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AFRO-NETS> Bibliography on Street Children and Orphaned by AIDS

Bibliography on Street Children and Orphaned by AIDS

This is a collection of abstracts and book reviews dealing with the 
situation of AIDS-orphans and street-children. I have tried to in-
clude some articles giving a new look at the situation of one the 
fastest growing population of the world: the disinherited children.

Christian Labadie, M.S.

Aids-Orphans Whitepaper, edited by Dr. S. Jarchow, Univ. Bremen

Book Review [reprint under fair use] Appeared in the British Medical 
Journal BMJ 2002;324:245 (26 January 2002)

Children of AIDS: Africa's Orphan Crisis by Emma Guest Pluto Press, 
£20, pp 192, ISBN 0 7453 1769 3 

Children of AIDS: Africa's Orphan Crisis is a collection of stories 
about children in South Africa, Zambia, and Uganda, whose parents 
have died from AIDS. Set within different cultural contexts, the sto-
ries introduce the reader to the diversity and complexity of life 
across Africa. They are deeply troubling and moving. They also show 
the remarkable resilience and hope of the children. 

The AIDS epidemic is ravaging sub-Saharan Africa and the incidence of 
HIV is highest among sexually active young adults. These women and 
men develop AIDS and die while in the prime of their lives. The chil-
dren they leave behind are known collectively as "AIDS orphans." The 
stories of these orphaned children closely reflect the societal re-
sponse to AIDS. In particular the lack of resources to deal with the 
epidemic as a whole spills over into the crisis of these parentless 

The stories also describe the stigma the children feel before and af-
ter their parents' death. The children tell of their mixed feelings 
over support from foreign donors. They are grateful for this support 
but also impatient with donors' lack of understanding of their daily 
life. The book also describes the responses of grandparents, foster 
parents, and social workers involved in the care of AIDS orphans. 
Their generosity, determination, and commitment to the children and 
to Africa's future are remarkable. 

On one hand the stories provide hope. There are pockets of care and 
some orphaned children are thriving. On the other hand they show that 
the majority of orphaned children are falling through the cracks. Yet 
the resilience of these children has allowed them to survive, despite 
the many losses and instability of their lives. One wonders what will 
happen to them as they mature. 

Healthcare providers, educators, policy makers, and anyone whose work 
touches the lives of families from Africa should read this book. It 
provides a glimpse into the magnitude of the problem of AIDS in Af-
rica. It also helps you understand some of the values and traditions 
that influence decisions and create dilemmas for African families af-
fected by AIDS. 

The link between poverty, social instability, and escalating rates of 
HIV infection is evident worldwide. Ensuring that the social infra-
structure in Africa is rebuilt is the only acceptable, long term, 
global response to Africa's orphan crisis. In this way the thousands 
of children orphaned by AIDS may have a chance of adequate food, 
shelter, health care, education, and future employment. 

Susan King, associate professor, division of infectious diseases. 
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada 

Copyright (c) BMJ 2002 

VanBeers H (Nairobi, Kenya) Childhood-A Global Journal of Child Re-
search, 3 (2): 195-201 May 1996 

Abstract: The public image of street children takes little account of 
root causes of the problem or their own perceptions of the realities 
of their lives. Their relationship to urban life is seldom analysed 
and it is rare to see street girls mentioned without a link being 
made between their lives on the street and prostitution. A plea is 
made for a more child-centred, participatory approach to research 
with street children and some recent examples of this kind of work 
are discussed. 

Makame V, Ani C, Grantham-McGregor S (London, England) Acta Paedi-
atrica, 91 (4): 459-465 2002 

Abstract: Forty-one orphans whose fathers and/or mothers had died 
from AIDS. and were living in the poor suburbs of Dar Es Salaam. Tan-
zania. were compared with 41 matched non-orphans front the same 
neighbourhoods. The subjects were given an arithmetic test and a 
semi-structured questionnaire concerning any internalizing problems, 
their attendance at school and their experiences of punishment, re-
ward and hunger. The scale of internalizing problems comprised 21 
items adapted from the Rand Mental Health and Beck Depression Inven-
tories concerning mood, pessimism, somatic symptoms, sense of fail-
ure, anxiety, positive affect and emotional ties. Most orphans lived 
with aunts and uncles. Compared with non-orphans. they were signifi-
cantly less likely to be in school but those who did attend school 
had similar arithmetic scores. Significantly more orphans went to bed 
hungry. Orphans had markedly increased internalizing problems com-
pared with non-orphans (p < 0.0001) and 34% reported they had contem-
plated suicide in the past Year. Multiple regression analysis indi-
cated that the independent predictors of internalizing problem scores 
were sex (females higher than males), going to bed hungry, no reward 
for good behaviour, not currently attending school, as well as being 
an orphan. Conclusion: The orphan,, not only had unmet basic needs, 
but also had markedly increased internalizing problems, thus their 
long-term mental health would be in jeopardy. There is an urgent need 
to expand and improve Current intervention programmes not only to 
meet the basic needs but also to include psychosocial support. coun-
selling services for the orphans. and training for their carers and 

SwartKruger J, Richter LM (Pretoria, South Africa) Social Science & 
Medicine, 45 (6): 957-966 Sep 1997 

