01Tanya and Florence

Tanya lives in Epworth a settlement on the outskirts of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. She lives next door to Florence who was the best friend of her mother Elizabeth who passed away when she was four years old. Ever since Florence does not only take care of her own children but also looks after her. Florence and Tanya are both HIV positive but Tanya is also physically disabled and unable to walk.

04Tanya and Florence

Florence promised her best fiend she would look after her daughter Tanya as one of her one when she was dying.

06Tanya and Florence

“When me friend died, I started looking after Tanya. She needs help as she doesn’t walk and is in a wheelchair.” Florence says.

07Tanya and Florence

Tanya is not at school, because her father cannot afford the fees. She spends a lot of time in and around the house. “When the other kids are playing outside my home, I try and use my crutches to keep up but they don’t slow down for me because I can’t walk as fast. When it happens, and they run away from me, it hurts me a lot. I start calling out to them. If they don’t come back, I go inside my home”, she says.

011Tanya and Florence

“I don’t remember much about my Mum except that she was put in a coffin and she was buried. The people who take care of me now are my Father, my neighbor Florence and my brother,” Tanya says. Tanya calls Florence ‘Mama’.

012Tanya and Florence

Florence preparing a bath for Tanya.

013Tanya and Florence

014Tanya and Florence

Florence looks after Tanya like she is her own.

016Tanya and Florence

Tanya says “I take medication every day. I was told to take the drugs so that I don’t become sick again.”

017Tanya and Florence

Tanya and Florence at home