Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for Their Kids

by Kasumisou Foundation
Jun 11, 2012

A project in the making- from service to action

Seisen student comforts infant at City Orphanage
Seisen student comforts infant at City Orphanage

Behind the scenes at Kasumisou Foundation : How a school service  idea gave  birth to a project

Summer 2011 saw our first ever joint service effort.   Our service  team   partners were  17  Junior and Senior students from Seisen International School in Tokyo, Japan.   We first reported on this in our September 2011 update. 

Seisen International School

In June 2011,  Mark, organized and facilitated  a team of 17 students and 2 Seisen teachers for a  10 day volunteer service program   at the Phnom Penh Municipal Orphanage and  the Home of Peace   AIDS  in Phnom Penh. The  Seisen Service  Team,  paid their own way. Their service work was to provide companionship and individual attention to permanently warded children, with mornings spent at the Home of Peace AIDS hospice ( HOP)    and afternoons at the Municipal Orphanage ( MO)

On the first day,   several  Seisen  students bravely held  back  tears as they came to understand the  medical reality of the  fragile  children with whom they would be working.   Many of the  children  at the MO  are extremely limited in their mental and physical abilities.  All of the children  suffer from some type of serious affliction or disability.  Some of the children are permanently confined to bed. Due  to inadequate funding,   these kids   often receive little attention beyond the  basic custodial care of a diaper change and food. Overworked and understaffed, Staff work burdens do not  include  time for cuddling and holding. The Seisen Service Team provided  a rare treat for these kids  to have the  individual attention of holding, rocking,  or singing that our own children so  easily  take for granted.   Other children at the Home of Peace  hospice and the more mobile children at the Orphanage   greatly enjoyed a chance for personalized  attention, small crafts activities  and games. 


In May 2011,  the European NGO   that had provided much of the funding support for  Municipal Orphanage  said that they must end their  support  after 10 years to  their own funding challenges,   leaving dire gaps in funding for essential services for the children at the Orphanage.

Although Kasumisou Foundation continues have its own serious funding challenges, operating its programs  on month to month budgets. However,  the  dire funding needs for the most fragile children at  Orphanage, caused Kasumisou Foundation to take on the task of providing supplemental support to the Orphanage. We could already see from the success of our Seisen Service Team that we could make a meaningful difference.  We decided to  add the “ Malnutrition Room ” room at the Orphanage,  which  is home to the most medically fragile children who require specialized support for their survival, to our   FSP  project budget. 

 While immensely satisfying, this addition to our program roster is also heartrending: we have lost three of  these fragile  children   in the past 6 months.

Our New Project

Our support for  the Orphanage includes assuming  the salary responsibilities  of the  two full time staffers  who man  the Malnutrition Room 24/7.  Additionally , we feel that human touch and kindness is an essential part of the care of all children, so  we have  recruited 3 of our older teenagers from own   FSP families. These young women  volunteer ½ day of  their time 3 to 4 days per week working to play and provide comfort  through physical contact to the children. Our young volunteers   also serve  as helpers with  diaper changing and feeding  for these and other children at the Orphanage. We pay their transportation costs.

There are currently about 115 children at the Orphanage:  1/3 have AIDS, the remaining children sufferfrom serious medical conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome and a variety of  severe birth defects. Many of these children  are bedbound and are not able to feed themselves.  Particularly for children with severe CP, feeding can take considerable time.  The total cost of the support of the “ Malnutrition Room “  program assistance is  $ 6,000  to $ 7,000  per year.

Our Service Team Results

The students and teachers who were on the Seisen Service Team returned to school in the fall,  eager to tell about their experience in Cambodia.  The enthusiasm of  the entire  team , both  students teachers alike, created an amazing “ Can do” attitude and a willingness to do their best at each and every task. It was the great success of the Seisen Service Team  that inspired Kasumisou Foundation  to take on the responsibility funding the Malnutrition Room at the Municipal Orphanage and  to encourage our own Family Support teenagers to get involved and  to give something  back to children who are even less fortunate than themselves.

Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone at Seisen International School and the entire Service Team for a great joint project. We cannot think of a better way to start a Service Team program.

Making a connection....
Making a connection....
Patience and encouragement make meals  happier
Patience and encouragement make meals happier
Individual attention is a rare pleasure
Individual attention is a rare pleasure
A gentle touch overcomes language differences
A gentle touch overcomes language differences

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Organization Information

Kasumisou Foundation

Location: Menlo Park, California - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Barbara Rosasco
Menlo Park, Ca. United States
$83,253 raised of $99,999 goal
467 donations
$16,746 to go
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