Pastoral Counseling for Orphans and Vulnerable Children

The existence of orphans is as inevitable to most African cities and the world as it is death. These orphans are caused by the death of one or both parents due to various reasons, including the scourge of HIV and AIDS. Being orphans, most of them are vulnerable to difficult lives because they have nobody to fend for them and take care of their lives. They lack adequate food, living expenses, school fees, and care since their current guardians are also in adverse economic situations. In such situations, orphans end up living a life of hopelessness and trauma, which makes them deeply remember their dead parents and the care they received from them before death.
Following the vulnerable situation of most orphans, this book, through a study done in the Tanzanian context, challenges churches to extend their counseling and caring ministries to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). It purports that the use of narrative approach is the most effective way to enter into the world of vulnerable children in order to provide pastoral counseling to them. This approach helps pastoral counselors to use life stories, proverbs, biblical narratives, plays, arts, songs, riddles, poems, symbols, and images as healing and coping mechanisms for OVC. Therefore, this book is helpful not only to churches and their ministry to orphans and vulnerable children, but also to those who care for orphans in their homes. Moreover, it will be helpful to children who live in adverse conditions worldwide to find ways to cope with their situations through the stories of children used inside this book.

“This is an encouraging book that opens research and all of us to the voices and the narratives of some of the subaltern among us: orphans from HIV/AIDS parents. Using narrative methods we hear and sense that these subalterns can speak. It is our responsibility to listen.”
–Trygve Eiliv Wyller, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Oslo

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