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Coping: a challenge for guardians of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in a South African township


  • Edith Kiggundu
  • Wilna Oldewage-Theron


The main objective of this study, part of an investigation into the health of guardians of HIV/AIDS orphans, was to explore the guardians' coping mechanisms. Previous research has shown that there is a relationship between the use of social support networks and the guardians' ability to cope with the challenges of caring for HIV/AIDS orphans. Data were collected by means of a socio-demographic questionnaire and individual semi-structured interviews with guardians who attend a support group organised by a non-governmental organisation in Alexandra, the oldest township in Gauteng and a very poor area of South Africa. The article concludes that harnessing social support networks is an effective strategy that could help guardians cope with the challenges of caring for HIV/AIDS orphans.

Suggested Citation

  • Edith Kiggundu & Wilna Oldewage-Theron, 2009. "Coping: a challenge for guardians of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in a South African township," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(3), pages 383-397.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:26:y:2009:i:3:p:383-397
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350903086754

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