Split The Plate
Making a Difference and Living Our Values
By putting faith into action, we believe the world will be a better place.
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington is an active collection of people working together to foster justice, equity and compassion in our lives, in our communities and in the world. Volunteers are welcome regardless of membership status.
Some ways of participating are simple and brief. Others involve training and an ongoing commitment. Please contact the office to see how your generous spirit can make a difference.
Charity of the Month – also called the “Split The Plate”
Every Sunday, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington proudly gives away one half of all anonymous cash donations plus checks or cash specified for split plate. The Charity of the Month practice supports a variety of causes and groups within our community and beyond.
Split Plate Beneficiaries
SPLIT THE PLATE CHARITY FOR FEBRUARY 2016 IS: NAACP Back to School/Stay in School Program
The Beyond Our Walls Sunday split-plate charity of the month for February, 2016, is the Education Committee of the Huntington branch of the NAACP. The UUFH has long been a supporter of the work of the scholarship and educational committee, and the branch looks forward to our continuing support. The focus this year is the BTS/SIS program, which is a Back to School/Stay in School program, providing students from elementary through high school with academic and social support. The overall goal seeks to enhance student success by reducing absenteeism and dropout rates, and seeks also to provide a higher level of academic and cultural enrichment.
On Sunday, February 7th, Irene Moore, the Scholarship Committee Coordinator (a familiar voice here at the UUFH) will speak to the congregation about the program and its activities. Your generous support of this program will continue our tradition of supporting the advancement of our community’s young people.
SPLIT THE PLATE CHARITY FOR JANUARY IS: Sophia Fahs Religious Education Camp, which is held one week during the month of August annually. Young UUs from Long Island and the greater New York area take over Camp Quinipet on Shelter Island, a stunning 25-acre waterfront compound, for community building, religious exploration, worship and fun. Money raised will help children and youth who might not otherwise afford to attend this much cherished sleep away camp experience. Please give as generously as you are able. For more information, check out: http://www.liacuu.org/Fahs
SPLIT THE PLATE CHARITY FOR DECEMBER IS: Unitarian Universalist Service Committee – Transforming Human Rights Into Realities
In more than a dozen countries throughout the world, UUSC fosters social justice and works toward a world free from oppression. Through grassroots collaborations that achieve systemic change, UUSC stands behind workers’ rights, defending living wages, fair trade and workers’ right to organize; every human’s right to water (almost three-quarters of a billion people worldwide still lack drinking water); and a long-term commitment to sustainable recovery in Haiti that addresses the needs of people in rural and disadvantaged neighborhoods, as well as women, children and survivors of gender-based violence. UUSC’s innovative approaches and measurable impact — in promoting economic justice, bolstering environmental justice, and protecting rights at risk — are grounded in the belief that all people have inherent power, dignity and rights. Please give as generously as you are able.
SPLIT THE PLATE CHARITY FOR NOVEMBER: COMMUNITY SOLIDARITY
Community Solidarity collects and shares vegetarian groceries with thousands of people across Long Island and New York City, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. What makes Community Solidarity unique is that one of our main goals is to build up the community. We believe that empowering individuals in struggling neighborhoods helps us to achieve our larger mission of ending hunger, malnutrition, violence, discrimination and sexism at the local level. Community Solidarity doesn’t have the resources that other nonprofits on our scale have. We have no warehouses, no tractor-trailer trucks and no employees. What we have are thousands of families and individuals that are in need of assistance who have just as much of desire to give back to their own neighborhoods as we do. For every $1 donated to us in 2014 we were able to rescue 719 pounds of nutritious groceries, share 21 items of warm clothing and provide $8.30 worth of school supplies to struggling families at the start of the school year. Because Community Solidarity is a collaborative of volunteers in community all money that is raised will go directly to supporting our mission.
SPLIT THE PLATE CHARITY FOR OCTOBER: SAFE HARBOR
Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States and even Long Island. Human trafficking is a hidden crime as victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.
