Influence of social protection systems on Promotion of orphaned and vulnerable Children wellbeing in Dagoretti district, Nairobi county, Kenya
Wellbeing is generally understood as the quality of people’s lives. It is a dynamic state that is enhanced when people can fulfil their personal and social goals. It is understood both in relation to objective measures, such as household income, educational resources and health status; and subjective indicators such development, social participation and security. Children suffer a number of devastating effects as a result of orphan hood. Losing a parent either through death, abandonment or other social factors, not only has an immense emotional impact on a child but for most children, it is the beginning of cycle of economic hardship. Social protection for poor and orphaned children and widows date from the 16th and early 17th century English Elizabethan Poor Laws. A number of interventions target Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Dagoretti District, Nairobi County to improve their welfare but little is known about the influence of these interventions in children wellbeing. The study examines the influence of social protection systems on promotion of OVC wellbeing in Dagoretti District. It assesses how bursaries for education, healthcare support, food security and caregivers of OVC promote their well-being. The study utilized the descriptive survey research design. The target populations for the study included 2,756 OVC households from the 10 locations of Dagoretti District. The study randomly sampled 338 households that care for the OVC in the district. The data collection instruments for the study were household questionnaires with both closed and open-ended items. The validity of the instruments was enhanced through peer review, expert judgment by discussing the items in the instruments with colleagues and supervisors. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics with the help of a statistical package for social science (SPSS) version 16.0 for windows. Data collected was processed, organized and analyzed with the aid of the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) version 16.0. The study established that bursaries for education promotes access to education which encompasses enrolment, transition and completion an indication that the more the school attendance the higher the educational outcomes. Comprehensive healthcare support due to access to medical care from government facilities leads to positive contribution in terms of physical development and social participation. Food security for OVC has positive results with respect to both food adequacy and nutritional security of the beneficiaries as indicated by the adequacy and diversity. Caregivers within a family set up have enough time to provide closer parental care to the OVC thus ensuring a loving and caring environment for child development. This contributes to their wellbeing in terms of protection from abuse as a result of caregivers taking care of OVC in Dagoretti District County. The study therefore recommends the following; the Ministry of Education allocates more funds for bursaries to contribute to access retention and completion of education by OVC. The government should also increase health care support and hospital fee waivers for OVC to reduce worry of medical attention by caregivers when OVC fall sick. Capacity building for caregivers should be done which would translate to their employability skills for better paying jobs that will enable sufficient provision of OVC basic needs, psychosocial support and family care.