Developing programs to support childheaded households in Zambia: critical lessons

  • Samson Bwalya Chama

Abstract

As a phenomenon child headed households have emerged in most sub-Saharan African countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS and poverty. The impact of HIV/AIDS in particular has devastated the capacity of communities to provide critical care to vulnerable young people affected by HIV/AIDS. As challenges faced by child headed households intensify a plethora of programs has emerged as a frontline response to this problem. Some programs have shown promise in terms of positively impacting child headed households. But more needs to be done to improve their overall well-being. In order to make a contribution to this area this study used a qualitative approach to conduct focus groups for sixteen Africans living in Richmond, Virginia with a view to developing a program for child headed households in Zambia. Using thematic analysis and data units to analyze the data results suggest that feasibility, content and quality are critical components for programs targeting child headed
households. Results also highlight need to pay attention to funding, staff training, collaboration, education and civic education, health services, targeted services, involvement of young people, community involvement, and extended Families.

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