Sanctuary or double-edged sword? Challenges confronting adolescents living at Nkosi’s Haven in Johannesburg, South Africa
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractLiving in an institution associated with HIV and AIDS is likely to exacerbate difficulties experienced by teenagers who have to cope with the normal stresses of adolescence. The aim of the study was to explore the challenges that adolescents living at Nkosi’s Haven encounter and whether they experience any problems when interacting with their peers and other members of the community. The study was located within a qualitative research paradigm and utilised a purposive, non-probability sample of 15 participants recruited from two Nkosi’s Havens. A semi-structured interview schedule was employed as the research tool, with in-depth one-on-oneinterviews adopted as the method of data collection. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data collected during the interviews. The main finding that emanated from the study was that Nkosi’s Haven is indeed a place of care and nurturing as adolescents are afforded the opportunity to continue with their educational needs while basic and psychosocial needs are also addressed. However, it also emerged that rejection, discrimination, social exclusion and stigmatisation associated with the setting make it difficult for resident adolescents to integrate freely with their peers at school and in the community. The conclusion drawn is that Nkosi’s Haven can be regarded as a double-edged sword as it presents both positive and negative factors that impact on its resident adolescents. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for community awareness programmes, policies and practice changes regarding employment and training of staff, and visiting of parents as well as future research.