The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 4, 2013

Genevan seeks protein for HIV victims

Waves of heat rise from the hot dirt in India as children run from school to their home at the orphanage.

Geneva native Rocky Braat is there to welcome them inside, where the children will experience all they know of family, all they know of love.

Braat, a 2001 Geneva High School graduate and graphic designer, cares for 33 HIV-positive children at the orphanage in Chennai, India. His work is the subject of the documentary film and 2013 Sundance Film Festival winner “Blood Brother.”

While the children play in the shade or rest in their beds, Braat worries about their health, their medications and the nutritional value of their meals.

An online community of support has begun around Braat’s efforts to enrich the lives of the children. Right now, the group is working to raise $5,000 to supply milk and eggs to the orphanage for one year.

“Eggs are 4 rupees each. The orphanage uses 66 eggs per day (265 rupees), which is roughly $6 per day or $2,190 a year,” Braat said. “Milk packets are 17 rupees each and the orphanage consumes 30 packets a day, which is roughly $10 per day, or $3,723 a year.

The fundraising at www.rally.org has brought in $2,330 so far from 90 supporters.

Braat said the eggs and milk are much-needed dietary staples for the children.

“Basically to sustain the lives of our children, they need a highly nutritious diet,” he said. “We literally have to over feed them just to combat the effort of HIV and the side effect of the anti-retroviral drugs.”

The children are always losing weight, Braat said.

“They lose the weight so much so that we limit their physical activity,” he said.

The milk and eggs are a big part of the orphanage’s budget.

“Our children each drink three cups of milk a day and eat two eggs a day,” Braat said. “These are only two of the staple foods that the kids receive. We don’t currently receive any support from the government, the home operates completely off in kind donations. By meeting this need, it helps us to be able to meet other needs that may not otherwise be possible.”

Text Only
Local News
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Grumpy Cat Not Impressed at "Idol" Is Shaquille O'Neal the World's Best Ex-Athlete? Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 2 BASE Jumpers Set World Record Screaming 2-year-old gets psyched at Penguins game Pineda: Put pine tar because he didn't want to hit anyone Beyonce on Her Biggest Influence Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India