The purpose of this paper is to determine how the caregivers of orphans and vulnerable children in Namibia seek information to ensure their own and the children's survival.
The research was conducted through focus group discussions in the Ohangwena (rural) and Khomas regions (urban). Purposive sampling was used to identify key informants with the assistance of social workers and community leaders.
Disparities between rural and urban areas in terms of information access and use were found. For example, the rural dwellers expressed need for information on educational support, psychological and counselling services, childcare, and job opportunities. In urban areas, educational support and the establishment of small businesses featured as prominent needs. Radio, traditional leaders, regional councillors, friends and relatives were identified as channels of information in Ohangwena, while in Khomas, friends and relatives, community leaders, and regional councillors were most popular. Various challenges were identified such as, lack of transport and funding to access it, getting information too late to respond timeously, and a lack of accessible information channels.
Only two regions in Namibia were covered in this paper, i.e. Ohangwena (rural) and Khomas (urban). It was assumed that the information needs of caregivers in all the other rural or urban areas would be the same as those identified in the sampled areas.
Literature on the topic is scarce and, therefore, the paper gives important insight into how to assist caregivers with their information needs.
Mnubi‐Mchombu, C. and Mostert, J. (2011), "Information seeking behaviour of orphaned and vulnerable children's caregivers in Namibia", Library Review, Vol. 60 No. 5, pp. 396-408. https://doi.org/10.1108/00242531111135308Download as .RIS
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