Guidelines towards an ecosystemic support programme for HIV and AIDS orphans in the Fezile Dabi region
Dhlamini, Mookho Emily
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In the absence of support programmes for HIV and Aids orphans in the Fezile Dabi Region this research set out to design guidelines towards an ecosystemic support programme to support HIV and Aids orphans in the Fezile Dabi Region. The literature review revealed that HIV and Aids orphans experience a wide range of support needs. Their psychosocial needs impair normal development due to unhappiness, stress, stigma, discrimination and a lack of care, love and support. In addition to this, emotional needs, which emanate from a lack of security and safety manifest in sadness, disruptive behaviour, poor relationships, poor self-image and isolation. Socio-economic needs expose them to poverty and being vulnerable to child labour with little reward, and deprive them of opportunities to obtain a proper education. All the above-mentioned problems lead to educational needs that manifest in poor school attendance, poor concentration, learning breakdown and dropping out of school. In addition to this, physical needs that stem from malnutrition caused by poverty and a low standard of living have an impact on the physical growth and health of the HIV and Aids orphans. In order to find out whether the abovementioned discussion holds true for HIV and Aids orphans in the Fezile Dabi Region, qualitative, phenomenological research by means of structured individual interviews was conducted with a convenient and purposive sample of 43 Black HIV and Aids orphans in the Fezile Dabi Region. The focus of the interviews was to gain a better understanding of the support needs that these learners experience due to HIV and Aids, and to explore how they are supported in dealing with these needs. The empirical research revealed that the HIV and Aids orphans in the Fezile Dabi Region who took part in my study experience psychosocial, emotional, socio-economic, educational and physical needs. Many of the needs, in the absence of strong community-based support in the region, are not supported adequately. Despite the identified needs, the data revealed strong tenets of resilience among the participants who took part in the study. In contrast to the literature, the findings of my study revealed that a number of the HIV and Aids orphans in the Fezile Dabi Region apparently manage to establish good social relationships that help them cope with their problems. Furthermore, they aspire to obtain a good quality education and have ambitions and goals in terms of their future careers that they would like to achieve. Based on the literature review and the interview data, guidelines towards an ecosystemic support programme for the HIV and Aids orphaned learners in the Fezile Dabi Region were designed.
- Education 
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