SPLIT PLATE CHARITY FOR SEPTEMBER: h2Empower
h²Empower, working in Hosanna, Ethiopia, sees more girls start first grade but by eighth grade many drop out and don’t continue their education. An African proverb says, “If we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family – and a whole nation.” H2 Empower wants to work with female leaders to empower girls and help them succeed in school. Using local facilitators and an approved 12 session training program for teachers in 20 schools, the hope is to begin to change the school culture and positively impact the life of girls, he family and future generations.
SPLIT PLATE CHARITY FOR JULY & AUGUST: FAMILY SERVICE LEAGUE BACKPACKS PROGRAM
Family Service League helps individuals, children, and families to mobilize their strengths and improve the quality of their lives at home, in the workplace, and in the community. Today, more than 50,000 individuals in need rely on the social safety net that Family Service League provides. The Backpacks for Back to School Drive insures that children from low-income families start the school year with all the supplies they need to be prepared to learn. Family Service League supplies backpacks, notebooks, pencils and pens, rulers, and more, according to lists obtained from the school districts. No child should start the first day of school feeling unprepared; like a failure before the first lesson. Arriving the first day prepared just like their classmates helps give them the self-confidence they need to succeed.
SPLIT PLATE CHARITY FOR JUNE: SAVE THE RAIN
Every 15 seconds a child dies from lack of clean water. Save the Rain is a 501 (c) (3) founded in 2005 that teaches water-starved communities in East Africa how to use rain as a sustainable water supply by building catchment systems on primary school roofs-they tend to be the largest roofs in a community. When an inch of water falls on 1,000 square foot roof, you can harvest 600 gallons of clean water. “Without clean water, the journey to abundance is completely crippled,” says Kelly Coleman, a Save the Rain founder. A mere $15 pays for a villager to receive water for a lifetime and the lifetime of his/her offspring; 100 percent of all public donations directly fund Save the Rain projects. More info at www.savetherain.org. Thanks for your generous support.
Split Plate charity for May is North Shore Holiday House, a tuition-free summer sleep-away camp enriches the lives of low-income girls and empowers them to navigate the world ahead. Our accredited program encourages healthy choices and self-esteem, physical activity and love of the outdoors. The need to create safe, wholesome recreation for children caught in poverty is tremendous. Many girls are in foster care and get to spend time with siblings who are housed separately. All donations go directly to fund camp operations. Visit: http://www.nshh.org/
Split Plate charity for April is Southold Congregation Fire Recovery
As many of you know, the First Universalist Church of Southold experienced a devastating fire March 14—a huge loss of their beautiful spiritual home.
Our April Split Plate collection is devoted to the recovery of Southold. We hope you’ll give generously.
April 26, Special Split-Plate Collection: The Fahs Collaborative
In honor of the “Sophia Fahs Sunday: Journeys of the Spirit” liturgy that will be conducted April 26, the Split Plate recipient for this Sunday will be the “The Fahs Collaborative,” an innovative Meadville Lombard Theological School think tank whose mission is to creatively inspire congregational life. Our very own Rev. Jude Geiger is a member of the six-person “collaboratory” (i.e., creative team) responsible for designing this inspirational, multi-generational, multi-cultural liturgy. We hope you’ll give generously. For more info on Fahs Collaborative visit www.thefahscollaborative.com/#!fahs-sunday/c6jn
Split Plate charity for March is “The Every Child Is Our Child Program”
Did you know that more than 14 million children who live in Africa, that are under 15 years of age, have lost one or both parents to AIDS?
Even more troubling, these children are slipping through the cracks – they remain largely unwanted, uneducated, and at a very high risk of being infected by the virus themselves. There is no social welfare system and no safety net for these children regardless of what African nation they live in. The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) through its “Every Child Is Our Child” Program (ECOC) is helping these children directly, whose goal and associated objectives are to enable the children to reach their full potential by providing the opportunities to attend school, and receive the medical attention they need.
