Reportage by Getty Images
Alexandra Township, South Africa, one from a series for the article "A Generation Lost - Grannies and AIDS Orphans," December 2012. A generation of parents lost to HIV/AIDS left Grandmothers with the burden and challenges of becoming a parent again. Scores of South African grandmothers don’t enjoy peaceful retirement. In the autumn of their lives, many are still in the midst of raising children. HIV/AIDS has taken their sons and daughters, leaving them with the burden of raising their grandchildren. The loss of parents to HIV/AIDS has created 1.9 million orphans in South Africa. According to UNICEF, 64 percent of the orphans are being cared for by a grandparent. Most of the families live in poverty either in the rural areas or in the over crowded townships in big cities. Growing up in an urban township is challenging for any child. Neighborhoods are crowded and unemployment is high, along with prostitution, alcohol abuse, poverty, and crime. HIV/AIDS orphans are at even greater risk in these locations.