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.
Meet Julia. At 12, she has run her first half-marathon, the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon, in honor of Keep a Child Alive. She had never run a race before, but she was motivated by her heart and passion to help others.
Julia’s dad taught her that she can’t do everything, but she can do something. She can’t save everyone, but she can reach out and help someone. So, Julianne has realized that she does have the power to make a difference… between life and death.
So far Julia has raised $534 (including both her iKeep a Child Alive fundraiser and other efforts) for KCA! Check out Julia’s personal ikeepachildalive fundraising page to learn more about her story and why she is so passionate about Keep a Child Alive.
This Mother’s Day Keep a Child Alive wants to highlight a mother who is leading the fight against HIV in her community: CHANTAL BENEKIGERI. A mother of three, Chantal is the Director of “WE-ACTx for Hope,” a KCA partner committed to helping rape victims and survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide access proper HIV treatment and care.
KCA chooses partners that often have dynamic women at the forefront, Chantal is no exception, she has devoted her life to providing love and compassion to mothers and children living with HIV in her native Rwanda.
During the Rwandan genocide, nearly one million people were killed in 100 days. Prior to the violence Chantal and her family fled to Kinshasha the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to seek refuge from conflict and political unrest. While in Kinshasha Chantal quickly discovered that caring for others came natural to her – she always felt the urge to nurse and take good care of anyone in need. That urge resulted in graduating from nursing school and working in the healthcare field from the start of her career. In 1996, when her native Rwanda had turned the tide on the war, Chantal decided to return home and put all of her passion and love to work.
Chantal and the rest of the staff from the WE-ACTx for Hope clinic in Rwanda and the KCA Programs Team.
Keep a Child Alive had the chance to talk to Chantal about her life and how she balances motherhood with her life-saving work:
When asked, why HIV? Chantal answers immediately: Because it’s a very difficult disease that is not accepted by many people.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you face as a mother and community leader? The biggest challenge is to be able to have enough time to see my children but you have to organize your time - I have time for my passion and I have time for my family.
Has being a mother influenced you as a leader? As mothers we learn many things, but I think that to be a mother and to be a good leader all you need is love and compassion.
What message would you like to give all mothers on this Mother’s Day? Love all children as your own but especially love them if they have this difficult disease. It’s not easy for a child to understand that they are living with HIV – love them and show them that there is hope – all they need is hope. Here at “WE-ACTx” we have learned through experience that if you don’t care and provide support for a child living with HIV they won’t take their medicine like they should. It’s really hard for orphans to go through this alone. So mothers all over the world, please give love to these children, regardless of their HIV status - all they need is love.
Mothers are the backbone of many Keep a Child Alive programs. Help these women continue to lead the way and make a Mother’s Day donation in their honor today.
DONATE HERE: keepachildalive.org/mothersday
Where are you originally from:
Johannesburg, South Africa
School you currently enrolled in or graduated from:
NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service
“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” - Marilyn Monroe
Favorite moment of all time:
Driving back from Durban to Johannesburg for 6 hours with my grandmother and 2 aunts. Sitting in the backseat intensely listening to my grandmother tell stories of her life and all that she’s endured. Instead of being depressing, she made us laugh incessantly through out the trip. It was during this ride that I learned how amazing my grandmother truly is.
How did you hear about Keep a Child Alive?
I’ve been aware of KCA for sometime now because of the work the organization does with access to HIV treatment. I have also been known to stalk the website on occasion
What is your role here?
Jade’s Essentials: Water, coffee, calculator, and Programs binders. She’s also a crafty lefty who manages to use the right-hand mouse - she’s very talented!
What is your passion?
My overall passion is my family
What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
I like to bake and try new recipes, but other than that dancing is my all time favorite.
Would you rather have super strength or super intelligence?
Definitely super intelligence, that’s power enough to rule the world.
If you could invite any 3 people to dinner, who would it be and why?
My grandfather because I’ve never met him - he passed away a week after I was born. My great-grandmother because she paved the way for the strong women in my family. Last but not least, Sade because I’m a huge fan and I adore her.
Jade posing happily with her gift from Chantal at WE-ACTx for Hope in Rwanda.
Being a fan of Alicia Keys is what introduced Chris Scott, Jr. to Keep a Child Alive and the real needs of those affected by HIV in Africa and India. LaShan Rose was more personally drawn to the organization having lost her father to AIDS. They were so inspired by Keep a Child Alive’s mission that they decided to hold a concert benefit, Be the Change, at the First Presbyterian Church of Germantown.
The event included live performances, poetry, and delicious food.
While planning the event was challenging, it was even more so empowering. In Chris’s own words, “When I sat down to plan this event, I had no idea it would be as great as it was..[as a result of the success]. I really plan to make this an annual event.” Be the Change surpassed its goal and successfully raised over $1,600!
This month, Chris will be enjoying his 10th Alicia Keys concert (coincidentally during the 10th anniversary of Keep a Child Alive)! Special thanks to Chris, LaShan, and the First Presbyterian Church of Germantown for thinking of Keep a Child Alive and the children and families we serve!
In honor of Keep a Child Alive’s 10th Anniversary, we are so pleased that Change Making Change has chosen us as their charity for the month of April! Change Making Change introduces children to philanthropy and encourages them to give to organizations that support kids around the world.
Did you know that approximately $10 billion are lost in couches, pockets, and on the ground? How often do you find coins laying around and not even pick them up, or leave pennies on the counter? Change Making Change has decided to address this by using this money that is “off the grid” to make a real difference in the lives of others!
All you need to do is pick up those pennies and go to your local Coinstar kiosk (there are roughly 17,000 kiosks around the country - find your local one here: http://bit.ly/171ghao). Donate your change to Change Making Change at any Coinstar kiosk during April and help children and families afffected by HIV in Africa and India. All donations to Change Making Change during April will support Keep a Child Alive. You can also learn more about Change Making Change and donate directly to Keep a Child Alive via their website: http://cmcfund.org/
Let your change start making change now!