As part of the UU-UNO mission, the ECOC Program focuses on universal primary education, fighting HIV/AIDS, reducing hunger and poverty and promoting gender equality. This effort is guided by the partnership that has been established with the Queen Mothers Association in the Manya Krobo region of Eastern Ghana.
With your generous support, our UU-UNO efforts currently buy and ensure the distribution of school uniforms, supplies, books, shoes and other necessities, coupled with providing the means to give basic medical attention that these wonderful children require.
Together we can maintain and even expand our UU-UNO efforts to provide humanitarian aid, be an example “walking the talk,” and directly show those watching what can be done by an activist liberal faith community.
Split Plate charity for February, Black History Month, is the Huntington Branch NAACP Educational Committee Scholarship Fund. This fund, begun more than a decade ago, awards scholarship aid to graduating seniors chosen from Huntington Township high schools. Irene Moore, the Scholarship Awards Committee chair, will explain this vital program, which encourages our youth to pursue excellence in education, and thank the UUFH for its many years of support. We hope you will be generous in support of this meaningful local organization’s effort to help the youth of our community, often some of the neediest, to fulfill their goals as they strive to make a positive impact on our society.
Split Plate for January is Sophia Fahs Camp, a Unitarian Universalist religious education camp located on Shelter Island for approximately 115 campers and 45 adult staff. Children and youth gather from the Long Island area for one week in August each year. The goal of the camp is to provide UU spiritual experiences in a safe and natural setting that will inspire children, youth and adults to explore their identities. Monies collected will be used to support families in need who would be unable to attend due to financial constraints. http://www.liacuu.org/Fahs/
The Split Plate charity for December is The Community Food Council in Huntington. Formed in 1972 by several area Protestant churches to help feed the community’s hungry, the Huntington Food Council is staffed by volunteers and sustained by donations. For the past 8 years it has been located within the Manor Field Family Center building with the Family Service League offices. The Food Council is considered an emergency food source, providing a critical support to local individuals and families. Our donations can help make a big difference close to home.
The Split Plate charity for Christmas Eve Services is The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights organization powered by grassroots collaboration. In more than a dozen countries throughout the world, UUSC fosters social justice and works toward a world free from oppression. The group’s innovative approaches and measurable impact are grounded in the moral belief that all people have inherent power, dignity and rights. Recent initiatives have included Choose Compassionate Consumption, Sustainable Recovery in Haiti and The Human Right to Water. For more information, go to http://www.uusc.org
The Split Plate charity for November is the Association for Mental Health and Wellness, a not-for-profit organization, which newly formed this year upon the merger of the Mental Health Association in Suffolk, the Clubhouse of Suffolk and Suffolk County United Veterans. Essential to all programming is the firm belief that people can and do recover from the impact of psychiatric impairments, disability and trauma. Services include psychiatric rehabilitation, health home care management, and advocacy and education programs such as a Mental Health Helpline as well as support groups and housing for at risk and homeless veterans. Additional information can be found on their website at www.mhaw.org or by calling 631-471-7242.
The Split Plate charity for October is “A Mother’s Kiss,” a local nonprofit which was formed by Guy and Eileen Eger, after their young son Kevin lost his battle with cancer. For the last twenty years, this organization has been providing financial and emotional support for families with children who are fighting cancer. They do this by providing help with rent or mortgage, medical co-pays, bills and meals. Already this year, over 160 local families have been helped by A Mother’s Kiss. A Mother’s Kiss also helps emotionally by hosting a Halloween party and an annual Holiday Party. The generous support from UUFH will help to make a difference in the lives of the very special families that this group serves.
