Children with AIDS
Dare to Care is MSC’s HIV/AIDS program that was established out of the great need to provide care to orphaned or abandoned HIV/AIDS infected children in Jamaica. Dare to Care’s first official home was established in 2000, and now encompasses three homes throughout Kingston. In 2002, MSC expanded Dare to Care to Zimbabwe to help address a growing population of children orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS.
Mustard Seed Communities is committed to the care of abandoned children afflicted with HIV/AIDS ensuring that they have the opportunity to live their lives under the best possible social, medical and educational conditions.
Philosophy of Care
Dare to Care was established with the firm belief that all persons are entitled to live worthy lives. In the early stages of the program, the focus was to provide hospice care to children at the end stages of the AIDS disease. Our focus has since shifted to prolonging and enriching the lives of these children. Dare to Care bears the full cost of the prohibitively expensive anti-retroviral drugs, as they are not government subsidized in neither Jamaica nor Zimbabwe.
Additionally, the Dare to Care program places emphasis on education. Most children in the program attend MSC’s Little Angels Learning Centre and some of the older children attend schools in the local communities. As they grow older, the children become increasingly aware of their HIV status, especially with the existing stigma still attached to the disease. As such, program provides counselling sessions and other therapeutic activities to ease this difficult process.
Psychosocial support has proven to be a significant challenge in terms of resources. As such, MSC is looking into obtaining full-time counsellors and pursuing additional support systems such as mentoring programs.