIDS Patient Family Support Program:  Continuing the transition to independent living…

 

As we mentioned in our last update, our focus over the past year has turned to identifying those members of the FSP who are  poorest and sickest and  who  have  no means of support. This should reduce  our patient family load significantly. We are now in the process of revising our budgets for 2014-2015. Off setting  reduced numbers of patient families will be  the never ending upward trend of housing and food costs, which were key factors in trying to reduce our patient family load.  Over the past year,   we  have actively worked  to assess  which  families should  be capable,   of a successful  transition to independence or  a transition  toward receiving   the support  of their own extended families

Over the years during which  the FSP has been active, we have grateful  that due to the continuing advancement and accessibility of medical treatment to victims of HIV/AIDS.   Medical treatment and medication has allowed many of our families to experience  a long period of relative stability allowing children to grow up in a family setting. We  feel that we have been successful   in achieving  our  basic mission of assisting fragile families ( primarily single parent) to stay together .  Our  focus  on keeping dependent children in school remains as a key goal for 2014.

In recent weeks,  Cambodia   had unexpectedly experienced  significant  civil unrest  due to a contested national election. This seems to be developing into an ongoing situation with calls from the opposition party for daily demonstrations, which unfortunately can become unpredictably violent.    In the past, this type of unrest had a  spill over   effect into areas such as  personal safety which could impact tourism and industry and impact donor sentiment. 

In 2014 we will  welcome Lee Bopha as our new home care coordinator. Bopha,  a  Cambodian and trained teacher in her mid-20’s ,  has worked closely  for several  years with Juana Encolada, our longtime and beloved  home care coordinator.  Juana will  be returning  to her previous calling as a Sister with Maryknoll  order   after a 14 year hiatus, during which time she worked for us in our AIDS Patient Family Support Program.

As always , we are deeply grateful to  you, our  generous donors for your  kind support.

Update on AIDS Patient Family Support Program:  Continuing the transition to independent living…

Mark   is in Cambodia where he is  engaged in a detailed  review  of  our programs.  His particular area of focus is our  AIDS Patient Family Support Program  ( FSP) , which helps  indigent families and mothers  impacted by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS.  

Returning to the heart of our initial mission statement for the FSP  in 2000,   our focus over the past year has turned to identifying those members of the FSP who are  poorest and sickest and  who  have  no means of support.  

Over the years during which  the FSP has been active, we have grateful  that due to the continuing advancement and accessibility of medical treatment to victims of HIV/AIDS, the families in our  FSP have been able to stay together longer. Rather than losing mothers and family members  to AIDS in a few months, medical treatment and medication has allowed many of our families to experience an unprecedented long period of relative stability and   some, while not well, have been able to remain  in our care for several years.

We have been able to achieve our  basic mission of assisting fragile families ( primarily single parent) to stay together   and  live  an extremely modest lifestyle.  Additionally,  our effort and  focus  on keeping dependent children in school has  paid  off.  We not only can claim a significant number of  high school graduates among the  children  who have been members of  our FSP over the years,  but also  several college students and recently  2 college graduates.

Over the past year,   we  have actively worked  to assess  which  families should  be capable, in the short term,   of a transition to independence or  a transition  toward receiving   the support  of their own extended families.   We have identified a number of families  who fit in these categories. Dependent   children have now grown up and  completed school, and in some instances, are able to  earn enough to support the family.  In recent years,  the Cambodian economy has  continued  to recover from the devastation of a civil war now decades past.  The economy has added factory and other  jobs and  shows some signs of continued prospects for growth. We feel that this improved economy should   allow  relatives  to  step forward now  and assume responsibility  or provide assistance to some  members of our FSP.  Now as we approach the end of 2013,  we are actively working to put an action plan in place to move toward this goal.

In recent days,  Cambodia   has unexpectedly experienced  significant  civil unrest  due to a contested national election. This may spill over into areas such as  personal safety which could impact tourism and industry and impact donor sentiment.  Stability has and will be  a key factor  aiding or impeding  our  efforts.

Mark will return  to the US on October 3. After that time we should be able to provide additional updates.