Smile in a Bag was founded by the Barin family from Syosset 11 years ago. As of late August, 2014, SIAB has delivered more than 17,000 activity bags to children in Winthrop and Cohen’s Children hospitals. “Smile” goodie bags are full of activities for hospitalized children so they can feel “normal” for their stay in the hospital. Every year, our UUFH youth spend one Sunday stuffing goodie bags and writing get well cards for this organization. What a great way for our youth to connect to other youth in need. Most of the expenses for the goodie bags come from the Barin family. Our split pate donations will be used to purchase items to be put in these get well goodie bags. We are proud to continue our support of Smile in a Bag.
July and August, 2014
UU Minister and congregation in Uganda Need a Life Support
The summer Split Plate offering is the UU-UNO’s Emergency Aid for Ugandan UUs, a quick reaction expansion of its LGBT/ sexual orientation/gender identity program.
UUs in Uganda are a Welcoming Congregation. The government has recently passed draconian anti- LGBT laws that threaten our fellow UUs and clergy who are demonstrating our first principle, The Worth and Dignity of Every Person. Our UU-United Nations Office has stepped in to save the UU minister from being imprisoned for “promoting homosexuality” through UN contacts. Ugandan law considers Welcoming and/or providing sanctuary to be “promoting homosexuality,” thus putting all UUs in Uganda under threat of arrest and life imprisonment. This will be a long term problem and UU-UNO does not have sufficient resources on hand to include this unexpected escalation in its current programming. UU-UNO cannot wait for additional resources through its annual fund-raising, but needs money right now. This fits into BOW’s Split Plate model where funds may be raised for an emergent situation.
Housing Help, Inc., is based in Greenlawn, NY. During this month, we continue our history of supporting a very essential charity: Housing Help. Their mission is to provide housing assistance programs including financial management, budget counseling, homebuyer education workshops and rental assistance. Housing Help, Inc. is a 45-year old nonprofit organization that helps low and moderate income household in the Town of Huntington. They provide many essential services, currently serving about 1,200 households annually. As we strive to heal our world, please support Housing Help this month.
The Tri Community and Youth Agency (Tri CYA) is a private, not-for-profit community based agency dedicated to supporting the growth and development of youth and their families in the communities of Huntington, South Huntington and Cold Spring Harbor.
For more than 30 years, the Tri CYA has provided a broad range of educational, recreational, social, cultural, athletic, counseling and advocacy programs, working closely and cooperatively with businesses, school districts, law enforcement, community groups, government agencies and religious organizations as well as with individuals, parents, and youth community volunteers.
Tri CYA is constantly interacting with community members to help them identify their needs and developing programs, which answer to those needs. Consequently, Tri CYA offers programs which have a long successful history and there are always new programs emerging.
The League for Animal Protection of Huntington, Inc. (LAP) is an all volunteer, non-profit organization established in 1973 and dedicated to the rescue, care and rehabilitation of stray, abandoned and abused animals in Huntington Township . Our goal is to continue this crucial work on behalf of all of the animals that have passed through our doors.
In 1982 under an agreement with the Town of Huntington, the Grateful Paw Cat Shelter was built. This refuge without cages, which is a temporary home to kittens and cats is managed and staffed by dedicated volunteers and supported solely by contributions to the League. Volunteers from LAP also assist the Town of Huntington in their dog placement program. The volunteers evaluate, exercise, socialize, train and groom the dogs housed in the shelter. Some dogs are placed in foster care until they are able to find a permanent home. Most importantly, they are given a LAP volunteer’s love and attention.
Our primary goal is to place an animal in a PERMANENT home. LAP carefully screens all potential adopters and follows up to ensure that both owner and pet are adapting well. We maintain a lifelong commitment to our companion animals.
Project HOPE (Helping Other People Eat)
We are very pleased to have Project HOPE as our March Split Plate charity. This program provides hot meals for about 200 guests twice a month. Project HOPE-Temple Beth El, which is in its second year, is sponsored by volunteers at Temple Beth El. They work in conjunction with St. Hugh’s and serve meals out of St. Hugh and the Moose Lodge. While bread, salad and desserts are donated, the remainder of each meal is paid for by this organization.
