Empowering the Youth to care for the disadvantaged in their communities
If you google “africa orphans” or a similar term there’s not a whole lot of information out there. What mostly comes up are organisations that are involved, one way or another, with children and orphans in Africa. But like all charities and NGO’s, most of what they talk about is a bit promotional, although hopefully quite factual.
There are a few resources out there that are a bit more independent and some of them academic.
The first one is this report by UNICEF. It looks to be from around 2003/2004 and has some very interesting graphs and other visual data. It covers aspects of orphans in africa that are not often talked about. Here is a short excerpt which talks about where orphans are found within a country:
Orphans are not necessarily equally distributed within countries. Particular areas within countries have
higher or lower percentages of orphans, largely depending on the HIV/AIDS-prevalence rate. In many
countries, such as Ethiopia and Uganda, prevalence rates are higher in urban areas, which might account
for the higher proportion of orphans in these areas, as suggested in Figure 1-5. However, sickness and
death from HIV/AIDS or other causes often provokes migration from urban areas back to village homes.
Urban parents faced with a terminal illness may choose to die in their home village and may take their
family with them – which might account for the greater rural share of orphans in some countries, including
Zimbabwe. Complicating the picture, there is also migration in the other direction: The
death of the male head of household in a rural area could force the mother and children to the city in
search of work or other forms of support.
For a more recent academic study on african orphans, this paper is a comparative review of how orphans are being cared for. The author, Vongai Kandiwa, looks at the different care situations for orphans such as formal orphanages, adoption, foster care, community care and others. It’s not that long (for those who fear academic papers!) and covers different ground from the UNICEF report.
So there’s a couple good resources that one can read and gives a good foundation to understanding what’s going on in terms of the orphan situation in Africa and the care options. Happy reading!