The Children of Botshabelo

There is a place in the rural grasslands outside of Johannesburg, South Africa that stands on the frontlines of the HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide. The place is called “Botshabelo” (pronounced boh-tscha-BELL-oh), and it serves as a struggling oasis of love and support for mostly children and young people who have nowhere else to go.

Botshabelo is, first, an orphanage that is a home to more than 250 South African children, many of whom are so-called “AIDS orphans” that have lost the adults in their families to HIV/AIDS. Some of the children themselves at Botshabelo are living with HIV/AIDS, including some who contracted the disease after being raped by HIV-infected adults. These are children coping with sexual trauma at its worst.


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