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Malealea Valley, Lesotho

Both of her parents died of AIDS, so Palesa, a 15-year-old double orphan in Me Theresa’s 7th grade classroom, lives in the village with her slightly older sister and brother. After school, she does her English homework alone inside of her meticulously clean, one-room home.

Palesa, her sister and her brother struggle to make ends meet by brewing Basotho beer and selling it out of the family home. The yellow flag signals that the beer is ready for sale. Me Theresa keeps a watchful eye on the household, worried about Palesa’s vulnerability, about the emotional toll on her homework and her ability to pass the 7th grade final exit test.

"Learning to Hope: Children, HIV, & Education in Botswana & Lesotho" Series
"Learning to Hope: Children, HIV, & Education in Botswana & Lesotho" Series