This is an editorial by Andrew Cates
BBC Sports Relief have broadcast several compelling calls to help children in the developing world. Two of them were about children foraging on rubbish dumps (in Dhaka, Bangladesh not to be confused with Dakar the capital of Senegal) and the second in India. That this misery is a daily reality for millions of children is not in doubt. Most NGOs divide street children into two types; ones who work on the streets but go back to some sort of home and those who sleep on the streets. Both types come within our target group of children at risk of losing their family and childhood, the first because almost all homes of this type are so fragile that the risk of break up or run away is huge and the second because lone children is our particular speciality. Strengthening "families" who have to send their children to forage can vary from helping to set up a little enterprise with some training or (if there is no viable breadwinner, or no adult) with food, medicine, education and emotional support until they have reached an age or level where they can cope.
Another was about the impact of Malaria on children. When I lived in West Africa I remember with sadness a funeral of our IT manager's wife from celebral malaria most especially because it was the funeral of his second wife a few years after his first wife had died of the same thing. As this example shows Malaria is a serious killer which kills many children but also young mothers leaving children alone. The first time I had Malaria I was stuck in a traffic jam in strong sunshine with an outside temperature of 38C I found myself winding up the windows and putting the car heater on. A few minutes later I changed route for the hospital.
Another Sports Relief feature group was a typical child-headed family where a young boy called Hasan was caring for his three younger brothers and needed help both to feed his little family and also to try to get some sort of education. This again is our core work; we have some 175,000 Aids orphans on our family strengthening programs where we provide whatever support is necessary for education, nutrition and some sort of family life for the children. We are planning to extend this to 900,000 children by the end of 2018. Perhaps you would help with a child sponsorship or small regular donation for Aids Orphans? If you write your instructions clearly when you set up a direct debit on this website we can ensure that 100% of your donation without any UK deductions at all is sent to support your choice of program.