The aim of this study was to explore the psychosocial problems and coping strategies of orphan and vulnerable children living in two orphanages, namely Yenege Tesfa and Bridge of Hope Ethiopia orphan and vulnerable children care and support centers in Gondar town, North West Ethiopia. The research primarily used a phenomenological study design of the qualitative method. Qualitative data was collected from 1 March to 31 May, 2014, by using in-depth interview and focus group discussion techniques. The data were analyzed thematically using Nvivo 8 statistical software. A total of 20 in-depth interviews and 4 focus group discussion (FGD) sessions were carried out. The study revealed that orphan and vulnerable children in the orphanages accessed all the basic services necessary to sustain their lives. Conversely, the study also revealed that the children suffered from a set of multidimensional and intertwined psychosocial problems that were the least addressed in the orphanages. Thus, interventions to promote the psychosocial wellbeing of the children should focus on addressing psychological problems, advancing socialization skills, organizing extracurricular activities and entertainments, and improving coping strategies.
Key words: Psychosocial wellbeing, orphan and vulnerable children, orphanages, coping strategies.
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