Feeling the Heat

An African mother of 18 children, many of whom lost their biological parents to AIDS

Loveness Mudaala has the face of a teenager but the hands of a 60-year-old. She is, in fact, 43 and the mother of 18 children. They are not all hers by birth, but like many mothers across southern Africa she has taken in nephews and nieces as her own brothers and sisters have died — nine so far, leaving 12 orphans — of a disease that, says Mudaala, "I will not mention because it may cause problems." Mudaala, who lives in the Siavonga district of southern Zambia, has seen drought before, but the disease she will not name — AIDS — and the children it left behind are sapping her ability to cope with the worst dry spell to hit the region in a decade

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