Award-winning photographer Karen Ande and veteran journalist Ruthann Richter have put together this intriguing book which offers a moving portrayal of life in Africa in the shadow of HIV/AIDS. Its combined photography and narrative capture the hopes and joys, struggles and sorrows of orphaned children left to survive on their own, often caring for younger siblings. It pays homage to the care-giving grannies, the little-known heroes of Africa, who have kept families together as traditional social networks collapse. It also presents some of the special challenges faced by children who are living with HIV. Finally, the book profiles some of the activists – the energetic people working at the grassroots level to help restore the well-being of thousands of children and families affected by the epidemic.
As Helene D. Gayle, president or CARE USA has said, “One of the most tragic and insidious costs of AIDS is the price paid by children, who lose parents, protection and opportunities for the future. These beautiful faces will remind you of children you love. And their stories show what’s possible when we care enough to stand up for them.” Frank Espada, an award-winning documentary photographer, added, “We must be grateful to special people like Ande and Richter, who, recognizing the importance of the issue of AIDS orphans in Africa, refused to look away. This book can be an inspiration to all, reminding us that we live in a rather small and fragile global village, requiring all the help we can give to those in need.”
KAREN ANDE has been chronicling the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa since 2002. She has traveled extensively as a volunteer with NGOs in Kenya and Rwanda, photographing community-based projects and the people they serve. She lives in San Francisco with her husband Jeff Johnson. RUTHANN RICHTER has been writing about medical issues since the early 1980s. She is the director of media relations at Stanford University’s School of Medicine and lives in Palo Alto with her husband Jay and daughter Shaina.