NUEVA ESPERANZA ANNOUNCES CAMPERSHIP FUND FOR YOUTH WHOSE PARENTS ARE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS OR ARE LIVING WITH DISEASE THEMSELVES
Holyoke – Children living with HIV/AIDS in Western Massachusetts experience a hard time as they struggle to have a care-free childhood. This disease’s physical afflictions, financial struggles, difficult treatments, and rampant stigma can be devastating to a child’s life. However, there is a new campership program that will serve as an alternative for children infected or affected with HIV/AIDS, created by Nueva Esperanza Inc. Nueva Esperanza is proud to announce the creation and availability of a Campership fund for this youth population throughout all of Western Mass.
The VIDA/SIDA Western Mass campership fund is available to children up to 18 years old whose parents are living with HIV/AIDS, or who are living with the disease themselves.
“What is unique about Nueva Esperanza’s campership program is that we do not have a predetermined camp that applicants are expected to attend,” said Nelson Roman, Executive Director of Nueva Esperanza, who is an openly HIV positive individual “A similar fund was available through the now closed AIDS Foundation of Western Mass, Nueva Esperanza knew something had to be done and we stepped in to ensure this fund continues into the future.”
Camperships depend on generous donations to exist and to provide the needed services to their applicants. This year’s pilot program, funded by a number of local donors. Donations can be made to Nueva Esperanza (Campership Fund in the Memo Line) or on their website.
Roman highlighted the fact that. “While other places assign specific camps for children to go to, the Nueva Esperanza’s campership does not have a “predetermined camp that applicants are expected to attend.”
The freedom to choose is what makes camperships different and unique from other programs. However, due to the program’s demand, the number of applicants depends on donations and who applies first.
“Because the cost of camps varies and we do not always need to provide the maximum $400 per camper, the number of camperships we can provide each year is not set,” said Crevier. “We accept applications on a first come, first served basis and will not deny any child who is HIV positive, or has a parent or guardian who is, for as long as we have funding available.”
The funding for this program is ongoing and although Nueva Esperanza can recommend camps that specifically welcome children with chronic illnesses, families are encouraged to choose the camp that is right for them. Nueva Esperanza can provide up to $400 per child. For more information, call (413) 437-7666 or email Nelson Roman at NelsonRoman@nuevaofholyoke.org