AP PHOTOS: South African family worries over children’s fate

EKANGALA, South Africa (AP) — Buhle Mathebule, 4 years old, squints against the harsh sunlight outside her family’s one-room shack in Ekangala, South Africa. She is spending rare time with her sister, 11-year-old Perlucia, who is home for the holidays. Buhle was born with albinism. Perlucia was badly burned as a baby. Both children are the source of much worry for their parents, who support the family and its delicate medical needs with part-time construction work. Perlucia receives support from an aid group, Children of Fire, in Johannesburg. Buhle often stays in the shack to protect her skin from the unforgiving sun. Her parents worry she could be targeted by people believing that the body parts of people with albinism have special powers, though that danger is greater in other countries in the region.

Associated Press photographer Denis Farrell is a volunteer with Children of Fire.

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