The quality of life of orphans and vulnerable children in Embu County
Mutiso, Dorcas N
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OVCs face many challenges from the responsibility of caring for sick and dying parents to a lack of resources to meet basic needs such as food, shelter, education and health care. These challenges can have an adverse impact on children's psychological and physical well being, school attendance and educational achievement, and development of knowledge, skills and values for constructive participation in society. Many Orphans find they need to contribute financially to the household, in some cases driving them to the streets to work, beg or seek food. The main objective of the study was to assess the quality of life (QoL) of orphans and vulnerable children in Embu County. This study adopted a descriptive research design and aimed at interviewing 213 Ov'Cs out of which 198 response rates was achieved. Also, 48 care givers, 10 members of staff and 4 managers working with OVCs programmes in the study region were interviewed during this study. Of the 198 ovcs who participated in thj?:~tndy, (51.3%) were female while (48.7%) were male. About 74.9% orphans were schooling whl'le 21.1 % were not. About 3.0% had failed to attend classes for more three times due to sickness. About 33.3% respondents indicated that there are children who have dropped out of school due to sickness, 16.0% was due to poor performance, 22.0% was to lack of school uniform and 7.0% was so as to care for their sick parents/ guardians. ~ < Majority of OVCs are poor and lack money to buy drugs. This study has shown that the family members are currently taking care of over 90% of avc is under extreme pressure, and unless governments and international development partners redouble their current efforts to increase the capacity of the families to cope, the quality of lives of foster OVC and all children in vulnerable households remain in danger. Interventions aimed at preventing and reducing child vulnerability and those that aim to reduce household poverty and increase household investments will go a long way In reducing the number of vulnerable children.