WESTPORT, Conn., May 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today, SeriousFun Children’s Network and the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital announced their renewed joint commitment to providing life-changing camp experiences, and medical and psychosocial support, to children living with or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in Africa. On May 21, BIPAI will be honored at the annual SeriousFun Children’s Network gala in New York City, recognizing the significant and far-reaching impact of their work, and celebrating this new five-year commitment.
SeriousFun Children’s Network has had a presence in Africa since 2001, initially providing camp experiences to children in Botswana, Namibia, Malawi and South Africa. In 2004, BIPAI sent 60 children to the camp that was operating in Botswana, and in 2018, SeriousFun and BIPAI partnered in five African countries (Uganda, Swaziland, Malawi, Tanzania and Botswana) to offer camp programs to vulnerable children in these areas.
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“We are incredibly grateful to our partners at BIPAI and excited about this significant commitment to providing these transformative camp experiences to youth in Africa,” said Blake Maher, CEO of SeriousFun Children’s Network. “Together we are able to provide the support that not only helps these children manage their illness but offers new hope for their futures.”
“In partnership with SeriousFun Children’s Network, we launched Camp Hope-Botswana in 2004 with the aim of replicating the incredible impact that both BIPAI and SeriousFun were having with our respective programs in the U.S., and elsewhere around the world,” said Michael B. Mizwa, chief operating officer and senior vice president, BIPAI. “We’re so proud that today our camp programs serve hundreds of youth with HIV who are now thriving in large part because of the support they receive through this partnership. We look forward to working together for the next five years to continue to serve as many youth as possible and change lives.”
The agreement signed between the two organizations emphasizes their continued collaboration to enhance their residential camps, outreach activities and capacity building programs, especially as they relate to education around HIV/AIDS, cancer and other conditions. The camps provide children, adolescents and their families with critical education, encourage positive attitudes toward treatment, and foster adherence to medication so they can remain healthy after their experience at camp.
About SeriousFun Children’s Network
SeriousFun Children’s Network is a global community of 30 camps and programs serving children with serious illnesses and their families, always free of charge. With the first camp founded by Paul Newman in 1988, SeriousFun camps and programs have now delivered more than one million life-changing camp experiences to children and family members from more than 50 countries. Each member camp is an independent, not-for-profit organization dependent upon private funding to serve all children at no cost to their families. To learn more about SeriousFun, visit www.seriousfunnetwork.org.
About the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI)
Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital is the largest university-based care and treatment program for HIV-infected and -affected children in the world. BIPAI strives to provide the highest level of quality care and treatment, education and training for health professionals, and operational research to improve patient care. Beginning in Romania, BIPAI has expanded its network of Centers of Excellence (COEs), which provide comprehensive outpatient care for children and their families, to include COEs in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Uganda, and Tanzania. There are over 300,000 children and families currently in care around the world. Over the past 20 years, BIPAI has also evolved its mission to treat other conditions that affect children and their families, including tuberculosis, malaria, malnutrition, hepatitis, cancer, sickle cell disease, and maternal mortality. It now serves communities in 15 countries across South America, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. To learn more about BIPAI, visit bipai.org.
Emily Walsh/Nina Kiersted
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SOURCE SeriousFun Children’s Network
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