n African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences (AJPHES) - Experiences of support and assistance given to high school orphans in Winterveldt, Pretoria, South Africa

Volume 22 Number 2.2
  • ISSN : 2411-6939


The burden of HIV/AIDS, has resulted in a large number of children being orphaned. Orphanhood is a devastating experience to most children, and remarkable changes in their daily lives occur as a result of their loss of their parents. Although the need to support AIDS orphans is acknowledged in society, often the assistance given is based on a "one-size-fits-all" approach, and there is a paucity of studies on the nature of the specific assistance and support given to AIDS orphans, and the extent to which their needs are met. The purpose of the study was to explore the life experiences of AIDS orphans in Winterveldt in Pretoria, in relation to the nature of the assistance they receive. Qualitative data, using one-on-one interviews, were collected at two high schools in Winterveldt, a semi-rural area in the Tshwane North region of Gauteng Province. Children who had lost either one or both parents from sickness and who agreed to participate were purposively sampled to participate in the study. Thematic data analysis, using the Nvivo 10 qualitative software was conducted. Secrecy about the nature of the sickness of the parents, psychosocial problems, and abuse within the family setting were identify as common experiences of the orphans. Most regard support they receive to deal with their daily challenges as inadequate. It is recommended that orphan support system be re-visited, to enhance the lives of orphaned children.

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