The Assessment of the Unheard Stories of Orphan Children Infected and Affected by the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: A Case Study in Alice Eastern Cape, South Africa

T. Pitso


The epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa has already orphaned a generation of children and it was projected that by 2010, 18 million African children under the age of 18 will be orphans from AIDS (UNICEF, 2006). It has been estimated that more than 2 million children have already been orphaned in South Africa and those infected and affected are mostly from the poor socio-economic background (Fourie and Meyer, 2010). A qualitative study has investigated 12 orphans who were selected by means of snowball sampling method. The informed consent was acquired from the guardians and parents of these children and all the participants were appraised on issues to do with confidentiality. Both face to face interview and open-ended questionnaires were used to collect data. The findings were that these children experience grief and depression, they are physically abused by their guardians, sexual abuse and this leads trauma, they have fear of disclosing their real experiences for the fear of being assaulted, cannot concentrate at school hence their academic performance is poor and some gave to achieving their future aspirations. The study recommended that beyond food and shelter, these orphans need a psychological support after the loss parents so that they can acquire the skills of resilience to daily combats.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n10p560

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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