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Socio- cultural challenges facing community- based interventions in providing care and support to children affected by HIV/AIDS in Lesotho

Ts'epang Manyeli, National University of Lesotho

In the recent years, most of the African countries have experienced an overwhelming increase in the number of children made vulnerable by HIV/Aids and hence deemed to be in need of protection. The situation has also excessively subjected such children to discrimination, stigmatization and social exclusion. On the other hand, the rapid increase has also met serious cultural challenges which invariably have a significant impact in their lives. Notably, culture has got a very great influence on attitudes, practices and behaviors related to HIV/AIDS. This paper therefore observes some community care strategies used in Lesotho and evident socio- cultural factors in provision of care and protection to children in Lesotho. The paper further argues that a complex interaction of economic, social and cultural factors shape the nature, process and outcome of care and support for children in Lesotho. It concludes with recommendations for the way forward.

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Presented in Session 15: Child protection and development