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