We are a non-profit, non-denominational, staffed by volunteers, organization devoted to fighting
the AIDS epidemic in Roatan, Honduras. Our major focus is on reducing the incidence of mother to
child transmission of the virus both at birth and via breast milk.
Have a question? We welcome your feedback. Please contact us:
Phone: 1.403.823.8082 or 1.403.823.3833
Join our Facebook page here!
NOVEMBER 16, 2012
Fred Makowecki was recently interviewed by CTV about the Morgan Jayne Project.
Check out the video here.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2012
We had a question from someone regarding our school sponsorship program...so here is goes:
Hi Thanks for being interested. There i s nothing that changes a child’s future so dramatically than when we properly educate them. The public schools in Honduras are badly underfunded and the teachers very poorly trained.. their education is what we would consider a grade six education in Canada. Many children do not go to school at all as they cannot afford the uniforms. A recent study in Roatan by the education committee showed that only 20 %of children between 5 and 15 were attending school.
There are many ways you can help!
To sponsor a child for our school is one of the best ways you can make a difference. The cost is $600 a year or $50 a month for 12 months. That can be paid in one sum, two payments of $300 or monthly at $50. You can send the payments to The Morgan Jayne Project. We ask that you commit to a year of sponsorship at the minimum as it becomes very difficult when we have to withdraw a child because his or her sponsor stopped paying. There is an additional cost of $50 for the uniform at the beginning of the year for uniform and you can chose to donate that or make the family responsible for that cost. We can give you suggestions for a child off our waiting list or you can just tell us to pick the next child on the list. It easier right now as we can just quote children off the Christmas list and you can read about them there. We will give you their first name and details and you may email the child through me, we can set up Skype dates or you can come visit them! You can send them school supplies or gifts any time through the year.
If you want to read a little about some of our children who need sponsoring they are on the Christmas list. I’m quoting thier numbers but if there are two from one family you don’t have to pick them both, we will suggest the other child to the next donor so both siblings can attend school.
1) 1 - Jamaya
2) 4 - David
3) 6 - Brian and Brianna
4) 8 - Jenny Elizabeth (for kinder)
5) 9 - Deshawna, Isaha and Christopher
6) 16 - Jack - (kinder)
7) 27 - Jennifer Dariella
glasses 36 Veria
9) 40 - Shantaye and Shamaye
10) 52 - Kristoff
11) 55 - Osnie and Aisha
12) 56 - Shaniri and Shania
Of course if you can’t sponsor a child you can still help by sending back packs, school supplies, black shoes, white socks and teachers’ supplies. Every pencil helps!
SEPTEMBER 18, 2012
CHRISTMAS IN ROATAN
Hello! Thank you for wanting to be part of bringing Christmas to Roatan. These are the children in our program who come from families affected by HIV who will not receive a Christmas present if you do not choose them. They come from families who have to struggle every day to feed their children so there is little leftover .We have written a little about each of the children but kept them in their family groups. You can select one child or do the whole family. We have tried to give you ideas about what each child might like but please don’t feel limited to these ideas! Sometimes the best presents are the ones we never would have thought of. The children all need clothes and shoes and if you can do that please do, but don’t feel obligated. All of the school age children will also need school shoes (black) and backpacks and school supplies so you could send those instead of a toy. The school season goes February to November here to avoid the rainy season. Even though the children put in a request for certain toys we are always careful to explain they may not get what they asked for.
You will notice that many of the mothers of babies want disposable diapers. We are very aware of the environmental issues involved with these but our rainy season is four months long ( Nov - Feb) and if you do not have a dryer (which NONE of our clients do) you cannot get cloth diapers to dry in your living room for weeks, our air is so humid. The rest of the year we heavily support using only cloth diapers. You may send food stuffs (powdered milk, peanut butter, Kraft dinner, canned meats, baby cereal, nuts, etc) to a family if you wish. If you send candy please make it is in a zip lock bag so if it melts it will not destroy the gifts.
