The life experiences of AIDS orphans in Malawi : a case of Area 23, Kalolo and Tsabango village in Lilongwe district
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This thesis reports on qualitative life history interviews of orphaned children who have lost both of their parents due to death by HIV/AIDS in Malawi. The focus is on double orphans who are between the ages of 15 and 17 years. The purpose is to explore and analyse the life experiences of orphans in Lilongwe in order to understand how they construct their social world. Methodologically, the study uses biographical or life history approach because it offers means to make links between the orphans lived experiences and the wider context of social, historical, cultural processes in the society. This helps to deeply understand the meanings that children attach to their stories. The stories of orphans depict that sickness and death of both parents' leads to loss of money and property, which is affecting their access to basic needs such as food and education, for instance. Their poor economic situation is exacerbated by stigma attached to HIV/AIDS, which also affect the extent by which they are accepted or rejected by relatives. Workload is a common experience affecting them. The workload puts them at a disadvantage in school and free time. Though in this situation, orphans have formed solidarity among themselves. They love, understand and help each other both physically and psychologically and this keeps them together. They also have ambitions and aspirations for a better life in future. The thesis aims at presenting the overall analysis of the biographies of orphans and thereby also showing the implications of their experiences.
Mastergradsoppgave i "Comparative social work" - Høgskolen i Bodø, 2005