Loss of a mother, father or any other parenting figure is an extreme for any child. The challenge is worsened by the loss of the second parent. This condition is intensified by the emergency of HIV and AIDS pandemic, which continues to stress many children in Uganda and the world in general. At least one in every four households in Uganda has an orphan and 3 million children live below the poverty line. At national level, 2.43 million are orphans, of which 45.6 percent (1,108,080) of the orphans are due to HIV and AIDS. Their Vulnerability accounts for 51 percent (8.1 million children) either critically, moderately or generally while 63 percent live with caregivers other than their biological parents due to AIDS. Majority of these caregivers are older persons. What stresses an older person most in the Ugandan context is when he or she fails to meet the basic needs of the grandchild. Having a grandchild is one of their greatest strengths because they provide company to them and social interaction within the household is much ensured.
“the condition becomes worse when I cannot meet their basic needs. Some of these children cry; isolate themselves and often refuse to eat food”. This means the worries of these children have great impacts on the emotional wellbeing of a caregiver.
Therefore is keen to carry out the following interventions;-
- Train community volunteers and service providers in providing counseling and guidance for older persons and Orphans.
- Encourage experience sharing among older persons;
- Promote and organize community intergenerational activities for older persons groups, associations
- Promote recreation and leisure activities that target older persons and their Orphans.
- Promote family and community based care and support for older persons;
- Improve access to formal and informal education for Orphans and vulnerable children