We do not give the children used toys or clothes as Santa only brings new things. Every child deserves to have new things and be special once a year. If you have good second hand clothes we welcome them but we will distribute them in the New Year. The exception is used video games, Gameboys, Xboxes etc. as they are so desired here. If you have an old one the works we will gladly take it.
If you would like to give our office a present we need HP printer ink in # 21, 22 and 27
We welcome presents for the Moms and Dads as well!
Please don’t wrap the presents as customs will have to unwrap them. Please, if you send candy put in a zip lock bag in case it melts on the way here or gets waterlogged on the boat If you send a toy requiring batteries please send extra batteries. Please no guns!
1) JAMAYA (6 years) and ADRIAN (1 year) these two little ones were abandoned by their mother and their Dad, a taxi driver, is trying hard to raise them himself. He spent a few weeks at our shelter (our first Dad!) and then found a new place to live. Jamaya has been sad without her Mom and has had to struggle with constant infections. She tells Santa that she would like a bicycle, or a baby doll with a bed. She is a size 6. Adrian is a lively, beautiful boy who likes to laugh and LOVES his Dad. Dad says he would like something to push that makes music or anything that makes noise!
2) These three little girls live with their Mom in a small house in East end. The Rotary club of Rossland recently made them a project on their recent visit so they now have a cement floor, instead of dirt, walls and an outdoor toilet. DAIRA is ten and would like clothes and a dishes set. She is a quiet, serious little girl and helps her Mom with the baby. She is a size 12. NIRICI is three and shy at first but then loves to laugh and play. She wants a ride on- toy but as they live on a hill I’m thinking that not is the best choice. Perhaps a stroller and a doll or a wagon. Baby NICERI is four months old and needs disposable diapers (for rainy season), cloth diapers and a playpen or small crib.
3) JAYDON is two months old and is the child of a VERY young Mom. He needs clothes, diapers, rattles and a bed. Mom is dyslexic and can’t read but baby books with pictures she could talk to him about would be wonderful.
4) DAVID, age 9, is our super-hero; he has gone through so much illness and still comes out smiling. He would like a remote control car or some sort of video game ( it doesn’t have to be new).He is a size 10.His big sister CARLA is thirteen and loves the pretty Barbies with long dresses. She would like some furniture or something to go with the Barbie so she can play with her. She loves pretty clothes and she is a size 14. The little sister NEREYDA is five years old and has the sweetest little smile. She would like a kitchen set or a Dora doll.
5) This very resilient mom is raising her daughter as well as two grandchildren. ASHANTI is 12 and still very much a little girl. She would like a snow cone maker (she saw one on TV) or something to make necklaces and crafts. She is a size 12. JAMES is two now and likes big cars and trucks. HE is a rough, tough little guy so please buy him something strong. He is a size 3. EVOLIT is a little princess, her grandma is helping raise her after her father was killed by Columbians. She is a size three and loves clothes, purses, and would like a princess blanket or suitcase.
6) BRIAN aged 12 and BRIANNA aged 10 were recently orphaned when their Mom died. They spend a lot of time at our office and we make sure they are fed Brain says he’d like a remote car and he really needs black school shoes size 12. He says he wants a video game but they have no power. If you have an old playstation or something we will hook it up in our office for them and other children to use. Brian is a size 4 shoe, size 12 clothes. His sister Brianna is the brains and the boss of this pair. She makes sure Brian and her get to school, eats and gets them to church on Sundays beautifully turned out. Brianna would like church clothes (size 10); new school shoes as well (size 3 girls). She also wants a bicycle but when I explained to her that Santa might have a hard time getting a bike on his sleigh she said she will take a baby doll.
7) DESTINY is one year old and a smiley little chubby thing with her hair always beautifully braided. Her momma says she would like a doll or something musical. She is a size 24 months or 2.
