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.

  1. SMART & RESPONSIBLE TEENS

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

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    Earlier this year, Tayla Colton, KCA’s Senior Director of Programs, and I spent time with the staff and clients at the Family Care Clinic (FCC), a pediatric HIV center located in Mombasa, Kenya, within the busy Coast Provincial Hospital.

    Dr. Shaffiq Essajee, a world-renowned pediatric HIV specialist, founded and continues to run this small miracle of a clinic, which in fact, was our very first partner back in 2003, the year Keep a Child Alive was founded.

    During our time there we learned of an exciting new initiative targeting the needs of young people living with HIV, a group that is often stigmatized, misunderstood and underserved.

    The highlight of the visit was an opportunity to meet with the group leading this initiative: Smart and Responsible Teens. Forty-members strong, the close-knit group was formed to provide peer support, meeting regularly to discuss topics such as addressing stigma, taking medications, and disclosing one’s HIV status to friends and family.  

    A new member, Jonathan (not his real name) had joined the group on the day of our visit. At fourteen years old, he had been in the care of FCC for many years, but he didn’t know why he went to this particular clinic or why even he was taking medicine—his HIV-positive status had yet to be disclosed to him (the clinic respects parents wishes of how and when to inform their child). 

    Jonathan’s mother who for years had been counseled by FCC’s Dr. Samira, decided that today was the day she would tell her son— and so, for the first time Jonathan learned that he was HIV-positive.  Obviously devastated, he was comforted by the team.

    imageDr. Samira introduced Jonathan to one of the leaders of Smart and Responsible Teens, who invited him to join the group meeting scheduled later in the day. During our discussion with the teens, Jonathan spoke out, bravely retelling his story and expressing already his gratitude for the group’s support.

    He left that day with the phone numbers and email addresses of other members, with the confidence of new friends, of teens like him who knew his challenges well and who could guide him through the more difficult of times—including while he is away at school.

    Jonathan’s story illustrates the importance of programs and services directed not only to young people but led by young people,  groups that can provide an additional layer of support atop, in the case of FCC, an already loving and dedicated clinical team.

    I admire in this group a level of organization and ambition that stands well beyond the years of its members. Smart and Responsible Teens offers invaluable insights to the team at FCC, detailing exactly what it can do and what the group itself can do to better meet the particular needs of young people living with HIV. 

    And they are dreaming big—recently requesting help to construct a youth center on the hospital grounds where the group can take classes, hold support meetings, and above all—have some fun.

    We are hoping to make it happen soon! 

    - Peter

  2. Picture Your Child, Help Another.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    We are so excited to partner again with photographer, Anna Campanelli, for a family photo shoot in the Newswalk Building on Sunday, May 4. The perfect Mother’s Day gift!

    100% of the purchase price will benefit Keep a Child Alive and go toward bringing life-saving treatment, nutritious food, and loving care to children and families affected by HIV in Africa and India.

    Anna is offering a limited number of free 30-minute portrait sessions.

    Print Pricing: 12x16” is $100; 8x10” is $50; and 5x7” is $25. If you spend more than $300, you will receive a CD of all the images, high resolution and retouched.

    The Newswalk Building is located at 535 Dean Street between 6th Avenue and Carlton Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.  

    To schedule your portrait session, please contact Anna at 917-361-9859 or visit www.annacampanelli.com.

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  3. Keep a Child Alive strongly condemns Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act.

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    On February 24th, the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, signed a bill that threatens life in prison for Ugandan gays and harsh penalties for those who advocate on behalf of the LGBT community. The Anti-Homosexuality Act has already been criticized around the world, as it is a violation of basic human rights.

    Keep a Child Alive strongly condemns Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act. This deplorable law infringes not only on the human rights of the LGBT population, but the human rights of all Ugandans. Worse still, Museveni’s actions have jeopardized years of progress in the fight against HIV.

    By criminalizing homosexuality, Uganda is pushing an already vulnerable population away from HIV/AIDS testing and treatment. This law forcing many Ugandans into hiding, and threatens our goal of an AIDS-free generation.