As we have learned from HIHI, there is a growing need to feed hungry people in our community. Project HOPE certainly helps to fill this need. One of the many things I love about this project is that it shows how congregations from many faiths can work together to help our community. As a gardener at Soergel Community Garden, I know that these congregations have large give to grow gardens and are dedicated to easing hunger in our community. Please support them by giving generously.
February, 2014 Beneficiary
UU Metro District of NY – Youth programming.
February’s Split Plate is in support of our district’s youth ministry outreach. We have district Youth Conferences that sell out in minutes; youth leadership schools that are stellar but also cost prohibitive for many; youth service trips and projects as well as extremely part-time district staffing devoted to supporting excellence in youth ministry. Our UUFH congregation has the opportunity to set an example to other congregations to better fund youth ministry in our area so that our youth benefit from collaborative support. This would also help make programming more financially accessible to youth who need the help.
Contributions will help to
- •support Youth leadership formation
- •Strengthen district youth community connections
- •Foster Worship planning/leading skills
- •Deepen youth faith and identity formation
- •Better support professional staff who support youth
- •Set an example to our sister congregations to support youth ministry
We hope you can give generously to support our district’s youth.
January, 2014 Beneficiary
One of the most significant activities of the Huntington NAACP for over a decade has been that of raising funds for scholarships to be awarded to deserving minority students graduating from high schools in Huntington Township. As the cost of college attendance rises, the need for assistance grows annually. The donations from our split plate collection will be put toward scholarships for seniors graduating in June 2014. The Fellowship has a long history of cooperation with our local branch of the NAACP and we start our new year by continuing the tradition of supporting the The NAACP Huntington Branch’s Scholarship Program.
December, 2013 Beneficiary
Huntington Community Food Council, provides emergency food for individuals and families in the Huntington Township area. After almost 40 years, this food pantry is still running strong on donations of food and labor. In 2012, the Food Council provided more than 67,300 meals for nearly 7,500 people. The donations raised by this split plate will help the council continue to meet the growing need for emergency food assistance in the Huntington area.
November, 2013 Beneficiary
Splashes of Hope dedicated itself to transform, enrich and facilitate healing through art. It was founded in 1996 by Heather Buggée when she was inspired to help comfort hospital patients through her talent of art. Our organization typically caters to children creating colorful underwater scenes and adventurous jungle scenes, but we also can create calm, realistic scenes for adults as well.
Splashes of Hope’s goals are simple. Touch as many people as possible with our hand-painted murals. Our comforting and colorful scenes are designed to support the healing process by providing a soothing and uplifting visual focus for patients, their families and the professionals who care for them. The murals can be used as a therapeutic distraction technique in pain management in treatment rooms or in elevator lobbies to welcome patients and families, creating a child-friendly atmosphere. So far this year, we have “splashed” murals for Stony Brook, Queens Hospital, Tyree Learning Center and Harlem Hospital.
At this time we need funding for more projects! Not every facility has a budget in place where they can sponsor a project themselves. We currently have a long waiting list of facilities that need color, fun and joy brought into their facilities and this collection could potentially help to fund one of those projects. Thank you for your support.
Splashes of Hope is currently based out of Suffolk County space at Coindre Hall, next door to UUFH on Browns Road.
October, 2013 Split Plate Beneficiary
Unitarian Universalist United Nations (UU-UNO) “Every Child is Our Child” Program in Ghana, Africa
During Oct, we celebrate the work done by the UU’s United Nations Office by supporting the “Every Child is Our Child” Program. Through this program, all UUs can help turn our principles into action by fostering the hopes and dreams of children who have suffered from the devastating consequences of HIV/AIDS. The “Every Child” program was established to provide education for AIDS orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in Eastern Ghana. This program provides funds for families who take in additional children but cannot afford the school fees and access to sports, books, uniforms for schools. Funding school fees is critical to provide the education required by this vulnerable group of children. Through our generosity, we can create hope.
