Arul Ashram is located in Chinakalapet, a small fishing village, on the Bay of Bengal, 12kms from Pondicherry, India. The Shram includes, Shanti Bhavan, Jeeva Nivas, Nava Jeevan and a new toddlers home.
Shanti Bhavan, a HIV/Aids care centre for men and women infected with HIV. Over 650 patients have come for care at the centre since opening in July 1999.
Jeeva Nivas – a home for school age HIV positive children. The majority of which are orphaned or abandoned by families unable to care for them. Most of them are currently in the local school systems and those who aren't are schooled in the small Montesori school on the premises.
Nava Jeevan – is a home for the older boys, aged 15 and older. It gives the boys an opportunity to enjoy learning to be independent.
Viral Load Testing
As part of ensuring the health of the children receiving ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) it is important for the children to have a blood test called a 'Virus Load' test, approximately every six months. The viral load test provides important information that is used in conjunction with a CD4 cell count test, to monitor the status of the HIV disease, guide recommendations for ART and predict the future course of patients disease. Evidence shows that keeping the viral load levels as low as possible for as long as possible decreases the complications of the disease and prolongs life expectancy of the patients. However, this test requires a specialist procedure, which is costly. There are approximately 30 children whom need to be tested every six months. We have been able to obtain a 7% discount on the cost of each test. However it is an expense that we are always looking for donors to help fund these tests, to ensure the best possible chances for a healthy life for the children.
The Viral load and CD4 count tests cost 2,150 Indian Rupees (25gbp) per child.
We are also happy to have learned that a new test, DNA PCR test is now available in India to test small babies for the HIV virus. By being able to test babies at a young age, means that two life options will be available at an earlier age. If a baby tests negative, there is a better chance of them being accepted back into their natural family. If they test positive and, as in many cases, are not accepted by the family, they can be provided with appropriate care and medication at the new toddlers home, giving them better care from an earlier age.
Hope and Evolution is grateful for any donations to help finance these vital, life-changing tests.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP ARUL ASHRAM
Sponsor a child - 300Euros
All the children who live at the Ashram are dependent on them to provide clothing, education, food and shelter. By sponsoring a child, you will help to cover these costs and enable the Ashram to take in more children.
Upon sponsoring a child you will receive a beautiful Sponsor Pack, containing photos and information and regular updates.
Sponsor Viral Load/CD4 Testing:
Testing for one child = 2,150 INR (approx. £25)
The Arul Ashram take in volunteers willing to commit to minimum 1yr self funded volunteering.