    Since 2004, KCA has worked closely with Kampala, Uganda-based organization, Alive Medical Services, to provide comprehensive HIV treatment, care, and support to more than 11,000 children and families.

    Despite the government missteps, Keep a Child Alive and Alive Medical Services remain committed to providing compassionate services and loving support to ALL those affected by HIV. We are determined to uphold the rights of people everywhere.

    Capturing our sentiment is Dr. Pasquine Ogunsanya, Founder and Director of Alive Medical Services. “Before the bill was even a thought, we made a promise to love, to serve and to never discriminate,” said Dr. Ogunsanya. “We believe everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, deserves to be treated with love, dignity and respect. It’s what we’ve always done and what we will continue to do.”

    Add your voice to the call for human rights and tolerance for all.
    https://www.allout.org/en/actions/kill-the-bill

  4. We’re having a S’well week, why don’t you join us?

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    imageLast September, we entered a partnership with S’well and well, we’re happy to say that it is just that! Even more so this week, as we’re excited to announce that we are part of their “Causes we Love” campaign (the feeling is mutual image)!

    From now until Sunday, March 2, for each additional KCA Limited Edition S’well bottle you purchase, a higher percentage will be donated!

    To sum it up, you can look stylish, keep your cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours, AND help children and families affected by HIV get the treatment and care they need. (By the way, have you heard how drinking lots of water makes you feel more energized and even helps your skin?)

    How does it work?
    Buy 1 and S’well will donate 10% ($3.50)
    Buy 2 and S’well will donate 20% ($15)
    Buy 3 and S’well will donate 30% ($31.50)
    Buy 4 and S’well will donate 40% ($56)
    Buy 5 and S’well will donate 50% ($87.50)

    So what does that mean?
    If you buy 2 bottles, you can ensure that children living with HIV in Rwanda can come together for an amazing day of fun, games, and peer support. Days like this are the encouragement they need to stay on treatment and remember that they can have a healthy future.

    If you buy 3 bottles, you can ensure that one child living with HIV will have a full month’s worth of treatment, food, counseling, and the loving care they need. AKA you’re giving hope to someone who may not have it.

    Buy even more, and your impact will be that much greater!

    So now what?

    Something tells me your friends deserve a present this week…

    You can purchase your KCA Limited Edition S’well bottles right here.

  5. You’re in for a meaningful ride!

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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    And so am I!

    On Sunday, May 4th, I’ll be participating with 32,000 other cyclists in the 37th Annual TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI. I will be riding in honor of Keep a Child Alive and I’d love for you to join me.

    The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is a scenic 40-mile ride across New York City’s 5 boroughs. For one day, the roads are ours, the bridges are ours, the city is ours. The TD Five Boro Bike Tour always sells out - but I’ve managed to snag one of the limited charity spots on Keep a Child Alive’s team (hey— I guess it doesn’t hurt that I work there)! You can, too!

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    How does it work?

    You raise a minimum of $750 in support of Keep a Child Alive. 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 entry to the TD Five Boro Bike Tour
    • Online fundraising page
    • Priority start in the first wave
    • Breakfast and lunch available on the day-of
    • Monthly e-mails with fundraising and biking tips
    • Limited Edition KCA S’well Bottle
    • KCA T-shirt
    • Someone happy to help you through this whole process (me)!

    It’s really an incredible experience and it will feel that much more rewarding knowing that you are helping someone else. By raising $750, you will be able to provide two children affected by HIV with comprehensive care for one year. Raise more and you’ll have an even greater impact!

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    One more thing, I am absolutely terrified of biking! My brother took off my training wheels before I learned how to ride, and in college I fell off a bike in Central Park. Now when I ride, all my fear goes into my clenched hands. But May 4th is my birthday and this is my present to myself— to overcome my fear and to help others in the process. I am not making any excuses this year, and I hope you don’t either.

    I’d love to have you on the Keep a Child Alive team! If not, I invite you to donate to my campaign.

    To get started, you can contact me at monica@keepachildalive.org or call 718-965-1111.

    Thank you so much for your support!

    Much love,
    Monica