8) JENNY ELIZABETH is four and a bossy, very bright little girl. She tells me she wants a doll stroller and a big ball but not the soccer ball she says but ‘a ‘bootiful’ ball with stars and sparkles (That may be difficult LOL) She is a size 5. As outgoing as jenny is, her sister TERESEA (age 8) is quiet and shy. She would like a toy toaster or pots or dishes or a baby doll with a stroller. She particularly wants a nice backpack for school. She is a size 8.
9) DESHAWNA is 12 and spends most of the time looking after her little brothers. They live in the “Swamp”
(a poor area of town) in a shack with a dirt floor and no power. She would like Barbies and clothes or
accessories, hair things and jewelry. She is a size 12. Her brother ISAIHA is seven and loves motorcycles
and would like some Lego, he is a size10. Christopher is five and likes dump trucks and tells me he wants
Power Rangers. CHRISTOPHER, AGE 5 like his mother, is affected by dwarfism so he is short and chubby
(size 3x) He likes helicopters and toy animals. The baby of the family is CRISTAIN and he is two and loves
cars, trucks and ride’em toys, HE is also a size 3X but thinner.
10) VENERY is 14 and our longest living child in our program with AIDS. She is thoughtful and quiet and likes crafts and music. She is a size 16. Her brother WILLARD (BO) is 12 and athletic and LOVES computers, football (soccer) or Star Wars. He is a size 14. The littlest brother PRINCE is three and loves to sing and loves big cars and trucks and puzzles. HE is a size 4.
11) Grandma is raising all five of her grandchildren and struggles with no job. DARLENEY is seven and the little mother as the oldest girl. She likes Barbies, play dishes, play food and to build things. She is a size 10. WILLIAM at eight is a big boy that struggles at school and would like a soccer ball and anything to do with super heroes He loves music and he would like a guitar. He is a size 12. RAMOS, at six years, is all action and probably is affected by a hyper active disorder; HE needs tough toys like him! He is a size 6X or 8. ANGEL is five years old and a little calmer. He would like books, puzzles and paints. He also likes transformers. EMANUEL is two years old and likes puzzles and cars. HE is a little chubby (Yah formula program!) and is a size 3X.
12) SHERANI is eight years old and loves school and art and would like some sort of toys that would help her design things. She wants beads for her hair or a Barbie car. She is very thin and a size 10. Her Mom and her have had help this year to build a little house under her mother’s house so they have a home this year!
13) EMMA is fourteen and likes music and hair bands and black clothes and Monster High dolls. She is a chubby 16.Her brother DANIEL is nine and likes Transformers and outside games. HE is a size 10.Their little sister ELIZABETH, age four, was born blind and would benefit from toys that makes sounds or are touchable. Her big sister has made her a dollhouse and she would like Santa to send Elizabeth some little dolls and furniture for it.
14) EDDIE aged 12 has had a hard year, He has been in trouble in school and at home and we are all worried about him. He lives in the Swamp, a very tough neighborhood, and his influences have been bad. I’m thinking a building set, perhaps models he can make or something that will give him a sense of accomplishment or success would be a good bet for him. He loves Hummers. GLENDIS is eleven and would like a MONSTER HIGH doll (a popular doll here) and any accessories like a toy car as well as something to read. She is a size ten.
15) SELENA is one and very curious, her dad just left her pregnant mom after infecting her so money is very tight. Selena is a size 18 months and would benefit from some complex toys that will challenge her. She could also use both cloth and disposable diapers. Baby clothes for the upcoming baby or a bassinette would really be appreciated as well.
16) Their 21 year old Mom has her hands full with these four. SHARIKA age 7 is the toughest little girl in our school and is willing to fight anyone at the drop of a hat. Let’s think of some really active toys for her. She is a size 6X. DORIS JAKIMA age 5 is in kinder this year and wants a doll with a stroller or a doctor set. She is a size 5. JACK age 4 loves cars and motorcycles. He is a size 5. JOHN aged 3 is the baby of the family and loves airplanes and airports He is a size 4.
