Impact of guidance and counselling on school going children affected by armed conflict: a case of PEV victims in Kibera, Nairobi County
Armed contlict and violence take a heavy toll on children's lives in different parts of the world. Not only do children suffer from the direct consequences of war and armed violence, they are indirectly affected by displacement, loss of relatives and the trauma associated with witnessing acts of violence. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of guidance and counseling on school going children affected by armed conflict. The study sought to learn from the experiences of the post election violence victims in Kibera slums, Nairobi County. The study established the psychosocial and post-traumatic disorders on school going children as a result of armed conflict. The study further sought to determine the extent to which guidance and counseling is undertaken for school going children in armed conflict situations and ways in which guidance and counseling could be-undertaken during such times. The study employed a descriptive survey design to gather data. 65 respondents of which 48 children who had been affected by the post election and 17 participants were key informants. The study found out that though guidance and counseling could have a great impact in addressing the needs of children during periods of violence and armed conflict, there are no mechanisms, structures or Institutions that have been set up to address this. As a result of conflict children suffer from post-traumatic disorders and the psychosocial implications of armed conflict on children is severe. The researcher recommends that there be measures put in place to ensure that guidance and counseling for children affected by armed conflict is undertaken for children during times of violence. Follow up measures should also be undertaken to ensure that children are well prepared in handling the psychosocial and posttraumatic disorders that arise from armed contlict. In promoting psychological recovery for the traumatized children, the caregivers who might be teachers, social workers or children officers should assure the children that all measures are being taken or have been taken to prevent re-occurrence of the event that caused the trauma. The researcher recommends a participatory research be undertaken to determine how capacity building in children can be enhanced after conflict situations. A study should also be undertaken to determine how governments can be encouraged to improve systems of law enforcement and justice and bring an end to impunity for the perpetrators of violence and violations of children's rights.