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An exploration of the experience of a memory box programme by children affected by HIV and AIDS.

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The purpose of this research was to highlight the benefits of a Memory Box Programme on the social and emotional developmental functioning of orphaned children. The study focused on the memory box approach used by Sinomlando Centre with orphaned children. The Sinomlando Memory Box Programme has been in existence since 2000. The overall objective of this Memory Box Programme is to enhance resilience in vulnerable children and orphans affected by HIV and AIDS through the methodology of memory boxes In contributing to the discourse on memory work, an interpretive method of data collection and analysis in the form of a focus group discussion and thematic analysis was utilized in this study. Three focus groups were conducted with 26 orphaned children between the ages of 12 years to 15 years. Sampling of the children was based on a purposive sample, targeting children orphaned by AIDS who attended a 5-day camp conducted through a local NGO. The results of the study indicate that children who attended the Sinomlando Memory Box Programme had benefited from their involvement in the programme in diverse ways. They felt that being involved in a Memory Box Programme equipped them with better coping mechanisms and skills. These included the appropriate expression of feelings, the ability to talk about their parent’s death, and overcoming their sense of alienation so they could better cope with their difficult circumstances.


Thesis (M.A.) - University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2009.


Orphans--South Africa., Children of AIDS patients--South Africa., Child mental health--South Africa., Bereavement in children., Adjustment (Psychology) in children--South Africa., Memory Box Programme., Theses--Psychology.