Influence of cash transfers programme on access to education among orphans and vulnerable children in Kwale District, Kenya
Tsuma, Maurice M
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The focus of this study was to determine the influence of the cash transfers programme on access to education among orphans and vulnerable children in Kwale district. In this regard the study was guided by the following objectives; (a) to determine the extent to which demographic characteristics of caregivers of the cash transfers programme influence access to education among orphans and vulnerable children in Kwale district; (b) to establish the extent to which different modes of cash transfers disbursement influence access to education among orphans and vulnerable children in Kwale district when categorized in how much money received and timely disbursement; (c) to explore challenges faced by caregivers of the cash transfer programme in promoting access to education among orphans and vulnerable children in Kwale district and (d) to investigate the extent to which prioritization of cash transfers influence access to education among orphans and vulnerable children in K wale district. The study was conducted in Kwale district which covers an area of 8,322 square kilometers. It applied descriptive survey design of research. A sample of 332 respondents was selected using the prograrmme mobilization lists for Msambweni and Samburu divisions of Kwale district. The sample was obtained by putting the target population into clusters of five households' heads. The first household head in each cluster was selected to participate in the study. Data was collected using an interview guide developed by the researcher. Secondary data was obtained from an analysis of published and unpublished materials. Participant observation of the caregivers and the ovC was also applied in getting qualitative data. The collection was organized in terms of variables and each response was counted. Data was analyzed and findings presented in form of tables of frequencies and percentages. The study established that the cash transfer programme had not had a major influence on the access to education amongst ovC especially in primary schools which are the indicators in the programme objectives. Already the ovC were going to school under the free primary education programme introduced by the Government in January 2003. What the ovC lacked were school items like uniforms, school bags and pens. The study found out that both modes of payment, that is, the District Treasuries and Post Offices had unique problems especially to elderly caregivers who could not walk long distances to the pay points. It was established that the caregivers appreciated the regularity with which post offices paid the benefits. The recommendations in this study include a scale-up of the programme to cover more deserving households caring for ovC. It was further recommended that the value of the benefit be increased from the current Kshs. 1,500 paid bi-monthly to more than Kshs. 5000 to cater for family sizes and price changes in the economy. It is also important to cover more areas as the number of ovC continues to increase due to factors such as HIV/AIDS and poverty. Political leaders, both at national and grass root levels, should be sensitized to allocate more funds to the programme. The researcher suggests that further research be done to determine the influence of the cash transfer programme on access of health care and nutrition among ovC. Research should also be done to establish how the programme has influenced acquisition of birth registration documents and death certificates among ovC and their caregivers.