In Sub-Saharan Africa, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has left millions of children without parents.
To help South African children and teens orphaned by the crisis, New Yorker Amy Stokes founded Infinite Family, a nonprofit organization that connects orphans with video mentors in other countries.
Stokes was recently honored as a CNN Hero for her work helping orphans rebuild their lives.
Stokes told CNN:
“[With] so many children and so few adults to help them grow up, I knew we had to find a way to bring new information, resources and the caring, nurturing effect of other adults into the lives of [these] children.”
Mentors communicate weekly with their “net buddies”. Since 2006, the organization has connected over 300 South African children with mentors.
In addition to finding support and companionship through the mentor-mentee relationship, participants also learn English and computer skills, which help them secure jobs after they finish school.