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.
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.
… And it felt great!
It was a beautiful, sunny day in New York this past Sunday at AIDS Walk NY! Keep a Child Alive’s mighty team raised over $73,000 and was the second highest ranked fundraising team! 75% of the funds raised will help KCA provide 155 children with a full year’s worth of HIV treatment, nutritious food, counseling, school supplies, and loving care. The remaining 25% will go to support the local efforts of GMHC. The amount of smiles you’re helping to create is exponential!
A special thank you to Jackie Nichols and Ian Jopson for their relentless commitment to KCA and consistently ranking in the top 6 fundraisers of the entire walk!
To our whole team, you have our heartfelt thanks! You make fundraising look like a walk in the park!
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!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-965-1111.
Thank you so much for your support!
This Valentine’s Day show you care in more ways than one. A signed Limited Edition Mr. Brainwash print is a lasting expression of love, as well as a beautiful reminder of your support for the children and families that Keep a Child Alive serves.
Mr. Brainwash created these limited edition prints solely for Keep a Child Alive in the support of raising money and awareness for children and families living with HIV in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and India. Your purchase will make a real difference in ensuring the future of our extended family.
Each print: is entitled ‘Keep a Child Alive’. It is signed and numbered by Mr. Brainwash, with a thumbprint on the back. These Limited Edition Mr. Brainwash pieces are screen printed on archival art paper. The dimensions of the piece are 22” x 30”.
To purchase prints for you or a loved one click the link below.
The Blue Roof Wellness Center is situated in Durban, South Africa. In partnership with the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and under the leadership of the wonderful Clinic Manager Tessa, this clinic has thrived during the last 9 months, doubling its reach to 2,700 clients. The Blue Roof supports children and families living with HIV by providing compassionate, quality care and other services such as cervical cancer screening, and nutritional and psychosocial support.
There are many reasons why the Blue Roof is special, but one in particular is the staff - many of which were former clients at the clinic. Their passion and dedication is immeasurable. This in itself is a testament to the success of services here, as well as the loving environment, which encourages clients to live full and healthy lives.
The Blue Roof also promotes linkages with local social service organizations, which helps to de-stigmatize the clinic. One such organization, the Molibongwe Senior Citizens Club, is a support group for elderly women, some of whom are raising their orphaned grandchildren. They come together to make beads, crafts, and even organize soccer games. They follow the South African Soccer team and have all become fitter because of it.
The Blue Roof is a model clinic and one that can be replicated in other communities. The Blue Roof staff are super special individuals, who continue to make a real difference in the lives of the people they serve.