Psychosocial support and marginalization of youth-headed households in Rwanda
ABSTRACT This research aims to characterize the psychosocial aspects of well-being among youth-headed households (YHH) in Gikongoro, Rwanda, through examination of social support and marginalization. Data is presented on perceived availability of support from relatives, an unidentified adult, peers, and other community members and an index of social marginalization. A total of 692 interviews were completed with YHH age 13-24 who are beneficiaries of a basic needs program. Sixteen percent of youth reported there was no one they felt they could go to with a problem. In times of need, only 24% felt relatives would help them, while 57% felt neighbors would offer assistance. Most youth reported significant caring relationships: 73% reported access to trusted adult who offers them advice and guidance, and most indicated close peer relationships. However, many youth also perceived a lack of community support, with 86% feeling rejected by the community and 57% feeling the community would rather hurt them than help them. Social support is a low-cost critical resource for the care of vulnerable youth and an understanding of existing social support networks would enhance the design and implementation of psychosocial and community-based care initiatives.
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ABSTRACT: Background: This review explores the current community-based psychosocial interventions among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) across the globe. Methods: Evaluation studies were retrieved and reviewed regarding study location, characteristics of participants, study design, intervention strategies, outcome indicators, and intervention findings. Results: The 28 studies spanned a broad range of intervention strategies, including coping skills, treatment and cure, cultural activities, community involvement, knowledge education, voluntary counseling and testing, peer-group support, three-layered service provision, child-directed group intervention, adult mentoring, and support group interventions. Regardless of study designs, all studies reported positive intervention effects, ranging from a reduction in HIV/AIDS stigma, loneliness, marginalization, distress, depression, anger, and anxiety to an increase in self-esteem, self-efficacy, coping skills, and quality of life. Conclusion: Although the existing studies have limitation with regard to program coverage, intensity, scope, and methodological challenges, they underscore the importance of developing community-based interventions to promote psychosocial well-being among PLWHA. Future studies need to employ more rigorous methodology and integrate contextual and institutional factors when implementing effective interventions.01/2013; 1(1):31-46. DOI:10.1080/21642850.2013.822798
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ABSTRACT: Youth-headed households in Rwanda live in a context of chronic crisis, where poverty, disease and uncertainty are not exceptional but characterise people's daily lived reality. Struggling under the pressures of economic deprivation, social isolation, abuse and exploitation, these youths experience social suffering and feel the impact of social forces on their everyday lives. Yet, amid constraints in the environment, youths demonstrate resilience by actively navigating their social networks and working to create opportunities for the future. The article describes qualitative research carried out in three communities in Rwanda, between 2006 and 2010, examining the support systems of Rwandan youths affected by the HIV epidemic and socio-political conflict and exploring how youth heads of households navigate social networks in order to buffer the suffering in their lives. It is argued that social support is vital for these youths as they struggle to survive, seek to gain a degree of control over their lives, and strive to have a hopeful future. Examples show the remarkable ability of such youths to confront adversity by mobilising resources and exhibiting agency, although they may continue to experience suffering when support is lacking. The article concludes that to improve wellbeing and reduce suffering for youth-headed households, it is critical to recognise the social relations that may limit or enhance these youths’ ability to navigate their social environment. Youths’ agency needs to be recognised as a means to reduce the detrimental impacts of their actions and instead build on positive strategies, enabling them as they navigate their life course towards future possibilities. Finally, the dual role of youth heads of households — as individuals in adult roles and as youths — should be recognised, with initiatives to build them up designed around economic strengthening and mentorship.African Journal of AIDS Research 10/2012; 11(3). DOI:10.2989/16085906.2012.734976 · 0.61 Impact Factor