Charity founded by South Hampstead man helps Aids orphans
A charity founded by a South Hampstead man is working to protect and educate forgotten Aids orphans in Kenya and India.
Ian Govendir, of Belsize Road, set up Aids Orphan in 2009 to raise awareness of orphaned children who are also HIV positive.
He voiced fears that the situation is “one of the largest unrecognised human disasters on the planet” on World Aids Day last Thursday.
The 51-year-old said: “It seemed to me that with improved and more widespread medication and people living longer, Aids has dropped off the radar to an extent.
“However the bottom line is there are an increasing number of children still being orphaned.”
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The London-based charity provides children aged three to 21 with access to education, regular meals and help taking medication.
It also provides psychological training and counselling to help the children cope with the loss of their parents.
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The charity currently runs two projects in Kenya and one in India.
One child who has benefited is eight-year-old Lulu, who is profoundly deaf and HIV positive.
Before she arrived at one of the charity’s rescue centres in Nairobi, Kenya, she suffered from pneumonia caused by a poor diet and irregularly taking her medication.
She is now living a comfortable life and goes to school, and when the time comes the charity’s staff will explain Lulu’s life-threatening disease to her sensitively.
The idea for Aids Orphan was born out of the years Mr Govendir spent working for the British Red Cross.
He said: “I wanted to create a global organisation for a global problem. There are lots of other agencies who work with HIV and children, and they do amazing work. The area of psychological support is misunderstood and there are not enough resources.”
He wants to raise �1million over the next decade. To donate to Aids Orphan visit www.aidsorphan.net