An orphan is any child who has lost one or both parents through death or abandonment. A double orphan has lost both parents while a single orphan has lost one parent.
Life in the compounds can be difficult and dangerous for orphans. They have the least value in the eyes of their community and often experience rejection, especially if they are perceived to be haunted by the ghost of their deceased parents. Often their caregiver is a reluctant relative who considers the orphan to be a burden. Many are forced to sleep outside and are frequently the last to receive food. If the burden of their care becomes too great on the household, they can be moved to another relative. For children not in school, their days are spent as babysitters for younger siblings, walking to the community well for the household's water and taking care of the house while the adult caregiver seeks work. Without adult supervision, they are vulnerable to physical or sexual abuse, child labor and sex trafficking.
* Findings from a National Situation Analysis of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Zambia