Dec 13, 2016

Build a Positive Mindset - World AIDS Day with Children affected by AIDS

“I still cannot believe, but I have done it. I was able to share my status boldly among my friends and the care takers. I feel proud that I have done it, it was because of the encouragement, I got  from my leaders whose personal sharing in one of the support group has helped me to do it and also be responsible with my treatment” - expressed 10th standard orphan boy living chronic illness

It was  a wonderful moment for more than 40 young adolescents and their care takers (totalling to 80 participants) on December 3rd 2016 at the Government Hospital, Salem  to commemorate the World AIDS day with the theme "Build a Positive Mindset". This has been the first time, where the children and young people have been focussed and also played an important role  in the world AIDS day event. The  unique feature is that, the programme was co-ordinated by the young people  from the neighbouring district (Namakkal district) who have also battled the virus and living a life positively.

The programme was focussed in building the confidence in mind and started with the traditional welcome song, a brief understanding of world AIDS day and a commitment by the medical team, care takers and children in building a positive mindset. The candle was lighted by the hopsital dean in charge Dr. Rajasekaran and Dr.Arunachalam, Chief medical officer, Salem ART Centre who both gave wonderful speech in encouraging the young children and their care takers to look at lives more positively and emphasised that the foundation is being bold at heart to face the challenges.

The programme then continued with the children presenting their skit, life experiences and cultural events. A brief presentation was made on the activities of Buds of Christ at the Salem ART centre by Mr. Jeyapaul, Director of Buds of Christ and ended with all the children and care takers making a commitment to have a positive mindset about their lives.

The feedback :
“I have attended many programmes, but I felt here that we were all part of a big family” – expressed an adolescent orphan girl living with chronic ill condition

“I could not believe my child would perform so well  and this has been the first time in his life ,he has been on stage (14 years old) and I am happy he has been able to do it and also find friends here“ - a widow mother seeing her 14 year old child perform

“I was hesitant to come, because I discontinued my class this year ,as I met with an accident and had to be away from school for more than 2 months. I thought of not continuing my studies, but after coming to this programme, I have now got the confidence to go back to school next year and also will have a firm and a positive mindset” - expressed an 16 year old adolescent boy living with chronic ill health

Sep 27, 2016

“I don't know, how I am going to study and also look after my parents”

"I really don't know what to do, I feel cry like crying, I don't know, how I am going to study and also look after my parents” - expressed Keerthana during the visit at the hospital on the second day after her parents met with an accident.

Keerthana is the eldest child, 14 years old and living with HIV. Her younger sister (aged 9 years) and her parents are also living with HIV. Her father, a lorry driver does not support the family with his income as he spends most of the earnings on drinking. Keerthana 's mother was the sole earner, who worked as a coolie worker and supported the family. As the income her mother brings does not cater to the health and educational needs of Keerthana and her sister, the family was  closely followed up by Buds of Christ  to provide the psycho-social and the economic support for the family.

Few weeks before Keerthana's parents met with a very severe accident that caused multiple fractures resulting in bed ridden state for both her mother and father. In addition Keerthana is currently studying in 10th standard and is awaiting for her public examination, an important  year that decides her future studies.

Buds of Christ provided additional support during the last few weeks through home visits to support Keerthana in handling the stress of caring her parents, younger sister and also her own health. Close health monitoring and nutritional support was provided to the entire family. Keerthana was encouraged to continue schooling and also care of herself too. Her mother is much better now and able to support Keerthana in household works.

She has now successfully completed her quarterly exams and is also more confident in handling the care of her mother, father and her younger sister. In spite of all the struggled conditions, she is confident in saying;

“I would definitely pass with good grades in the final exams, because I have the confidence to do it and my friends in the support group are encouraging me too”.