Problems, Coping, Resilience and Support of AIDS Orphans: Comparison of the Experiences of Younger and Older Orphaned-Children

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Addis Ababa University


Orphaned children are vulnerable in many ways; hence, they require special care and support. The purpose of this research was to investigate the psychosocial status (problems, coping and resilience) of these children and the support provided to them . The paper also attempted to compare the experiences of younger and older children on these issues. A Sample of 66 full orphnned-children (younger==31, 0Ider==35) were considered for data collection (girls==31, boys==35). Structured interview and focus group discussions were the tools used for data collection. In addition, data were collected fronz guardians' interview and focus group discussions. Findings suggested that sick parents did not openly communicate with their children about their disease and hence children had little death expectation. After parental death, it is the guardians who played decisive role in the life of the orphaned-children. During parental death, younger children did not show any clear reaction but obsessed with the event and older children get disturbed as if it was the end of their life and expressed their deep sorrow. Sometime latter, orphaned-children securely attached to guardians; because of the confidence they built on. Thus, children become resilient while living withJheir guardians. Of course, in some instances, this resilience seems to be threatened like when, for example, facing discrimination by outsiders or when dead parents 'were insulted. Besides guardians' all rounded support, NGOs are also providing economic support by covering education fee, buying uniforms and rendering token money on monthly basis that can minimize family expenses .



children are vulnerable in many ways