Kedibone* is 12 years old and looks after her two younger siblings instead of attending school. Their mother died from tuberculosis last year and their father disappeared years ago. Kedibone and her siblings scavenged the local rubbish dump for food and clothing until recently, when the Palabora Foundation came to their village and identified them as a child-headed household in need of financial and other help.

Kedibone’s two younger siblings had no birth certificates and therefore they were not entitled to receive a social grant. The Palabora Foundation organised help for Kedibone to register their births and to apply for the grants they needed. In the meantime they were taken to a drop-in centre that could provide them with food every day. The three children have been registered to start school again.

* All names have been changed. Photographs are representational.