Abstract: Street children in South Africa are, in the main, between 
the ages of 11 and 17 years. Rape, prostitution, sexual bartering and 
exchange, casual sex and romantic sexual relationships all occur in 
the experiences of young people who live and work on inner-city 
streets. In this study, the AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes and be-
haviour of 141 street youth, living in seven large cities in South 
Africa, were elicited in focus group discussions. At the time of the 
study, 79 boys (56%) were living in shelters run by nongovernmental 
and welfare organisations, while 62 boys (44%) were sleeping "rough". 
The results, both qualitative and quantitative, indicated that the 
AIDS knowledge of South African street children was comparable to 
levels reported for groups of "hard-to-reach" youth in other parts of 
the world. Fear of HIV infection did not appear in a list of day-to-
day priorities constructed by the children, a list dominated by sur-
vival concerns with food, money and clothes. However, more than half 
of the boys conceded that they engaged in sex for money, goods or 
protection, several boys indicated that they had been raped, and most 
reported being sexually active with "girlfriends", who themselves 
frequently engaged in transactional sex. The findings are interpreted 
in terms of the relationships between power dynamics surrounding race 
and age, and how they affect self-initiated controls over sexuality 
and sexual protection.

Stiffman AR, Dore P, Earls F, Cunningham R (Boston, MA USA) Journal 
of Nervous and Mental Disease, 180 (5): 314-320 May 1992 

Abstract: This paper explores how symptoms of mental health problems 
influence acquired immune deficiency syndrome-related risk behaviors, 
and how changes in those symptoms relate to risk behaviors engaged in 
by young adults. Repeated interviews with 602 youths since 1984 pro-
vide a history of change in behaviors. Mental health symptoms during 
adolescence (alcohol/drug [r = .28]; conduct disorder [r = .27]; de-
pression [r = .16]; suicide [r = .14]; anxiety [r = .16]; and post-
traumatic stress [r = .09]) are associated with higher numbers of 
risk behaviors (specifically, prostitution, use of intravenous drugs, 
and choice of a high-risk sex partner) during young adulthood. 
Changes in mental health symptoms between adolescence and young 
adulthood are related to the number of risk behaviors engaged in by 
young adulthood (total number of symptoms [B = .10], alcohol/drug 
abuse or dependence [B = .341, depression [B = .20], suicidality [B = 
.351, anxiety [B = .13], and posttraumatic stress [B = .14]). 
Changes in symptoms of mental health problems are associated specifi-
cally with those risk behaviors that are initiated primarily in young 
adulthood: intravenous drug use, prostitution, and choice of risky 
partners. The findings show that prevention and treatment of mental 
health problems are important components of preventive interventions 
for human immunodeficiency virus infection in high-risk teens and 
young adults.

Rahm J (Greeley, CO, USA) Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39 
(2): 164-184 Feb 2002 

Abstract: An emphasis on doing science calls for rich descriptions of 
the kind of science that gets done in such informal educational con-
texts as science museums and science-focused after-school and summer 
programs. Described in this article is a study of an inner-city youth 
gardening program and of the kinds of learning opportunities that it 
supported and that emerged from youth-initiated actions and talk. In 
particular, there is an examination of the ways in which the garden 
environment and the experiential nature of the program gave support 
to the emergence of learning opportunities, while also making connec-
tions possible among science, community, and work. The description 
emphasizes the value of a science that emerges from participants' en-
gagement in activities they deem valuable, meaningful, and authentic. 
In essence, the results of the study show that informal educational 
programs that do not have science as their primary goal may provide 
important insights into the development of learning communities in 
the classroom. The study highlights the educational value of a school 
science practice that is driven by its consumers, rather than being 
imposed on them, and that provides opportunities for the integration 
of science, work, and community. 

Waliczek TM, Bradley JC, Zajicek JM (College Stn, TX, Gainesville, 
FL, Normal, IL, USA) Horttechnology, 11 (3): 466-468 Jul-Sep 2001 

Abstract: Children's gardens are receiving increased attention from 
communities and schools. Educators recognize that gardens provide 
beauty, produce and education, and serve as an outlet in which gar-
deners may gain personal benefits. The objectives of this research 
study were to evaluate whether children participating in garden ac-
tivities benefited by an improvement in interpersonal relationships 
and attitudes toward school. No significant differences were found 
between pre- and posttests and the control and experimental group 
comparisons. However, demographic comparisons offered interesting in-
sight into trends in the data. Female students had significantly more 
positive attitudes towards school at the conclusion of the garden 
program compared to males. The results also showed that there were 
differences in interpersonal relationships between children depending 
on grade level in school. In addition, childrens' attitudes toward 
school were more positive in schools that offered more intensive in-
dividualized gardening.

Langhout RD, Rappaport J, Simmons D (Urbana, IL USA) Urban Education, 
37 (3): 323-349 May 2002 

Abstract: This article is about the tensions faced in facilitating 
the relationship between teacher and community members while working 
toward a community garden project. The authors adopt an ecological 
model for effective classroom-community collaboration and discuss how 
this process unfolded in the current setting. Two classroom projects 
serve as exemplars of culturally relevant classroom-community col-
laboration. The garden project is evaluated through classroom-
community models. This evaluation includes a discussion of common and 
disparate goals of teachers and community members and how differences 
are navigated in the current milieu.

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