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Help Solomon In Caring For HIV Infected Children
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“In the last decade, we’ve had to move houses, switch jobs, and have even been isolated by friends and family because we look after HIV+ children. There’s so much stigma around that even today. But all of this has only made us stronger. Today I’m Appa to 45 HIV+ children who have been abandoned by their families and are left to fend for themselves. They are my responsibility, my children. And I will do everything in my power to protect them.” - Solomon Raj, Founder, Shelter Trust
Shelter Trust in Chennai is a safe haven for HIV+ kids who have been disowned and abandoned. Here, the children are given everything they need - food, clothes, education and a roof over their head. Above all, they’re given the love and care they deserve by Solomon who dotes on each and every one of them.
Despite Being Discouraged By Many, Solomon Continued To Adopt Kids
When Solomon Raj and his wife, Felvia Shanthi didn’t have a child for eight years after they got married, they decided to adopt. However, they soon had biological children and while they were elated to be parents, the thought of adopting a child never left them.
“I then met Arputha Raj through an NGO. He was only 6 years old and had lost his entire family to HIV. He was the lone survivor. After listening to his story, I knew I had to take him in.
But our family members weren’t happy with this decision. While they would look after our biological kids when we were both at work, they refused to look after Aprutha Raj. I then started taking him to the office, and soon, everyone at work also started having a problem with him using the same toilet or drinking water from the same dispenser. It was heartbreaking.”
Solomon then quit his job at the office. Before he knew it, Solomon had adopted a few more children who were HIV+, and word had spread about his good deeds. Despite being discouraged by many in his family, Solomon continued to work towards this cause. Even if it meant cutting ties with them.
Today, Solomon runs Shelter Trust with 11 HIV+ staff members, an on-call doctor, counsellor, psychologist and accountant. They look after 45 HIV+ children with the help of Solomon’s savings, income and donations from well wishers.
However, They Continue To Face Challenges
Children with HIV are prone to infections and need to be looked after with utmost care. They also have dietary requirements and need to go for weekly visits to the hospitals.
“I have to hire multiple vehicles for them. If a child is sick, I can’t take him/her in public transport because of how sensitive their immune system is, but hiring a vehicle is extremely expensive. There have been times when hospitals have refused to take them in and even charged more.”
Moreover, the pandemic also posed many challenges for Shelter Trust as they struggled to take care of the children due to a lack of donations.
You Can Give 45 HIV+ Children The Life They Deserve
Solomon Raj now needs your help to get grocery kits, clothes and stationery for the children at Shelter Trust. These items will help all these kids tremendously and give them the wholesome life they deserve. Solomon also needs an ambulance to better care for them when they fall sick.
Your support will ensure 45 HIV+ children who’ve suffered so much pain and trauma throughout their lives, have a life of love, respect and health.
About the NGO:Shelter Trust in Chennai is a safe haven for HIV+ kids who have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. The founder, Solomon Raj, has dedicated his life to looking after these children, and now is now appa to 45 HIV+ kids. Shelter Trust is currently run by 11 HIV+ members, an on-call doctor, counsellor, psychologist, and accountant.
Note: All the donations towards this campaign is eligible for Indian Tax Exemption.
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