Caribbean Association in China reaches out to children whose lives are affected by AIDS

Members and friends of the Caribbean Association in China (CAC) today treated a group of 20 children, whose lives have been touched by AIDS, to a visit to the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. The aquarium has Asia’s longest underwater sightseeing tunnel.

The CAC-sponsored three-hour visit to the facility was part of a larger trip to Shanghai for the excited children, many of whom were visiting a big city for the first time. After a 24-hour train ride, the aquarium was the first event on their agenda.

To plan the outing, the CAC collaborated with the Hong-Kong based non-profit Chi Heng Foundation which reaches out to needy children across China. AIDS-affected children are one of the Foundation’s major target groups. Although the children are not infected, their parent or parents have contracted HIV/AIDS. Some of the children have already lost one or both parents, and they are from very poor homes.

The trip to the aquarium was part of the activities that make up the Foundation’s Summer Camp this year.

By placing the children into five small groups (from A to D) as they completed the tour, the roughly 25 CAC representatives were able to give their charges individual attention. Group D was the first to complete the tour and, with 20 minutes to spare, the Association treated the five boys to arcade games.

At the end of the tour, the CAC presented all the children with gifts of tie-dyed T-shirts, books and hand-written notes.
“We were moved by the kids’ humility and genuine appreciation,” said CAC President Dr Nicoleen Johnson. She was among the three CAC members who joined the group for dinner later that night, where the CAC was presented with a plaque as a show of gratitude.
The aquarium visit was the CAC’s second charity outreach project since the association was formed in April 2007; the first was a visit to a school for migrant children. These events are in keeping with the non-profit group’s mission of fostering a stronger understanding and appreciation of the Caribbean culture in China, strengthening Sino-Caribbean relations and serving as a support network for the Caribbean Community in China. In addition to organizing events to support local and Caribbean charities, the CAC also:

  • Helps prepare new students for life in China, including pairing them with other members from the Caribbean who will be their support network in their city of residence;
  • Assists the region’s Beijing Embassies with organizing various events, as well as putting together independent CAC events;
  • Keeps members abreast of regional events being held in China or visiting delegations/groups from the Caribbean.

For more information, please contact the Caribbean Association in China at: [email protected]