On Thursday 23 March at 9pm on BBC One, a documentary on The Red Nose African Convoy aired. The documentary follows six celebrities as they swap their home comforts for life on the road and take the British public on a journey to show how the money they raise is helping to change lives every single day.
Among the six celebrities are comedians Katy Brand and Russell Kane who peel off from the convoy to visit Comic Relief-funded project mothers2mothers’ (m2m) Rachuonyo Clinic, just outside of Kisumu, Kenya, and visit Beatrice who runs m2m’s site there. They meet with m2m clients and learn how Mentor Mothers, like Beatrice, provide vital life-saving education and support to women, children, and families each and every day.
Beatrice Masawa is one of m2m’s Mentor Mothers, mothers living with HIV who serve as peer mentors to pregnant HIV-positive women and adolescent girls. Comic Relief funding in Kenya enables Mentor Mothers to offer emotional and practical support to other mothers on how to stay healthy and prevent passing HIV onto their babies. Through m2m’s peer approach, Mentor Mothers are eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV among their clients and creating healthy families and communities in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015 alone, m2m Mentor Mothers like Beatrice reached an estimated 860,500* women, infants, children, adolescent girls and young women, and men, in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
It is at Beatrice’s site where Russell Kane meets m2m client Mary Christine and her young son Richard. He travels with them from their home to the health facility where Richard takes his final, 18-month HIV test that will determine whether he begins his life free from HIV. Katy Brand spends the day with Beatrice and witnesses how important the work of Mentor Mothers is, meeting m2m clients like Queenter, whose husband abandoned her following her HIV disclosure. Katy discovers how Beatrice is helping Queenter make life changing decisions for her and her family.
The documentary is available to watch on BBC iplayer for U.K. residents. Or, watch the best bits on YouTube, available to the rest of the world.