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Crying for Our EldersAfrican Orphanhood in the Age of HIV and AIDS$
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Kristen E. Cheney

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226437408

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226437682.001.0001

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Orphanhood and the Conundrum of Humanitarian Intervention

Orphanhood and the Conundrum of Humanitarian Intervention

(p.24) 2 Orphanhood and the Conundrum of Humanitarian Intervention
Crying for Our Elders

Kristen E. Cheney

University of Chicago Press

This chapter details the evolution of the global and national response to AIDS orphanhood and its unintended consequences. Drawing on critical humanitarian studies in order to examine the effects of OVC targeting, this chapter details the development of the definition of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), as well as its cultural translations. It argues that OVC targeting reified vulnerability as an ironically privileged and empowered childhood identity, in which orphanhood can actually raise the status of a child who has lost a parent precisely because orphans are made objects for intervention. Amidst scarce aid resources, then, children and families in need must adjust strategies to meet the criteria for vulnerability that might gain them access to such resources, thereby creating an untenable demand for orphan services.

Keywords:   critical humanitarian studies, development, humanitarianism, international aid, orphan crisis, OVC, vulnerability

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