MOTHER-TO-BABY (JOINT) PROGRAM – One of HOPE’s key Health Programs is the Mother-to-Baby (Joint) Program, which focuses on supporting HIV+ mothers and their babies. Referred to HOPE by the Battambang Provincial Hospital, mothers are unable to safely breastfeed their babies without a substantial risk of infecting them with the HIV virus, but are too poor to fund alternative methods themselves. The cost of baby formula is roughly equivalent to the total income of these families. HOPE sponsors baby formula from birth to 18 months, followed by a further 6 months of rice, a diet staple in the region. Just as importantly HOPE’s team supplies bottles, teats, sterilising equipment and training for the mothers to ensure the baby remains safe and healthy, to give them the best start in life.
WHY WE DO IT
The HIRO ride started out in 2012, when a group of individuals (who remain on the committee) were looking for a way to spend their work charity (CSR) days. Keen cyclists, they came up with the HIRO 4 Hope idea (Hope Indochina Ride Organisation) a challenging, sponsored ride with the aim of raising money for a worthy cause, and having fun in the process. A familiar charity, Hope for Cambodian Children Foundation, was selected and it was hoped to raise enough funds to provide a rainwater tank. The team smashed their goal, and realised they could actually make it an annual event, providing a funding vehicle that could drive a reliable revenue stream for the foundation for years to come.
Key programmes supported by our fundraising include:
Education – Hope supports in the region of 350 children and young people through their education. The Hope Pre-School currently welcomes 85 children aged 3-5 years each weekday with a nutritious hot breakfast, and gives half day pre-school education. Primary and Secondary students attend government school each morning. Qualifying students attend supplementary classes in English and IT studies each afternoon at the HOPE Centre. Tertiary level school leavers with aptitude are offered Skills Training Courses in sewing, welding, moto repairs, car repairs, hairdressing and beauty therapy. HOPE sponsors these apprenticeship style courses and provides any tools and equipment. Students work, and sometimes lives with, an experienced worker and family, and are trained in a particular skill. Each year 5 talented and dedicated students are selected attend University, fully supported and sponsored through a HOPE scholarship which includes tuition, all required education materials, accommodation if required, and ongoing HOPE mentorship. This opportunity is life changing for these students and their families. Hope have supported 13 students in this manner, alongside a further 4 who have won government scholarships for university courses.