“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”

16 05 2011

-title from Lau Tzu’s “The Book of the Way”

May 16, 2011

9:32 pm

Hyderabad, India

Hello, my name is Joy Ogunmuyiwa and I am a undergraduate at Duke University. I am a Biology major and a Global Health and Film Studies certificate candidate.

I will be working with Dr. Kathryn Whetten and professional documentarians to create a documentary on her research study on HIV/AIDS orphaned and abandoned children. Her work is called Positive Outcomes for Orphans, a four year, cross-cultural study that aims to clarify which aspects of culture and caregiving result in better outcomes for orphaned children. The POFO study is following orphaned and abadoned children over a 3 year period, starting at age 6 to 12 and will follow them  for another 4 years in order to more fully examine  characteristics associated with better well being as measured by cognition, emotion, health, mental health,  risk behavior and health promotion behavior, educational acheivment, job engagement, and family formation. The goal is to advise local communities, policymakers, and funding agencies about the needs of the increasing number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS and other causes. 

Specifically, my summer work is a documentary project, examining the influence of life events, placement, caregiver characteristics, and cultural settings on HIV/AIDS orphaned children’s: 1) behavioral and emotional adjustment, 2) learning and development 3) and health outcomes, through interviews with the orphaned and abandoned children and their caregivers. This project has an important, direct relation to global health because an important determinant of a child’s future health status is the way in which they are cared for and nourished and the manner in which they are attended. The goal is to tell the story, through the interviews, of the most important issues that the children and caregivers are facing. At each site, the POFO research staff have chosen children and caregivers who exemplify the issues that the orphans and abandoned children (OAC) and their caregivers face: child headed households, grandparents trying to care for many grandchildren, young people who have had to go into sex work or live on the streets.

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