Call me Nana

Call me Nana

Tha hand of an elderly woman holding the hand of a child

Global Perspective is the BBC World Service's international documentary series.

Each year the BBC World Service collaborates with radio stations from around the world to make a documentary series on a contemporary subject of international importance and interest.

Each partner station contributes a documentary which gives a local interpretation of the chosen theme, and this year the theme is Escape.

Programme Four: Call me Nana

This programme, from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, tells the story of some of the growing number of Canadian grandmothers raising their grandchildren without the parents present.

It's a job they never expected, a club they never wanted to join.

According to the Statistics Canada census released in 2007, there are more than 65,000 grandparents in Canada raising grandchildren on their own.

They're called skipped generation families. And their number is growing by about a thousand every year.

Most of the grandparents - more than two thirds - are actually grandmothers and step-grandmothers.

These are women who have turned their lives upside down to raise a child late in life.

They do it because their grandchildren are at risk - abandoned or neglected, and destined to become wards of the state.

Theirs are stories of love and devotion, but they are also stories of real struggle - physical, emotional and financial.

First broadcast on April 11 2008

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