Photo Stories: African Women and Kids
Affected by AIDS Share their Lives



16-year-old Varlito has lived alone since 2004, when his mother died from AIDS and his 14-year-old sister, Belamina, went to live 20 minutes away. They lost their father to AIDS in 2001. While Varlito lives on his own, his best friend Joaquim lives just across the street and he has cousins and friends in his neighborhood. His sole source of support is from Reencontro, who helped Varlito add a room to his house and provides him with food.

Varlito has ambitious plans for his future. His favorite subject in school is history, he plays soccer and basketball, and he wants to be an accountant. When asked what he learned from The House Is Small he spoke of the new skills that he learned in photography and of “taking pictures of the world as I see it.” His hope is that his pictures will show the world that he was much happier when his parents were alive and that his life has drastically changed since they passed. He also wants the world to see that he brings much happiness to his own life by being strong, and that he is a child who still knows how to smile -- no matter what.

comments from website visitors:

Varlito- I began praying for you as I looked at your picture with the Bible, that God truly would be your strength and solace and joy. That He would be your Father... and your Mother. As I began reading on your page, I began to weep. My heart connects with your journey in profound ways. So many Bible verses come to mind... I pray He will choose them and encourage you each day. Hold fast to Him Who truly is able.
Phoenix, AZ, USA
Posted Monday, December 01, 2008 7:47PM

Varlito,with your photos,I like the way that you can capture subtle emotions,your parents would be 'very' proud of your accomplishments,I know I am..Keep smiling!!
Donnetta LaShon
Posted Tuesday, June 10, 2008 11:36PM

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photos by this person (click to view larger):

Little girl

My sister in my room

photos of this person (click to view larger):

Getting unstuck
Tomas Cumbana

Photo review
Tomas Cumbana

Learning about portraiture
Joanne Kim

Feeling good after lunch
Eugene Ahn

Double check time
Eugene Ahn

Where the fun hangs out
Tomas Cumbana

Higher power

Paper memories

Looking forward

The entourage

Shooting back
Lynn Warshafsky


blog entries by this person:


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I want to be seen beyond my status. I am more than HIV positive.
Funeka Nceke
Cape Town project participant

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