Our sincere thanks to our donors for their generous support. 

Barbara Rosasco

 

Inside the FSP: Transitioning to independent living

Mark left for Cambodia on June 23 , where he will spend 10 days  reviewing our programs, including the AIDS Patient Family Support Program  ( FSP) , which helps  indigent families impacted by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS.

From the beginning of our FSP in 2000, the FSP has had a long term approach to keep families together , to prevent trafficking and to keep kids in school . One of the biggest challenges for the FSP is to offer the assistance needed to sustain families while encouraging self sufficiency.    Over the past 3months, we have continued our exhaustive and  careful  review of each family’s current status and  stability as well as their  potential for possible  financial  independence . During that time we identified 8 families who over the past 6 to 12 months are  gradually being phased out of our care, leaving us with a core of about 65 families remaining in the FSP at the present time.  We are please to say that most of those families have now begun their transition towards more independent living.  Much of this is possible because of our long focus on education as an economic enabler for children. The children of our target families  in this transition are now launched into a stable , lower middle class life which means that they are now in a position to provide family support for their mothers.

Periodic  assessments such as these are an essential and  vital  part of the FSP.  They free up scarce resources  and it  honors our commitment to our donors that we will be certain that funds are used, to the best of our abilities.

Mark reviews the status of each family every quarter.  Structure and discipline are applied with  large amounts of understanding, accommodation and compassion.

We are grateful for your support and  it is our honor to  have our efforts supported by you.  We are so pleased with the continuing progress of our families .

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Inside the FSP: The Important Role of  Reviews and Assessments

Mark arrived home from his recent quarterly  trip to Cambodia on March 13, where he had spent   a week reviewing our programs, including the AIDS Patient Family Support Program  ( FSP) , which helps  indigent families impacted by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS.

From the beginning of our FSP in 2000, we have taken a long term approach to keep families together , to prevent trafficking and to keep  kids in school to  help to  break the cycle of inherited poverty.   Over the past 18 months, we have conducted an extensive and careful  review of each family’s current status, stability and potential for financial  independence outside our program. During that time we identified 8 families who over the past 6 to 12 months are  gradually being phased out of our care.

Several families  are  headed by single mothers with AIDS who are  now be in a position to resume independent living. These are mothers who have benefited from our support for as long 10 years and who  now have raised, educated  and  proudly  launched their children into a stable lower middle class life.  Their  children, now grown,  are  in a position to care for and support their mothers.  For a few others, we felt  that they should be gently moved out of our programs assistance arena over time for specific reasons.  For example,  one  family was asked to leave due to  a  serious violation of our rules, by  seeking support from two organizations  at the same time without permission from either , or put differently, “ double dipping” .  Another is a  mother who  was removed from our program  because  she ran away after stealing money  from  her neighbors.

We view these periodic  long term assessments as a vital  and natural part of the FSP.  They free up scarce resources  and it  honors our commitment to our donors that we will carefully monitor all expenditures to be certain that funds are used, to the best of our abilities,  optimally and ethically.

One of our mothers recently passed away quite unexpectedly, leaving a 12 year old daughter who was temporarily cared for by other members of the FSP while our home care coordinator worked extremely hard to find a placement in a reliable institution.  We will continue to monitor her situation .  One of our great successes is that our Home Care Team has worked hard  from the very  beginning to foster a community attitude among our families  sharing scarce resources, emotional support as well as help and friendship.

Mark reviews the status of each family every quarter and any decisions that are made are implemented carefully so as not to undo what may be years of slow progress.  Structure and discipline are applied with  large amounts of understanding, accommodation and compassion.

We hope that this progress report has given you some insights into the operation and challenges that we face. We are grateful for your support and  it is our honor to  have our efforts supported by you. We could not do this without you!

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

 

 

 

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Organization Information

Kasumisou Foundation

Location: Menlo Park, California - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.kasumisou.org
Project Leader:
Barbara Rosasco
Secretary/Treasurer
Menlo Park, Ca. United States
$81,455 raised of $99,999 goal
 
440 donations
$18,544 to go
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