Botswana children's needs: orphans and vulnerable children dominated child welfare system

Nankie M. Ramabu - Heliyon


Children's needs in Botswana received considerable attention in the past three decades owing to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country. These decades of legal and policy practice processes focused on orphan and vulnerable children (OVC), ensured that the needs of the general population of Botswana children are grossly understudied, underestimated, and therefore, remain unaddressed. This study sought to determine the needs of the general population of children. Fifty-two visual arts, six semi-structured interviews, twenty-six in-depth interviews and two focus group discussions were conducted in two purposively selected sites with children, policy-makers, practitioners, community leaders and caregivers. The data were analyzed using deductive content analysis approach. Children expressed the need for basic, safety, love and belonging needs. Given some pockets of poverty that exists in Botswana, it is likely that children in the general population have needs similar to those of OVC. Therefore, child welfare program should also target children who are not considered OVC.