Meet Sefoloza

The population of a small fishing town, like many across Uganda, has been devastated by HIV and AIDS.

The adult generation was the hardest hit, leaving a wide gap between the remaining grandchildren and young kids. Sefoloza, a warm-hearted 9-year-old, lost her mother to AIDS while she was young.

Sefoloza’s father works as a farmer in another town, so she lives in the village with her auntie and five cousins.  She speaks kindly of her auntie and likes to help her clean and smoke the fish. Each morning, before eating, Sefoloza also cleans the home and fetches water. When asked which chore is the worst, Sefoloza responds "none."

In an area where mothers are hard to find, Sefoloza embraces the role. At home, she plays house, pegging herself as “mother” so she can buy food, cook and wash. Her auntie bought an alphabet board for Sefoloza to hang up inside their home, and Sefoloza uses it teach her young cousins how to spell.

Even at a young age, Sefoloza recognizes the importance of going to school, where she says she's the happiest. At her second year in primary school, she's one of the top in her class. Her favorite classes are math and English. She studies hard, with the hopes of becoming a nurse so she can sell and inject medicine to help the sick. When asked about her future success, Sefoloza says she pictures herself "well-off" and clarifies "but still living with my auntie."

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