Supporting child-headed families has always been an area of our work that we have felt passionate about. To know that young children are having to bear the weight of prematurely becoming an adult figure in order to help, nurture, provide for and look after younger siblings is a huge responsibility. It impacts their life greatly and very often, not positively. The burden of responsibility on young shoulders, who have no support is tremendous and a huge strain on every aspect of their lives. For a young child or children to wake up one day having lost the head of your family, your support network, your provider, your safety net, the person that takes care of and looks after your wellbeing is crushing. To be in a country where there are no support networks to help with this loss, is even harder. To just be left alone aimlessly pondering what to do or where to go for help, reassurance and guidance is a very lonely place to be and for young children is extremely frightening and overwhelming.

Being left as the head of their household at a young age tragically subjects them to a life of low paid casual labour, makes them vulnerable to child trafficking, homeless, left to beg on the streets, become involved with gangs, drug distribution and exposes them to disease. There is a high chance that siblings will be separated, get into trouble and find themselves in difficult situations. Witnessing children struggling to cope, being forced to surrender their place at school to find food and being left homeless is why we must help.

This is what happens when we do. Over the years we have had supporters who have given specifically to help support this child-headed family pictured above. We started to help them when they were young boys in a situation as described above and now, they are becoming adults in their own right. One of the boys is now a mechanic, he has a job and helps support his brother. Their lives, due to the generosity of supporters, has been transformed. Their outlook on life has completely changed for the better as they have received the support they so desperately needed. We see here the true result of giving children hope and what they can do with it with the right support system in place. We are immensely proud of these two boys and what they have achieved and how they have kept going due to the support they received from people like you.

No donation is too small to help make a difference to children who have lost their whole world and a regular donation of £10 a month would really help the next generation of child-headed families. Together we can help children, like the girls above, get back on their feet and make a life for themselves. We can help be their support, encourager, carer and new family as we focus on helping them to find their smile again.