Socio-Cultural Challenges Facing Community- Based Interventions in Providing Care and Support to Children Affected by HIV and AIDS in Lesotho
In the recent times, children are experiencing many forms of injustices which are mainly the aftermaths of HIV/ AIDS. This situation has placed a very huge burden on children and thus, pushing them towards the edge of life whereby they have to assume highly demanding responsibilities at a very early age which in turn affects their development, mentally/ psychologically and even physically. Notably, government departments, Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Faith Based organisations (FBOs) have pledged their commitment in responding to the needs of OVC in the country. However, the number of children suffering under this burden far outweighs the nation’s capabilities to offer them care and support. Evidently, orphans who do not receive support are disproportionately dropping out of school, living an unstable life, and vulnerable to high-risk survival strategies. In Lesotho, the community in general and the extended family in particular have always been expected to play a pivotal role in bringing up all children regardless of their status. Overstressed and in many cases already overwhelmed, the extended family networks face ever-greater burdens as the number of orphans continues to grow. On the other hand, the rapid increase has also met serious cultural challenges which invariably have a significant impact in their lives. This paper therefore observes some community care strategies for OVC in Lesotho and evident socio- cultural factors. The paper argues that a complex interaction of economic, social and cultural factors shape the nature, process and outcome of care
and support for children in Lesotho. It concludes with recommendations for the way forward. Thus the paper will establish the cultural factors that motivate peoples’ behaviors towards care and support of OVC, means of addressing these motivations appropriately and recommendations towards developing effective culture- friendly care programs for the children.
Keywords: Socio- cultural challenges, Care, support, HIV/AIDS, communities, community based interventions.
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