Marginality and migration:
Children trapped in a cycle of economic, educational and psycho-social marginality in Bulilima and Mangwe Districts of Zimbabwe
Keywords:Marginality, marginalisation, ocial exclusion, sycho-social experiences, systematic marginalisation
International migration and marginality are among the immense challenges of humankind worldwide. Many studies have focused on the marginality of migrants in destination countries. This study, however, focuses on the marginality of children left behind by parents due to labour migration. The objectives of the study are to determine forms of marginality, and economic, educational and psycho-social experiences of marginalisation of children left behind by migrating parents. It also explores strategies to mitigate the effects of marginality on left-behind children. Theories of marginality and social exclusion make up the theoretical framework for this study. The study design is a qualitative phenomenological inquiry probing on lived experiences and challenges of marginalised migrant children in Bulilima and Mangwe districts of South-West Zimbabwe. The sample comprised a total of 94 participants, 18 class teachers, 40 caregivers and 36 left-behind migrant children. The instruments were in-depth interviews for class teachers and caregivers as well focus group discussions for left-behind migrant children. The results revealed that children left behind experienced different forms of marginalisation ranging from economic, structural, cultural, educational and psycho-social marginalisation. Ecological marginality, migration and poverty intertwine to tap migrant children in a cycle of educational and psychological marginalisation. The study recommends synchronised intervention strategies by government policymakers, non-governmental organisations, educationists and community member engagement to mitigate the effects of marginality among left-behind children.
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