Living with Our Bibi

Glynis Clacherty

Many children have been left as orphans as a result of HIV and AIDS. In much of Africa it is grandparents who have stepped into the care gap. In sub- Saharan Africa the percentage of orphan children estimated to be living with grandparents in 2000 was 61%1. Over 50% of children orphaned by the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Tanzania live with their grandparents. Given this situation it is important for us to begin to understand more about the lived experience of children being brought up by grandparents. The KwaWazee Project provided a unique opportunity to work with groups of children living in elderly-headed households. This report is the result of a series of participatory workshops with children who are part of the project. It gives a useful understanding of the issues children are facing and directions for policy and programme intervention. What is important is that the report is based entirely on what the children have to say.

If we are unaware of the problems and issues that concern children and young people we cannot hope to devise strategies or solutions that will address their concerns, and will constantly be struggling to make sense of the world without some of the vital information we need.

This study is a companion study to Salt, Soap and Shoes for School, a study  that looks at the impact of cash transfers on the lives of the grandparents and the children in their households.  The reports should be read together.