Children With

The faces

These children, all HIV+, live in St. Martin's room. Most of the children who have AIDS go to school, unless they are too sick to go. The children get minimal health care. Since Sister Mariola cannot afford the full AIDS treatment for each child, they do not receive it because the effect of not finishing the full course of treatment is more deleterious than not starting treatment.


The babies that are HIV+ stay in "House of Hope," which opened in 1994 to isolate sick babies. Although there is a chance that a child's status can change from HIV+ to HIV- if the mother does not breast feed the child, rarely do children switch. Many of the HIV+ babies that come to the orphanage are in bad shape and die shortly arfter arrival. Many of the babies who are HIV+ also have tuberculosis.

AIDS testing

The woman here is a former Kasisi orphan and her son who came back to kasisi Orphanage and told Sister Mariola that she and her son were "sick." Sister Mariola suggested that they be tested for AIDS. Here, Sister Jane takes blood samples.

Matthew's funeral

The number of HIV+ children at Kasisi is constantly in flux. When I was at Kasisi, about 40 of the 160 children were HIV+. One baby, Matthew, came in one night and died the next morning of AIDS. The first photograph is of Sister Sofia, standing in the doorway, and Sister Jane in the forefront, decorating the small white box, Matthew's coffin. She taped some images of Jesus and a fake flower on the cofin. The funeral was a short morning service at Kasisi's chapel. Then, some of the workers walked the coffin out to Kasisi's graveyard outside of the gates in silence. The sisters and workers took turns carrying the coffin and leading the procession. A couple of the workers took a few old cans of powdered baby milk and cut some bouganvelia flowers from Kasisi's wall to place on the grave, a mound of earth. Matthew's grave, with fresh flowers, was surrounded by similar mounds of earth with rusting milk cans and dried bouganvelias.

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