Notwithstanding the psychosocial support interventions by the government and its stakeholders in ‘orphans’ and ‘vulnerable’ children (OVC) care and support in Zimbabwe in the past two decades, the challenges faced by caregivers in coping with OVC has unabatedly escalated. Whilst many studies have been carried out in Zimbabwe about the challenges faced by OVC, little has been directly written about the traumatic and psychosocial challenges faced by the caregivers in coping with the escalating challenges of OVC in Zimbabwe. This phenomenological qualitative study examines the challenges faced by caregivers in coping with the OVC burden at the household level within the Gutu rural community of Zimbabwe. In-depth interviews were used to gather data about the perceptions and lived experiences of the 15 caregivers and 5 OVCs who were purposively sampled within the Gutu District of Zimbabwe. The findings reveal that despite the willingness of the caregivers to absorb the OVCs, the care and support at the household level is fraught with several socio-economic challenges whose scale and complexity often exceed the capacity of caregivers to effectively mitigate. The study, therefore, recommends multi-stakeholder interventions which are aimed at economic empowerment of the caregivers at the household level.
Part of the book: Parenting