Notes to broadcasters
This story is intended to help children affected by HIV/AIDS talk about the changes happening in their lives, particularly those children whose parents die from HIV/AIDS. Although this is an animal story, the situation will be familiar to an HIV/AIDS-affected child: a parent who becomes sick and dies, feelings of grief and displacement, and the ways in which the child tries to cope. In its different sub-stories it also addresses: separation of siblings after the death of parents, orphans dropping out of school because of increased work at home, lack of resources in the new home, stigmatization of AIDS orphans and community visitors supporting orphans in their homes. You can use one or several narrators. The story is divided into parts to give different perspectives on the problems troubling orphans. You can expand the story and develop more parts to start a serial drama using these or other characters. Follow the program by discussing these issues with children in recorded or on-air discussions.
Other program ideas to help HIV/AIDS affected children:
• Interview children affected by HIV/AIDS about their individual experiences.
• Invite a health worker, family counselor, or volunteer from an AIDS organization to speak about the children’s programs operating in your community.
• Use children’s own experiences to develop more stories with animal characters. Have the children themselves perform a play on the air.
Mummy Cheetah became so sick she could not sing anymore. Mimi Cheetah sometimes stayed home from school to take care of her mummy. After a time, Mummy Cheetah died. Grandmother Cheetah took two of the babies to live with her and Auntie took the other two babies to live with her.
PLAY MUSIC (APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN)
FADE OUT MUSIC
All the children played together and had fun, but sometimes Mimi Cheetah missed her brother and sister who were living with Grandmother Cheetah. And sometimes she felt sad.
When Mimi Cheetah felt sad, she found a quiet place, sang the song her mummy used to sing and she felt comforted.
All the children had chores to do before and after school. Some days, Mimi and Miko were very tired. Auntie saw that they were tired and decided to ask her friend Lulu for help. Lulu came with a blanket for Miko and she offered to help with the chores. With Lulu’s help, Auntie, Mimi, Miko and their cousins had a better life.
FADE OUT MUSIC
The other two baby cheetahs, Coco and Charlie went to live with Grandmother after their mother died. Grandmother Cheetah was old and knew many things, but she could not care for the babies the way their mother had. Grandmother needed help gathering nuts and fruit, so Coco Cheetah stayed home from school to help her. Coco missed her friends at school, and she did not like working all day.
One day, Charlie Cheetah came home from school crying. He hid behind a bush until grandmother coaxed him out. “What is wrong Charlie?” she asked.
Charlie said that the other children teased and hit him and made him feel different. Charlie did not want to go back to school. Grandmother said she would talk to Charlie’s teacher. Coco hugged Charlie. Grandmother fed Coco and Charlie a nice meal. They went to sleep with full tummies and dreams of tomorrow.
– END –
Adapted by Belinda Bruce, Vancouver, Canada, from “Mummy Cheetah and her Baby” and “Helping Children Talk” in Child Health Dialogue, Issue 12/AIDS Action Issue 42 by Liz Day, HIV Coordinator, Bexley Council, Howbury Centre, Slade Green Road, Kent DA8 2HX and Roya Dooman, Drama Therapist, 8 Harraden Road, London SE3 8BZ
“Study paper no. 7: From single parents to child-headed households: The case of children orphaned by AIDS in Kisumu and Siaya Districts,” Ayieko, MA, PhD, 1997. URL: www.undp.org/hiv/publications/study/english/sp7e.htm
“Rural children living in farm systems affected by AIDS: Some issues for the rights of the child on the basis of FAO studies in Africa,” Jacques du Guerny, Chief, Population Programme Service (SDWP/FAO) and FAO Focal Point on AIDS, SDdimensions, 1998. URL: www.fao.org/sd/wpdirect/WPan0026.htm
“Human capital development and future generations,” 1999. URL: www.sls.wau.nl/crds/congress/index.html#subtheme
Program undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).