17) This is the family who were at the top of last year’s list as Carlos (who was 5 then) asked for powdered milk for his baby sister. CARLOS is six now and goes to school for the first time. He would like a new backpack (ben10) and school supplies. He loves trains. He is a size 6x. Justin, his little brother is four and would like Santa to bring him a horse! I explained that Santa has limited room on his sled so he said a bunny would be all right. If someone picks him and sends a dish and some bunny food and five dollars I will buy him two bunnies to go with them ( much cheaper than a horse and they maybe able to breed and provide a little income).If not then he likes toy animals. ISABELLA is three and a size four. She is a stunningly beautiful child who doesn’t talk. I thought she was just shy with me but her mother tells me she has never talked so we will wait for the audiologists to come next year to have her checked out. She loves clothes and tells me she would like a princess dress for Christmas. She loves to play dress up so costumes and costume jewelry would be great.
18) BRIAN aged 11 and LUIS aged 8 are two new boys to the program. Their Mom sells trinkets on the beach. They both like soccer, and active play toys. Brian loves planes and helicopters and anything to do with the army and Luis loves Batman.
19) AVA, aged two died this year from diarrhea. Her mom wanted me to thank the person who sent her the beautiful clothes and toys last year. We buried her in the dress.
20) This little boy’s young mom died giving birth to him. He is now living with relatives on the Mainland but he comes back for Christmas with us. HENRY is four now and a happy little guy who loves Lego and making things. He also loves Transformers.
21) BALERIE KRYSTAL, age eight This little girl has had a much better year in school with the help of a Canadian volunteer who has come to be her special teacher. She LOVES pretty clothes and is our “princess” She would like Books (English or Spanish) and a pink ball. She loves Barbie’s and princesses. She is a size 10.
22) ELISABETH JANE is three years old and a very chubby little girl. She would like a baby doll that comes with a little bed she tells me! Her young mom gave birth to twins very prematurely last year and one died shortly after birth. Baby WESLEY survived at just under two pounds as we took him from the hospital that had decided to let him die and cuddled him day and night until he survived. Wesley is a year old now and is still small for his age but has a smile that lights up the room. He wears a size 9 months clothes and can really use toys that encourage him to move and develop his gross motor skills.
23) PATTY, age 12 is a happy, bright girl who loves music. Her and her sister DARIELLA, 14 years old would like something that plays music and jewelry or hair stuff. Patty wants a Twister game. Patty is a size 12, Dariella is a size 16.
24) Elizabeth is 14 years and loves soccer and loves to talk and go to church. She won a scholarship to a prestigious high school on the mainland playing soccer but her Mom who has lost bother her son and her father in the past year cannot bring herself to let her go. She would love a soccer ball or soccer uniform or a hand held soccer game. She is a size 14. Her sister, Ritza is 10 years loves to read and sing in church and is also a soccer fan. She is also asking for a soccer ball and a soccer uniform (Preferably in pink or purple!)She is a size 12. She would also like a flashlight. BRIDGETTE is 9 years old and plays with Barbies and loves to help her Mom sew. She would like some Barbies with clothes or some craft activities. She is a size 8. Baby JOHN ELDON aged 1 was born a few days after his Uncle Eldon died so was named after him. John Eldon is a big boy, and they would like an umbrella stroller or a wagon for him. Their Mom sews for a living and wants me to ask you to send any fabric you may have lying around or sheets. Little JENNY, age seven is still homeless with her mom and baby brother. Clothes (size 8) for her and for her baby doll
(Cabbage patch size) that Santa brought her last year would be great. JACKSON is almost three and loves trucks.
25) EMMA is fourteen and does not go to school as she takes care of her Mom. She is so grown up I have a hard time remembering her age. Some perfumes, creams and soaps or some hair things would be good. Can you think of anything that would give her a little childhood back?
