Dziro and Rufurwokuda
Greener Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 3 (5), pp. 268-277, May 2013
ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 Greener Journals
Post-Institutional Integration Challenges Faced by Children who were Raised in Children’s Homes in Zimbabwe: The Case of ‘Ex-Girl’ Programme for One Children’s Home in Harare, Zimbabwe
*1Charles Dziro, 2Austina Rufurwokuda
1Lecturer, University of Zimbabwe School of Social Work, P.Bag 6602, Kopje Harare, Zimbabwe.
2Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Caritas Gweru, Zimbabwe.
2Email: tinarwokuda @ yahoo. com
*Corresponding Author’s Email: dzirocharles @ yahoo. com
This is an investigation of post-institutional integration challenges faced by former inmates from institutions in Zimbabwe basing on Ex-girl group members of one institution for children in Harare. The study aimed at exploring challenges faced by girl children discharged from one institution. The research focused on three objectives namely an assessment of empowerment goals of institutions for girls in preparation for life after institutionalisation, to identify problems encountered by girls when they leave institutions and establish community support systems for the girl children as they leave the institutions. The research was exploratory and descriptive in nature and used qualitative research approach. Ten girls out of one hundred girls were targeted for the study.
Focus group discussions, interviews and observations were used for the study. The research revealed that institutional care is so a regimented and depersonalised environment in which children have no opportunity to experience a normal family life and could not acquire the basic skills of developing ubuntu/hunhu (humanness). As a consequence, they fail to acquire culturally specific life skills and the capacity for independent thought and motivation which is necessary in their lives. The findings indicated that children discharged from institutional care endure chronic abuse and emotional deprivation which gives rise to a lasting inability to form loving and trusting relationships at time resulting in marriage break ups. One of the research recommendations were made thereof.
Keywords: Institutionalisation, care, Abuse, Relationship, ubuntu/hunhu, Acculturation, independent, Zimbabwe