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. We Are Here

    Friday, September 19, 2014

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    We are here to tell the world that the end of AIDS is not a given. That this fight is not over.

    We are here for children living with HIV - 75% of whom are STILL not receiving the life-saving treatment they need.

    We are here for the adolescents and young people living with HIV, who survived childhood only to find themselves vulnerable and overlooked.

    We are here for mothers with HIV, to make them strong,
    to give them the means to provide for their children.

    We are here to eradicate stigma, the corrosive engine of HIV that too often keeps people from getting and staying on treatment.

    We are on the ground in Africa and India, doing the tough work where the needs are greatest, directly impacting the lives of the people we serve.

    We are here. Continuing the struggle, determined to make sure this historic opportunity is not missed, raising our voice to reignite the activism that led to so much progress over the past decade.

    We are here, and we are committed to realizing the end of AIDS

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    Commit to a child living with HIV. Join us.

    Donate Now

  2. Join Team KCA for the 2015 ASICS LA Marathon

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    We are very excited to announce that Keep a Child Alive (KCA) will be participating for the first time in the 2015 ASICS LA Marathon on Sunday, March 15, 2015. This race will take you 26.2 miles past some of the city’s top landmarks including Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Rodeo Drive, ending at the Santa Monica Pier.

    imageThe 2013 LA Marathon. Photo courtesy of Kristin Burns.

    Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or a new runner looking to take on a challenge for something larger than yourselves, now is the perfect opportunity! Our very own Avanti Peters, KCA Administrative Coordinator, will be running and would love for you to join him.

    imageAvanti Peters at the 2009 Hyannis Marathon

    How does it work?
    The cost to register for our 2015 ASICS LA Marathon charity team is $100, discounted from $160. All official Team KCA runners will be required to fundraise a minimum of $1,000. The amount you raise will go directly toward providing treatment, nutritious food, and loving care to children and families affected by HIV.

    In return, Keep a Child Alive will provide you with the following:

    • Guaranteed discounted entry to the 2015 ASICS LA Marathon 
    • KCA racing jersey
    • KCA gift bag featuring a Buy Life t-shirt, Tweyambe wrap, and 2 KCA documentaries
    • Kiehl’s gift set
    • Online fundraising page and support
    • Regular e-mails with fundraising and marathon training tips

    I am currently training for my third marathon, the NYC Marathon, which will be on November 2, 2014. Training for and running a marathon is such a magical and spiritual experience. It is that much more rewarding knowing that you are helping someone else in the process. By raising $1,000, you will be able to provide three children affected by HIV with comprehensive care for one year. Raise more and you’ll make an even greater impact!

    imageMonica Merlis at the 2012 NYC Marathon Expo.

    We hope you will consider joining our team! Avanti and I will be with you along the way, supporting you in both your training and fundraising. He’ll even be running the marathon along with you. If you have any questions or want to join our team, please contact me at monica@keepachildalive.org or 646-762-8200 x1016.

    Best,
    Monica

    P.S. - Stay tuned for Avanti’s blog updates on his marathon training!

  3. 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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  4. 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.

  5. 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.