International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Investigating Factors Influencing Learners Placed at Save-Our-Soul Villages to Become Street Kids
Dr Thulani E. Mhlongo, PhD; Prof Debeila J.R

Botswana like many other countries worldwide encounters challenges of vulnerable children that are strategically placed at Save-Our-Soul (SOS) Children’s Villages where they are supposed to be safe and happy because they receive day care, education and medical assistance. Unfortunately, many of the kids placed at SOS villages become “run-away kids”. The main focus of this article is to report on findings of a qualitative research project that was conducted among purposefully selected stakeholders to determine why vulnerable learners placed at SOS villages become “run-away kids” (street kids). In addition to the use of interviews coupled with observation and reflective notes, the researchers also applied the Mmogo-method which is a projective research technique used in psychological projections. Mmogo projections allow unconscious meanings to emerge from the participants‟ reflections on their sense of belonging. Thus, the researchers were able to access and clarify the symbolism behind the visual representations within the participants‟ cultural context. An analysis of qualitatively derived data revealed a myriad of factors that triggers learners placed at SOS children‟s villages to become “run-away-kids”. Among other problems one main problem is that they believe that the SOS village and community failed them by not giving them the necessary freedom that they want. They think that they are better off without the help of anybody. To alleviate their fears it is recommended that parents need to establish a positive communicative medium that would allow both the affected child and the parent to fully communicate with each other while at the SOS village and beyond.

Full Text: PDF