Notes to broadcasters
This story is intended to help children affected by HIV and AIDS talk about the changes happening in their lives, particularly those children whose parents have died 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 and 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.
One day Mummy Cheetah became sick. She was sad and worried about who would look after her babies if she did not get better. The baby cheetahs played with their friends in the sun, but sometimes they worried about their mummy, and whispered about their fears to each other.
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 CHILDREN’S 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 would find a quiet place and sing 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.PLAY MUSIC.
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.MUSIC (LULLABY).
– 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 and Roya Dooman. Originally published in Developing Countries Farm Radio Network Package 62, number 10, January 2002.
- Ayieko. “Study paper no. 7: From single parents to child-headed households: The case of children orphaned by AIDS in Kisumu and Siaya Districts.” 1997.
- Du Guerny, Jacques. “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.” SDdimensions, 1998.