FSP Program Update Fall 2011
Our continued thanks to all of our supporters for making the AIDS Patients Family Support Program ( FSP) possible! 2011 has been an exciting year!
The FSP continues to support a group of 70-75 families comprised mainly of homeless mothers suffering from mid to late stage AIDS. Within this group we care for approximately 125-130 dependent children of whom about 20% themselves are afflicted with AIDS. We also provide permanent full support for 11 orphaned children whose parents passed away in our program some years ago.
In November,2011 Mark completed his quarterly visit to Cambodia to review the status of each family in the FSP and to conduct a line item budget review with our FSP program coordinator. The type of support given depends on the specific needs of each family, but regardless, the basic structure is that families receive housing support, a semi-monthly food allowance, basic medicines ( not antiviral) and transportation to medical appointments. When surgery re other major medical expenses are needed, we also cover that. We work to connect our families with various HIV/AIDS support programs so that their illness can be properly managed.
What’s new ?
We have committed to provide modest assistance to the children at the Phnom Penh municipal orphanage – The National Borey for Infants and Children. It is home to 120 orphaned or abandoned children, all of whom suffer from serious physical or emotional conditions. About 30% of the kids have AIDS while others have cerebral palsy, life threatening cancer or other serious problems including autism and severe birth defects.
From January 2012 we will fully fund the room where the most severely malnourished and handicapped kids live and which functions as sort of a basic intensive care room which will insure that these kids get at least a basic standard of care and nutrition regardless of the chronic unavailability of government funding.
The orphanage is grossly under funded and so we will also help out by offering enrichment classes on weekends for these shut in kids and occasional outings funding.
Other things we do in the FSP
We cover school expenses for all dependent children grade 1 ~ 12 in our 75 FSP families. Our current school age enrollment for the FSP is 91 students and we are thrilled to say that we are also supporting 4 of our long time FSP kids in their first year in university studies ! This is so exciting for us, 4 kids, who despite incredible odds, have “ made it” to university.
Reaching this achievement is in large part a result of our continuing emphasis on education. Our FSP staff of 5 includes one accredited primary school teacher whose main responsibility is to monitor the progress of each student, help keep the student current on assignments and identify any student who may need extra help or who shows evidence of truancy.
Our school package of support for each student includes a “ school kit” of two uniforms, a pair of shoes, a monthly allowance for each student to pay his public school teacher the small daily required cash lesson fees without which progress in school is nearly impossible. FSP kids also have enough to eat- a key part of any educational effort.
Although the primary objective of the FSP is to preserve family unity and assist women with AIDS the means to survive and care for their children with dignity, our ongoing goal and dream is to help the children to break the cycle of inherited poverty.
It costs approximately $ 125 dollars per month per family when all direct and administrative costs are
We are deeply grateful for your continued support! Think of it- together we have not only assisted these families and kept them together as families, but our ability to provide long term assistance and oversight has enabled 4 students from the FSP to reach university. We have 2 other students who last year also entered university. Put differently, from our universe of about 135 children in our FSP related care, we now have 6 in university , their tuition of roughly $ 500 per year per student covered through dedicated donations by generous donors.
Together we can make a difference. Our deepest thanks to you all for your continued support of our efforts and our best wishes for a wonderful new year in 2012
Barbara & Mark Rosasco