Impact of life skill training program on livelihood of orphan-headed households in Nyando division, Kisumu county, Kenya
Children in child-headed households are severely disadvantaged in that they do not have the opportunity to learn much-needed life skills which most children learn from their parents or adults who they live within the same family set up. However, schools, churches and some of the organization working with the vulnerable children provide these skills through life skills training program. The purpose of this study therefore, was to examine the extent to which life skills training program has impacted on the livelihoods of orphan-headed households in Nyando Division, Nyando District of Kisumu County. The research objectives are: To determine the extent to which decision making skills as a component of life skill training program impacts on the livelihoods of orphan-headed households in Nyando Division; To assess how communication skills as a component of life skills training program impacts on the livelihood of orphan-headed households in Nyando Division; To determine how coping mechanisms as a component life skills training program impacts on the livelihoods of orphan-headed household in Nyando Division; To investigate the extent to which self-management skills as a component of life skills training program impacts on the livelihoods of orphan-headed households in Nyando Division. The research design adopted for the study is a descriptive survey targeting orphaned boys and girls 17 years and below who are child-heads. A censure technique was used to select a sample size 50 child-heads, while purposive sampling technique was used to select 10 supervisors of child-headed households, 5 teachers from local schools and 5 local church elders/pastors. The study used questionnaires, interview schedule and observation sheets to collect data. The tools were reviewed by both the experts and the supervisor to test their validity while the reliability of the tools was tested using the test re-test method. The study adopted the descriptive statistics to analyze quantitative data with the help of the SPSS® computer software while content analysis method was used to analyze qualitative data. Upon collection data was keyed and cleaned and analyzed and presented using distribution tables, percentages and mean. The data provided information on the impact of various components of life skills training program on livelihood of orphan-headed households. Findings indicated that the life skills training program had assisted 42 (84%), child-heads who took part in the study to make decisions related to income with ease, 46 (92%) child-heads to exist better in their community 36 (72%) to cope well by use of complimentary coping mechanism and 25 (50%) to improve their self-esteem and self-confidence thus impacting indirectly on their livelihoods. The study concluded that life skills training program has an impact in livelihood of orphan-headed households. The study recommended strongly that teachers be taken on refresher courses of life skills. It recommended that Government to partner with other stake holders to empower the community in life skills training to create sustainability. More time to be allocated on the school time table to life skills lessons and teaching of life skills to be done in clusters of age groups instead of the current academic mastery method. The study proposes that further studies to examine the role of supervisors in orphan-headed households and the healthy coping mechanisms of child-heads and how they can best be married with the trained mechanisms.