26) ALEX is nine years old. He has had a very hard year and has been sent to a youth detention facility on the mainland (yes, read kid jail that resembles hellhole). I would like Santa to send him a soccer ball and some clothing. He is a size 12
27) JENNIFER DARIELA is five and loves food. She would like kitchen things or something educational. She is a size 7 or 8.
28) This family is having such a struggle. The Mom has gone blind and the Dad cannot find work.
GLENDY (girl) age 16 is tall and thin, she would like to have makeup/toiletries and clothes. She has also asked for a jewelry box. LUDI (boy) aged 14 loves soccer and video games and puzzles.
CHRISTIAN is 11 years old and loves to play with cars He would like a remote control car of any kind or a ride on scooter. He is a size 14. KEVIN is six years old and wants a firetruck or fire station set. Clothes would be great as well. He is a size 6x.
29) This family has a working father which is unusual for our program. Dad is a labourer but all his money goes for rent and food. They have no power or running water but they are a happy family.
SERGIO is 14 years old is an honour student again this year and still likes remote control cars or trucks or trains. He would love rollerblades size 8. CARLA is 12 years old and she is very shy and would love a makeup set with lotions and creams and hair accessories. She has pierced ears and would also like a pair of earrings. She is a size 14. ALBERT is 11 years old and loves airplanes. He was suspended twice this year for “flying” off the top floor of the school. Maybe a remote control plane? He is a size 12 but thin
ADOLPHO is 8 years loves action figures. He is a size 10.
30) Some of our kids end up great foster homes and these are two: DAMIEN-LEON 13 is getting interested in being a doctor. He wants a chemistry set. ROXANNA ages 8 is the baby of her family and alternates between being very sweet or very bossy. She wants puppets to make a puppet show or some puzzles. She is a size 10.
31) SAMUEL aged 14 has found a home with his auntie so has had a much more settled year since then; He would like a soccer ball and something that plays music. He is a size 12
32) This little family improved rapidly when their two oldest girls were sponsored for school and benefited from the breakfast program. JASMIN is seven years old and wants books and a baby doll. She is a size 6
Norma is six years old but doesn’t like baby dolls She wants an etch-a-sketch or a wagon. She is a size 5.
JOSE is three and wants “a great big truck”. It is interesting to see how much the formula program has made a difference in this family as the first two girls who were not in the program are tiny and frail. Jose is a big strong healthy looking boy and is a size 4.
33) We see less of this family this year as things are much better for them with two parents working but the kids are looking forward to Santa! FAVIOLA is 14, is shy and timid, tall and thin. She would like clothes or jewelry or cosmetics. DANIELLA is eight and still loves Hannah Montana. She wants a baby doll with a carriage or a skipping rope. JORGE is 7 and likes Max Steel. He likes matchbook cars and planes.
34) This Mom was so sick at one point that she weighed 79 lbs. I am still amazed every time I see her to see how great she looks now. ERIC aged seven: Eric is a quiet shy little boy who would like a model plane or model car set. DAISY is three years old and tall and thin with a sweet nature. She would like a doll but her Mom has asked if anyone can find a dress or t-shirt with a daisy on it for her so she can see the flower she is named after (no Daisy’s here!) She is a size 4.
35) This family is a piece of our programs history. Their youngest child is the last baby to test positive in our program now! (almost three years with a zero transmission rate) GENISIS (girl) 4 years. Although being positive is doing well and is a sweet happy child. She wants a ball for Christmas. NANCY age 15 loves to dress up and do her hair. She is a woman’s size 5. ANTHONY 10 Loves to make music. He would like a drum set. GABRIEL 7 (boy) loves building and cars and trucks.
36) This single mom has three precious little girls VERIA, aged 6, NATALIA aged 3 and new baby DEBORAH aged 5 months. Their Mom left her abusive boyfriend earlier this year so they have no toys so any toys or clothes are appreciated.
