Politics have us all consumed right now in this country, and while it’s not always a pleasant thought, we have to remember that after all the debating and grandstanding are done, there will be real people suffering real consequences who need our help. In some cases, the situation in a particular region is so dire that help must come from all corners of the globe. Such is the case in South Africa, where HIV is ravaging entire communities; a single province in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, has the highest HIV infection rate in the world. What is most chilling about this statistic is the fact that children—toddlers even—are at great risk of becoming infected with HIV due to sexual assaults, which are all too common in the region.
The organization Keep a Child Alive, co-founded by Alicia Keys and AIDS activist Leigh Blake, seeks to fight the scourge of HIV worldwide by tackling social issues along with medical ones. The Operation Bobbi Bear program, headquartered in Durban, South Africa, aims to ensure that every raped child reports within 24 hours after an assault is reported so that the child can be given anti-HIV meds right away and the attack can be documented for future legal action. Amazingly, the group uses teddy bears to document the young victims’ statements—the kids draw and write on the bear, using it to describe exactly what was done to them.
Whether or not you have the money lying around to make a donation, there is no excuse not to take a few minutes and watch the video above (although, full disclosure, it’s got some graphic material). Once you’ve watched, we feel like you’ll probably want to check out the Keep a Child Alive site and see how you can help.