Well, the official raspberry pi quick start guide
has the following to say on the subject:
Note: There is no VGA output available, so older VGA monitors will require an
Using an HDMI to DVI-D (digital) adaptor plus a DVI to VGA adaptor will not work. HDMI
does not supply the DVI-A (analogue) needed to convert to VGA - converting an HDMI or
DVI-D source to VGA (or component) needs an active converter. (It can work out cheaper to
buy a new monitor.) The lack of VGA has been acknowledged as a priority issue.
Looks like you need to find him a different monitor. Or let him use the family TV:
There are two main connection options for the RPi display, HDMI (high definition)
and Composite (low definition).
• HD TVs and most LCD Monitors can be connected using a full-size 'male' HDMI
cable, and with an inexpensive adaptor if DVI is used. HDMI versions 1.3 and 1.4 are
supported, and a version 1.4 cable is recommended. The RPi outputs audio and video
via HMDI, but does not support HDMI input.
• Older TVs can be connected using Composite (a yellow-to-yellow cable) or via SCART (using a Composite to SCART adaptor). PAL and NTSC TVs are supported.
When using composite video, audio is available from a 3.5mm (1/8 inch) socket, and
can be sent to your TV, to headphones, or to an amplifier. To send audio your TV,
￼￼you will need a cable which adapts from 3.5mm to double (red and white) RCA