volunteer of the cosmetics brand
We are happy to share the news on the MAMA+ project!
International Children’s Day
On June 1 and 5, volunteers of the cosmetics brand MAC owned by Estee Lauder Corporation participated in a holiday conducted by Doctors to Children on occasion of celebrating the International Children’s Day. On June 1, the holiday was hosted by the Crisis Center for Women. On June 5, the guests visited the MAMA+ Center. Such actions have become our good tradition: every year, MAC staff members conduct bright events for HIV-affected women and children.
This time, MAC makeup designers told the mothers about the makeup specifics, new brand products, and engaged them in a makeup session. DTC’s young clients were also engaged in the action: the babies were gifted feeding bottles, and the older children were given coloring books and markers. The holiday culminated in a short photo session, MAC gifts giving ceremony, and tea. Due to participation of MAC professionals, this day turned to a true holiday of beauty for DTC’s clients.
The International Children’s Day was officially established by the Congress of the International Women’s Democratic Federation in 1949. It aims to raise public awareness of the problems faced by children all over the world.
Today we would like to tell you a story of a woman recently enrolled in the MAMA+ Project
Ksenia, 30, and her daughter Daria (Dasha), 5.
Both are HIV-positive.
Together with her daughter, Ksenia arrived in St. Petersburg for permanent residence from another city where she had been assisted by staff of DTC’s partner organization (DTC has been disseminating its best practices of assisting HIV-positive women and children in other regions of Russia through training service providers working with women and children).
Background. Ksenia learned about her HIV status when she was pregnant. The prevention therapy turned out to be ineffective. Right after birth, her daughter was tested positive. When Dasha was one month old, she was registered with the AIDS Center. Ksenia says she contracted HIV from her husband, a citizen of Uzbekistan, who had experience of using drugs. When Dasha was three months, he left the family. The woman found herself alone to raise her child: her mother had died; her aunt living in the same city stopped contacts with her having learned about her diagnosis.
Before Ksenia enrolled in the MAMA+ Project, her and her daughter’s diagnosis was disclosed at her workplace: staff of the local AIDS Center made a phone call to Ksenia’s office and told her colleagues that she and her child were HIV-positive. The woman lost everything: job, friends... But she also lost confidence in the AIDS Center staff. Over two years, the child’s health status was getting worse and finally became critical. In despair, Ksenia tried to save her daughter on her own. She browsed Internet and found information about the Infectious Diseases Clinical Hospital in Ust-Izhora (near St. Petersburg). Spending her last money, she went there with her child without any referrals. Both were accepted. Under stress, her own health status worsened, and she was prescribed continuous ARV therapy.
Over three years, Ksenia and Dasha were visiting St. Petersburg for treatment and lab tests. Their health status stabilized gradually. The viral load decreased.
It was a difficult decision for Ksenia to move to St. Petersburg for permanent residence. She was limited in financial resources, had no permanent employment, no other sources of support except for DTC’s assistance.
Ksenia contacted MAMA+ for psychological and social assistance. The project staff members helped her with her child’s enrollment in a pre-school educational institution, so that she could find employment (enrollment of an HIV-positive child in a government kindergarten is a serious challenge. DTC was able to agree with a partner organization that the child be taken to a daycare center from 03.00PM to 08.00PM).
The woman is still afraid of disclosing her and her daughter’s diagnosis, which may provoke negative attitudes to Dasha. A true mother, Ksenia takes care of her daughter and is prepared to do everything to make her happy.
Ksenia and Dasha are in need of your support, until the woman finds employment.
Your support is needed by MAMA+ Project clients – HIV-positive women and children. Over the last three months, MAMA+ staff have enrolled 22 women with children.
International Children's Day
International Children's Day