Sthabile standing in her home

© Ziv Koren/BRC

Despite the many tragedies Sthabile, 15, has already known in her life, she is a quietly assured young woman, with a vision for her future.

Sthabile never knew her father and was just five years old when her mother passed away from HIV in 2001. For a while her grandmother looked after her, but then she also died.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m alone,” Sthabile says. “But I try to forget it.”

Sthabile lives in South Africa, where one in four adults lives with HIV. You can donate to the British Red Cross South Africa HIV Fund, and help us continue our HIV programme in South Africa.

Becoming an HIV orphan

Sthabile with her adopted sister Nelly

“When my mother passed, she left me to some girl who walked away,” Sthabile says. “Then the police found me and took me to my grandmother who told me about my mother passing from HIV.”