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Halton group in Aids mission to Mangalore

Six Halton residents from disadvantaged backgrounds have returned from India after an inspiring and emotive trip to an orphanage for children affected by HIV/Aids. The children at the orphanage have not only lost their parents to the virus but contracted it themselves.

Aged between 16 and 34, the delegates were part of a group of 12 staff and residents from Halton YMCA Foyer in Runcorn, Cheshire, and Cosmopolitan Housing Association. The two organisations have jointly raised around £2,500 each year for the last two years to provide essential medical supplies for the children, to enhance their quality of life.

The group returned last week (20/1/09) having spent ten days at the orphanage which is managed by the Mangalore YMCA and were able to experience first hand, the day to day life of the children they help to support. Rob Price, aged 19, was one of the residents from Halton YMCA Foyer who went on the trip.

He said, “ I found it very hard and challenging but at the same time it was nice to finally meet the children at the orphanage and see the good work that’s being carried out there after raising money for the project. The level of deprivation we saw really helped to put things into perspective about our own lives here in the UK.”

Kristene Karaski, Regeneration Officer at Cosmopolitan Housing Association, said: “This was a very challenging, and at times difficult trip but presented an amazing and rewarding opportunity to see first hand how fundraising efforts here, benefit the innovative and invaluable work carried out by Mangalore YMCA. It has made all of us in the group more determined than ever to raise funds and awareness of the problems faced by residents in Mangalore, India.”

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