Brazilian Children With AIDS Get Helping Hand from Los Angeles Foundation

Los Angeles-based Children Affected by AIDS Foundation (CAAF) announced its first ever international grant awards for 2006 totaling US$ 500,000.

In partnership with the Mattel Children’s Foundation, the CAAF Children Impacted by HIV Program will provide grant funding to 14 social service agencies in 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries, including several agencies in Brazil.

According to a February 2006 report from UNAIDS, the joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS, the response to children affected by HIV/AIDS worldwide does not meet the needs of the rapidly increasing epidemic.

The number of children orphaned by AIDS is expected to reach 25 million by the end of the decade and an estimated 4 million infected children do not have access to proper treatment and care.

The report also indicates that less than ten percent of children who have lost a parent to AIDS-related causes receive support.

"With this gift, the Mattel Children’s Foundation enables us to fulfill our goal expanding our programs internationally, specifically to Latin America and the Caribbean where the HIV and AIDS epidemic continues to rage," said Joe Cristina, Founder and Board Chair,

"We are grateful to the Mattel Children’s Foundation for its generous support and ongoing commitment to create real and lasting change for children impacted by HIV and orphaned due to AIDS worldwide."

The Children Affected by AIDS Foundation international grants, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000, are made to nonprofit agencies to assist children in the areas of basic needs, including food transportation and clothing; care including medical care, mental health counseling, and day care.

The following is a list of international grant recipients for 2006:

Asociacion Cordobesa de Lucha Contra la Discriminacion (ACLUD), Villa Anizacate, Cordoba, Argentina

ACLUD’s Upa Mama Program seeks to improve the quality of life for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. CAAF Funding will provide psychological support services to parents and children and will supply food to meet children’s nutritional needs.

Asociacion Redes Nueva Frontera, AC, Mendoza, Provincia de Mendoza,  Argentina

Funding will help Asociacion Redes Nueva Frontera to facilitate two support groups, one for parents/guardians and one for infected children, thus allowing HIV impacted families to socialize, to receive needed support and to learn at the same time. In addition, Redes Nueva Frontera will provide nutritional classes to parents and nutritional supplements to enhance children’s health.

GAPA, Grupo de Apoio à Prevenção da AIDS, Florianópolis, Brazil

GAPA guarantees that children’s rights for life, health, nutrition,  education, social and community life are respected by providing the  appropriate conditions for a physically and psychologically healthy  life. CAAF funding will assist GAPA to continue to provide residential care for children infected with HIV or orphaned by AIDS.

LALEC-Lar Amor Luz e Esperança da Criança HIV+, São Paulo, Brazil

Funds will support LALEC to upgrade its industrial kitchen appliances  and equipment to continue to meet the increased demand to feed the HIV orphan residents and to increase LALEC’s micro-enterprise (production and sale of baked goods) to secure additional income to support the expenses related to housing and meeting the children’s daily needs such as: basic needs, education, permanency planning and psychological support services.

Associação dos Amigos da Vida, Brasí­lia, Federal District, Brazil

Funds will help Associação dos Amigos da Vida to enhance its permanency planning program to stimulate the inclusion of children (orphaned due to HIV/AIDS) in family settings and in society by reducing the time it takes for the adoption process. In addition to family planning, this program will also offer legal aid outreach to adopting families, family counseling and psychological support for children.

About CAAF

CAAF was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1993, by Joe Cristina, a Mattel, Inc. executive whose desire to help children was inspired by the outpouring of support he received when he disclosed his own HIV+ status.

CAAF is the only organization solely devoted to providing social, educational, recreational and other critical support programs to vulnerable children impacted by HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and other countries. While other pediatric AIDS organizations search for the cure, CAAF is dedicated to caring for children who are infected or affected by this epidemic now.

CAAF’s Domestic and International Grant Making programs provide funds to community based non-profit organizations for services such as housing, food, clothing, mental health care and support groups.

The foundation’s initiative programs allow them to address the unmet needs of children affected by AIDS. Internationally, CAAF focuses on improving the quality of life for children that are affected by HIV/AIDS including those orphaned due to AIDS, specifically in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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