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Social exclusion is a dynamic, multi-dimensional phenomenon. Driven by unequal power relationships, it works to exclude groups of people in particular contexts from engaging fully in community or social life. Many of South Africa's post-apartheid policies and programmes have been directed at correcting historical injustices responsible for social exclusion, yet inequalities remain rampant.
This study forms part of a series of studies on professions and professional education being conducted by the HSRC's research programme on Education, Science & Skills Development. It follows a pilot study on medical doctors, published in 2006 entitled Doctors in a Divided Society: The profession and education of medical practitioners in South Africa.
In 2002, the Human Sciences Research Council was commissioned by the WK Kellogg Foundation to develop and implement a five-year intervention project focusing on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in southern Africa. In collaboration with several partner organizations, the project currently focuses on how children, families and communities in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe are coping with the impact of HIV/AIDS. The aim of the project is to develop models of best practise so as to enhance and improve support structures for OVC in the southern African region as a whole.