Resiliency in the context of HIV/AIDS : a study of community caregivers' perceptions of orphans and vulnerable children in two KwaZulu-Natal districts.
In the context of HIV/AIDS, being orphaned is a reality for 3.8 million of South Africa’s children. The Department of Social Development (DSD) has found that OVC in South Africa do not display the same resilience as OVC in other parts of the world. The current study sought to investigate the factors that impact on OVC resilience through the perceptions of community care givers (CCGs) –including an evaluation of existing interventions by the DSD. The study was conducted in a semi-urban area in eThekwini district and in an urban area in uMgungundlovu district in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. Participants included twenty-four CCG, four of which were male. A qualitative research design was implemented. Data was collected through focus groups which took place in the relevant districts and was analysed thematically, employing Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. The study found that resilience of OVC was significantly impacted on by factors that exist within OVCs macrosystem and chronosystems. Participants reported that delayed service delivery within governmental departments including the DSD prevent OVC “bouncing back” from adversities. The process of red tape and procedures, after a child has been orphaned, is lengthy and the time in which documents are being processed OVC are left with no food, shelter or money. This has the consequence of OVC residing in situations of dire poverty for long durations of time including OVCs basic needs not being met. The study concludes that the role of CCG in facilitating resilience is imperative to OVC development. However, procedures of red tape and delays of service delivery are the contributing factors to OVC lack of resilience in this context.
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