“Our father used to come home once around Christmas holidays. He would buy us some food, which lasts about two weeks, the time he spends with us. Then he leaves us again,” Nosipho says in the report and adds in reference to their dad, ”We finish the last bites of the food he bought by the time he goes away and starve again for the whole year.”
As the head of the family, Nosipho has to struggle to provide for her siblings amid personal struggle to finish her mechanical engineering diploma course, which she is no longer able to pay for, she says.
The 18-page JPC Durban research report also established that children in child-headed families “were reportedly in a state of continuous grief of their deceased adult breadwinners.”
“Particularly, worrying was that this perpetual bereavement was mainly elaborate among children who were household heads,” the Durban Archdiocese officials note in the September 4 report obtained by ACI Africa.
“Sometimes, I cry when I will be missing my mom…I just don’t want my young siblings to see that. I just don’t know what to do without our mom; I just make them see as if I am coping,” Mbali (not real name) says in the report.