Greener Journal of Educational Research

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Mapiko and Chinyoka

Greener Journal of  Educational Research Vol. 3(9), pp. 432-443, November 2013

 ISSN: 2276-7789 © 2011 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 070913824

 

The Plight of Internally Displaced Children: A Case of Zimbabwe

 

1Ellen Mapiko and Kudzai Chinyoka2*

 

1St Michael-Tongogara Secondary School.

2Great Zimbabwe University, Department of Educational Foundations.

 

*Corresponding Author’s Email: chinyokak @ gmail.com


Abstract:

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are some of the most neglected vulnerable populations in the world. They are often neglected because they are an internationally and legally unacknowledged group amongst the Moving and Vulnerable Peoples (MVPs) due to a lack of legislature pertaining to them. This study seeks to critically assess the educational opportunities available to internally displaced children in Zimbabwe who were affected by the farm invasions, illegal settlements and various government operations like “operation murambatsvina.” The study also assesses the psycho social support afforded them as well as the economic and social issues arising due to their dilemma in Zimbabwe. In this study, a qualitative phenomenological design was used with focus group discussions, interviews and observations as data collection methods with eleven participants comprising of (4) four children, representing every ward in which they have been resettled, one traditional village leader, one ward councillor, two (2) school teachers, Chipinge district education officer, one YEP centre administrator and the education programme coordinator for the Norwegian Refugee Council. Findings from this study revealed that displaced persons face a high level of discrimination and ostracism from the host community arising from differences in culture and traditional beliefs. Jealousies also arise from the host community due to the somewhat elevated status of the resettled persons due to the assistance they receive from service providers which leads to feelings of inferiority in children and consequently affecting educational performance. The study also revealed that IDP children face a host of challenges from home ranging from economic to protection issues that may lead into them dropping out of school with no hope of ever recovering the lost time. The study highly recommends acknowledgement of the existence of IDPs such that they are afforded quick assistance within a legal framework for sustainability of livelihoods.
 
Keywords: Internal displacement, children, phenomenological, psycho social support.

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