Livelihood challenges faced by children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Uganda: A study of Najjembe Sub-county, Mukono District.
The number of HIV/AIDS orphans has increased tremendously and it is projected to increase further. In Uganda children depend on their parents for survival but with the increasing poverty levels and worse still with the loss of a parent, the livelihood sustainability of these children is jeopardized. This study therefore was aimed at identifying those various livelihood challenges. The study was carried out in four parishes (Kizinga, Buvunya, Kitigoma and Nsakya)of Najjembe Sub county, Mukono District. The study utilized both qualitative and quantitative methods of collecting data with a sample size of 90. The study respondents were children of ages between 13 years and 18years who lost either or both parents to HIV/AIDS, opinion was sought from a few guardians and community leaders. From the findings it was established that HIV/AIDS orphans face challenges ranging from physiological as well as psycho-social as a result of lack of access or control of assets. The coping mechanisms that were revealed included casual labouring and heading households. HIV/AIDS orphans despite the challenges still have greater expectations like any other children and thus need to be supported to realize their dreams, therefore this calls for both government and development partners to put more emphasis on vocational training, imparting life skills to the orphans, empowering care givers, increased and sustainable provision of medical care.