Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Church and Community Foster Care Project

This is the first meeting of the Church and Community Foster Care Project. The purpose of this particular project within the overall activities of CAM, is to train up and resource church members to provide family support for children and adults, who have been left unsupported by their own families due to sickness or death from AIDS. The goal is for a number of churches in the Chiang Mai district of Northern Thailand to seek ways to help families affected by HIV/AIDS and to offer this help in very practical ways, for example, in such a way that the church family becomes the extended family of AIDS orphans where there is no other family support. This may include helping with housing provision and upkeep, schooling costs and general day to day care. The idea is for individual churches to take on a form of family foster care, and to see this as a long term commitment to families until they are able to support themselves once more. The aim is that this project will become self sustaining, as the participating churches become good role models for other churches and as they seek ways to raise the finances needed from within local church and community.

Target groups: Year 1 of the project: 10 churches within CCT who are willing to participate in community AIDS care-each church sending 5 members for ongoing training in home based care.
The 2nd year of the project: Increase to 2 more churches
The 3rd year of the project: Increase to 5 more churches (resulting in at least 17 churches in community-church based care by the 3rd year.

The families and the churches will be selected mostly from hill tribe minority groups, but will also include Thai citizens/ethnic Thai churches in the city where there is extreme poverty and need.

CAM staff will select 10 churches to participate in the project, based on their previous experience in caring for people living with HIV/AIDS, and on evaluating the willingness and ability to participate in community care for families.
Each participating church will then select 5 members from within the church who will commit to receive training in community awareness of care of people with HIV, home based care and general education about HIV/AIDS.
Each participating church will at this point consider the potential families that may benefit from church foster support and be establishing relationship with them prior to training and commencement of the project.

The first of 4 training sessions will take place by CAM, for all participating members where basic AIDS teaching will be provided, awareness in community access to care , holistic care training and financial budgeting advice. Each church will be provided with a set amount of money for AIDS care through the church, which will be reduced on a percentage basis year by year, as the church family seeks ways to raise funds locally through themselves or through community access.
A further 3 training sessions will take place through the first year, with time for monitoring progress, evaluation through feedback on individual situations, and updating on new information, counsel and advice.

CAM staff will be available as a resource in person or on the phone, throughout the year, and will regularly maintain contact with the church members and families receiving support.

CAM staff will have initial overall responsibility for oversight of the funds. and assist with how they are distributed until the churches are able to take on full responsibility for themselves. CAM staff will be responsible for monitoring and evaluation through the year based on the feedback from church members and families. CAM will maintain contact with the donors and submit regular stories, photographs and auditing of funds.

Please pray for the all the Church and community members participating in this worthwhile project.

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