Exploring Teenage Orphans’ Survival Strategies into Adulthood in Gwanda Community: A Wellness Perspective

Itayi Samanyanga, Racheal Mafumbate, Gideon Zulu


The research study explored the survival strategies of orphaned teenagers in the Gwanda Community. Ten orphans purposively selected in Gwanda community participated in this study. To explore the experiences of orphans, an in-depth interview and questionnaires were used to gather data which was thematically analysed. The researchers employed three integrative theories as lens and these are; Uri Bronfenbrenner’s (1977) bio-ecological theory, Ubuntu theory and Hettler’s (1970) wellness theory. Findings revealed that some of the orphans were in charge of their households; some orphans are being abused as they will be forced to exchange sex for food and also money for payment of accommodation/shelter. It was also revealed that most of the orphans could not regularly attend school due to non-payment of school fees. This study further established that orphaned teenagers face daily challenges such as failing to afford a normal meal, attending to ill family members at the expense of school hours, failing to pay school fees, inadequate shelter as well as failure to pay rentals. Teenage orphans are exposed to stigmatisation due to ill health of surviving household members, thus they would be isolated and find it hard to adjust to the loss of their parents. In an attempt to survive the challenges, teenage orphans would engage in menial jobs to earn a living. This study recommends that psychosocial counselling services be provided to orphans and surviving family members such that they are able to manage daily experiences.

Keywords: Counselling, Orphan, Teenage, Survival Strategy, Stigmatisation, Wellness.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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