Message from the Director
Newsletter for the supporters and friends of Walking With Children.
Fall / Winter 2008 Newsletter
The staff and I feel very satisfied with the overwhelming response from the community with the start up of our pilot Community Case Management program funded through the Global Fund. After only 4 weeks of initiating the technical phase of the project, we are serving 106 individuals (56 children and 50 adults) living with or vulnerable as a result of HIV.
We are finding that these families are now living with 2 and 3 generations in one household sharing only one income due to the economic challenges that Honduras and our world are facing. These families are sustaining themselves with less than $200 per month and are feeding/caring for an average of 8 people with this income. Even though we are not providing direct economic support to these families they share with us that they are happy to have us walking this journey alongside them and are grateful for the support we provide that they would otherwise not have obtained themselves.
Our Community Case Management program provides basic support services for children, adults and communities such as education in various topics like medication adherence, nutrition and family budgeting, external referrals for services in human rights, vocational training and housing, emotional and spiritual counseling and academic scholarships to name a few. Our focus is on improving the quality of care provided to HIV positive and vulnerable children so that they may remain in their homes and communities. We provide these services directly in their homes through professional social workers and trained case managers.
We are very thankful for the donations we have received this year as we know that many people in the US and around the world are feeling a heavy burden right now with the current economic crisis. Thank you to those who have continued to remember us in their giving despite their own financial challenges. And thank you to those who keep us in prayer and will remember us in their giving when they can. Happy Holidays! Chris Frederick Executive Director
Reaching Out to the First Families Iris, Luis and their 4 boys (17, 13, 11 and 5 years old) live in a 10â€™x12â€™ room. Their average monthly income is $160 brought in by the father who works full time in road topography. Both parents have HIV but thankfully their children do not. The family struggles are: extreme poverty, domestic violence, lack of basic education, malnutrition and future planning for the children if something were to happen to one or both parents. Walking with Children will be connecting this family to services that will help them legally plan for the future of their children. We will refer this family to the World Food Bank for basic food baskets, provide direct counseling services to the adults and children regarding domestic violence issues and will facilitate academic scholarships for Iris and the boys to help with improving their economic future. This multi-generational family of 10 members, all live together. Three are living with HIV. The two males of the household work as a fee collector on a public bus and as a taxi driver. The young 18-year-old girl is currently pregnant for the 2nd time and is HIV positive. The struggles of this household are domestic violence, extreme poverty (monthly income is $32 per person), lack of basic education and two adults and one child living with HIV. Walking with Children will provide direct education to this family in areas of family planning, HIV prevention and family budgeting. Our academic scholarships will assist with educating the women so that in the future they may bring in additional income. We also will be working with a community day care so that these children will receive nutrition supplementation and basic care during the day so that the women can study and work.
WWC Staff Our staff currently provides home based Community Case Management services to 106 beneficiaries (14 families) in fourteen communities around the capital city of Honduras. They take public transportation, walk and sometimes climb to reach our families. Of these families we care for, 56 of the members are children. Our technical team is made up of 2 Social Workers, 2 Case Managers and 1 Psychologist who is our Director of Programs. We plan to expand our team over the next 9 months. Within 6 months our goal is to admit a total of 250 family members (50 families) and currently have a list of 75 families waiting for our services. This photo to the right, shows the overwhelming response from individuals living with HIV when we presented our services to them at the start up of our Community Case Management Program. They have expressed a deep gratitude to our staff as they enter their homes and learn of their families’ needs.
Foster Care Program Continues But Needs More Support Fortunately we continue to provide services to two children in our Walking with Children Foster Care Program; however, we have been prohibited from expanding due to reduced financial support throughout 2008. The funding from the Global Fund for our Community Case Management Program has provided for 80% of our administrative expenses and has allowed us to hire professional staff. However, these funds are not designated for our Foster Care Program, which is solely funded by the donations we receive from you. We have been able to care for Roxana and Miguel with the donations received at the end of last year and the ones obtained throughout this year. Both Roxana and Miguel are doing well on antiretroviral therapy. We have been coordinating their care with our foster families and planning for their future. Miguel, now 17, has had ups and downs with his behavior but is currently stable after a “reality check” from the Judge of Minors as to the potential consequences that will occur if he continues down a path of rebellion. Walking with Children provides for Miguel’s basic care and nutritional requirements, pays for his medical care and funds his high school education. We will assist Miguel to achieve his goal of entering into a vocational education program to learn car mechanics during his summer break along with finding a part time job to keep him occupied. He receives psychological and spiritual support from our team. One hundred percent of Miguel’s living expenses are covered by your donations.
Roxana, 12 years old, had some success with the math tutor we provided during the school year but will still have to re-take her math exam in January in order to pass 7th grade. She is currently enjoying her summer vacation, visiting her friends at Montaña de Luz and studying for her final exam. Walking with Children provides for Roxana’s basic care, education and medical expenses while her foster family helps with her nutritional expenses. We continue to facilitate psychological support for Roxana for her adjustment to family living. Financial situation: Donations to date, 2008: $12,301.00 This time last year, 2007: $33,550.00 Next week we will hear from the Catholic Mission Appeal of Wisconsin as to the amount we raised in September of this year. We are hoping that this amount along with the other churches and individuals that donated last year at this time will help us close out this year with enough support to continue caring for Miguel and Roxana in 2009 and expand our foster care program. We understand the reality of the economic crisis in the US and see the effects of it on a daily basis in Honduras as well. We pray that after the first of the year things will start to improve for us all. If you are unable to donate to our foundation this year, please keep us in your prayers and thoughts and consider us when it becomes financially possible for you.
Walk with us…donate online at www.walkingwithchildren.org Or mail a donation to our US based fiscal sponsor:
Walking With Children c/o One Heartland (formerly Camp Heartland) 4425 N. Port Washington Road, Suite 107 Milwaukee, WI 53212