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Camp Rainbow Summer Residential Camp

Campaign by Y R Gaitonde Medical Educational and Research Foundation (YRG)

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Story

A large number of children living with HIV are in the age group of 10-17 years. Most of these children are born to parents with HIV. There is a reduction in the prevalence of HIV in India; however risks persists and though the prevalence in most states is less than 1% in the general population; we are still grappling with issues relating to HIV knowledge, risk perceptions and risk reduction, adherence to medication, etc. In addition to a struggle with prevention strategies, stigma associated with HIV as a sexually transmitted infection is also prevalent; reducing the number of persons walking in voluntarily to know their HIV status; seek counseling, psychosocial support and clinical care on time. Children, adolescents and young adults living with HIV experience a range of psychosocial challenges at home, within the community, sometimes if their status is known even at school or college or at the workplace. This further impacts their confidence level, self esteem, ability to forge new relationships, coping, willingness to excel and dream about their future.

To help address some of these issues and respond to their psychosocial needs, Camp Rainbow intentionally organises child/teen centric interventions as a key to help children to be children rather than patients; help them dream and reach for the rainbow in their lives.

We invite children and adolescents from different districts in Tamil Nadu and have now expanded it to Andhra Pradesh and Telengana as well as different regions across India. Children and Teens have the opportunity to attend Camp Rainbow sessions to expand their  knowledge about their illness, rediscover their childhood, restore hope and renew their new sense of possibility.  Children in the age group of 10-17, and their families participate in interactive sessions as a family group or age specific activities - traditional camp activities like CampFire, Team building, Arts & crafts, Cookery, Life skills, Water Games, and Life skills based activities like reducing stigma and HIV Q&A are a few of the activities that are organised for the during the course of Camp.

Throughout the year, we organise camps - day camps at the district level which are in the neighbourhood of our campers; 5-day residential camps for a group of 50+ campers, weekend camps for 20 families wherein campers are invited along with their family members. We also organise hospital based programming; 1-2 hours at the inpatient or outpatient facility as well as at their short term Home Away from Home spaces. We also offer such camp programs for children with other chronic conditions like cancer and thalessemia.

Camp Rainbow is a psychosocial intervention delivered through the vehicle of camp. It provides a unique opportunity for children living with HIV and their families to participate in HIV education and traditional camp activities aimed at enhancing campers' adherence to medication, health seeking behaviour and nutrition to improve their quality of life while also focusing on providing children with serious fun, all free of charge.

Strategically designed therapeutic recreational activities are planned and executed; intentionally designed for building confidence, hope, self esteem, forging relationships which is done by intentionally training our staff team to inspire and guide through role modeling - staff take on roles as caring adults, provide appreciation and a helping hand, and create opportunities for campers to try new things and build new skills.

At Camp Rainbow, campers have had transformative experiences and it helps them build a positive approach towards themselves and others, develop life altering friendships and become confident leaders.

Organisers
Y R Gaitonde Medical Educational and Research Foundation (YRG)

Y R Gaitonde Medical Educational and Research Foundation (YRG)

Beneficiary Charity

Aylur Kailasam Ganesh

Aylur Kailasam Ganesh

Organiser

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