Experiences of orphans and other vulnerable children regarding attending school in Minakulu Subcounty, Oyam District
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There is an increase in the number of Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Uganda due factors such as HIV/AIDS and increased poverty. This presents vulnerability among OVC that they cannot afford even the basic needs such as education. In this study, I sought to explore experiences of OVC regarding attending school to address the following objectives: to document the ambitions and goals of the OVC concerning attending school in Minakulu sub county in Oyam district; to identify challenges OVC face in attending school in Minakulu sub county in Oyam district; and to assess the ways in which OVC solve the challenges faced in attending school in Minakulu sub county in Oyam district. The study adopted a case study design and a qualitative approach. Data were collected using in-depth interviews and key informants interviews. Findings of the study show that OVC had great ambitions such as to score high grades in final examinations, to obtain formal jobs after school, to continue with their education and becoming successful business proprietors later in life. The OVC were faced with serious challenges in attending school, which include the lack of parental love/support and participation in the children’s education, lack of scholastic/ learning materials/ school uniforms, behavioral and emotional problems when compared to nonorphaned learners, low self-esteem and lack of confidence, sickness and weakness, violence and not attending school regularly. Lastly the OVC endeavored to solve some of challenges they faced in attending school; the ways in which they did so include seeking help from teachers, seeking help from family members, engaging in economic activities, religious faith, relying on their talents and seeking help from NGOs. These findings have important implications for social work that should be considered to address the plight of OVC in Uganda.