Your name is Catherine Mwanda and you are 15 years old. You live in the city of Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, one of the countries that make up the continent of Africa. Your mother is HIV+ and has been working hard to support your family for the past five years, since your father abandoned the family. You have two younger brothers, ages 9 and 7. Your mom’s health has been slowly declining over the past several months and she hasn’t been able to work a steady job for almost a year. Your family gets by on a very limited amount of money and the help of your neighbors. You and your brothers attend school in the city.
This morning you overheard your mother talking with someone. Your mom was telling a friend that she just found out that her HIV+ status has now developed into full blown AIDS. You know that this may keep your mother from working not only because she will be sick, but people also are afraid of the disease and will shun her. Since you are the oldest in your family you feel a great responsibility to help out. At school that day, you are very distracted and worried about your mom. You don’t want her to have to worry so much about supporting the family, but you also don’t want to leave school and all of your friends. You need to decide what you will do.
If you will quit school and look for work to support your family, click HERE.