37) This little girls mom is a fighter. Last year she was badly beaten and raped. This past year she has devoted her energies to having her attacker prosecuted. This is rare in this country where women are very disempowered. JADE (girl) age 9 is a little chubby, very smiley, happy girl who loves to cook; she would like a baking set and a new blanket for herbed as rainy season is coming.
38) This family live in a poorly constructed building with two other families. OLVIN age 11 (boy) loves Star wars and would like anything to do with them. JOSE age 12 a happy boy who would like a radio.
JEDIA is six years old and she would like a little suitcase with wheels.9hmm..Maybe she’s leaving home?)
39) This little family believes in education and their daughters are both sponsored for schools they are very happy. KEILEY (girl 14) A very smart girl who loves to joke around. She would like a camera
WENDI age 11, would like some school supplies, a backpack and a jewelry making kit. JESSIEL 6 (boy) would like a soccer ball and a uniform!
40) These two little girls mom has started a new business selling souvenirs to cruise ship passengers, so if you’re ever on a cruise remember when you bargain down an item how important hat few dollars is to them! SHANTAYE 7, a cute little girl with beautifully braided hair.She wants books, a toy horse with a Barbie. SHAMAYE 6 yrs is adorable. She likes to make believe so anything that encourages her imagination!
41) O'NEIL is 7 years and is the only child of one of our children living with HIV, old enough to have her own child!! He is all boy and wants a collar and a bowl for his dog (medium sized).
42) These children live in a small house without power or water but their mom does the best she can and fishes and picks mangos and fruit to keep them fed. JARROLD (boy 11), is quiet but very smart and loving. He still loves transformers. STACEY (girl 16) wants school supplies or clothes or a watch. She is a size 16
LORENSO 13, Supports his family by selling mangos and fish. He would like a radio or a radio control boat
Jaden three years. Thin and tall he has an infectious smile and wants a ride’em toy or a wooden puzzle.
43)This family of girls are all attending school now and doing well!. JAHAYRA aged 6 Wants toy dishes or pots and pans. JAS (girl) aged 7. Wants Pet shop animals. JANESSA aged 13. Wants a journal, some art supplies and a mirror!
44) These two children are blooming! They are both sponsored for school and their Mom has found work cleaning. CHRISTIAN (boy aged 6), has a lisp and is so sweet and gentle. He loves the Bible stories and wants a kids Bible so tries with pictures (in English is great) or a boat. TERESA a (girl aged 13) loves books, and interesting scientific things. Last year she was thrilled to get some science experiment kits and would like more!
45) LOUISA aged 7 is our little toughie, who has changed! Her new Mom tells me she is much calmer. I have only seen her once recently and she was playing football and looked like she was going to kill every boy on both teams so I’m not sure if that’s true! She still likes to play rough but loves animals.
46) These two boys are the only surviving members of their family. BRYAN 12 is careful and precise. He would like books, and a video game. RAMON 13 loves to tease and also wants a video game or a toy boat.
47) These four children are close and love to play together. MICHELLE age 6 (girl) would like a tea set. ALEXITO, age 7, lives on the top of the mountain and is quick and athletic. A soccer ball and a truck would be great for him. GLADIS, age 11 is quiet and would like a toy computer or a toy guitar.
Ingrid age 12. Would like English books and creative things this year.
48) Alejandra 12 yrs comes from a mom who is very strict, no makeup or Barbie’s allowed. Art supplies, board games and books are encouraged
49) SULMA 15 years. Loves to make things and sew. Last year she was sent some wool and made a beautiful blanket. This year she is asking for art supplies.
50) NATALIE age 10 is adopted by one of our moms who lost her baby. This little girl is so sweet and very clever. She would like something musical.
51) This family live in the swamp, a rough area of town..JENNY is ten years old and wants a toy that talks to her. CARLOS is five and wants Batman car or a toy garage.
