Socio-Economic factors affecting orphans: A case study of HIV/AIDS orphans in Kibera slums, Nairobi
Onyango, Paulicap Owino
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This descriptive cross-sectional study aimed at examining the socio-economic conditions under which HIV/AIDS orphaned children live in Kibera slums of Nairobi, investigate and describe peoples attitudes towards orphanhood, as well as the various forms of support systems and coping mechanisms for dealing with orphanhood in the study area. Purposive sampling was used to select the institution while the study subjects were identified using snowballing method. Data was collected using both interview guides and structured questionnaires, focus group discussions and observations. The data were entered, cleaned and analyzed using SPSS statistical package. Chi-square tests were done to establish association between various variables. The finding suggested that 57% of orphaned children were HIV/AIDS associated, of which 60.5% were paternal and 37.7% were maternal. The majority of the orphans 98% were going to school, while 2% had either stopped or never went to school. Among the age category 6-10 years, more females 53.3% than males 48.6% had stopped at one stage. Of the double orphans, 53.5% had difficulty in access to education (dfGender had an influence in access to education, more females 67.4% double orphans than males 32.6% experienced difficulties (dfwhile among the single orphans gender is not a significant factor although majority of the disadvantaged are females 78.2%. Among the paternal orphans, more females 94.4% than males find it difficult while among the maternal orphans more females 70.3% than males 29.7% find it difficult, the disadvantaged are girls (dfbout 66% of the orphans find it difficult to access health services, 72% were females and males 54.4%. The attitude of the people towards children has changed significantly, 60% of the orphans indicated that they were treated differently among these 70.8% females than males 29.2% reported being treated differently. About 80% of the respondents had no knowledge of social institutions within the study area 10% mentioned 3-4 community-based organizations though they were not sensitive to the needs of orphaned children. Cultural institutions on the other hand, were trying everything possible within their means to support orphaned children as registered by 56.8% single orphans being supported by surviving parent and 29.7% supported by uncle or aunt. The coping mechanism for orphaned children was involvement in income-generating activities as registered by 72%, In other cases 25.5% females double orphans had partners who supported them at times (dfOn the basis of the findings it was concluded that modern living conditions in which people are forced to depend on resources outside the community, coupled with the escalating levels of poverty, were responsible for the changes in the people's attitudes and support for orphaned children. This has affected the orphaned children negatively, most particularly their access to education, food, clothing and health care. It is, therefore, recommended that policies designed to improve orphaned children access education should strive to improve their household living conditions. Non-governmental organizations such as churches, as well as the department of Social Services, should sensitize people about the declining support for HIV/AIDS orphaned children, as well as empowering orphaned children themselves.
- MST-Zoological Sciences