Sarah visits South Africa for Comic Relief - and we share her journey
Sarah Harding cradles a three-day-old baby just moments after hearing the heartbreaking news that he’ll have to be given an AIDS test in a few weeks.
‘He’s so cute. I can’t believe how tiny he is. It makes me feel broody,’ says Sarah, gentling tickling baby Loyiso’s delicate chin.
The AIDS epidemic is still rife, with almost 1,000 people dying every day in South Africa alone.
During the trip we spend time at the incredible mothers2mothers project in Khayelitsha, which recruits women living with HIV to mentor recently diagnosed expectant mums.
‘I actually thought it was going to be really sad but I was amazed at how strong these women are,’ says Sarah.
‘A doctor can only advise them so much, so it’s great that mothers who’ve previously used the service are willing to come back as mentors to support HIV-positive mums-to-be.
‘They’re proof that you can live with HIV and not pass it on to the baby.’
Sarah had not expected her visit to South Africa to be such a life-changing trip.
‘I knew it would be tough at times but I didn’t realise how inspiring it would be,’ she says.
‘It sounds such a cliché, but every penny raised for Comic Relief and British Airways’ Flying Start counts, especially when you see where the money is being spent. It’s been an incredibly humbling experience.’
Read the full interview with Sarah Harding in Now magazined dated 21 February 2011 – out now!