September, 2013 Beneficiary
The mission of the Love Yourself Project is to utilize the arts to celebrate and empower communities around the world, to spread a message of unconditional self-love. The project began when the Love Yourself team took to the streets and subways of New York City, distributing over 500 “Love Yourself” stickers and hand-folded origami hearts, and encouraged people to engage in a conversation about self-love. This was in 2010.
July and August, 2013 Beneficiaries
The Center for the Arts, Port au Prince, Haiti, began it’s programs in May, 2012 with a talented group of artists and 20 fabulous girls, ages 11 to 18. The artists include writers Holiday Reinhorn and Kathryn Adams, and the actor Rainn Wilson, along with various Haitian artists, teaching photography, writing, theater and art, in order to give the girls tools with which to express themselves.
This program was begun by a photographer, Nadia Todres who, after her ﬁrst visit to Haiti in April of 2010, became committed to making a difference in the lives of young girls growing up in the harsh reality that is Haiti today. In order to empower and enrich the lives of Haitian girls, most of whom are unable to attend school, the Center for the Arts, Port au Prince works with them with the guidance of various Haitian artists to teach the girls photography and art, as well as teaching the girls how to make bamboo jewelry. The girls are also taught courses in English and Gender Based Violence and Protection. Any monies collected will help to continue the program, as well as to increase the number of girls involved.
June, 2013 Beneficiary
Sofia Fahs Camp is a Unitarian Universalist camp located on beautiful Shelter Island, NY for approximately 115 campers and 45 adult staff. Children and youth from grades 3-12, gather from the Long Island Area for one week in August each year with adults from UU Congregations serving as staff.
The mission is to provide enjoyable, practical and spiritual experiences in a safe, beautiful and natural environment that will inspire children, youth and adults to explore their identities: personal, communal and Unitarian Universalist. All monies collected will be used to provide financial assistance to children and youth from UUFH who would otherwise be unable to attend camp.
May, 2013 Beneficiary
Smile-in-a-Bag was founded by two Syosset brothers and their parents to create and deliver activity bags to children and youth in Winthrop and Cohen’s Children’s Hospitals. They founded the charity in memory of their uncle, who passed away from leukemia when Adam and Ian were just 8 and 11 years old. Ten years later, SIAB has delivered 15,000 activity bags, and needs your help to keep going. Please give generously to fund this wonderful, local effort to comfort hospitalized children on Long Island.
April, 2013 Beneficiary
Micro-Loan Recipients in Burundi in east-central Africa
A huge fire on January 27, 2013 in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, completely destroyed the Central Market and the inventories of all the small market people we had previously funded. Together with other UUs, we have re-funded about 60 of the 90 original micro-loan recipients. Thirty more await our help to get them back in business so that they can provide for their families.
February and March, 2013 Beneficiary
CERG UU Disaster Relief Fund
Now that we can assess the extent of the damage created by “Sandy.” it’s obvious that it will take lots of money to aid the afflicted. While UUs, as individuals and as groups from many congregations, were both “hands on” and generous financially in the relief efforts in November that was only “first aid.” Sandy is not a crisis du jour. It will take years to rebuild – buildings and lives. It wasn’t just flood water and downed trees – there are lingering effects. As of January 23, the Times reported that in NYC 1,893 buildings are without heat and hot water. Also, the Senate has not yet voted on the $50 million relief bill. Mold is rampant. Many small businesses have been destroyed. Marginalized people suffer most. Undocumented people can’t apply for any government relief. “Faith communities are trying to work against that.” (McNatt)
Our UU Central East Regional Group (CERG) established the CERG UU Disaster Relief Fund to collect donations to assist fellow UUs with storm damage clean up, members’ immediate needs and in rebuilding efforts. Funds are used to provide the basics needed for UUs who have been displaced or are in need of emergency support, to assist congregations in rebuilding damage, to assist our own Murray Grove conference and retreat center, and to support congregations who are working in their larger communities. By early January the fund had received $306,000; much, much more is needed
January, 2013 Beneficiary
The micro-loan program in Burundi, one of the poorest places in Africa, is the January, 2013 split place recipient. Through our association with Rev. Fulgence, the only UU minister in that country, we can do something to help its people in very basic ways. A $100 loan to start a small business, properly used, can help feed a family of five for a year. When repaid, the lives of another family can benefit also. Please be generous when considering these very vulnerable people.
