WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CARE AND PROVIDE SCHOOLING FOR A CHILD ORPHANED DUE TO HIV/AIDS IN CÔTE D'IVOIRE?: A QUALITATIVE STUDY
Briggs, Liza EA
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This is a qualitative study about how a family describes what it means to care for and provide schooling for a child orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. The study offers a perspective beyond the lens of a family through the inclusion of interview data from representatives of the Ivorian Ministry of Health, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) located in Côte d'Ivoire. Descriptive data reveal how care and schooling are nearly synonymous constructs in the family at the center of this study. To care for a child means to provide schooling. The form of care and schooling are ordered through practices linked to established matrilineal and ethnic family system practices. The child, orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, offers rich descriptive insights about how the loss of his parents affected his care needs, how he negotiated the matrilineal system and how he embraced school achievement and religion to manage his sense of loss and the stigma attached to his status as an orphaned child. This study also offers descriptions that explore the complexity of the political dynamics, support mechanisms, and psychosocial constructs that delineate care and schooling practices in this family and, more broadly, in Côte d'Ivoire. This study contributes to existing scholarly literature by offering a nuanced depiction of the impact of HIV/AIDS from a variety of perspectives. This contrasts with studies that converge on demographic and statistical analysis. This study also places a great deal of emphasis on the inclusion of the perspective of Ivorians. Ivorian representation allows for Ivorian-centered depictions and responses to the research questions and reflects concerns about post-development critiques on discourse and representation.