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Sports Relief: "Hasan and his brothers" AIDS Orphans.

Brothers safe with SOS
Brothers safe with SOS

A film about AIDS orphan Hasan makes a clear statement about the need to tackle AIDS, which so often tears families apart and leaves children alone and vulnerable.

We have already welcomed Sport Relief who brings welcome attention to the situation of children in the developing world. I have just watched a film called "Hasan and his brothers" explaining how a young AIDS orphan ended up being in charge of his younger brothers when his mother died and how his youngest baby brother even calls him "mama".

Sports Relief were supporting a charity (not sure who) which was providing food for the boys, and support in terms of childcare so that Hasan could go to school. This is in line with the best practice, and we have found since 2004 that the large number of children who have no adult are better off if possible together in their family home, with support for them in that situation to help them get education, nutrition and health care (and a nurse who drops by several times a week and gives some emotional support to the older child as well). We call these support programs for child headed families "family strengthening programs" and we have some 175,000 children on them now, giving them a chance of a family life. It is surprising in practice what it takes to make the difference more usually we support these children through until they are capable of independently earning a living and in general we will keep emotional ties to them long after that but sometimes it is even as simple as ensuring that children manage to keep ownership of a small family home which other relatives may want, or even finding relatives they could not trace.

If you would like to help Aids Orphans and child headed families you could sponsor a child or make any other regular donation to SOS Children. We work in 45 African countries and are the world's largest charity for orphans.