An exploration of the holistic development and wellbeing of children at Clouds of Hope home KwaSani Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
Andam, Nche Hostencia.
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Children wellbeing is strongly linked to their holistic development and both dependent to the parental support and environmental as well as socioeconomic situation of the country. South Africa is one of the third world countries where the number of orphaned children is growing following HIV/AIDS and the socioeconomic situation of the country is deteriorating. This study explored factors that promote the holistic development of children in Clouds of Hope Home (CHH) taking into consideration the quality of their diets, cognitive growth, psychosocial wellness and the children’s participatory contribution in their wellbeing. It used a case study of the CHH on the basis that the centre hosts children who formed part of the study. A qualitative methodology was adopted in this study and data were collected through 33 in-depth interviews and one focus group discussion. Data for the study was collected at the CHH in KwaSane municipality. Data was analyzed qualitatively using thematic analysis. Findings in this research study suggested that children at the CHH are predominantly orphans and vulnerable. They face the day to day challenges of dealing with their situation both at school and at the centre. Their responses suggest that they are bullied at school and others face stigma and discrimination due to their HIV status that they live with. As reported during the focus group discussions, the children at CHH, indicated the need to be taken care of by a biological parent instead of a caregiver at the CHH, which unfortunately was impossible as many of the children are dominantly orphans. We conclude that rural South Africa continues to struggle with situations of orphans and vulnerable children. While their number is on increase, this research finding suggested that not much is being done for them to face their future if they failed to complete their studies. Moreover, the children in CHH had limited choices as to where to further their studies as they depended most on what the centre management could only afford.