Friday, April 22, 2011

Girls, Students, MADODEF, Western Kenya, 2007

Going back in time is as easy as pulling a picture out of the box. It feels remarkably in the moment.

The image above is but a few minutes ago. These three girls have perhaps finished their education in this rural school, maybe they have gone onto higher education with the help of the foundation. For the time being, they are three friends choosing to make this portrait together.

When we arrive on this overcast day, the students are surprised to see us. They choose small groups for the session when asked, and do so effortlessly. The school is to their right, their friends are standing to their left. Every few minutes it rains a little bit. We continue on, my camera covered with a hat and the girls ignoring the droplets altogether.

The foundation, MACODEF, supports more than a few students in this rural school. The main reason for the foundation's involvement in the lives of these students is the fact that HIV/AIDS has turned many of the area's children into orphans. Driving through the small towns produces images of small coffins lined up at storefronts for sale, along with their larger counterparts.

It is a stark reminder that while much of the West has almost forgotten about this virus, certain parts of the world are faced with its endless menace, with its lack of mercy for the living. Let us hope for the sake of the girls above that the present is different.

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