Keep a Child Alive Blog | Stay Connected to our sites and community fundraisers

We are dedicated to providing life-saving HIV treatment, care, nutritious food, support services and love to children and families affected by HIV in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and India.

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  1. The Original Curly Girl Lorraine Massey Joins Forces with KCA

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

    Curlies unite! KCA is excited to partner with the Original Curly Girl, Lorraine Massey, as our official haircutter!

    What does this mean for you? You can now get an amazing haircut from a world-renowned stylist for the price of a donation to Keep a Child Alive!

    Lorraine is NYC-based, but will be offering her services around the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information and to schedule an appointment (our straight-haired and wavy friends are welcome, too!), you can contact Lorraine directly at Lmnamastea@gmail.com.

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  2. Angels in Africa at Blue Roof Wellness Center

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    I’m in Durban, South Africa, now to see two more programs funded by Keep a Child Alive. And today I visited the Blue Roof Wellness Center. This facility is very special to the charity. Leigh Blake had the vision for a comprehensive, holistic care and treatment clinic addressing the AIDS epidemic here. And Alicia Keys was so moved by the need that she personally funded it. That was really the start of it all!

    A brilliant blue sign stands out against brick walls and razor wire. And then you enter and see the bright colors and natural light in the atrium courtyard, and you immediately sense that this is a place of hope, compassion and dignity.

    Rhona and Tessa work in offices that say ‘management’ on the door. But, in truth, these two ‘aunties’ are the heart of Blue Roof. They oversee care and treatment for 2,000 clients who are on antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), and another 1,500 on top of that. There is great need in the immediate Wentworth Township neighborhood, but people come from miles away to benefit from this model clinic, and avoid the stigma of being treated closer to home. And the Blue Roof staff goes out into the community, too, providing educational sessions at local schools, and onsite testing for workers in factories.

    In addition to Tessa and Rhona, there are other angels here. Doreen in the pharmacy focuses on drug delivery and treatment compliance. And Veronica and Nellie provide all-important nutrition. They serve up to 90 better-than-mum-made meals a day to Blue Roof clients. They’re hot and delicious; I can tell you that for sure, because I was treated to a very tasty lunch of mac and cheese, curry chicken, beets and rice.

    The most moving part of these visits is hearing the stories of clients who ‘put a face’ on the work. In this case that ‘face’ was Gerard, who told me all about it. He was very sick and in a mode of self destruction before Blue Roof. Today the medication is working; he has tremendous energy and enthusiasm for life, and he is so very thankful. He now works at Blue Roof, and he is a true inspiration and role model. He’s taken-up running, and in two weeks he will participate in the 90 kilometer (56-mile) ‘Comrades’ Ultra Marathon here. GO GERARD, you’re an angel, too!

     By: Glenn Bozarth, KCA Board Member. Original article.

  3. Bears to the Rescue

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Another program funded by Keep a Child Alive is Operation Bobbi Bear. And while the adorable stuffed bear serves as a mascot, it’s also a tool.

    The primary mission at Bobbi Bear is to aid vulnerable children, and particularly to address rape and sexual abuse, and the HIV infection that can result. The bear is used as a statement or evidence in court after the child, working with a counselor, marks it up to show what was done to them. That bear remains with the court, and another goes home with the child as a protector and friend. This is tough stuff, but what a brilliant and sensitive solution to a devastatingly difficult situation!

    In addition to the bears, the program’s success is also based on relationships with the police, as well as prosecutors, educators and clergy. And once there is a report, there is urgency, based on the need to get exposed children on medication within 72 hours.

    The Bobbi Bear location is 20 miles south of Durban, primarily serving people of Zulu origin who live in rural settlements. The work is done by a compassionate and loving team that is available 24/7, with several vehicles necessary, as very few of the cases come to them. And dealing with a reported incident is just the beginning. In the end, many of these children are orphans requiring placement. In addition to care at the Bobbi Bear facility, staff members are known to have numerous children in their homes at any given time. That’s what I mean by love and compassion!

    I was there on a Saturday, so I witnessed ‘The Tree’, a weekly gathering in a field, with a magnificent tree as the ‘magnet’ that draws children on foot, or by any other available transport. It’s support group Bobbi Bear style, and there’s playing, talking and distribution of sandwiches and juice. This is the highlight of the week for many of the children, and probably the best meal some of them receive. Many serious things are worked out in that setting. But it felt to me like a party, celebrating fresh starts and new lives.

    I’ve seen so much need during my three weeks in Africa, but I’ve also seen caring people making a huge difference. I haven’t kept up with the daily news, and I think that’s probably a good thing. After the Habitat build and my visits to three KCA programs I definitely return home feeling better about the world…

    By: Glenn Bozarth, KCA Board Member. Original article.

  4. You Say Jump, I Say How High?

    Monday, June 2, 2014
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    Dare Me For Charity is a new reality TV show airing this fall. They’ve created a fun opportunity for people to come together in support of the causes they believe in. All you have to do is… jump!

    Keep a Child Alive is pulling together a team for their NYC stop on Sunday, August 3 in Central Park. Your challenge will be to jump and you’ve got 3 chances! Don’t worry, it’s safe! The ‘Dare Me’ crew will have an airbag, platform lift, and full event staff to make sure you jump without a hitch. The platform can go up to 40 feet (the equivalent of about 4 stories). The more total footage the Keep a Child Alive team jumps, the more chances we have to win money for our cause!

    While you’re waiting for your turn to jump, the ‘Dare Me’ crew will be selecting random people (it helps if you’re wearing something that makes you stand out!) to participate in their “On-The-Spot” challenges, allowing teams to win additional cash prizes. It’s fun, silly stuff like wearing a chicken suit or dancing in public.

    So, are you ready for the challenge? To join Keep a Child Alive’s team, click here. An event ticket is $15 and includes 3 jumps. Have friends and family that want to give but are too afraid? They can sponsor you as a jumper, so you can do 6, 9… or as many jumps as you want!

    Contact monica@keepachildalive.org for more information.

  5. Building Again, Destination: Malawi

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

    Yes, I’m headed to another Habitat for Humanity ‘build’, my ninth! This time the location is Malawi, East Africa.

    But I stopped first in Johannesburg South Africa, in part to meet one amazing woman. They call her ‘Mum Carol’, and she’s ‘mum’ to about 850 children. She founded a charity called Ikageng Itireleng, and the mission is to provide support to orphans and vulnerable children, many of them living with or affected by HIV and AIDS. The organization is funded by Keep a Child Alive (keepachildalive.org), where I serve on the board of directors.

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    It’s not an orphanage, as such, although Mum Carol does currently have four orphans living with her. Ikageng supports children in individual homes. In many cases they are child-headed households, where brothers and sisters take care of their younger siblings. We visited some, and they were inspirational! It’s all done through a network involving social workers and caregivers who make house calls. There is support group activity, oversight for education and health care, and the distribution of monthly food parcels. I saw firsthand what a difference Mum Carol and her team are making. And it clearly involves a lot of love.

    I move on to Malawi tomorrow. If the Wi-Fi gods are willing, I’ll have more for you soon …

    By: Glenn Bozarth, KCA Board Member. Original article.