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Orphans and vulnerable children's perceptions of child poverty in Cator Manor, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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Child poverty has proven to have a massively negative effect on children psychologically, physically, academically and spiritually. Although child poverty affects all children, however, orphans and vulnerable children are affected the most. To meet the needs of orphans and vulnerable children, the South African government has implemented many policies and programmes as interventions that oversee the well-being of children and strive to alleviate child poverty. This study was motivated by the fact that despite all these interventions provided for OVC that are poor, the number of OVC and children living in poverty continues to grow. There is still little knowledge on the extent to which OVC experience poverty in South Africa from children’s perceptions. Little is known about the effectiveness of interventions provided for OVC to improve their school performance in South Africa, specifically in KwaZulu-Natal. The aim of this study is to analyse child poverty from the perspective of orphans and vulnerable children of Cato Manor, KwaZulu-Natal. In order to achieve this goal, the researcher utilised mixed methods to collect the data. In the quantitative method, the researcher used a survey questionnaire, entailing closed-ended questions to collect numerical data. On the other hand, qualitative data focused on interviews, which includes open-ended questions. The study’s findings indicate that OVC are indeed the victims of poverty. The extent of poverty experienced by OVC includes lacking food security, access to proper education and lack of habitable conditions. The impact of child poverty on OVC is observed through the stigma and discrimination they experience that leads to isolation and dropping out of school. The study concludes that in order to meet the needs of OVC, the programmes and interventions that are provided need to be monitored and evaluated so that they can be effective. Furthermore, awareness programmes need to be implemented for children, teachers and the community to learn more about OVC in order to eradicate discrimination directed towards them.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.