Press Room

MEDIA CONTACT: For high-resolution photos, review copies, or to schedule interviews, please contact Ruthann Richter, (650) 725-8047, info@facetofaceafrica.com.

PRESS RELEASE, May 2010: Karen Ande wins top honor in World Affairs Council of Northern California "Global Visions" photography competition. [Read (PDF)]

Faces of Children You Won't Forget

Thirteen-year-old Esther Ipeche stoops over a charcoal fire on the dirt floor of her family's tin shanty, stirring maize meal into water for the family’Äôs only meal of the day. Her withered mother, Susan, lies on the lone bed in the closet-sized hut, barely able to lift her head without help. Her life is slowly being drained by AIDS

Esther's powerfully moving story is among those that unfold in the pages of Face to Face: Children of the AIDS Crisis in Africa. The book takes a fresh approach to the issue of Africa's children and AIDS, blending color photography and narrative to offer what one reviewer called a "heartbreakingly beautiful book of hope." Award-winning writer Ruthann Richter and documentary photographer Karen Ande trekked through the alleyways of the Nairobi slums and the pastoral villages of the East African bush to visit with children who have lost parents to AIDS or are struggling with infection themselves. The children's stories convey a sense of resilience and optimism despite enormous challenges

"This book brings these issues to the forefront, providing seldom-seen and poignant portraits of the lives of children in sub-Saharan Africa who are growing up in the world of AIDS," Peter Piot, MD, former Executive Director of UNAIDS, writes in the foreword. "These are remarkably resilient youngsters, children with the faces of hope, carrying on in the face of daunting loss and economic deprivation."

The book also highlights the work of community activists, the remarkable individuals who have rescued these children from a precarious existence and transformed their lives. All proceeds from the book will go to organizations dedicated to helping Africa’Äôs children.

"These beautiful faces will remind you of children you love," said Helene Gayle, MD, MPH, President and CEO of CARE USA. "And their stories show what's possible when we care enough to stand up for them."

The book is the product of multiple trips to Africa by Richter, a veteran medical writer, and Ande, longtime friends from their Stanford University graduate school days. They first traveled together to Kenya in 2004 and became gripped by the human devastation of AIDS, particularly its traumatic impact on children. They resolved to help bring the issue to public light.

Richter has been covering AIDS since the early days of the epidemic in the 1980's and has won many awards for her reporting. Ande has been chronicling the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa since 2002. She has been profiled on ABC and in the San Francisco Chronicle for her work on behalf of Africa's children. For more information, see: facetofaceafrica.com.

Read articles and reviews about the book.

The book is a release of Hope Publishing House in Pasadena, CA.