For Children Living With HIV, It’s More Than Just Camp
Brand Associate, Marketing & Communications
At SeriousFun, we know that camp changes lives for kids all around the world — and that includes the lives of young people living with HIV.
A Global Need
We believe ALL children deserve the chance to be a kid — no matter where they’re from. But according to UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS, there were an estimated 2.1 million children living with HIV globally in 2016, including 160,000 new infections occurring among children.
Kids living with serious illnesses around the world often face social isolation, stigma, depression and anxiety, and poor academic performance due to missed days in school. For these children, the ability to access and closely adhere to therapies and treatments is critical to their survival. That’s where camp comes in.
Making an Impact Through Camp
In places where the medical and psychosocial needs of children are often outside of what local resources can provide, SeriousFun partners with trusted local and international organizations to meet the needs of kids who have been marginalized by their condition.
Through summer camp programs and outreach activities, SeriousFun partner programs engage youth in a fun and socially supportive environment — an experience that helps them reclaim their childhood, rediscover their confidence, and renew hope for their future.
In 2013, San Diego University’s School of Global Public Health put several SeriousFun partner program sites to the test! An evaluation impact study revealed three (awesome!) findings:
- Children with HIV and AIDS were more likely to take their medications with both greater accuracy and on time, long after an experience at camp.
- Campers where willing to talk to more people about their illness, suggesting greater understanding about and comfort with their condition.
- Camp programs helped children develop social skills and build friendships with other kids living with HIV.
In 2016 alone, these life-changing programs touched the lives of 32,000 kids throughout Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.
Locally Run & Culturally Applicable Programs
And that’s all possible because of collaboration with amazing partners around the world! SeriousFun works with trusted international organizations and local hospitals — like Baylor College of Medicine, Worldwide Orphans, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and more — to deliver camp without the burden of expensive, permanent sites.
SeriousFun staff train our partners to deliver spectacular camp experiences and collaborate to provide high-quality medical care, all with the goal of developing programs with local roots and leadership.
The result? Locally designed, culturally applicable programs that excite, inspire, and empower children all over the world in their native language.