Agape Home for HIV Positive Children, a four-bedroom home that cares for 10 children infected with HIV, is run by Aaron Jackson of Hollywood and John Dieubon, a Haitian translator and missionary. The home opened in June near another orphanage Jackson and Dieubon established for orphans without HIV. The budget for Agape Home is roughly $2,000 a month, which includes food and school tuition for the children and a local staff of two. The budget is paid by the Homeless Voice, a 9-year-old homeless advocacy group run by activist Sean Cononie. Jackson regularly travels to Haiti to help manage the orphanages. Agape Home is part of Planting Peace, an organization created by Jackson and sponsored chiefly by the Homeless Voice.
Albert Schweitzer Hospital
For 50 years, the Albert Schweitzer Hospital has provided medical care and community health services to the 385,000 impoverished people in the Artibonite Valley of central Haiti. It has begun to help children infected with HIV and has community health workers who travel hundreds of miles to take medicine to children and adults in remote villages.
Batey Relief Alliance
Batey Relief provides clinics, mobile medical units and educational programs in bateyes, communities of ethnic Haitian migrants who worked the sugar cane fields in the Dominican Republic. In recent years, Batey Relief's work has increasingly dealt with HIV/AIDS. An estimated 200,000 Haitians live in the bateyes, born in the Dominican Republic but not considered citizens. They face discrimination and poverty, which has led to poor health care and HIV infection rates two to three times higher than the rest of the country.
The Centre d'Aide au Développement works with street children and other orphans in central Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It has a school, dormitory and recreation center for about 280 children. Hundreds more street children are helped. Despite political turmoil and sporadic funding, the center is trying to begin testing and to provide medical treatment for HIV-infected street children and
restaveks, child servants, common in Haiti. Most of its funding comes from UNICEF and countries such as Japan and Taiwan.
Casa Rosada, or the Pink House in English, is the only orphanage in the Dominican Republic that will accept children with HIV/AIDS. It is home for 50 children, ages 10 months to 15 years, whose parents have died or abandoned them in hospitals near Santo Domingo. It is run by Catholic nuns and recieves funding from public and private organizations, including the Catholic church. Anti-retroviral medicine is provided by the Dominican government.
Ray and Trisha Comfort took in their first child orphaned by AIDS in 2004, and they now care for nine children in a rented three-bedroom home in Verrettes, Haiti. The home can hold 10 children comfortably, but the couple say they could take at least six more than that if necessary. They say they will not turn away a child. They have just started building a new orphanage for 80 on land outside La Chapelle, Haiti.. The couple works closely with UNICEF and the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti. They also receive funding from the Episcopal church they attended in South Carolina. They spend roughly $2,500 each month taking care of the children and estimate it will cost $50,000 to build the new orphanage. So far, they have spent $60,000 of their personal savings.
How to help
Some of the clinics, orphanages and centers that help children orphaned by AIDS in Caribbean:
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