December, 2012 Beneficiary
The Split Plate charity for December will be the Family Service League’s Food Pantry at Manor Field Family Center. Throughout the year, we give to the Food Pantry at the Manor Field Family Center through our food donation box. Donations will help the Family Service League purchase additional food for the pantry, which is especially needed during the holidays and the cold, winter months which follow. Your generous support, as always, is greatly appreciated.
November 2012 Beneficiary
The h2 Empower-sponsored library in Hosanna, Ethiopia. The library that Helen Boxwill’s non-profit has worked so hard to build is finally complete, with significant help from Fellowship folks along the way. The building is on the grounds of a primary school and at present will be open only during the school day. The need now is to fund staff so that the library can serve older children and adults on the weekends and evenings. Then the library can benefit the whole community.
October 2012 Beneficiary
Through the “Every Child is Our Child” program, all Unitarian Universalists can help turn UU principles into action by fostering the hopes and dreams of children who have suffered from the devastating consequences of HIV/AIDS.
“Every Child is Our Child” is a UU-UNO program established to provide education for AIDS orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in Eastern Ghana. The program has been designed by professionals with significant experience in African community development, and works in partnership with a traditional community organization, the Queen Mothers Association.
The “Every Child is Our Child” Program resulted from meeting directly with the Queen Mothers, learning about the community issues and having joint planning session to prioritize their requirements. School fees and health care were designated as the highest priorities.
The Queen Mothers play a vital role in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS in the district. They have established various programs to prevent the spread of the disease. These include counseling, feeding, clothing and some vocational training for AIDS orphans. Through “Every Child is Our Child”, the Queen Mothers are also currently enrolling the children and their foster families in the National Insurance Plan.
“As in the rest of Africa, young people between the ages of 10 and 24 comprise more than one-third of the total population of the country. By 2025, young people will number 12 million. Teenage pregnancies are a continuing problem for the Government. Girls in the 15-24 age group account for approximately one-third of all births every year. These high rates are a result of early marriage, sexually active youth, lack of knowledge of reproductive health and lack of access to youth friendly reproductive health information and services. Adolescent childbearing is twice as high in rural areas as in cities.” Though the Ghanaian government spends over 22% of its budget on education, school fees are still required. With the high cost of living and inflation, many of the families who take in additional children are not able to provide the required school fees and access to sports, book bags, school uniforms, notebooks, stationery supplies and science resource centers. Funding school fees is critical to provide the education required by this vulnerable group of children.
All of these contributing factors make our continued support of this worthwhile endeavor of paramount importance.
June, 2012 Beneficiary
The Split Plate Recipients for June, 2012 were Tri Community and Youth Agency and the UUFH. Tri Community and Youth Agency is a private not-for-profit community based agency dedicated to supporting the growth and development of youth and their families. Tri CYA has been providing services, such as our current offerings of after school drop in, homework help, a mentoring program, a reading program, dance, knitting, and cooking, and even karate and sewing, for over 34 years. During the summer, offerings also include Summer Field Trips to Robert Moses Beach, movies, parks, and educational and cultural trips. Tri CYA provides support to people who live in our community, and helps them identify all the available resources the Town of Huntington has to offer. Money collected from this split plate collection will be used to support the programs that provide a positive, healthy place for the youth and families in our community.