52) These three live with their Moms and their grandma in a two bedroom home. KRISTOFF is 4 years old and very shy. He would like a toy piano or dinosaurs. KURT is 2 yrs old and would like balls or cars.
GABRIELLA aged 7 and is very sweet and has bloomed in her school. She would like a magic board that you can wipe off or erases itself or a doll from Lazy Town show.
53) SIERRA is a year old and would like anything. Her Mom is sixteen and is asking for clothes for her.
54) JAMIE at six is a whole new child, she has put on weight and is sponsored for school. She wants Twister game and hair elastics. She is a size 6x.
55) These children are being raised by their grandma after all their mothers have died. OSNIE age 7 also has a sponsor for school and is doing well . First in line for the breakfast program. He is still small for his age. He is a size 6 and LOVES cars. He lives by the baseball field and would like a glove or ball or bat. AISHA is 9 and wants a cabbage patch doll. EDWIN is 11 and also loves baseball so would like a glove or bat and ball. CARSON is 13 and wants a road race set. KENSY is 14 and likes baseball as well. MARCIA is 15 wants jewelry and cosmetics.
56) These four girls Mom is doing much better but still much too thin (91 lbs) SHAQUIRI is 16 would like clothes or cosmetics. She is a size women’s small. SHANIRI is 14 and has attitude! She is going to school and would like a purse and lip gloss. SHANAYA is seven and would like a dollhouse.
57) This family have two very loving parents. They struggle with being ill and not having enough work to support their children. DARLIN is 11 and would like shoes (size 39) and a beautiful Barbie a toy cash register. DENIS (boy) is nine and loves racing cars and baseball. DIANI (girl) is 8 and would like some dishes or make belief toys or an umbrella. GREGORY at three is the baby of the family and the last (tubal ligations are only allowed here after four children) and wants a Tonka toy or a Spiderman.
58) JAMIE is a cute little curly haired chubby cheeked 3 yr old who badly wants a baby with a bottle she can feed. Her baby sister JASMIN at 5 months is happy with everything! Both Jasmin and Jamie are successes of our program born HIV free!
Welcome to the new tmjp.ca website!
Check out the images in the photo gallery from Fred's trip in May 2012. Click here to view.
Sheila's life fell apart when her husband died, leaving her HIV-positive with five children. On the
Honduran island of Roatán, decent jobs are hard to come by for everyone, and nearly impossible
for people living with HIV. Fortunately, Sheila found Familias Saludables, a small nonprofit that
provides food, clothing, emotional support and educational opportunities to her family. Familias
Saludables relies on contributions from The Morgan Jayne Project supporters to assist HIV-affected
families, and to prevent the spread of the virus through education, testing and an infant formula
Click here to watch Shelia's Story:
JANUARY 7, 2012
Happy New Year!
I want to thank you for helping us make this past year a wonderful year and especially an amazing
Christmas for the kids. In our project Christmas for us is not just one day but spread over a week or
more, as we not only had the Christmas party on the 24th, but there were a lot of families who we delivered gifts to starting on the 21, ending today. The sad reality is that despite the massive education we do there is still such a stigma attached to this disease here that many families do not come to the Christmas party as they feel it will “out “them as persons living with HIV.
We have 178 children on our list this year and 85 of them came to the Christmas party so the rest of
the gifts were hand delivered..Once again Wendy’s hosted the party which was so wonderful for the kids as they are not usually allowed to play in the play park as it is for paying customers only. My new assistant Trudy handed out party dresses a few weeks ago at the office so the girls could wear
them to the party and yet we were surprised to see some of them did not ,even though they were still all neatly dressed with their hair done beautifully. When we asked one Mom where the dress was she told me that she was saving it for church that night (Christmas eve) so I’m sure there were some beautiful little angels in church that night.
The children started with an hour of free games in the Games Company and I know they have never been so busy or had so much laughter. The children were hesitant at first; almost distrustful that they were allowed to play and then once they got into it- they were maniacs! They were given a card to play each game once (40 games!) including bumper cars. The kids quickly went through the games and the manager was so in awe of these kids laughter (he told me he’d never seen such happy kids with no fighting) that he let them all do everything again. We then dragged them back to Wendy’s across the parking lot where they and their parents were fed hamburgers and fries and soda. The cake was just being cut when Santa arrived. I was a little dismayed when I saw Santa as I had taken a recommendation from a friend and never met this man and he was much younger and skinnier than I expected and quite quiet and shy. The children didn’t seem to notice the obviously lumpy pillow in his middle or his quieter demeanour as the gifts were distributed.
Thanks to all the generosity you showed these kids they each had a bright bag filled with toys and clothes. The children reacted differently...Some immediately tore into their bags and yelled with glee, this IS their Christmas, there’s no tree or turkey or more presents for them at home, their homes are primarily with no power or water, often dirt floors and these are the only toys they have had all year. Some of them had Christmas with us last year, so they were more excited, for some who it was their first Christmas with us they were more in awe. One little girl, age five tried two times to give her present back to Santa. As I explained it was for her she looked at me and told me it couldn’t be because “Santa never comes to me”. My voice wobbled as I told her he does from now on!
Thanks to some local donors we had grocery hampers to give to the moms along with the pre-packaged rice meals and the parents were so grateful. Their food was assured for a week. They too could relax a little knowing that Santa had come to them.
At the end of the party I talked to the man who played Santa and it became clear to me why he was meant to be our Santa. He told me he had lost his job and fallen on hard times but when his friend told him he should play Santa he felt it would bring some happiness into his Christmas so he instantly agreed. He said as he watched the children and saw their joy he was so ashamed of his own selfishness. He told me he hugged one little boy that he could feel the bones in his ribs when the boy thanked him and immedialty went back and handed toys out to his sister from his bag as his sisters name had not been called yet. “Here are children who have nothing” he said “who give freely and laugh with the joy of life and I’ve been whining about not having the luxuries of life” I thought of how often so many of us do that, he was not alone. He thanked me for letting him be Santa, and told me it was the best Christmas present he had ever gotten.
We are always aware at the party of the children and parents who are not with us, especially those who have died in the past year. Eldon’s family came to the party and were with other people who understood, for that day they could be supported by others, that is so important. Even though the children were quieter than many others they were still happy and played with the others. Eldon age 16, Angel aged three months. Flora aged 12, Mari age 2 and Baby Presley...all our angels in heaven now, were all missed.
For the children not at the party we make personal visits to their homes. Yesterday we made several of these deliveries accompanied by two Canadian volunteers. At the end of the day they were exhausted physically and emotionally after a day of climbing mountains to little shacks and lean-to's in the island. Last night they told me that everyone should come and see this, they said they had seen pictures but not believe the abject poverty some of these people lived in and yet the children were so happy, thrilled with their gifts.
One of them that works with children in Alberta said she can’t believe how little these kids have compared to kids she works with and how accepting and thankful they are compared to the kids she works with. At one point ,one of the children admired the shorts the volunteer was wearing and the volunteer turned to me and said,”, If I had other shorts right now I’d rip these off and give them to her”. They were left ,as many of our volunteers are, with wondering how the world they live in got so spoiled and why there isn’t more sharing and caring for children in third world countries such as ours. They were also moved to see how one of our families had lived in a dirt shack a few years ago and with help had built a three room house and had worked hard to make a much better life for their children.
Of course the REAL Santa is you; you’re the ones who have brought such joy to these children. Thank you for bringing joy to children at Christmas. Thank you for bringing joy to the whole family. Thank you for the nights these children will not go to bed hungry. Thank you for allowing these children to feel special and cared for. Thank you for making a difference.
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